The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 142 pages of information about The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace.
tillers of the fields. 
     In vain we shun war’s contact red
       Or storm-tost spray of Hadrian main: 
     In vain, the season through, we dread
       For our frail lives Scirocco’s bane. 
     Cocytus’ black and stagnant ooze
       Must welcome you, and Danaus’ seed
     Ill-famed, and ancient Sisyphus
       To never-ending toil decreed. 
     Your land, your house, your lovely bride
       Must lose you; of your cherish’d trees
     None to its fleeting master’s side
       Will cleave, but those sad cypresses. 
     Your heir, a larger soul, will drain
       The hundred-padlock’d Caecuban,
     And richer spilth the pavement stain
       Than e’er at pontiff’s supper ran.



     Few roods of ground the piles we raise
       Will leave to plough; ponds wider spread
     Than Lucrine lake will meet the gaze
       On every side; the plane unwed
     Will top the elm; the violet-bed,
       The myrtle, each delicious sweet,
     On olive-grounds their scent will shed,
       Where once were fruit-trees yielding meat;
     Thick bays will screen the midday range
       Of fiercest suns.  Not such the rule
     Of Romulus, and Cato sage,
       And all the bearded, good old school. 
     Each Roman’s wealth was little worth,
       His country’s much; no colonnade
     For private pleasance wooed the North
       With cool “prolixity of shade.” 
     None might the casual sod disdain
       To roof his home; a town alone,
     At public charge, a sacred fane
       Were honour’d with the pomp of stone.



For ease, in wide Aegean caught,
The sailor prays, when clouds are hiding
The moon, nor shines of starlight aught
For seaman’s guiding: 
For ease the Mede, with quiver gay: 
For ease rude Thrace, in battle cruel: 
Can purple buy it, Grosphus?  Nay,
Nor gold, nor jewel. 
No pomp, no lictor clears the way
’Mid rabble-routs of troublous feelings,
Nor quells the cares that sport and play
Round gilded ceilings. 
More happy he whose modest board
His father’s well-worn silver brightens;
No fear, nor lust for sordid hoard,
His light sleep frightens. 
Why bend our bows of little span? 
Why change our homes for regions under
Another sun?  What exiled man
From self can sunder? 
Care climbs the bark, and trims the sail,
Curst fiend! nor troops of horse can ’scape her,
More swift than stag, more swift than gale
That drives the vapour. 
Blest in the present, look not forth
On ills beyond, but soothe each bitter
With slow, calm smile.  No suns on earth
Unclouded glitter. 
Achilles’ light was quench’d at noon;

Project Gutenberg
The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook