I have followed Horace’s sense, not his words. I believe, with Ritter, that the alternative is between the pipe as accompanying the vox acuta, and the cithara or lyre as accompanying the vox gravis. Horace has specified the vox acuta, and left the vox gravis to be inferred; I have done just the reverse.
Me, as I lay on Vultur’s steep.
In this and the two following stanzas I have paraphrased Horace, with a view to bring out what appears to be his sense. There is, I think, a peculiar force in the word fabulosae, standing as it does at the very opening of the stanza, in close connection with me, and thus bearing the weight of all the intervening words till the very end, where its noun, palumbes, is introduced at last. Horace says in effect, “I, too, like other poets, have a legend of my infancy.” Accordingly I have thrown the gossip of the country-side into the form of an actual speech. Whether I am justified in heightening the marvellous by making the stock-doves actually crown the child, instead of merely laying branches upon him, I am not so sure; but something more seems to be meant than the covering of leaves, which the Children in the Wood, in our own legend, receive from the robin.
the leafy growth
Of Lycia next his native wood.
Some of my predecessors seem hardly to distinguish between the Lyciae dumeta and the natalem silvam of Delos, Apollo’s attachment to both of which warrants the two titles Delius et Patareus. I knew no better way of marking the distinction within the compass of a line and a half than by making Apollo exhibit a preference where Horace speaks of his likings as co-ordinate.
Strength mix’d with mind is made more strong.
“Mixed” is not meant as a precise translation of temperatam, chastened or restrained, though “to mix” happens to be one of the shades of meaning of temperare.
The fields we spoil’d with corn are green.
The later editors are right in not taking Marte nostro with coli as well as with populata. As has been remarked to me, the pride of the Roman is far more forcibly expressed by the complaint that the enemy have been able to cultivate fields that Rome has ravaged than by the statement that Roman captives have been employed to cultivate the fields they had ravaged as invaders. The latter proposition, it is true, includes the former; but the new matter draws off attention from the old, and so weakens it.
Who once to faithless foes has knelt.
“Knelt” is not strictly accurate, expressing Bentley’s dedidit rather than the common, and doubtless correct, text, credidit.
And, girt by friends that mourn’d
* * *
The press of kin he push’d apart.
I had originally reversed amicos and propinquos, supposing it to be indifferent which of them was used in either stanza. But a friend has pointed out to me that a distinction is probably intended between the friends who attended Regulus and the kinsmen who sought to prevent his going.