Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/22

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book i.

vailing thy radiant shoulders with a cloud: or thou, if it be more agreeable to thee, smiling Venus, about whom hover the gods of mirth and love: or thou, if thou regard[1] thy neglected race and descendants, our founder Mars, whom clamor and polished helmets, and the terrible aspect of the Moorish infantry against their bloody enemy, delight, satiated at length with thy sport, alas! of too long continuance: or if thou, the winged son of gentle Maia, by changing thy figure, personate a youth[2] upon earth, submitting to be called the avenger of Cæsar; late mayest thou return to the skies, and long mayest thou joyously be present to the Roman people; nor may an untimely blast transport thee from us, offended at our crimes. Here mayest thou rather delight in magnificent triumphs,[3] and to be called father and prince: nor suffer the Parthians with impunity to make incursions, you, O Cæsar, being our general.



So may the goddess who rules over Cyprus;[4] so may the bright stars, the brothers of Helen;[5] and so may the father

  1. Respicis, "Thou again beholdest with a favoring eye." When the gods were supposed to turn their eyes toward their worshipers, it was a sign of favor; when they averted them, of displeasure. The Greeks use ἐπιβλέπειν with the same meaning. Anthon.
  2. Sallust calls Julius Caesar Adolescentulus, when he was thirty-six years old; the same age in which Horace here calls Augustus Juvenem. Varro tells us this last word is derived from Juvare, as if this age were capable of rendering the most considerable services to the republic. San.
  3. Augustus, in the month of August, 725, had triumphed three days. The first, for the defeat of the Pannonians and Dalmatii; the second, for the battle of Actium: the last, for the reduction of Egypt Dac.
  4. Venus was invoked by mariners, not only because she sprung from the ocean, but because her star was useful to navigation. Cruq.
  5. Brothers of Helen, Castor and Pollux. Leda, wife of Tyndarus, king of Lacoriia, as fame goes, brought forth two eggs; out of one of them came Pollux, and Helena, born immortal, begotten by Jupiter; of the other, Castor and Clytemnestra, begotten by Tyndarus: because those brothers,