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ODE to Apollo, in which Horace beseeches the god to enable him
to finish successfully the Carmen Saeculare, the composition of which had been entrusted to him. At the same time he exhorts the young men and maidens who were to sing the carmen to carefulness.
Dive, quem proles
Ceteris major, tibi miles impar,
Ille, mordaci velut icta ferro
non, inclusus equo Minervae
1. Dive. The imperative belonging to this vocative is given in line 27, defende. Proles Niobea. Niobe, wife of Amphion, king of Thebes, considered her own seven sons and seven daughters superior to Apollo and Diana, the children of Latona, and iurned away the people of Thebes from the worship of these deities. She was punished by the death of her children, who were shot by Apollo and Diana. Magnae linguae, = migniloquentiae, 'boast. ing.'-2. Tityos. See iii. 4, 77.-3. Achilles, of Phthia in Thessaly, hoped, after killing Hector, to conquer Troy; but Apollo so guided the arrows of Paris as to kill the hero, and thus put off for a time the triumph of the Greeks.-5. Major = fortior.-7. Dardanas, and in line 12 Teucro, names of the Trojans; the proper names being here used adjectively. Compare iv. 5, 11 Romulae. Tremenda cuspide pugnat. Pugnar is here 'skilful in fighting,' contrary to its usual
Gram. ( 206, 3. Homer (Il. xx. 387) describes the lance of Achilles, which was so heavy that no one but himself was able to brandish it. ---9. Ille; namely, Achilles. Mordaci ferro. The axe which culs down a tree has, as it were, an envious pleasure in so doing : hence mordax.-10. Impulsa, 'overthrown.'-13. The sense is : had Achilles lived longer, he would not have taken Troy by stratagem, as the Greeks did, but by open force, and would have extirpaled the inhabitants, so that Aeneas would have been unable to flee, and Rome would not have been built. Consequently to Apollo Rome owes its existence. Minervae sacra meniito. The wooden horse professed to be an offering to Minerva, to ap
Sacra mentito, male feriatos
Sed palam captis gravis (heu nefas ! heu!)
Ni, tuis victus Venerisque gratae
Doctor argutae, fidicen, Thaliae,
Spiritum Phoebus mihi, Phoebus artem
Deliae tutela deae, fugaces
pease her wrath on account of the theft of the Palladium.-15. Lae. iam choreis, joyful with the dances' which were engaged in on the holidays that were proclaimed in honour of Minerva. — 16. Falleret; properly, fefellisset ; and, in line 19, ureret ; properly ussisset. 17. Connect palam captis. - 18. Nescios fari pueros, commonly called infantes.-22. Annuisset, = concessisset, ‘had granted.' - 23. Rebus Aeneae, here Aeneae. Potiore alite, 'with better omens, auspices.' Compare iii. 3, 61; and i. 15, 5. Jupiter granted to Apollo and Venus walls, which were to be drawn out (that is, built, for this is muros ducere), with auspices, a fate, better than that of Troy, which was now destroyed. —25. Argutae Apollo was the leader and teacher of the Muses. - 26. Xantho, a river in Lycia, on which the town of Patara was situated, where Apollo had a celebrated temple. Compare iii. 4, 64.-28. Agyieu, a surname of Apollo, because he was the superintending divinity of the àyviai, the streets of the city. He is called levis, smooth,' because he is always represented without a beard. - 29. The poet now changes his subject to an exhortation of the boys and girls who were to sing his carmen saeculare; and to give him greater influence, he says that Phoebus has not merely granted him his spirit, inspi. ration (spiritum), but has also taught him the form of the ode. 31. Primae, 'most distinguished.' -33. Tutela, the abstract noun for the concrete; who are defended by' Diana, the goddess of the chase. In English also the abstract noun may be thus used: here, for instance, who are a care to' Diana.–35. The poet fancies
Rite Latonae puerum canentes,
Nupta jam dices: 'Ego dis amicum,
himself standing in the midst of the boys and girls, as they are sing. ing, and beating time with his thumb (hence pollicis ictum.) His poem is in the Lesbian or Sapphic measure (for Sappho was a na. five of Lesbos), and the singers must consequently keep the Lesbian time.-37. Rite, according to old custom.'-38. Crescentem face Noctilucam. Diana was the goddess of the moon, and as such was called the night-shining,' and had a temple on the Palatine : • Phoebe waxing in her light.' 39. Prosperam frugum, “ripening the fruits, granting them increase.' Celerem volvere, a Greek con. struction, = celerem in volvendo, quae celeriter volvit. — 41. The sense is: at some time, perhaps when you are married and rising in years, you will remember with pleasure this festival and your share in it. — 42. Festas luces ; for the festival celebrating the completion of a century lasted for three days. — 43. Reddidi, scil. voce, hence = cecini. Docilis, learning easily and willingly,' is here construed with the genitive, on the analogy of such adjectives as peritus.
