ODES - IV.12 ODES - IV.12
Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus) trans. Colin Sydenham
Iam veris comites, quae mare temperant,
impellunt animae lintea Thraciae;
iam nec prata rigent nec fluvii strepunt
.....hiberna nive turgidi.

nidum ponit Ityn flebiliter gemens
infelix avis et Cecropiae domus
aeternum opprobrium, quod male barbaras
.....regum est ulta libidines.

dicunt in tenero gramine pinguium
custodes ovium carmina fistula
delectantque deum cui pecus et nigri
.....colles Arcadiae placent.

adduxere sitim tempora, Vergili:
sed pressum Calibus ducere Liberum
si gestis, iuvenum nobilium cliens,
.....nardo vina merebere.

nardi parvus onyx eliciet cadum,
qui nunc Sulpiciis accubat horreis,
spes donare novas largus amaraque
.....curarum eluere efficax.

ad quae si properas gaudia, cum tua
velox merce veni: non ego te meis
immunem meditor tingere poculis,
.....plena dives ut in domo.

verum pone moras et studium lucri,
nigrorumque memor, dum licet, ignium
misce stultitiam consiliis brevem:
.....dulce est desipere in loco.
The streams no longer roar with melted snow,
the fields have thawed, the gentle Thracian breeze,
spring’s ally, wafts the early sails across
.....serenely tempered seas.

The swallow builds her nest, lamenting for
her son - as well she may, who so disgraced
the house of Cecrops by grotesque revenge
.....upon a deed unchaste.

The shepherds, Virgil, pipe their country tunes
to flocks that fatten on the tender grasses,
charming the god who loves the beasts, and haunts
.....the dark Arcadian passes.

This weather brings a thirst; I plan to drink
some good Calenian, but if you intend
to join me, you must barter, even you,
.....whom noble youths befriend.

A modest jar of spikenard will fetch
a generous cask from my supplier’s hoard,
and see your bitter tensions soothed away,
.....your cheerful hopes restored.

If these enticements tempt you, leave at once -
but bring the merchandise to pay your share;
from me you can't expect such lavishness
.....as from a millionaire.

Don't stop to make more money, bear in mind
your pyre awaits you. Now's the time to season
prudence with folly; it's a joy to take
.....a holiday from reason.

Click here 6 for another translation of this poem.

Transl. copyright © Colin Sydenham 2006

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