Horace The Odes Notes

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Horace: The Odes Notes

Poem 1

‘My sweet glory’

Don’t be delighted by showers of dust— ignore the ‘fickle crowd of citizens’ and ignore ‘triple honors.’

Never stop sailing the seas

Don’t be afraid of the winds.

Touch the stars

Poem 2

Don’t be scared.

‘Age of pain’

I am sated from the long campaign of life.

Do I love the war-shouts and helmets?

‘Blood-stained enemies.’

‘Don’t rush back to the sky — stay long.’

‘Lead us, O Caesar’

Virgil: Off to Greece

‘May the goddess and father of the winds guide you’

Guide your ship to the shores.

‘Triple bronze and oak encircled’

Uplift the spirit of the breast of the man who first committed his ‘fragile bark to the cruel sea’

‘Daring enough for anything’

’The human race deals in forbidden sin’

‘When fire was stolen from heaven’

Don’t vainly ‘try the empty air on wings’

‘Nothing’s too high for mortal men’ — like fools, who aim at the heavens themselves.


‘Fierce winter slackens its grip’

‘The west wind’s sweet change’

‘No more are the meadows white with hoary frost’

‘Treading the earth’

‘Pale death knocks with impartial foot, at the door of the poor man’s cottage.’

‘The span of brief life prevents us from ever depending on distant hope’ — don’t have distant hope in life, because life is brief.

‘Soon the night will crush you’

No longer will we be allowed the lordship of wine by dice (dice, gives us good fate)

Treacherous Girl

‘Drowned in liquid perfume’

Don’t ignore the treacherous breeze.

Don’t be dazzled.

‘Votive tablet’

‘My dripping clothes’

A tribute to Agrippa

‘Winged with his Homeric poetry’

‘My defective artistry’

‘Who can write worthily of Mars in his armor’

‘I sing of banquets, of girls fierce in battle, with closely-trimmed nails, attacking young men.’

Tibur (Tivoli)

‘O you brave heroes’

‘Drown your cares with wine’

‘Tomorrow we’ll sail the wide seas again.’

To Lydia: Stop ruining Sybaris

‘His sharp restraining bit.’

‘Why does he fear to touch the yellow Tiber?’

Don’t try to keep away from the wrestler’s oil, like the viper’s blood.

‘Arms bruised by weapons’

Hurl the discus and javelin out of bounds.


‘The laboring woods bend under the weight’

‘Drive away bitterness, and pile on the logs’

‘Bring on the true wine.’

‘Don’t ask what tomorrow brings, call them your gain.’

Don’t care what tomorrow brings, consider it all gain.

‘The pleasing laugh that betrays her’ (don’t let random pleasures betray us in laugh, by the ‘pleasing laugh’)

To Mercury

‘Wise with your training — shaped the uncivilized ways of our new-born race, with language and grace.’

‘You bring virtuous souls to the happy shores.’

Carpe diem

We don’t know what fate the gods grant us

Don’t waste your time on futile calculations.

**‘Be wise, and mix the wine, since time is short — limit that far-reaching hope,’ *****

‘The envious moment is flying now, while we’re speaking’

‘Seize the day, and place the hours that come as little faith as you can.’

Praising augustus

‘The muse’s art’

‘Seductively drew the listening oaks’

‘Enchaining song’

‘I won’t be silent about you, O Bacchus’

‘The menacing waves; repose in the deep’

‘Noble death’

‘Gratefully, I speak in distinguished verses’

‘Glory grows like a tree, quietly with time.’

‘May you reign forever’

‘He’ll rule the wide earth with justice’

‘You’ll shake Olympus with your heavy chariot.’

His jealousy

‘Rosy neck’ / ‘Waxen arms’

‘My burning passion starts to mount deep inside me, with troubling anger.’

‘My hue doesn’t stay the same as before.’

‘I’m consumed inwardly with lingering fires — I burn.’

‘Venus has imbued with her own pure nectar’

‘Life’s final day.’

The ship of state

The fresh tide carries the ship back to sea

Your sides have been stripped bare of oars

‘Your shattered masts and yards are groaning loudly’

‘Your hull can scarce tolerate the overpowering waters’

‘You haven’t a single sail thats still intact now.’

‘Though you’re built of Pontic pine’

‘An idle name’

‘The fearful sailor puts no faith in gaudy keels.’

‘Avoid the glistening seas’

Nereus’ Prophecy of Troy

‘The empire of old Priam’

‘Uselessly daring’

‘Ajax quick to follow’

He repents

‘Calm your mind’

‘Swift verse’

‘I wish to change the bitter lines to sweet’

‘Charmed away all of my hostile words’

‘I wish to change the bitter lines to sweet, now.’

