ODES - IV.10 ODES - IV.10
Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus) trans. Colin Sydenham
O crudelis adhuc et Veneris muneribus potens,
insperata tuae cum veniet pluma superbiae,
et, quae nunc umeris involitant, deciderint comae,
nunc et qui color est puniceae flore prior rosae,

mutatus, Ligurine, in faciem verterit hispidam,
dices "heu" quotiens te speculo videris alterum,
"quae mens est hodie, cur eadem non puero fuit,
vel cur his animis incolumes non redeunt genae?"
Warder of love’s potent promise, stony-hearted hitherto,
when the uninvited badge of man’s estate surprises you,
when the airy curls are shorn which round your shoulders now cascade,
when your colour, which surpasses now the rose’s crimson shade,

loses lustre, Ligurinus, darkened by invading hair,
you will ask, as in the mirror at your future self you stare:
"Why did boyhood’s temper never match how I in manhood burn?
Why to manhood’s mood can boyhood’s unmarred features not return?"

Transl. copyright © Colin Sydenham 2006

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