Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/34

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


more than thrice happy those, whom an indissoluble connection binds together; and whose love, undivided by impious complainings, does not separate them sooner than the last day!


ODE XIV.[1]

TO THE ROMAN STATE.

O ship, new waves will bear you back again to sea. O what are you doing? Bravely seize the port. Do you not perceive, that your sides are destitute of oars, and your mast wounded by the violent south wind, and your main-yards groan, and your keel[2] can scarcely support the impetuosity of the waves without the help of cordage? You have not entire sails; nor gods,[3] whom you may again invoke, pressed with distress: notwithstanding you are made of the pines of Pontus,[4] and as the daughter of an illustrious wood, boast your race, and a fame now of no service to you. The timorous sailor has no dependence on a painted stern.[5] Look to yourself, unless

  1. (quintessenz)," using the word to denote the most subtle flavors and refined essences. For quinta, quanta was proposed by Ramirez de Prado, and received by Scaliger and Pine. McCaul.

  2. In the year 725 u. c. Augustus consulted his favorites, Mæcenas and Agrippa, whether he should resign the sovereign authority. We have in Dion a speech of Mæcenas upon that occasion, in which the allegory of a ship and the republic is so strongly maintained, and hath something so extremely like this ode, that probably the poet took his design from thence, as a compliment to his illustrious patron.

    In the year 727 Augustus began his seventh consulship, with a request to the senate that they would discharge him from an office which his infirmities could no longer support. In the interval of these two events, (the consultation of Octivius with his favorites, and his declaration to the senate.) Horace wrote this ode, in which he endeavors to persuade the Romans not to suffer that prince to abandon tho government of the empire. San.
  3. "Of one ship, as limina, tecta, are often used of one house. So Dulichias rates is used by Virg. Ecl. vi. 76, for the one ship of Ulysses.", Orelli.
  4. These were the gods whose statues were placed on the stern of the ship, which, being broken by tempests, had lost its tutelary divinities.
  5. A Pontic pine-tree. "Ex familia in Ponto," of a family in Pontus, a country in Asia Minor, where Horace's father was born. Watson.
  6. Besides the statues of the gods, the stems of their ships were adorned with paintings and other ornaments, which the Greeks called in general Acrostolia, and the Latins Aplustria. Dac.