The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 91 pages of information about The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace.
remind us of the least attractive portion of the Odes.  In the case of a writer like Horace it is not easy to draw an exact line; but though in the Odes our admiration of much that is graceful and tender and even true may balance our moral repugnance to many parts of the poet’s philosophy of life, it does not seem equally desirable to dwell minutely on a class of compositions where the beauties are fewer and the deformities more numerous and more undisguised.

I should add that any coincidences that may be noticed between my version and those of my predecessors are, for the most part, merely coincidences.  In some cases I may have knowingly borrowed a rhyme, but only where the rhyme was too common to have created a right of property.

PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION.

I am very sensible of the favour which has carried this translation from a first edition into a second.  The interval between the two has been too short to admit of my altering my judgment in any large number of instances; but I have been glad to employ the present opportunity in amending, as I hope, an occasional word or expression, and, in one or two cases, recasting a stanza.  The notices which my book has received, and the opinions communicated by the kindness of friends, have been gratifying to me, both in themselves, and as showing the interest which is being felt in the subject of Horatian translation.  It is not surprising that there should be considerable differences of opinion about the manner in which Horace is to be rendered, and also about the metre appropriate to particular Odes; but I need not say that it is through such discussion that questions like these advance towards settlement.  It would indeed be a satisfaction to me to think that the question of translating Horace had been brought a step nearer to its solution by the experiment which I again venture to submit to the public.

PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION.

The changes which I have made in this impression of my translation are somewhat more numerous than those which I was able to introduce into the last, as might be expected from the longer interval between the times of publication; but the work may still be spoken of as substantially unaltered.

THE ODES OF HORACE.

BOOK I.

I.

Maecenas ATAVIS.

     Maecenas, born of monarch ancestors,
       The shield at once and glory of my life! 
       There are who joy them in the Olympic strife
     And love the dust they gather in the course;
     The goal by hot wheels shunn’d, the famous prize,
       Exalt them to the gods that rule mankind;
       This joys, if rabbles fickle as the wind
     Through triple grade

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