Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/35

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ode xii.

ODES OF HORACE.

17

you are destined to be the sport of the winds. O thou, so lately my trouble and fatigue,[1] but now an object of tenderness and solicitude, mayest thou escape those dangerous seas which flow among the shining Cyclades.[2]


ODE XV.[3]

TO PARIS.

When the perfidious shepherd[4] (Paris) carried off by sea in Trojan ships his hostess Helen, Nereus[5] suppressed the swift

  1. The poet expresses by solicitum tædium that sorrow and anxiety which he felt, when he was engaged in the party of Brutus. Torr.
  2. Cyclades, isles in the Ægean Sea; they are in number fifty-three, and are now called, Isole del Archipelago. Watson.
  3. In the year 722 u. c. Antony set sail, with a numerous fleet, from Egypt to Peloponnesus, intending to pass over into Italy with Cleopatra, and make his country the scene of a second civil war. Inflamed with a violent passion for that princess, aspiring to nothing less than making her mistress of the universe, and supported by the forces of the East, he declared war against Octavius. Horace, therefore, in a noble and poetical allegory, represents to Antony the fatal effects of such conduct, by proposing to him the example of Paris, and the ruinous consequences which attended his passion for Helen.

    We are assured by Torrentius, that the best and most ancient manuscript which he had seen gave this title to the Ode, "Ad Alexandrum Paridem, sub cujus persona exponit imminentia bella;" from whence it appears that the allegorical manner of explaining it, is at least of an ancient date. San.
  4. The treacherous shepherd, Paris, otherwise called Alexander, the son of Priam and Hecuba, king and queen of Troy. Once upon a time there fell out a controversy betwixt Juno, Pallas, and Venus, about a golden apple that the goddess Discord had given them at Peleus' wedding, on which it was written, "Let it bo given to the fairest:" They could not agree among themselves, but every one thought herself the fairest. At last they made Paris judge; and when he had seen them naked (but they offered him bribes besides; Venus, that if he would judge it to her, he should have the most beautiful woman in the world; Juno promised him a kingdom; Pallas, the excellency of wisdom.) ho adjudged it to Venus. After this ho came to be owned at court, and after sometime, pretending business, ho took ship for Greece, where he became acquainted with Helen, the famed beauty of that country, and, in the absence of her husband, carried her home with him; which proved tho occasion of making good tho former dream of Hecuba, and setting all Troy in flames. Watson.
  5. Nereus, a god of tho sea, tho son of Oceanus and Tetbys, and father of the Nereides. Orpheus calls him the most ancient of the gods, whence