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Ignotus heres regiam occupavi,
At fides et ingeni
Tu secanda marmora
of the palace of Attalus,' is equivalent to 'I have not suddenly and unexpectedly fallen heir to a large property.'-7. Laconicas – pur. puras. A particular and excellent species of the murex was found on the Laconian coast; consequently the purple dyes of that district were famed. Hence wool dyed with Laconian purple was a sign of wealth. The poet here joins to it an indication of rank and dis. tinction by saying, the wives of respectable clients spin (trahunt) this wool.' — 9. Fides, the lyre.'-10. Benigna vena, a rich vein.' -12. Deos lacesso = a diis peto, 'I ask from the gods.' Potentem amicum. Though the poet in these words does not name or directly allude to his patron Maecenas, yet there can be no doubt that he had him principally in his thoughts.-14. Unicis Sabinis, 'with my single Sabine farm. Supply praediis.-17. Secandu marmora locas, *thou lettest out the marble to be hewn.' Compare line 4, recisas columnns. — 18. Sub ipsum funus. Sub, of the approach of time: notwithstanding that thy death is near.' - 20. Marisque- litora. Baiae, the favourite Roman watering-place, near Cumae, in Lower Italy. The Lucrine Lake, in its neighbourhood, was quite bor. dered with the villas of the wealthy Romang. In fact, they built into the lake, thus removing' or forcing back the bank (for this is summovere litora.) The rich Roman thought himself parum locuples continente ripa, 'not rich enough, from the bank which en. closes the lake.' -23. Quid, quod, 'aye, even.' Usque proximos, “always the next,' are to be connected. The poet alludes here to the so-called latifundia, immense private estates of wealthy Ro. mans, which were laid out in villas and parks - a great injury to Italy, since the most fertile districts were thus thrown out of culti. vation. See ii. 15. - 26. Salis, from salio, thou overleapest.'
In sinu ferens deos
Nulla certior tamen
Tantalum atque Tantali
27. In sinu ferens deos, as in the olden times, Aeneas, when fleeing from burning Troy, carried with him his father and his household gods, penates. The whole of this very beautiful description reminds us of scenes too often witnessed of late years in the Scottish Highlands.-28. Sordidos natos, the poor, ill-clad children.'— 30. Fine destinat, 'than the region, place, appointed by Fate in the lower world.' -32. Aequa, poetically for aeque, and to this refers the que in line 34, for this que is used for ac, which would have to be employed in prose : as to the sons of kings.' — 33. Recluditur, is opened, opens,' when a person descends to Tartarus. — 34. Saielles Orci ; namely, Charon, who ferries the spirits of the departed over the Styx.-36. Auro captus, “bribed with gold.'—37. Tantali genus, Pelops, Atreus, Agamemnon, Orestes, and others, hence the most renowned and powerful kings.-38. Levare is dependent on vocatus, and is used for ut levet : "called upon to deliver.'
Hymn to Bacchus, in which the poet describes the power of the god.
He so represents the matter, as if he had unexpectedly fallen in with Bacchus (lines 1-8); and then, inspired by him, begins to sing his praises.
BACCHUM in remotis carmina rupibus
1. In remotis rupibus. For Bacchus loves lonely woods and rocks; there he teaches his followers the mystic songs (carmina.) –
discentes et aures
Evoe! recenti mens trepidat metu,
Fas pervicaces est mihi Thyiadas
Fas et beatae conjugis additum
Tu flectis amnes, tu mare, barbarum,
4. Acutas, “pricked up;' that is, the Satyrs (described by the poets as having goats' feet) intently listening. – 5. Evoe, the cry of the worshippers of Bacchus. 6. Turbidum laetatur, ‘my inind is confounded, or confused, but delightfully.' Turbidum, neuter of the adjective used for the adverb. See Žumpt, 383, fin. —7. Parce. The poet trembles, as it were, fearing to give himself up to the in. fluence of the god, and prays for mercy. – 9. Fas est. Now, since thou hast inspired me, it is right, proper, that I should sing, thy praises. He praises him first as the god of abundance, making wine, and milk, and honey flow in the land. Mythology tells us that when the Bacchantes, in their divinely-inspired madness, beat upon the ground, wine and milk (lactis rivi) streamed forth; and when they struck decayed trunks of trees (trunci), honey came out. Thyiadas,
the Bacchantes :' they are styled pervicaces, 'persevering in their inspiration. They rage until these miracles take place. – 12. Ite. rare, “to sing, celebrate, tell of;' to make the honey, as it were, flow again. — 13. Beatae conjugis ; namely, Ariadne, the daughter of Minos and Pasiphaë. Her ornament, or crown (honos), which Bacchus had given her, was placed among the stars: that is, the constellation of the crown (corona) was named after her. — 14. Penthei. Pentheus, king of Thebes, was opposed to the introduction of ihe worship of Bacchus, and the god, as a punishment, caused his destruction. — 16. Lycurgi. Lycurgus, king of the Edoni, attempted to uproot all the vines in his country, and for this crime was visited by Bacchus with madness. While in this condition he killed his son, and maimed himself. — 17. Mare barbarum, the Indian Ocean, which Bacchus is said to have reached in his Asiatic expedition. 18. The idea is this: when thou art drunk (uvidus), thou tiest up the hair of ihe Bacchantes with snakes, in such a manner, however, that the snakes do no harm. Separatis, remote, solitary.' Bistonides ; properly, the Thracian women, for the Bistones were a Thracian tribe. But as Thrace was the chief seat of the worship of Bacchus, the word comes to mean • Bacchantes.'
