Sunday, January 29, 2012

Horatian Ode 1.9 / Charles Stuart Calverley

Ode 1.9 

 One dazzling mass of solid snow
     Soracte stands; the bent woods fret
     Beneath their load; and, sharpest-set
With frost, the streams have ceased to flow.

Pile on great faggots and break up
    The ice: let influence more benign
    Enter with four-years-treasured wine,
Fetched in the ponderous Sabine cup:

Leave to the Gods all else. When they
    Have once bid rest the winds that war
    Over the passionate seas, no more
Grey ash and cypress rock and sway.

Ask not what future suns shall bring,
    Count to-day gain, whate'er it chance
    To be: nor, young man, scorn the dance,
Nor deem sweet Love an idle thing,

Ere Time thy April youth hath changed
    To sourness. Park and public walk
    Attract thee now, and whispered talk
At twilight meetings pre-arranged;

Hear now the pretty laugh that tells
    In what dim corner lurks thy love;
    And snatch a bracelet or a glove
From wrist or hand that scarce rebels.

Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace) (65 B.C - 8 B.C.)
translated by Charles Stuart Calverley (1831-1884)
from Verses and Translations, 1862

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Horace biography
Charles Stuart Calverley biography

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