ODES - II.16 ODES - II.16
Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus) trans. Colin Sydenham
Otium divos rogat in patenti
prensus Aegaeo, simul atra nubes
condidit lunam neque certa fulgent
.....sidera nautis;

otium bello furiosa Thrace,
otium Medi pharetra decori,
Grosphe, non gemmis neque purpura ve-
.....nale nec auro.

non enim gazae neque consularis
summovet lictor miseros tumultus
mentis et curas laqueata circum
.....tecta volantis.

vivitur parvo bene cui paternum
splendet in mensa tenui salinum
nec levis somnos timor aut cupido
.....sordidus aufert.

quid brevi fortes iaculamur aevo
multa? quid terras alio calentis
sole mutamus? patriae quis exsul
.....se quoque fugit?

scandit aeratas vitiosa navis
Cura nec turmas equitum relinquit,
ocior cervis et agente nimbos
.....ocior Euro.

laetus in praesens animus quod ultra est
oderit curare et amara lento
temperet risu; nihil est ab omni
.....parte beatum.

abstulit clarum cita mors Achillem,
longa Tithonum minuit senectus,
et mihi forsan, tibi quod negarit,
.....porriget hora.

te greges centum Siculaeque circum
mugiunt vaccae, tibi tollit hinnitum
apta quadrigis equa, te bis Afro
.....murice tinctae

vestiunt lanae: mihi parva rura et
spiritum Graiae tenuem Camenae
Parca non mendax dedit et malignum
.....spernere vulgus.
Peace is the merchantís prayer, when caught by squalls
far out in the Aegean sea, as soon
as guiding stars are dimmed and dark clouds ride
.....across the moon;

for peace the Persian in his gaudy gear,
for peace the Thracian prays, by war distraught,
but, Grosphus, not by purple, gold or gems
.....can peace be bought.

For neither hoarded bullion nor a troop
of consular lictors can ever halt
the mindís ferment, the cares that flitter through
.....the coffered vault.

Scant goods bring ample comfort to the man
whose table with a fatherís salt-pot gleams,
who suffers neither fear nor greed to mar
.....his easy dreams.

Life is so short, why do we set our sights
so high? Why do we seek a different sun?
What fugitive from homeland ever has
.....himself outrun?

Corroding care will board the bronze-clad yacht,
and mount among the Knightsí parading swarm,
swifter than deer, yes, swifter than the blast
.....that drives the storm.

The heart that values present happiness
should scorn to press for more, should face the test
of setbacks with a smile; no portion is
.....completely blessed.

By sudden death Achilles was cut short,
by age Tithonus was relentlessly
worn down; what life denies to you, it may
.....bestow on me.

Round you a hundred flocks, and herds of cows
from Sicily, give tongue, your whinnying mare
is ready for the racing chariot,
.....the robes you wear

are twice-dipped purple, while my little lot
is narrow land, from Greece a slender vein
of inspiration, and, for those who live
.....by spite, disdain.

Transl. copyright © Colin Sydenham 2006

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