Nodo coërces viperino
Te vidit insons Cerberus aureo
30 Caudam et recedentis trilingui
Ore pedes tetigitque crura. -20. Sine fraude, without injury.'--21. In the war which, according to mythology, the giants waged with Jupiter, and in which they piled up mountains upon one another, Bacchus whirled Rho. etus, one of them, back (retorsisti) from heaven. This he accomplished by assuming the form of a lion, and thus frightening the giant. Hence (line 24) mala, ‘jaw,' = ore.-27. Ferebaris, &c. thou wast held as not rightly fit for battle.' It was thought that thou wast fit only for dancing, and joking, and playing ; not for war. 28. Pacis eras mediusque belli ; that is, medius eras idem pacis et belli, “thou wast fit for war as well as for peace;' thou stoodst, as it were, in the middle between war and peace, and couldst turn to either.-30. Cornu. This is given to Bacchus as a symbol of power and strength. The description of the hell-hound Cerberus follows, as, frightened and fawning, he accompanies Bacchus when returning (recedentis) from the lower world.
AD MAECENATE M.
EPILOGUE of the second book of odes, and addressed to Maecenas.
In this ode Horace expresses his confidence that his merits as a lyric poet will be acknowledged, and that his name will be immortal.
Non usitata nec tenui ferar
Penna biformis per liquidum aethera 1. The poet thinks that, after his death, he will be changed into a swan, and fly up to heaven. Hence he calls himself biformis vates, and says ferar per aethera penna non usitata (because he was the first lyrisi of the Romans, and therefore had invented a new kind
Vates, neque in terris morabor
Urbes relinquam. Non ego, pauperum
Jam, jam residunt cruribus asperae
Jam Daedaleo ocior Icaro
Me Colchus et qui dissimulat metum
Absint inani funere naeniae
of 'pinion' for himself), nec tenui (no feeble wings, but such as would carry him surely and safely to heaven.) — 4. Invidia major, "greater than envy, than my enviers.'--6. Sanguis, 'offspring.' Ego, quem vocas, 'I, whom thou callest by his name, or addressest in a familiar way; I, Horatius Flaccus.' --- 9. He fancies he feels the transformation into a swan already in process. Residunt pelles cruribus, 'the skin is sinking to the legs;' and, as he is passing from a larger form to a smaller, this skin becomes wrinkled, rough (as. perae.) — 13. Daedaleo Icaro, 'than Icarus, the son of Daedalus,' who flew with his father from Crete, by means of wings which they had made of wax. Observe the hiatus, Daedaleo öcior. — 14. Gementis, just as, in ii. 14, 14, the Adriatic is called raucus.
As to the Syrtes, see i. 22, 5.-18. Marsae cohortis ; that is, of the Roman cohorts; for the Marsians and other tribes among the Apennines formed the strength of the Roman infantry.-19. As to the Geloni, see ii. 9, 23. Peritus. The Spaniards and the Gauls, barbarians though they now are, shall yet, when they have become civilized and been educated, come to learn, study, know me.—21. Naeniae,
dirges,' which used to be sung at funerals, generally by women hired for the purpose.—22. Turpes, ugly,' because they disfigure The countenance.