Horace, Odes 1.1

Horace, Odes 1.1

Maecenas, begotten from ancestral kings,
O both my defence and sweet honour:
There are some whom it delights to have collected dust
From a chariot at an Olympic game, and the pillar
Avoided by fervid wheels and the ennobling palm
Exalts the masters of the lands to the gods;
This one, if a commotion of fickle citizens
Disputes to raise their leaders with honours;
That one, if he has stored in his own barn
Everything swept up from a Libyan threshing floor.
One rejoicing to divide with a hoe his familial
Fields by Attalid contract you
Might never sway, that as a timid sailor he
Might sail the Myrtoan sea on Cyprian raft.
The merchant, fearing Africus wrestling with Icarian winds,
Extols leisure and to live in his own town; soon he
Restores his shattered rafts, unable to endure poverty.
It is he who does not spurn the drinks of ancient Massicum
Nor to take a part from the unbroken day,
Now having laid his limbs under a green strawberry
Tree, now his gentle head towards sacred waters.
The camps and the sound of the trumpet mixed with
The clarion please many, and wars are detested by
Mothers. The hunter remains under frigid Jove,
forgetful of his frail spouse,
Whether a stag has been seen by his faithful dog,
Or a Marsian boar has broken his tapered nets.
The gifts of ivy of poetic brows mix me
With the lofty gods; the frigid grove of the
Nymphs with satyrs of the chorus divides
Me from the people, if neither Euterpe
separates twin flutes, nor Polyhymnia
avoid to exert herself on Lesbian lyre.
For if you thrust me among the lyric poets,
I shall strike the heavens with my lofty head!


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