Horace, Odes 1.1 (after a fashion)

October 30, 2012 by Keyser Söze | Filed under Babes, Bad Idea of the Day, Bad Manners, Bad Sex, breasts, Crime and Punishment, Crowd Control, Death, Doggy-Style, Dogs, Places to Avoid, Poetry, Theology.

Maecenas, nurse born of ancestor kings,
both my protection and sweet adornment,
there are those that are pleased on the course
to have gathered Olympic dust and by the turning point
narrowly missed with blazing wheels and by the noble
palm that raises them as lord of the earth to the gods;
this one’s pleased if the crowd with fickle votes
strives to honor him with triple office,
and that one if he’s stored in a granary his own
whatever is swept from threshing floors in Libya;
and the one who rejoices in splitting with a hoe
his paternal lands on the terms of Attalus
you could never deter so that in a Cypriot ship
as a fearful sailor he’d cut the sea Myrtoan;
and fearing the west wind in its struggles with the Icarian waves
the merchant praises his hometown’s leisure and
countryside, but soon he repairs his buffeted ships,
not to be taught to endure limited means;
and there’s one who spurns neither cups of vintage Massic wine
or to take a chunk from the solid day,
with limbs reclining now beneath a leafy arbute,
now by a gentle head of sacred water;
many are pleased by barracks and the sound of the horn
mixed with the trumpet and the wars that mothers
loathe; while under the open sky there strays
a hunter heedless of his tender wife,
whether a deer’s been sighted by his loyal dogs
or a Marsian boar has rent the rounded nets.
But as for me, the fleeting glance of the elusive
goddess, standing naked with her chorus
of nymphs attendant, combing her hair and
smoothing lotion round her firm young breasts
is what holds me in rapture, such rapture that
I hardly notice when she turns and says,
“Actaeon, are you so sure your hounds are loyal?”


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