Quintus Horatius Flaccus, known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. The rhetorician Quintillian regarded his Odes as almost the only Latin lyrics worth reading, justifying his estimate with the words: "He can be lofty sometimes, yet he is also full of charm and grace, versatile in his figures, and felicitously daring in his choice of words."
Horace also crafted elegant hexameter verses (Sermones and Epistles) and scurrilous iambic poetry (Epodes). The hexameters are playful and yet serious works, leading the ancient satirist Persius to comment: "as his friend laughs, Horace slyly puts his finger on ... more »
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BkI:XI Carpe Diem
Leuconoë, don’t ask, we never know, what fate the gods grant us, whether your fate or mine, don’t waste your time on Babylonian, futile, calculations. How much better to suffer what happens, whether Jupiter gives us more winters or this is the last one,
See how Soracte stands glistening with snowfall, and the labouring woods bend under the weight: see how the mountain streams are frozen, cased in the ice by the shuddering cold?
BkI:V Treacherous Girl
What slender boy, Pyrrha, drowned in liquid perfume, urges you on, there, among showers of roses, deep down in some pleasant cave? For whom did you tie up your hair,
BkI:II To Augustus
The Father’s sent enough dread hail and snow to earth already, striking sacred hills with fiery hand, to scare the city,
Fierce winter slackens its grip: it’s spring and the west wind’s sweet change: the ropes are hauling dry hulls towards the shore, The flock no longer enjoys the fold, or the ploughman the fire, no more are the meadows white with hoary frost.
BkI:XXX Ode To Venus
O Venus, the queen of Cnidos and Paphos, spurn your beloved Cyprus, and summoned by copious incense, come to the lovely shrine of my Glycera.
BkI:XXIII Chloë, Don’t Run.
You run away from me as a fawn does, Chloë, searching the trackless hills for its frightened mother, not without aimless terror of the pathless winds, and the woods.
BkI:XVII The Delights of the Country
Swift Faunus, the god, will quite often exchange Arcady for my sweet Mount Lucretilis, and while he stays he protects my goats from the midday heat and the driving rain.
BkII:X The Golden Mean
You’ll live more virtuously, my Murena, by not setting out to sea, while you’re in dread of the storm, or hugging fatal shores too closely, either.
BkI:XXII Singing of Lalage (Integer Vita...
The man who is pure of life, and free of sin, has no need, dear Fuscus, for Moorish javelins, nor a bow and a quiver, fully loaded with poisoned arrows,
BkI:XII Praising Augustus
What god, man, or hero do you choose to praise on the high pitched flute or the lyre, Clio? Whose name will it be that joyfully resounds in playful echoes,
BkI:XIV The Ship of State
O ship the fresh tide carries back to sea again. Where are you going! Quickly, run for harbour. Can’t you see how your sides have been stripped bare of oars,
BkI:XV Nereus’ Prophecy of Troy
While Paris, the traitorous shepherd, her guest, bore Helen over the waves, in a ship from Troy, Nereus, the sea-god, checked the swift breeze with an unwelcome calm, to tell
Now’s the time for drinking deep, and now’s the time to beat the earth with unfettered feet, the time to set out the gods’ sacred couches, my friends, and prepare a Salian feast.
Comments about Horace
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
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BkI:XI Carpe Diem
Leuconoë, don’t ask, we never know, what fate the gods grant us,
whether your fate or mine, don’t waste your time on Babylonian,
futile, calculations. How much better to suffer what happens,
whether Jupiter gives us more winters or this is the last one,
one debilitating the Tyrrhenian Sea on opposing cliffs.
Be wise, and mix the wine, since time is short: limit that far-reaching hope.
The envious moment is flying now, now, while we’re speaking:
Seize the day, place in the hours that come as little faith as you can.