Thursday, December 30, 2010

Horace in a Nutshell :: O Venus Regina :: I:30

This poem is a call to Venus to leave her home in Greece and come to the little shrine of a Roman geisha named Glycera, bringing along the fervid boy Cupid, the Graces, the Nymphs, and, of course, the god of youth Iuventas and the god of eloquence Mercury.


O Venus, queen of Cnidos and Paphos,
Turn away from lovely Cypress and with 
Glycera calling you with much incense,
come over to her decorated shrine.
Let the fervid boy hurry with you and 
with loosened belts the Graces and the Nymphs
and—not much fun without you—
Iuventas and Mercury. 
translation © 2010 by James Rumford

One of the most famous statues of the sculptor Praxiteles of Athens, who lived in the fourth century before Christ, was of Aphrodite of Cnidus. The statue did not survive, but copies of it did, such as the Ludovisi, done in Roman times. 

Cnidus is on Cyprus, as is another city mentioned in this ode: Paphos, where Venus/Aphrodite is reported to have come ashore after she rose from the sea. Apparently she had a palace there, as depicted in this set design done for Jean-Joseph de Mondonville’s opéra-ballet, Les Fêtes de Paphos [1758].

With such a palace, you can see why Glycera had to burn a lot of incense to get Venus to budge.

Today’s ode is so short that it might seem insignificant. This is probably why I have not read it until now. But, perhaps because I did wait, I can appreciate these few words of Horace’s even more.

Everything that says ‘Horace’ is in this poem. There are the references to Greece and, by extension, to Horace’s campaign to raise Latin poetry to the level of Greek poetry. There is the usual haetera or Greco-Roman equivalent of the Japanese geisha. There is youth and sex: Venus and the puer fervidus Cupid—not to mention the Graces and the Nymphs. And there is poetry and eloquence, symbolized by the god Mercury. 

Now, what more could you want from Horace?

Oh . . . . could it be hyperbaton—that tossed-salad look to Latin word order? If so, this ode is a good example. Take the last strophe, which I’ve colored to show you what is connected to what grammar-wise:

fervidus tecum puer et solutis
Gratiae zonis properentque Nymphae
et parum comis sine te Iuventas

The verb properent (‘they hurry’) gets the most colors since the nouns puer, Gratiae and Nymphae as well as Iuventas and Mercurius all govern it.

I might have made the word comis [kind, friendly, loving, obliging] in the next to the last line multi-colored as well. Comis is either singular or plural and might refer, like properent, to all of the nouns in the nominative or it might refer only to Iuventas and Mercurius. My sense is that comis modifies these last two: youth and eloquence are nothing without love.

in prose:

O Venus, regina Cnidi Paphique, Cypron dilectam sperne et in aedem decoram Glycerae, ture multo te vocantis, transfer. 
Puer fervidus tecum et Gratiaeque Nymphae, zonis solutis, properent et Iuventas Mercuriusque sine te parum comis. 
[revised  March 27. 2015]

original ode:

Ō Venus rēgīna Cnidī Paphīque,
sperne dīlectam Cypron et vocantis
tūre tē multō Glycerae decōram
   transfer in aedem.
fervidus tēcum puer et solūtīs
Grātiae zōnīs properentque Nymphae
et parum cōmis sine tē Iuventās

:: 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.

As this is the end of the year, here is an index to all the poems I have read and commented upon since August 2009:

