Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/79

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ode ii.

ODES OF HORACE.

61

Kid; not his vineyards beaten down with hail, and a deceitful farm; his plantations at one season blaming the rains, at another, the influence of the constellations parching the grounds, at another, the severe winters. The fishes perceive the seas contracted, by the vast foundations that have been laid in the deep: hither numerous undertakers with their men, and lords, disdainful of the land, send down mortar: but anxiety and the threats of conscience[1] ascend by the same way as the possessor; nor does gloomy care depart from the brazen-beaked galley, and she mounts behind the horseman. Since then nor Phrygian marble, nor the use of purple more dazzling than the sun, nor the Falernian vine, nor the Persian nard, composes a troubled mind, why should I set about a lofty edifice[2] with columns that excite envy, and in the modern taste? Why should I exchange my Sabine vale for wealth, which is attended with more trouble?


ODE II.

AGAINST THE DEGENERACY OF THE ROMAN YOUTH.

Let the robust youth learn patiently[3] to endure pinching want in the active exercise of arms; and as an expert horseman, dreadful for his spear, let him harass the fierce Parthians; and let him lead a life exposed to the open air, and familiar with dangers. Him, the consort and marriageable virgin-daughter of some warring tyrant, viewing from the hostile walls, may sigh—Alas! let not the affianced prince, inexperienced as he is in arms, provoke by a touch this terrible lion, whom bloody rage hurries through the midst of slaughter. It is sweet and glorious to die for one’s country; death even pursues the man that flies from him; nor does he spare the trembling knees of effeminate youth, nor the coward back. Virtue, unknowing of base repulse, shines with immaculate honors; nor does she assume nor lay aside the ensigns of

  1. Minæ, "internæ propter facinora commissa." Orelli.
  2. Atrium was properly a great hall in which the Romans placed the statues of their ancestors, received their clients, and performed all their domestic duties. It is here used for the whole dwelling. Ed. Dublin.
  3. Amice, i. e. "with a mind well-disposed toward toil," and hence, "patiently, willingly." Orelli.