Charm away all my hostile words.

The delights of the country

The rich wealth of the countryside will flow from you ‘from the horn of plenty’

‘Innocent lesbian wine’

Glycera’s beauty

‘Cruel venus’

‘I burn for her lovely boldness’

‘Her face too dangerous to ever behold.’

To Maecenas

‘Flower of knighthood’

‘Playful echoes’

Hymn to Diana

‘long-haired Apollo’

‘All-conquering Jove’

Singing of Lalage (Integer Vitae)

‘Searching the trackless hills’

‘Not without aimless terror’

‘If the coming of spring beings to rustle’

A lament for quintilius

‘Does endless sleep lie heavy?’

‘Unswerving loyalty’

‘Our naked Truth’

A prophecy of age

‘The young men come less often’

‘Stealing away your sleep’

‘Hugging the threshold’

A garland for Lamia

‘Fresh fountains’

‘Weave them together all the bright flowers, weave me a garland for my Cindy’

Three handfuls of earth

‘The journey of death’

‘The furies deliver some as a spectacle for cruel Mars’

**‘The greedy sea’s the sailor’s ruin’ **

‘O, sailor, don’t hesitate, from spite, to grant a little treacherous sand, to my unburied bones and skull.’

Waves, thrashing the Venusian woods.

‘Though you hurry away, its a brief delay: three scattered handfuls of earth will free you.

Off to the wars

‘A bitter war on unbeaten kings’

‘Rivers can flow backwards, to the summits of mountains.’

‘A suit of Iberian armor’

To the lyre

Moor his storm-driven boat on a water shore.

Beautiful Lycus, with his dark eyes, and lovely dark hair.

Don’t grieve

‘Under Venus’ heavy yoke of bronze.

Fortune’s changes

‘Once I wandered, an expert in crazy wisdom.’

‘Greedy fortune with her shrill whirring’

To fortune

‘To arms, to arms’

‘Shatter the supreme authority’

‘Grim Necessity always treads before you.’

‘She’s carrying the spikes and the wedges in her bronze hand, and the harsh irons, and the molten lead aren’t absent either.’
‘Hope cultivates you, and rarest Loyalty.’

‘The disloyal mob.’

Numida’s back again

‘Showering a host of kisses.’

‘Don’t let our feast lack for roses.’

‘the long-lasting parsley, or the brief lilies’

‘we’ll all cast our decadent eyes.’
‘She’s clasping, more tightly than the wandering ivy.’


‘Intoxicated by Fortuen’s favor.’

‘Caesar reduced the distracted thoughts, bred by wine, to true fear.’

‘She might drink down their dark venom.’

The simple myrtle

‘I hate Persian ostentation.’

‘forget your chasing to find all the places where late roses fade.’

‘I drink beneath the dark vine.’

Index of First Lines

Maecenas, descendant of royal ancestors,
The Father’s sent enough dread hail
May the goddess, queen of Cyprus,
Fierce winter slackens its grip: it’s spring and the west wind’s sweet ……
What slender boy, Pyrrha, drowned in liquid perfume,
You should be penned as brave, and a conqueror
Let others sing in praise of Rhodes, or Mytilene,
Lydia, by all the gods,
See how Soracte stands glistening with snowfall,
Mercury, eloquent grandson of Atlas,
Leuconoë, don’t ask, we never know, what fate the gods grant us,
What god, man, or hero do you choose to praise
When you, Lydia, start to praise
O ship the fresh tide carries back to sea again.
While Paris, the traitorous shepherd, her guest,
O lovelier child of a lovely mother,
Swift Faunus, the god, will quite often exchange
Cultivate no plant, my Varus, before the rows of sacred vines,
Cruel Venus, Cupid’s mother,
Come and drink with me, rough Sabine in cheap cups,
O tender virgins sing, in praise of Diana,
The man who is pure of life, and free of sin,
You run away from me as a fawn does, Chloë,
What limit, or restraint, should we show at the loss
Now the young men come less often, violently
Friend of the Muses, I’ll throw sadness and fear
To fight with wine-cups intended for pleasure
You, my Archytas, philosopher, and measurer of land,
of the sea, of wide sands, are entombed
Iccius, are you gazing with envy, now,
O Venus, the queen of Cnidos and Paphos,
What is the poet’s request to Apollo?
I’m called on. O Lyre, if I’ve ever played
Tibullus, don’t grieve too much, when you remember
Once I wandered, an expert in crazy wisdom,
O goddess, who rules our lovely Antium,
Now’s the time for drinking deep, and now’s the time
My child, how I hate Persian ostentation,

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