4 Solvitur Acris Hiems Dec 21 10
5 Quis Multa Gracilis Sep 14 09
6 Scriberis Vario Aug 27 10
7 Laudabunt Alii Dec 4 10
8 Dic Lydia Sep 18 09
9 Vides ut Alta Dec 26 10
10 Mercuri, Facunde Nepos Jul 7 10
11 Tu Ne Quaesieris  Aug 28 09
13  Cum Tu, Lydia Jul 18  10
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
21 Dianam Tenerae Dicite Jul 23 10
22 Integer Vitae Jan 31 10
23 Vitas Inuleo Me Sep 2 09
24 Quis Desiderio Sep 27 09
25 Parcius Iunctas Aug 14 10
26 Musis Amicus Sep 3 09
27 Natis in Usum Aug 3 10
29 Icci, Beatis Nunc  Mar 15 10
30 O Venus Regina Dec 30 10
31 Quid Dedicatum Sep 29 09
32 Poscimus Feb 19 10
33 Albi, Ne Doleas Mar 20 10
34 Parcus Deorum Cultor Mar 1 10
35 O Diva Gratum Mar 11 10
36 Et Ture et Fidibus Jan 27 10
37 Nunc Est Bibendum Feb 24 10
38 Persicos Odi Sep 9 09

1 Motum ex Metulle Jul 3 10
2 Nullus Argento Feb 5 10
3 Æquam Memento May 24 10
4 Ne Sit Ancillæ May 30 10
5  Nondum Subacta May 20 10
6 Septimi Gadis Aditure Apr 30 10
7 O Saepe Mecum May 7 10
8  Ulla Si Iuris Jun 9 10
9 Non Semper Imbres Oct 27 09
10 Rectius Vives Sep 15 09
11 Quid Bellicosus Apr 26 10
12 Nolis Longa Apr 15 10
13 Ille et Nefasto Apr 11 10
14 Eheu Fugaces Mar 21 10
15 Iam Pauca Aratro Mar 25 10
16 Otium Divos Rogat Jun 15 10
17 Cur Me Querellis Jun 23 10
18 Non Ebur Feb 12 10
19 Bacchum in Remotis Nov 2 09
20 Non Usitata Oct 23 09

1 Odi Profanum Vulgus Sep 15 10
2 Puer Robustus Dec 3 09
5 Caelo Tonantem  Sep 28 10
7 Quid Fles  Nov 27 10
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
14 Herculis Ritu Modo Aug 12 10
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
25 Quo Me Bacche Sep 5 10
26 Vixi Puellis Nuper Sep 10 09
28 Festo Quid Potius Aug 19 10
30 Exegi Monumentum Aug 27 09

1 Intermissa Diu Jan 17 10
2 Pindarum Quisquis Studet Nov 19 10
3 Quem Tu Melpomene Dec 6 09
5 Divis Orte Bonis Oct 7 10
7 Diffugere Nives Nov 6 09
8 Donarem Pateras Jan 11 10
9 Ne Forte Credas Oct 25 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
15 Phoebus Volentem Nov 3 10 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Snow Job :: Vides Ut Alta :: I:9

This is a famous ode. It is winter, and Mount Soracte [today’s Soratte] near Horace’s villa is covered with snow. Time for fires and wine, and because such is the poet’s bent, a call to seize the day and make the most of youth and playful love.

Mount Soracte, painted by Jean Baptiste Camille Corot.


See how white Soracte stands in high snow,
how the laboring woods hold not the load,
how from the keen-edged cold have stopped the rivers still?

Loosen the frost; heap wood upon the fire;
Draw out a friendly portion from the jar
of Sabine wine, Thaliarch, aged four winter-years.

Then leave the rest to the gods; once they’ve spread 
the bickering winds o’er the raging sea,
are not shaken the ash, the ancient cypress trees.

Hold off asking what tomorrow will be.
Count as gold whatever days Fortune gives.
Turn not sweet love away nor dancing, boy,

as long as your green youthfulness is no 
where near [my] curmudgeon white. Now off
with you to Campo Marzio, the piazze, 

and soft whispers at the fall of night.
And now: a pleasing laugh giving away 
the girl in some intimate corner out of sight,

tokens of  love ripped from an upper arm
and from a finger, barely resisting at all.
translation © 2010 by James Rumford

According to scholars,the first two strophes were taken from the Greek poet Alcaeus. According to scholars, Roman houses don’t have outward facing windows to give Horace a view of Soracte. According to scholars, there were no fireplaces for logs, the opening scenes are metaphors for old age . . . . and on and on until, as one scholar even dared say: we’ve destroyed the poem! Thus, it seems: the ode becomes a metaphor for the heavy winter of scholarship: its stanzas laboring beneath the heavy snowjob of countless professors, its flowing lines stopped dead still by the bitter cold of their comments.

