Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Incense and Lute :: Et Ture et Fidibus :: I:36

Wasn't life grand in old Rome! Always a party! The honored guest is Pomponius or Plotius Numida, newly returned from the campaign of 27 to 25 BC in Hisperia Ultima (Spain). 

Numida is happy to see his boyhood friend Lamia, who may be the same Lamia we met in Musis Amicis Tristitiam, Sep 3 09, and in Aeli Vetusto, Oct 5 09. It is with Lamia that he went from boyhood to manhood, exchanging the youth's toga for the man's (mutatus togae). Even so, I suspect from the final verses of this ode, that Numida is even happier to be in the ivy-clinging arms of Demalis, a woman who's a looker and likes her 'likker.'

Horace is having a lot of fun in this poem. He wants this to be a white-chalk day, or as we would say, 'a red letter' day. No Thracian chug-a-lug drinking bouts called amystis (αμυστις).  Just lots of wine and roses, celery and lilies.

(Celery? Well, yes, or maybe parsley. The Romans loved the fresh, green smell. Still do.Think of all the parsley in Italian dishes and the celery, as in Bolognese sauce.) 

In this ode, the words tumble out, one right after the other in quick succession. Horace crams them together to fit the meter and increase the speed: 

et ture et fidibus iuvat  =   et tur'  et  fidibus yuvat
placare et vituli  =  placar'  et   vituli
neu promptae modus = ne' promptae modus

In my translation, I kept Horace's thoughts tumbling out in the same order. The result is, as in the original ode, verbal jugglery—that is, keeping as many ideas in the air as possible.


And with incense and lute, a joy
to please, and with the owed blood of a young bull,
the patron gods for Numida,
who, now unharmed from Hesperia Ultima,
to his many cherished comrades,
yet to none does he hand out more kisses than to 
fair Lamia; a  memory
of boyhood ended under the same teacher
when they did mutatus togae. 
Don't let this nice day be without a white chalk mark, 
no limits to the wine opened,
no resting the feet like the Salii dancers,
no Demalis chugging down wine
and defeating Bassus in a drinking contest,
no roses absent from the feast
nor hardy celery nor short-lived lilies.
Everyone will cast stinking-drunk eyes 
on Demalis, but she will not be torn away
from her newly arrived lover,
she more entwining than lascivious ivy. 

translation © 2010 by James Rumford
the ode in prose:

Iuvat [me] et ture et fidibus et sanguine vituli debito deos-custodes Numidae placare, qui nunc sospes ab Hisperia ultima multa oscula sodalibus caris dividit—nulli dulci plura quam Lamiae—puertiae actae ‹non rege alio› simulque togae mutatae memor. 
Ne careat pulchra dies Cressa nota, neu modus amphorae promptae, neu sit requies pedum in morem Salium, neu vincat Damalis-multi-meri Bassum amystide Threicia, neu desint rosae epulis, neu [desit] apium vivax, neu [desit] lilium breve. Omnes oculos putres in Damalin deponent, nec Damalis ‹hederis lascivis ambitiosior› adultero novo [suo] divelletur.

[revised March 27, 2015]

original ode:

   Et tūre et fīdibus iuvat
placāre et vitulī sanguine dēbitō
   custōdēs Numidae deōs,
quī nunc Hesperiā sospes ab ultimā
   carīs multa sodālibus,
nūllī plūra tamen dīvidit oscula 
   quam dulcī Lamiae, memor
actae nōn aliō rēge puertiae
   mūtātaeque simul togae.
Cressā nē careat pulchra diēs nōta
   nēu promptae modus amphorae
nēu mōrem in Salium sit requiēs pedum
   nēu multī Damalis merī
Bassum Thrēiciā vincat amystide
   nēu dēsint epulīs rosae
nēu vīvax apium nēu breve līlium.
   omnēs in Damalin putrıs
dēpōnent oculōs nec Damalis novō
   dīvellētur adulterō
lascīvīs hederīs ambitiōsior.

:: Latin books by James Rumford ::

For all 102 odes purchase Carpe Diem, Horace De-Poetizedfor $11.50 at 

For a Latin translation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at $12, click here: 

To find out more about Carpe Diem go to the blog of March 26, 2015; 
for more about Pericla Thomae Sawyer, go to the blog of November 22, 2016.

Index of Poems

5 Quis Multa Gracilis Sep 14 09
8 Dic Lydia Sep 18 09
11 Tu Ne Quaesieris  Aug 18 09
14 O Navis Nov 8 09
18 Nullam Vare Sacra Aug 31 09
19 Mater Saeva Cupidinum Sep 20 09
20 Vile Potabis Modicis Sep 1 09
23 Vitas Inuleo Me Sep 2 09
24 Quis Desiderio Sep 27 09
26 Musis Amicus Sep 3 09
31 Quid Dedicatum Sep 29 09
36 Et Ture et Fidibus Jan 27 10
38 Persicos Odi Sep 9 09

9 Non Semper Imbres Oct 27 09
10 Rectius Vives Sep 15 09
19 Bacchum in Remotis Nov 2 09
20 Non Usitata Oct 23 09

2 Puer Robustus Dec 3 09
8 Martiis Caelebs Oct 11 09
9 Donec Gratus Tibi Oct 8 09
10 Extremum Tanaïn Dec 18 09
12 Miserarum Est Dec 15 09 
13 O Fons Bandusiae Sep 12 09
15 Uxor Pauperis Ibyci Sep 24 09
17 Aeli Vetusto Oct 5 09
19 Quantum Distet Dec 12 09
20 Non Vides Quanto Sep 23 09
21 O Nata Mecum Oct 3 09
22 Montium Custos Oct 1 09
23 Caelo Supinas Oct 21 09
26 Vixi Puellis Nuper Sep 10 09
30 Exegi Monumentum Aug 27 09

1 Intermissa Diu Jan 17 10
3 Quem Tu Melpomene Dec 6 09
7 Diffugere Nives Nov 6 09
8 Donarem Pateras Jan 11 10
10 O Crudelis Adhuc Aug 29 09
11 Est Mihi Nonum Jan 22 10
12 Iam Veris Comites Jan 3 10
13 Audivere Lyce Dec 23 09

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