Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/52

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

34

ODES OF HORACE

BOOK I.

obliged to set sail back again, and to renew the course that I had deserted. For Jupiter,[1] who usually cleaves the clouds with his gleaming lightning, lately drove his thundering horses and rapid chariot through the clear serene; which the sluggish earth, and wandering rivers; at which Styx, and the horrid seat of detested Tænarus,[2] and the utmost boundary of Atlas[3] were shaken. The Deity is able to make exchange between the highest and the lowest, and diminishes the exalted, bringing to light the obscure; rapacious fortune, with a shrill whizzing, has borne off the plume from one head, and delights in having placed it on another.


ODE XXXV.[4]

TO FORTUNE.

O Goddess, who presidest over beautiful Antium;[5] thou, that art ready to exalt mortal man from the most abject state, or to convert superb triumphs into funerals! Thee the poor countryman solicits with his anxious vows; whosoever

    ἐξοχὴν, the perversity of whom Horace now called insanity. Greg. Naz. Invect. Pr. in Julian, p. 79: ἂσοφος, ἲν᾽ οὒτως ὀνομάσω, σοφία.ORELLI.

  1. Diespiter signifies Diei pater, as Jupiter is put for Jovis pater, and Marspiter for Mars pater.SAN.
  2. Tænarus, a promontory and seaport town of Peloponnesus, full of thick woods, where the poets feign was a descent to hell, called by Ovid Tænaria Porta, the Tænarian Gate; by Virgil, Tænariæ Fauces, the Tænarian jaws.WATSON.
  3. Atlas, a mountain in Mauritania, so high, that the top of it is said to reach to heaven, and bear it up.WATSON.
  4. The subject of this ode is perfectly noble, well designed, and well executed. The versification is flowing and harmonious, the expression bold and sublime.
    In the year 719, Augustus was on his march to Britain, but was recalled by a revolt of the Dalmatians. In 727, having ended the civil wars by the defeat of Antony, he again resolved to turn his arms against that island, but was satisfied with an embassy from thence, and a promise of obedience to any conditions which he pleased to impose upon them. These conditions not being well observed, he was determined to make the Britons feel the effects of his displeasure, yet was again obliged to employ the forces of the republic in suppressing an insurrection of the Salassi, Cantabri, and Asturii.SAN.
  5. Antium, an ancient city of Italy, the capital of the Volscians, the country of Nero, and a good harbor for shipping.WATSON.