17 March 2008

Odes 2.7 (Horace, trans. adapted from David West)

o saepe mecum tempus in ultimum
deducte Bruto militiae duce,
quis te redonauit Quiritem
dis patriis Italoque caelo,

Pompei, meorum prime sodalium,
cum quo morantem saepe diem mero
fregi, coronatus nitentis
malobathro Syrio capillos?

tecum Philippos et celerem fugam
sensi relicta non bene parmula,
cum fracta uirtus et minaces
turpe solum tetigere mento;

sed me per hostis Mercurius celer
denso pauentem sustulit aere,
te rursus in bellum resorbens
unda fretis tulit aestuosis.

ergo obligatam redde Ioui dapem
longaque fessum militia latus
depone sub lauru mea, nec
parce cadis tibi destinatis.

obliuioso leuia Massico
ciboria exple, funde capacibus
unguenta de conchis. quis udo
deproperare apio coronas

curatue myrto? quem Venus arbitrum
dicet bibendi? non ego sanius
bacchabor Edonis: recepto
dulce mihi furere est amico.

You, who've often been led to the edge
of doom with me, with Brutus in command -
who has made you a Roman again
under ancestral gods and Italian skies,

Pompeius, first of my friends,
with whom I often broke into the delaying day
with neat wine, garlanded and hair gleaming
with Syrian malobathrum?

With you I knew Philippi and swift flight,
leaving, unfortunately, my little shield behind,
when virtue broke, and blusterers touched
the dirty earth with their chins.

But swift Mercury carried me off in a dense mist
through the enemy (as I panicked);
while a wave sucked you back into war
and carried you along in a boiling sea.

So pay to Jupiter the feast you promised,
and lay down your body, exhausted with lengthy
soldiering, under my laurel tree, and have no mercy
on the casks of wine reserved for you.

Fill up the polished cups with Massic
for forgetfulness; pour perfumes
from capacious shells. Who should be running
for garlands of damp celery

and myrtle? Whom will Venus name as ruler
of the drinking? I shall run no less wild
than the Edonians. My friend is back.
What joy to go mad!

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