So I have not much to say about this ‘beloved’ ode. I’m afraid to utter one more word. Instead, I’ll show you another mountain, a watercolor of Mont Sante Victoire by Cézanne, for you to contemplate, as you reread this poem, and leave you with a quattrain [no. 88] from Omar Khayyam.

گوینــد بهشت و حــور و کوثر باشـد
جوی می و شیر و شهد و شکر باشد
پــر کــن قدح بـاده و بـر دستم نــه
نـقـدی ز هـزار نـسـیه خوشتر باشـد

They say there’s heaven, houris and the River Kauthar
There’s a stream of wine and milk and honey and sugar
Fill up the cup of wine and put it in my hand
Ready cash over credit's a thousand times sweeter.
[translation mine]

in prose:

Vides ut Soracte stet, candidum nive alta, nec iam silvae laborantes onus sustineant, fluminaque gelu acuto constiterint? 
Frigus dissolve, ligna super foco large reponens, atque benignius diota Sabina merum quadrimum deprome, o Thaliarche. 
Permitte cetera divis, qui simul ventos deproeliantes aequore fervido straver[unt], nec cupressi veteres nec orni agitantur. 
Fuge quaerere quid cras futurum sit et, quemcumque dierum Fors dabit, lucro adpone.
Nec amores dulces sperne neque, [o] puer, tu choreas, donec canities morosa virenti abest. 
Nunc—et Campus et areae susurrique lenes sub noctem hora composita repetantur. 

Et nunc, ab angulo intimo, risus gratus, proditor puellae latentis, pignusque lacertis dereptum aut [anulus] digito male pertinaci.

[revised March 26, 2015]

original ode:

Vidēs ut altā stet nive candidum
Sōrācte nec iam sustineant onus
   silvae labōrantēs gelūque
        flūmina constiterint acūtō?
dissolve frīgus ligna super focō
largē repōnēns atque benignius
   dēprōme quādrīmum Sabīnā,
        ō Thaliarche, merum diōtā.
permitte dīvīs cētera, quī simul
strāvēre ventōs aequore fervidō
   dēproeliantıs, nec cǔpressī
        nec veterēs agitantur ornī.
quid sit futūrum crās, fuge quaerere, et
quem Fors diērum cumque dabit, lǔcrō
   adpōne nec dulcıs amōrēs
        sperne, puer, neque tū chorēās,
dōnec virentī cānitiēs abest
mōrōsa. nunc et Campus et āreae
   lēnēsque sub noctem susurrī
        compositā repetantur hōrā,
nunc et latentis prōditor intimō
grātus puellae rīsus ab angulō
   pignusque dēreptum lacertīs

        aut digitō male pertinācī.

:: 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.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Long Hope :: Solvitur Acris Hiems :: I:4

This ode is addressed to Lucius Sestius, who was appointed consul suffectus in 23 BC by Augustus (even though Sestius had fought in the republican ranks against the emperor . . . alongside Horace, I might add).

This beautifully constructed ode begins with the loosening of winter’s grip upon the land at the coming of spring. It ends with a reminder about the shortness of life and the fate that awaits us all. 


sharp winter loosened 
by the welcoming turn of spring 
and the winds from the west;
machines dragging out 
the dried up hulls of ships;
the cattle unhappy now in the barn, 
the farmer too by the fire, 
the fields no longer white with frost,
for it is now that Venus Cytherea 
leads the chorus out, moon above, 
the Graces, as they should, arm in arm,
stamping the earth, 
first with this foot then the other,
with Vulcan, glowing, looking in 
at the heavy workshops of the Cyclopes.

