Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/88

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book iii.

wearied oxen, bringing on the pleasant hour with his retreating chariot. What does not wasting time destroy? The age of our fathers, worse than our grandsires, produced us still more flagitious, us, who are about to product am offspring more vicious [even than ourselves].


to asterie.

Why, O Asterie, do you weep for Gyges, a youth of inviolable constancy,[1] whom the kindly zephyrs[2] will restore to you in the beginning of the Spring, enriched with a Bithynian cargo?[3] Driven as far as Oricum by the southern winds, after [the rising] of the Goat’s tempestuous constellation, he sleepless passes the cold nights in abundant weeping [for you]; but the agent of his anxious landlady slyly tempts him by a thousand methods, informing him that [his mistress], Chloe, is sighing for him, and burns with the same love that thou hast for him. He remonstrates with him how a perfidious woman urged the credulous Proetus, by false accusations, to hasten the death of the over-chaste Bellerophon. He tells how Peleus was like to have been given up to the infernal regions, while out of temperance he avoided the Magnesian Hippolyte: and the deceiver quotes histories to him, that are lessons for sinning.[4] In vain; for, heart-whole as yet, he receives his words deafer than the Icarian rocks. But with regard to you, have a care lest your neighbor Enipeus prove too pleasing. Though no other person equally skillful to guide

    setting. In the morning he directs them to the west, in the evening to the east. Torr.

  1. "Fide" is the ancient form of the genitive. See Orelli.
  2. The poet does not mean that this wind shall bring Gyges home, for it was directly contrary to his return to Italy, but that in general it opens the seas, and encourages navigation, by restoring fair weather. Torr
  3. Toys of iron, steel, silver, and gold, which the Bithynians made with great neatness. Francis.
  4. Chloe's confidant, not being able to testify Gyges into compliance, by the dangers to which these two heroes were exposed for their chastity, strives to seduce him by examples of those who had yielded upon easier terms. Torr.