ODES - I.5 ALL THE SNOWS HAVE FLED ...
Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus) trans. Arthur McHugh


Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa
perfusus liquidis urget odoribus
grato, Pyrrha, sub antro?
cul flauam religas comam,

simplex munditiis? Heu quotiens fidem
mutatosque deos flebit et aspera
nigris aequora uentis
emirabitur insolens,

qui nunc te fruitur credulus aurea,
qui semper uacuam, semper amabilem
sperat, nescius aurae
fallacis. Miseri, quibus

intemptata nites. Me tabula sacer
uotiua paries indicat uuida
suspendisse potenti
uestimenta maris deo.


What slim perfumed fellow is wooing you now, Pyrrha,
in some flower-strewn grotto?
For whose sake do you tie back your yellow hair
in such plain, elegant style?

Too bad for him: he's going to regret
your fickle tastes, your untrustworthiness;
naively enjoying you now, and hoping
that you'll always be the free and lovable golden girl,

he doesn't realise that a zephyr is deceitful -
he'll be amazed when black winds whip up a raging sea!
Tough luck on any trusting soul dazzled by you.


As for me, like a thankful sailor rescued from shipwreck,
I've hung my dripping clothes in the sea-god's temple,
complete with an appropriate inscription.


Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.


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