now’s the time to weigh down 
the glistening head with green myrtle
or with the flowers they’ll bring 
from the loosened land;
now’s the time to prepare the sacrifice 
for Faunus in shady woods;
perhaps he’ll ask for a female lamb, 
perhaps he’ll prefer a male. 

pale Death kicks in the huts of paupers 
just as it does the towers of kings,
o lucky Sestius, 
the pinnacle of brief life 
stops us from hoping it will be long.
and night presses in on you—
the stories, the ghosts,
the bleak house of Pluto, 
where, once you arrive,
you won’t be chosen 
by a throw of the dice 
wine king of the party,
you won’t be able to 
admire tender Lycidas—
for him all youth now burns
and soon the girls untried.
                                                                                              revised translation © by James Rumford 2013

I have a different take from most scholars on some of the lines in this ode. For instance, take line 15:

vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam 

According to Jeffrey Kaimowitz in his excellent The Odes of Horace (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), it means:

lifes’s brief span forbids us to enter hope far-reaching

A translation by the poet Ernest Dowson [1867–1900], who gave us ‘days of wine and roses’ and ‘gone with the wind,’ is everywhere on the web:

The brief sum of life forbids us the hope of enduring long

A French translation has: 

le cours de la vie est bref et 
nous défend les longues espérances

I suppose that I might agree with these translations. Summa can mean all of these things: span, sum, and course [cours]. But what if summa means, as it can, ‘height,’ ‘chief point,’ ‘perfection’? Wouldn’t this make more sense? The ode is about spring. Spring doesn’t last forever. There will be summer and fall and winter and death. It is the high point of life—youth—that is brief, surely. So I translate this line as: 

The pinnacle of brief life
stops us from hoping
that it will be long.

But there are more problems with this line. Does brevis modify summa or vitae? Does longam modify spem or is it a noun meaning ‘a long one,’ referring to life?  And if longam does modify spem, what does ‘long hope’ mean? In ode I:11, Horace talks about pruning back long hope:

spem longam reseces

And in III:21, he talks about reducing it:

tu spem reducis

Clearly, to Horace, hope has the dimension of length; whereas, in English, its dimension is one of magnitude: great white hope, great expectations, big hopes. Hope is often in the plural in English. Moreover, hope is something that we can build upon. We say ‘she built her hopes on his return.’  

This allusion to building is interesting, too, because in today’s ode, Horace uses the verb incohare with spem longamIncohare means ‘to start’ or ‘to lay the foundation of a building.’

Slowly, painfully, things are starting to make sense. Literally (and awkwardly) line 15 must read:

The short pinnacle of life stops us 
from laying down long hope.

Idiomatically, from an English point of view, line 15 must read:

The short pinnacle of life stops us
from building up great hopes.

Other nettlesome lines are the last two:

nec tenerum Lycidan mirabere, quo calet iuventus [19]
nunc omnis et mox virgines tepebunt 

Most take these lines to mean:

and you won’t look at tender Lycidas, 
for whom all the boys are burning 
now, and soon the girls will be warm.

I suppose that scholars see a kind of parallelism here. If the girls are warm, then it stands to reason that iuventus, [youth, young persons] must mean boys. And given the sexual mores of Roman society, why not? But I don’t see the parallelism. Instead, I take iuventus to mean ‘the age of youth.’ Like spring, youth heats up the body, and it won’t be long before the girls are warmed by this tender boy named Lycidas. 

and you won’t look at tender Lycidas,
in whom youth now burns entirely,
and soon the girls will be warm.

My interpretation depends upon two things. First, omnis, with its short i to fit the meter, could mean 'completely, entirely.' Second,  q is the ablative of quī and can mean ‘by whom.’ But ablatives can also express location, as in this line from Virgil: 

Celsā sedet Aeolus arcō   
Aeolus is seated on a high citadel.

Or ablatives can express what grammarians call ‘respect or specification,’ as in this line from Horace:

Ex corde et genibus tremit.
He trembles both in heart and knees.

