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An ode to the ship in which Virgil sailed to Athens in the year 19 The poet wishes his friend a good passage over the stormy His wish was gratified; but Virgil died at Brundusium on his return from Greece, the same year.

B. C. sea.

Sic te diva potens Cypri,

Sic fratres Helenae, lucida sidera,
Ventorumque regat pater
Obstrictis aliis praeter läpyga,
Navis, quae tibi creditum
Debes Virgilium, finibus Atticis
Reddas incolumem, precor,

Et serves animae dimidium meae.
Illi robur et aes triplex

Circa pectus erat, qui fragilem truci

Commisit pelago ratem

Primus, nec timuit praecipitem Africum



1. Sic is often used at the beginning of prayers and wishes, and need not be translated. Diva potens Cypri, the goddess who rules over Cyprus;' that is, Venus, of whose worship that island was a principal seat. She had sprung, according to mythology, from the foam of the sea, and was believed to have the power of granting a favourable passage over her native element. 2. Fratres Helenae, Castor and Pollux, the Acórkovpot. To their benevolent care deliverance in storms was ascribed, and the ancients recognised their protecting presence in those electric flashes which are frequently seen about the tops of masts after a storm. This phenomenon is sometimes called St. Elm's fire; properly, St. Helena's fire. On account of their guardian care of sailors, the Dioscuri were placed among the stars; the constellation of the Twins being frequently called Castor and Pollux. Compare Carm. i. 12, 27.-3. Ventorum pater, Aeolus, god of the winds. He resided on one of the Lipari islands (which from him were called Aeolian), and kept the winds shut up in a cave (hence in the next line obstrictis), letting out only those whom he pleased.-4. Iapyx, the north-west by west wind, favourable for ships sailing to Greece. Aliis=ceteris, scil. ventis. --5. Tibi creditum, who has been intrusted to thee.' -8. Animae dimidium meae, the half of my soul,' a beautiful expression for a friend.-9. Robur, oak-wood,' for this is the original signification of the word. Horace is thinking of a shield made of the hardest wood, and covered with triple brass. 12. Praecipitem Africum,

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'Africus (the south-west by west wind), who rushes fiercely and suddenly across the deep.' Compare Carm. i. 1, 15.-13. Aquilonibus, the dative used poetically for cum Aquilonibus.-14. Hyadas, stars in the forehead of Taurus. The rising and setting of the Hyades were believed by the ancients to be always accompanied by much rain: hence the name, from the Greek day, pluere, and the epithet here . given to them, tristes.-15. Quo, than which,' or better perhaps, employing the personification, than whom,' is to be connected with major (est.) Hadria, the Adriatic Sea.'. 16. In prose it would be sive tollere sive ponere (componere, 'to calm') vult.-17. Gradum, step, approach.' Death is in poetry treated as a god.-18. Siccis oculis; that is, without tears: monstra, the sea-monsters, of which the mythologists spoke.-20. Acroceraunia, a promontory of Epirus, dangerous and sadly celebrated (infamis) on account of its cliffs.24. Non tangenda vada, the waters, which, according to the appointment of the gods, were not to be touched.' ·25. Audax perpeti; the infinitive depends upon audax, a Greek construction. 27. Iapeti genus = lapeti filius; namely, Prometheus, who secretly stole fire from the gods, and brought it down to men (gentibus.) -29. Aetheria domo subductum, stolen from the ethereal house namely, heaven.-31. Cohors, troop,' incubuit, encamped.' 32. Semoti, distant, far removed;' because, in the earliest ages of the world, all men were believed to have lived to a great age: corripuit gradum, quickened its pace.'-34. Expertus, scil. est. The story of Daedalus, a Cretan artist who made wings,

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Pennis non homini datis.

Perrupit Acheronta Herculeus labor.
Nil mortalibus arduum est:

Coelum ipsum petimus stultitia, neque
Per nostrum patimur scelus

Iracunda Jovem ponere fulmina.


and with his son Icarus flew over the sea, is well known.-36. Herculeus labor. One of the twelve tasks imposed on Hercules by Eurystheus, was to bring up Cerberus from the lower world. Here, therefore, Herculeus labor is a labour of Hercules.' The last syllable of perrupit in this line is made long by the ictus.-38. Stultitia, an ablative of cause, in or from our folly.'-40. An allusion to the belief that Jupiter killed several individuals, at whose conduct he was indignant (hence iracunda fulmina), by lightning.



An exhortation to enjoy life merrily, since death is speedily and surely impending. L. Sestius, consul suffectus in the year 23 B. C., was an intimate friend of Horace from the time when they served together against the triumvirs, in the republican army of Brutus and Cassius.

SOLVITUR acris hiems grata vice veris et Favoni,
Trahuntque siccas machinae carinas,

Ac neque jam stabulis gaudet pecus aut arator igni,
Nec prata canis albicant pruinis.

Jam Cytherea choros ducit Venus imminente Luna,

Junctaeque Nymphis Gratiae decentes

Alterno terram quatiunt pede, dum graves Cyclopum
Vulcanus ardens urit officinas.