A light and pleasing ode, in which the fugitive and perishable nature of all human things is illustrated by the change of the
The poem is addressed to Torquatus, to whom also the fifth epistle of the first book is addressed.
DIFFUGERE niyes, redeunt jam gramina campis
Gratia cum Nymphis geminisque sororibus audet 5
2. Comae ; that is, frondes. - 3. Mutat vices, pleonastic,
= subit vices, 'undergoes a change.', Decrescentia, there being now no more snow, the melting of which, in the first part of the spring, had swelled the rivers. They now keep within, 'flow along, past’ (proetereunt) their proper banks. -5. Cum sororibus ; there being
Ducere nuda choros.
Frigora mitescunt zephyris; ver proterit aestas
Damna tamen celeres reparant coelestia lunae;
Quis scit an adjiciant hodiernae crastina summae
Cum semel occideris, et de te splendida Minos
Infernis neque enim tenebris Diana pudicum
three Graces. - 8. Diem, here Solem. — 9. Frigora here indicates winter, zephyri spring. Proterit, “presses forward, drives away." Compare ii. 18, 15.-12. Iners, on account of the cold which winter brings, and the inactivity of nature during that season.-13. Nature dies, but renews itself; man dies, but returns not to life. The former statement is illustrated by the case of the moon, which wanes indeed, but soon waxes again. 14. Decidimus ; namely, into Tartarus.
15. Dives. This epithet seems to refer to the kings generally, not to any particular treasures which Tullus Hostilius possessed.-17. Hodiernae summae, to the sum (number) of days which this day completes.' — 19. Amico quae dederis animo,= quae Genio dederis, indulseris, which thou mayst have devoted to thine own gratification.'--21. Splendida here seems to be equivalent to sollem. nia rather than to honorifica.—25. The sense is this: not even gods or heroes can bring back the dead, much less ordinary mortals. The particular story here alluded to in regard io Hippolytus, who is called pudicus, because he resisted the passion of his siepmother Phaedra, is unknown.—27. As to Pirithous and Theseus, see note on iii. 4, 79. Lethaea vincula, so called from Lethe, a river in the lower wor!d.
ODE to C. Marcius Censorinus, consul in 8 B.C., in which Horace
promises him a eulogistic poem, and shows the value of such a present.
DONAREM pateras grataque commodus,
Ferres, divite me scilicet artium,
Sed non haec mihi vis, non tibi talium
Non incisa notis marmora publicis,
1. Con dus, in a friendly manner.' — 2. Aera; that is, vasa aenea, especially vessels of Corinthian brass, which were highly valued.-3. Tripodas. These formed the most honourable presents among the ancient Greek heroes. Ulysses received tripods from the Phaeacians.-6. Protulit, ‘produced.' Parrhasius of Ephesus, who lived about 400 B.C., was one of the most distinguished painters of antiquity; Scopas of Paros was the most celebrated statuary, and particularly well known to the Romans, on account of his statue of A pollo, which stood on the Palatine Hill. – 7. Liquidis, ‘shining, clear;' similarly used of the voice in i. 24, 3. - 8. Ponere, ‘to put up, exhibit ;' that is, “to form, represent.' — 9. Vis=potestas.-10. Res, 'fortune.' Deliciae, “luxuries.' - 11. Possumus--pretium dicerr muneris, which he goes on to do. - 13. Marmora incisa notis publicis, marble monuments inscribed with words expressive of ihe public gratitude.' proper expression is incidere notas mar. moribus, not incidere marmora notis, but the construction may be in. verted in the same way as with inscribere. Notae, nearly=litterae. -14. Spiritus, 'breath, life.'--16. Retrorsum ; namely, to Africa.