If this is what Horace meant by the ablative of quō, then perhaps my interpretation is correct.

in prose:

Hiems acris iam vice grata veris et Favoni solvitur. Machinaeque carinas siccas trahunt. Ac neque iam pecus stabulis aut arator igni gaudet nec prata pruinis canis albicant. 
Iam, luna imminente, Venus Cytherea choros ducit, Grataeque decentes iunctae Nymphis pede alterno terram quatiunt, dum Vulcanus ardens officinas graves Cyclopum visit. 
Nunc decet caput nitidum aut myrto viridi aut flore ‹quem terrae solutae ferunt› impedire. 
Nunc decet Fauno in lucis umbrosis immolare, seu agna poscat sive haedo malit. 
Mors Pallida tabernas pauperum turresque regum pede aequo pulsat. 

O Sesti beate, summa brevis vitae nos vetat spem longam incohare. Iam nox Manesque fabulae et domus exilis Plutonia te premet, quo simul mearis, nec regna vini talis sortiere nec Lycidan tenerum mirabere, quo iuventus omnis nunc calet, et virgines mox tepebunt.
[revised March 26, 2015]

original ode:

Solvitur acris hiems grātā vice vēris et Favōnī
   trahuntque sīccās māchinae carīnās,
ac neque iam stabulīs gaudet pecus aut arātor ignī
   nec prāta cānīs albicant pruīnīs.
iam Cytherēa chorōs dūcit Venus imminente lūnā
   iunctaeque Nymphīs Grātiae decentēs
alternō terram quatiunt pede, dum gravıs Cȳclōpum
   Volcānus ardēns vīsit officīnās.
nunc decet aut viridī nitidum caput impedīre myrtō
   aut flōre, terrae quem ferunt solūtae;
nunc et in umbrōsīs Faunō decet immolāre lūcīs,
   seu poscat agnā sīve mālit haedō.
Pallida Mors aequō pulsat pede pauperum tabernās
   rēgumque turrıs. ō beāte Sestī,
vītae sūmma brevis spēm nōs vetat incohāre longam.
   iam tē premet nox fābulaeque Mānēs
et domus exīlis Plūtōnia, quō simul meāris,
   nec regna vīnī sortiēre tālīs
nec tenerum Lycīdan mīrābere, quō calet iuventus
   nunc omnis et mox virginēs tepēbunt.

:: 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.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Housecleaning :: Laudabunt Alii :: I:7

Now some housecleaning—an attempt to get rid of some of the cobwebs in my own mind about Latin. Horace strings the ideas in this ode together with all of the “or” conjunctions he had at his disposal: vel, ve, seu, sive, and aut.  It turns out that, from reading Madvig and Thacher’s Latin grammar that Vel, ve, seu, and sive all have essentially the same meaning. They denote a distinction that is unimportant, as in vel potius ‘or rather,’   Aut, on the other hand, denotes an important difference: aut verum aut falsum ‘either true or false.’ I wonder if a Roman would ever say vel verum vel falsum, meaning, I suppose, something like ‘partly true and partly false.’ I wonder if Horace meant to differentiate these disjunctive conjunctions in his ode. If so, no translation could ever get these fine distinctions across. Here are the first four lines:

Laudabunt alii claram Rhodon aut Mytilen
aut Ephesum bimarisve Corinthii
moenia vel Baccho Thebas vel Apollone Delphos
insignis aut Thessala Tempe;

Instead of translating all of these different conjunctions with ‘or,’ perhaps one might say:

The others will praise famous Rhodos or Mytelene
or Ephesus, why not even the city walls of ‘two-seas’ Corinth,
Thebes famous for Bacchus or Delphi for Apollo,
or—totally in a class by herself—Thessaly’s Tempe;

Another housecleaning chore is: figure out what all the punctuation is about. Of course, Horace never had to deal with punctuation marks, doing what they say author’s do these days: spend all morning putting a comma in something they have written then spend all afternoon taking it out. That job went to future editors of Horace, who must have spent a great deal of time before they came up with just the right combination of commas, semicolons, colons, and periods. 