2. Machinae trahunt siccas carinas; that is, naves: a part being poetically put for the whole. The ships of the ancients were in the beginning of winter drawn up on the beach, high and dry, and had of course to be taken down to the sea in spring by means of machines; that is, levers and rollers.-4. Canus, not ' gray,' but 'white.'-5. Cytherea, an epithet given to Venus, from the island of Cythera, south of Laconia, which was one of the places where she was chiefly worshipped: imminente Luna, whilst the moon ap. pears over them, and looks smilingly down upon their sports. — 6. Decentes pulchrae; alterno terram quatiunt pede; that is, they keep time in their dancing.-8. In the spring the Cyclopes, under the superintendence of Vulcan, forge in Aetna the thunderbolts which Jupiter darts upon the earth during the summer. can, the god of fire, is here treated as fire itself, being called ardens,


Nunc decet aut viridi nitidum caput impedire myrto,
Aut flore, terrae quem ferunt solutae;

Nunc et in umbrosis Fauno decet immolare lucis,
Seu poscat agna sive malit haedo.

Pallida mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas

Regumque turres. O beate Sesti,

Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare longam.
Jam te premet nox, fabulaeque manes,

Et domus exilis Plutonia. Quo simul mearis,

Nec regna vini sortiere talis,

Nec tenerum Lycidan mirabere, quo calet juventus
Nunc omnis et mox virgines tepebunt.

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and said urere.-9. Nitidum, 'shining,' from the ointment which was used for the head. As to solutae, in line 10, compare line 1. -11. Faunus, the god of shepherds and peasants. These in the beginning of spring celebrated a festival in his honour, at which much mirth and jollity were always exhibited.-12. Agna-haedo, ablatives dependent on the infinitive sibi immolari understood; for we may say either immolare hostiam or hostia, with a victim.'- 13. Aequo pede in prose it would have been simply aeque, equally.' 14. Palaces are called turres, on account of their height. Beate, happy; that is, rich, and therefore happy. 16. Fabulae manes: the manes, spirits of the dead, are considered by Horace, because they have no bodies, to be a mere sound or name, and nothing real. He therefore gives them fabulae ( shadowy beings') as an apposi tion.-17. Quo in quam domum, to which.-18. Talis, ablative of talus; originally, the ankle;' here and frequently a die' for gaming. The Romans, at their drinking-bouts, had a president, who was called king (hence regna vini.) He who made the highest throw with dice obtained the honour, the matter being thus left to a kind of lot (hence sortiere.)

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THE poet alleges inability as his excuse for not celebrating the deeds of Augustus and M. Agrippa in heroic verse: he can only write songs. This ode was written about the year 27 B. C.

SCRIBERIS Vario fortis et hostium

Victor, Maeonii carminis aliti,

Quam rem cunque ferox navibus aut equis

Miles te duce gesserit.

Nos, Agrippa, neque haec dicere, nec gravem

Pelidae stomachum cedere nescii,

Nec cursus duplicis per mare Ulixei,

Nec saevam Pelopis domum

Conamur, tenues grandia, dum pudor
Imbellisque lyrae musa potens vetat
Laudes egregii Caesaris et tuas

Culpa deterere ingeni.

Quis Martem tunica tectum adamantina



1. Scribēris must, on account of the verse, be taken as the future, 'thou shalt be celebrated by Varius.' L. Varius was an epic and dramatic poet, and a friend and patron of Horace. Of his poems, among which was a panegyric (Panegyricus) on Augustus, only a few lines have come down to us.-2. Maeonii carminis aliti, a bird of Maeonian song.' 'Maeonian' is equivalent to Homeric,' Maeonia being the ancient name of Lydia, in which is situated Smyrna, the alleged birth-place of Homer. A Maeonian bird or Maeonian swan is therefore an epic poet.-3. Quam rem cunque quamcunque rem: such a separation is not unusual, even in prose. Navibus aut equis, by sea or by land.'-4. Miles, collectively for milites, the Roman soldiers.'-6. Pelidae stomachum, the wrath (vv) of Achilles, the son of Peleus, who did not know how to yield' (cedere nescii, cedere being here used poetically for cedendi, see Gram. § 396, note 3.) Achilles did not know how to yield to Agamemnon. The anger of Achilles is the subject of Homer's Iliad. - 7. Duplicis, crafty: Ulixei, genitive of the form Ulixeus. The wanderings of Ulysses form the subject of Homer's Odyssey.-8. Saevam Pelopis domum, the horrible deeds of the sons of Pelops:' namely, Atreus and Thyestes. The murder of Agamemnon, grandson of Peleus, by his wife Clytaemnestra, and that of Clytaemnestra by her son Orestes, were favourite subjects with the tragic poets.-9. Tenues grandia, the reason why he can write neither epic poems nor tragedies: his powers are too weak for such lofty subjects.-10. Musa potens imbellis lyrae, 'my muse, my poetical talent, which has power only over the unwarlike lyre." 12. Deterere, 'to rub off;' that is, to rob great Caesar and thee of your merited praise, by the meagre, weak, unpoetical manner in which I should describe your deeds.-13. Tunica tectum adamantina, Homer's xaλxoxíτwv, 'brass

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