“Our vaults have wept
With drunken spilth of wine.”
Shakespeare, Timon of Athens.
Suns are hurrying suns a-west,
And newborn moons make speed to meet their end.
The thought seems to be that the rapid course of time, hurrying men to the grave, proves the wisdom of contentment and the folly of avarice. My version formerly did not express this, and I have altered it accordingly, while I have rendered “Novaeque pergunt interire lunae” closely, as Horace may perhaps have intended to speak of the moons as hastening to their graves as men do.
Yet no hall
that wealth e’er plann’d
Waits you more surely than the wider room
Traced by Death’s yet greedier hand.
Fine is the instrumental ablative constructed with destinata, which is itself an ablative agreeing with aula understood. The rich man looks into the future, and makes contracts which he may never live to see executed (v. 17—“Tu secanda marmora Locas sub ipsum funus"); meantime Death, more punctual than any contractor, more greedy than any encroaching proprietor, has planned with his measuring line a mansion of a different kind, which will infallibly be ready when the day arrives.
whom you call
Your friend, Maecenas.
With Ritter I have rendered according to the interpretation which makes dilecte Maecenas’ address to Horace; but it is a choice of evils.
lords of land
Affect the sea.
Terrae of course goes with fastidiosus, not with dominus. Mine is a loose rendering, not a false interpretation.
Her robes she keeps unsullied still.
The meaning is not that worth is not disgraced by defeat in contests for worldly honours, but that the honours which belong to worth are such as the worthy never fail to attain, such as bring no disgrace along with them, and such as the popular breath can neither confer nor resume.
True men and thieves
Neglected Justice oft confounds.
“The thieves have bound
the true men.”
Shakespeare, Henry IV, Act ii. Scene 2;
where see Steevens’ note.
No more the adulterous guest can
The Spartan queen.
I have followed Ritter in constructing Lacaenae adulterae as a dative with splendet; but I have done so as a poetical translator rather than as a commentator.
Or if a graver note
With Phoebus’ cittern and his lyre.