Thus, it was that some editor in some century decided how Horace should be punctuated and whatever he decided has stuck, in particular, the annoying use of the colon. In the Latin of the middle ages and the Renaissance, it was decided that the colon would be used for clauses that are grammatically complete (they have a subject and a verb) but are not logically complete. Thus, the editors could use the colon to keep one giant thought hooked together. Since Horace is so hard to read, I’m guessing it took them a long time to decide what these thought-groups were. And I bet not all of the editors agreed. 

Look at the first fourteen lines. (I’ve colored the different punctuation marks.) This is the big idea that Horace wants to get across:

Others will praise cities; 
they will honor Athene; 
they will honor Juno: 
I like home best.

How simple! A colon alerts the reader and says, “Here comes the ‘punch line.’”
Another similar use of the colon in the ode is in lines 27 to 29. But in these lines, the punch line comes first:

Don’t despair with me here:
Apollo promised another home.

But now I notice that in other editions of Ode I:9, there is no colon in line 27.  There is instead a semicolon. Aha! Just as I thought! One editor’s colon is another semi.

I am reminded of the movie “Wit,” in which Emma Thompson, the student, is brought up short by her professor, played by Eileen Atkins, for having used the wrong edition of John Donne’s poem, which begins ‘Death be not proud’; for in that edition, some editor had inserted a semicolon where the professor insisted there be a comma. Here is a video clip on Youtube: 

I wonder then, what would happen if we were to take all of the punctuation out of Horace. Would he collapse in a rubble of words like some Roman ruin or would he become more intelligible, more alive, more visible to our mind’s eye? 

Mytilene is the capital of Lesbos, where Sappho was born.
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city in Anatolia, modern Turkey. In Roman times it was second only to Rome in number of inhabitants.
Thebes is a city in Greece and the site of stories of Cadmus, Oedipus, and Bacchus (Dionysus).
Tempe was the favorite place of Apollo and the muses; it is located in northern Greece.
Pallas was the surname of Athene; intactae Palladis urbem: the city of the virgin Athene.
Argos was the capital of Argolis, in the Peloponnesus, sacred to Juno.
Mycenae was a city in Argolis of which Agamemnon was king.
Lacedæmon was Sparta.
Larissa is a city in Thessaly, where Achilles was born and where Hippocrates died.
Præceps Anio is a cataract or falls on the Anio [now Aniene], a tributary stream of the Tiber. The Anio was famous for its pure water.
Albun[e]a is a fountain at Tibur [now Tivoli], which is on the Anio and near Horace’s villa.
Tiburnian Woods was a sacred grove of trees along the Tibur. 
Notus was the south wind.
Teucer was the son of Telamon, king of Salamis Island, and the brother of Ajax.
Salamis was 1) an island in the Saronic Gulf and 2) a city in Cyprus founded by Teucer.
Lyaeus is Bacchus and uda Lyaeō tempora means ‘temples wet with Lyaeus’ or ‘with wine.’


Others will praise bright Rhodes or Mytilene, 
or Ephesus or the ramparts on both 
sides of the Corinthian Sea 
or Thebes known for Bacchus or Delphi for 
Apollo, even Thessaly’s Tempe.
For them it’s all about celebrating
in perpetual song the city of 
Pallas Intact and putting olive leaves 
picked from all over on the brow; many 
in Juno’s honor will talk of Argos
right for horses and wealthy Mycene.
But to me, Lacedaemon [is] not so 
lasting nor does the field of rich 
Larissa strike as does home, echoing 
the Albunea, the Anio Falls, 
the Tiburian woods, the wet apple 
orchards by the moving streams.

As white Notus often clears clouds away 
from darkened skies and spawns no constant rains,
so, Plancus, wise you—remember to put 
an end to life’s gloom and its labors by 
mellow wine, whether the encampments with
glittering standards keep hold of you now 
or later the deep shade of your Tibur. 

