ODES - I.11 DON'T ASK, LEUCONOE ...
Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus) trans. Arthur McHugh


Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi
finem di dederint, Leuconoë, nec Babylonios
tentaris numeros. ut melius, quidquid erit, pati!
seu plures hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam,
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare
Tyrrhenum, sapias, vina liques, et spatio brevi
spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero.


Don't ask, Leuconoe, and don't bother with Babylonian
horoscopes, trying to find out what fate the gods have
assigned to you and me. It's better to put up with whatever
happens, whether Jupiter allows us lots more winters, or
whether our last one is now making the waves rage against
the rocks of the western ocean: be sensible, drink up your
wine and forget about hope. Even as we speak, time flies:
enjoy today. Don't count on tomorrow.

Click here 7 for another translation of this poem.


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