ODES - I.9 ODES - I.9
Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus)trans. David Lisle Crane
Vides, ut alta stet nive candidum
Soracte, nec iam sustineant onus
silvae laborantes geluque
flumina constiterint acuto.

dissolve frigus ligna super foco
large reponens, atque benignius
deprome quadrimum Sabina,
o Thaliarche, merum diota.

permitte divis cetera, qui simul
stravere ventos aequore fervido
deproeliantes, nec cupressi
nec veteres agitantur orni.

quid sit futurum cras, fuge querere et,
quem Fors dierum cunque dabit, lucro
appone, nec dulces amores
sperne puer neque tu choreas,

donec virenti canities abest
morosa. nunc et campus et areae
lenesque sub noctem susurri
composita repetantur hora,

nunc et latentis proditor intimo
gratus puellae risus ab angulo
pignusque dereptum lacertis
aut digito male pertinaci.
You see how deep with snow stands Soracte there,
The great trees groaning, burdened with winter's weight,
The streams with ice bound, frozen solid,
Brought to a stillness by winter's weather.

But come and thaw the cold that envelops us,
And pile the logs high, feeding the blazing fire,
With warm heart fetch the Sabine wine jar,
Lord of the feast, with its long stored treasure.

And leave to gods not men what remains of things,
To tame the winds' rage, compass the stormy sea;
The cypress quite still, leaves not stirring,
Still on its hillside the age-worn ash tree.

Come leave the thoughts that anxiously speculate;
Today's good fortune seize, and give thanks for it.
Do not spurn sweet love, there before you;
Dance for the joy of a wanton boyhood.

While white-haired old age spares the green of youth,
Go back to town square, park and amusement place,
To twilight whispers, shadows falling,
Meeting your girl at the hour appointed.

While yet you may, play games in your hiding place,
The girlish laughter sweetly betraying her,
The bracelets caught, love's token taken,
Held for a moment in yielding fingers.

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Transl. copyright © David Crane 1998 - publ. University of Salzburg

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