ODES - I.11 ODES - I.11
Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus) trans. David Lisle Crane
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.
We cannot know the day and hour appointed
By peering at the tables of the seers;
No anxious calculation of our chances
Will strengthen hope, or set at rest our fears.

Better then be cool and steady-hearted,
Discern no future triumph or despair,
Nor seek to know when winter storms have started
Will any other winter find you here.

For days and hours fly by while we are hoping
That many days and hours are still to come; -
Prune eager hope instead to shorter measure;
No future can compare with this day's sun.

Click here 3 for another translation of this poem.

Transl. copyright © David Crane 2001

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