It is said when Teucer fled his father 
and Salamis, he bound round his temples, 
wet with Lyaeus’s wine, a crown of 
poplar and addressed saddened friends with this: 
“we shall go wherever better fortune 
carries us from my father, o comrades 
and partisans; there is nothing to be 
hopeless about with Teucer in command, 
with Teucer in luck, for it is certain 
Apollo has promised that we shall have
a second Salamis in a new land.
O you brave men, who have often suffered 
the worst with me, drive now your cares away 
with wine, for tomorrow we shall again 
journey across the boundless sea.”

translation © 2010 by James Rumford

in prose:

Alii laudabunt Rhodon claram aut Mytilenen aut Epheson moeniave Corinthi bimaris vel Thebas Baccho [insignis] vel Delphos Apolline insignis aut Tempe Thessala. Sunt quibus unum opus est urbem Palladis intactae carmine perpetuo celebrare et olivam undique decerptam fronti praeponere. In honorem Iunonis, plurimus ‹Argos equis aptum› ‹Mycenasque dites› dicet. Me, nec Lacedaemon tam patiens nec campus Larisae opimae tam percussit quam domus Albuneae resonantis et praeceps Anio ac lucus Tiburni et pomaria rivis mobilibus uda. Ut Notus albus saepe nubila caelo obscuro deterget neque imbres perpetuo parturit, sic tu sapiens memento tristitiam laboresque vitae mero molli finire, [o] Plance. Seu ‹castra signis fulgentia› te tenent seu umbra densa Tiburis tui tenebit. Cum Teucer Salamina patremque fugeret, fertur tamen tempora, Lyaeo uda, corona populea vinxisse, sic amicos tristes affatus [est]: “Quoque fortuna, parente melior, nos feret, ibimus—o socii comitesque. Nil desperandum [est], Teucro duce et auspice Teucro. Apollo enim certus promisit [in] tellure nova Salamina ambiguam futuram [esse]. O fortes, [o] ‹virique peiora mecum saepe passi›, nunc curas [cum] vino pellite; cras aequor ingens iterabimus.”[revised March 26, 2015]

original ode:

Laudābunt aliī clāram Rhodon aut Mytilēnēn
   aut Epheson bimarisve Corinthī
moenia vel Bacchō Thēbās vel Apōlline Delphōs
   insignīs aut Thessala Tempē;
sunt quibus ūnum opus est intactae Palladis urbem       
   carmine perpetuō celebrāre et
undique dēcerptam frontī praepōnere olīvam;
   plūrimus in Iūnōnis honōrem
aptum dīcet equīs Argōs dītısque Mycēnās:
   mē nec tam patiēns Lacedaemōn
nec tam Lārīsae percussit campus opīmae
   quam domus Albuneae resonantis
et praeceps Aniō ac Tīburnī lūcus et ūda
   mōbilibus pōmāria rīvīs.
albus ut obscūrō dēterget nūbila caelō
   saepe Notus neque parturit imbrıs
perpetuō, sīc tū sapiēns fīnīre mementō
   tristitiam vītaeque labōrēs
mollī, Plance, merō, seu tē fulgentia signīs
   castra tenent seu densa tenēbit
Tīburis umbra tuī. Teucer Salamīna patremque
   cum fugeret, tamen ūda Lyaeō
tempora pōpuleā fertur vinxisse corōnā,
      sīc tristıs affātus amīcōs:
‘Quō nōs cumque feret melior fortūna parente,
   ībimus, ō sociī comitēsque.
Nīl despērandum Teucrō duce et auspice Teucrō:
   certus enim prōmīsit Apollō
ambiguam tellūre novā Salamīna futūram.
   ō fortēs peiōraque passī
mēcum saepe virī, nunc vīnō pellite cūrās;

   crās ingēns iterābimus aequor.’

:: Latin books by James Rumford ::

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