In Other Words/Cheer Up, Postumus

Cheer Up, Postumus


Horace, Book II, Ode 14.

Eheul fugaces, Postume, Postume—”

O Postumus, dear Postumus, Old Father Time’s a sprinter, The summer of my life is spent, approaches now the winter; Nor all my Wit nor Piety, to quote Omar Fitzgerald, Can keep my obit from appearing in the Sabine Herald.

If for a daily sacrifice you killed three hundred cattle, Think you that it would keep from you the Dread and Final Rattle? Nix! Though you build eight colleges and lib’ries eighty-seven, You can’t avoid what Rhyme demands I designate as Heaven.

Your home, your wife, your family, your uncles, ay! and your aunts— You'll have to leave ’em all behind. (Have you enough insurance?) And O, the cobwebbed Caecuban now aging in your cellar You'll have to deed to some one who’s a nice, deserving feller.