Horace

(8 December 65 BC – 27 November 8 BC / Italy)

Bkiii:Ix A Dialogue

Poem by Horace

‘While I was the man, dear to you,
while no young man, you loved more dearly, was clasping
his arms around your snow-white neck,
I lived in greater blessedness than Persia’s king.’

‘While you were on fire for no one
else, and Lydia was not placed after Chloë,
I, Lydia, of great renown,
lived more gloriously than Roman Ilia.’

‘Thracian Chloe commands me now,
she’s skilled in sweet verses, she’s the queen of the lyre,
for her I’m not afraid to die,
if the Fates spare her, and her spirit survives me.’

‘I’m burnt with a mutual flame
by Calais, Thurian Ornytus’s son,
for whom I would die twice over
if the Fates spare him, and his spirit survives me.’

‘What if that former love returned,
and forced two who are estranged under her bronze yoke:
if golden Chloë was banished,
and the door opened to rejected Lydia?’

‘Though he’s lovelier than the stars,
and you’re lighter than cork, and more irascible
than the cruel Adriatic,
I’d love to live with you, with you I’d gladly die!’


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 2, 2012