This too concerns me: does Munatius hold
In Florus’ heart the place he held of old,
Or is that ugly breach in your good will
We hoped had closed unhealed and gaping still?
Well, be it youth or ignorance of life
That sets your hot ungoverned bloods at strife,
Where’er you bide, ’twere shame to break the ties
Which made you once sworn brethren and allies:
So, when your safe return shall come to pass,
I’ve got a votive heifer out at grass.
IV. TO ALBIUS TIBULLUS
Albius, kind critic of my satires, say,
What do you down at Pedum far away?
Are you composing what will dim the shine
Of Cassius’ works, so delicately fine,
Or sauntering, calm and healthful, through the wood,
Bent on such thoughts as suit the wise and good?
No brainless trunk is yours: a form to please,
Wealth, wit to use it, Heaven vouchsafes you these.
What could fond nurse wish more for her sweet pet
Than friends, good looks, and health without a let,
A shrewd clear head, a tongue to speak his mind,
A seemly household, and a purse well-lined?
Let hopes and sorrows, fears and angers be,
And think each day that dawns the last you’ll see;
For so the hour that greets you unforeseen
Will bring with it enjoyment twice as keen.
Ask you of me? you’ll laugh to find me grown
A hog of Epicurus, full twelve stone.
V. TO TORQUATUS.
Si Potes ARCHIACIS.
If you can lie, Torquatus, when you take
Your meal, upon a couch of Archias’ make,
And sup off potherbs, gathered as they come,
You’ll join me, please, by sunset at my home.
My wine, not far from Sinuessa grown,
Is but six years in bottle, I must own:
If you’ve a better vintage, send it here,
Or take your cue from him who finds the cheer.
My hearth is swept, my household looks its best,
And all my furniture expects a guest.
Forego your dreams of riches and applause,
Forget e’en Moschus’ memorable cause;
To-morrow’s Caesar’s birthday, which we keep
By taking, to begin with, extra sleep;
So, if with pleasant converse we prolong
This summer night, we scarcely shall do wrong.
Why should the Gods have put me at my ease,
If I mayn’t use my fortune as I please?
The man who stints and pinches for his heir
Is next-door neighbour to a fool, I’ll swear.
Here, give me flowers to strew, my goblet fill,
And let men call me mad-cap if they will.
O, drink is mighty! secrets it unlocks,
Turns hope to fact, sets cowards on to box,
Takes burdens from the careworn, finds out parts
In stupid folks, and teaches unknown arts.
What tongue hangs fire when quickened by the bowl?
What wretch so poor but wine expands his soul?