Translation:Odes (Horace)/Book III/3

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Odes by Horace, translated from Latin by Wikisource
Ode 3.3
Alcaic Meter.


Literal English Translation Original Latin Line

Neither the passion of citizens demanding crooked things,
Not the face of a threatening tyrant
Shakes the man who is righteous and set in purpose
From his strong mind, nor the East Wind,

the tempestuous ruler of the restless Adriatic,
nor the great hand of thundering Jupiter:
if the shattered world collapsed,
him, fearless, the debris would strike.

With this skill, Pollux, and the wanderer Hercules,
having struggled, reached the blazing citadels;
with them Augustus, lying back,
drinks nectar with his ruddy mouth.

Deservingly, Father Bacchus, for this your tigers
carried you, pulling the yoke with untamed neck;
for this Quirinus fled Acheron
on Mars's horses,

when Juno spoke welcome words at the council
of the gods: "Ilium, Ilium
that fatal and vile judge
and foreign woman turned

to dust; ever since Laomedon cheated the gods
of pledged payment, it was damned
by me and chaste Minerva
with its deceitful people and leader.

Now, neither the famous guest shines for
the Spartan adulteress, nor does the house of Priam,
betrayed, beat back the fighting Achaeans
with Hector's assistance,

and the war, led on by our quarrels,
is settled. Immediately I will both renounce
my grave anger and my hated grandson,
whom the Trojan priestess bore,

to Mars; I will allow him to enter
the gleaming house, to drink sweet
nectar, and to enrol
in the restful ranks of the gods.

As long as the great sea rages
between Ilium and Rome, in whatever
place they choose let the blessed exiles rule;
as long as, on the tomb of Priam and Paris

the cattle tramples, and the wild beasts,
safe, conceal their young, may the Capitol,
gleaming, stand, and fierce Rome be able
to have power over the defeated Medes.

Dreaded widely, may her hame stretch to the furthest
shores, to where the middle water
separates Europe from Africa,
to where the swollen Nile waters the fields,

and may she be braver, and thus better, to despise
gold undiscovered and hidden when the earth conceals it,
than to force everything holy into human use
with greedy hand.

Whatever boundary contains the world,
let her touch it with these weapons, longing to see,
in what place the fires revel,
as do clouds, rain and dew.

But with this command I speak of the destiny of the warlike Quirites,
that they not, with too much piety
or faith in their power, wish
to repair the buildings of ancestral Troy.

The fortune of Troy, born again, will be
repeated in sad disaster with a dismal omen,
with me, Jupiter's wife and sister,
leading the band of victors.

If, with Phoebus as creator, the bronze wall rose again
three times, three times would it fall, cut down
by my Argives, three times would the captive wife
weep for her husband and children.'

This is not fitting for a pleasant lyre:
Where do you head, Muse? Headstrong one, cease
from reporting the gods' chatter, and
weakening great things with little metres.



iustum et tenacem propositi virum
non civium ardor prava iubentium,
non voltus instantis tyranni
mente quatit solida neque Auster,

dux inquieti turbidus Hadriae,
nec fulminantis magna manus Iovis:
si fractus illabatur orbis,
impavidum ferient ruinae.

hac arte Pollux et vagus Hercules
enisus arcis attigit igneas,
quos inter Augustus recumbens
purpureo bibet ore nectar,

hac te merentem, Bacche pater, tuae
vexere tigres indocili iugum
collo trahentes, hac Quirinus
Martis equis Acheronta fugit,

gratum elocuta consiliantibus
Iunone divis: “Ilion, Ilion
fatalis incestusque iudex
et mulier peregrina vertit

in pulverem ex quo destituit deos
mercede pacta Laomedon, mihi
castaeque damnatum Minervae
cum populo et duce fraudulento.

iam nec Lacaenae splendet adulterae
famosus hospes nec Priami domus
periura pugnacis Achivos
Hectoreis opibus refringit

nostrisque ductum seditionibus
bellum resedit; protinus et gravis
iras et invisum nepotem,
Troica quem peperit sacerdos,

Marti redonabo; illum ego lucidas
inire sedes, discere nectaris
sucos et adscribi quietis
ordinibus patiar deorum.

dum longus inter saeviat Ilion
Romamque pontus, qualibet exsules
in parte regnanto beati;
dum Priami Paridisque busto

insultet armentum et catulos ferae
celent inultae, stet Capitolium
fulgens triumphatisque possit
Roma ferox dare iura Medis.

horrenda late nomen in ultimas
extendat oras, qua medius liquor
secernit Europen ab Afro,
qua tumidus rigat arva Nilus.

aurum inrepertum et sic melius situm,
cum terra celat, spernere fortior
quam cogere humanos in usus
omne sacrum rapiente dextra,

quicumque mundo terminus obstitit
hunc tanget armis, visere gestiens,
qua parte debacchentur ignes,
qua nebulae pluviique rores.

sed bellicosis fata Quiritibus
hac lege dico, ne nimium pii
rebusque fidentes avitae
tecta velint reparare Troiae.

Troiae renascens alite lugubri
fortuna tristi clade iterabitur
ducente victrices catervas
coniuge me Iovis et sorore.

ter si resurgat murus aeneus
auctore Phoebo, ter pereat meis
excisus Argivis, ter uxor
capta virum puerosque ploret”

non hoc iocosae conveniet lyrae —
quo, Musa, tendis? desine pervicax
referre sermones deorum et
magna modis tenuare parvis.

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