Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/38

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book i.

Compose your mind. An ardor of soul attacked me also in blooming youth, and drove me in a rage to the writing of swift-footed iambics.[1] Now I am desirous of exchanging severity for good nature, provided that you will become my friend, after my having recanted my abuse, and restore me your affections.



The nimble Faunus often exchanges the Lycæan[2] mountain for the pleasant Lucretilis,[3] and always defends my she-goats from the scorching summer,[4] and the rainy winds. The wandering wives of the unsavory husband[5] seek the hidden strawberry-trees and thyme with security through the safe grove: nor do the kids dread the green lizards, or the wolves sacred to Mars; whenever, my Tyndaris, the vales and the smooth rocks of the sloping Ustica have resounded with his melodious pipe. The gods are my protectors. My piety and my muse are agreeable to the gods. Here plenty, rich with rural honors, shall flow to you, with her generous horn filled to the brim. Here, in a sequestered vale, you shall avoid the heat of the dog-star; and, on your Anacreontic harp, sing of Penelope[6] and the frail Circe[7] striving for one lover; here

  1. Celeres iambos. The poet calls this kind of verse swift, or rapid, because the first syllable of each foot was short, by which the cadence was quicker. San.
  2. Lycæus, a mountain in Arcadia, sacred to Faunus, who is the same with Pan. So Virgil, Eclog. ii. "Pan Primus Calamos cera conjungere plures instituit: Pan curat oves oviumque magistros." Pan, who first taught us to conjoin our reeds. Pan, who protects the sheep and their masters. Watson.
  3. Lucretilis, a mountain in the country of the Sabines, not far from Rome, where Horace had a country-house. Mutat Lucretilem Lycæo, by the figure hyperbaton, which puts that first which should be last, for Mutat Lycæum Lucretili, he interchanges Lycæus for Lucretilis. Watson.
  4. Literally, "wards off the summer from the goats." So Virg. Ecl. vii 47, "solstitium pecori defendite."
  5. See note on Virg. Ecl. vii. 7.
  6. Penelope, the daughter of Icarus; the wife of Ulysses, a woman of rare chastity. Watson.
  7. Circe, the daughter of Sol, and nymph of Perse; a sorceress, and skillful in the nature of herbs. Watson.