Horace

(8 December 65 BC – 27 November 8 BC / Italy)

Bki:V Treacherous Girl - Poem by Horace

What slender boy, Pyrrha, drowned in liquid perfume,
urges you on, there, among showers of roses,
deep down in some pleasant cave?
For whom did you tie up your hair,

with simple elegance? How often he’ll cry at
the changes of faith and of gods, ah, he’ll wonder,
surprised by roughening water,
surprised by the darkening storms,

who enjoys you now and believes you’re golden,
who thinks you’ll always be single and lovely,
ignoring the treacherous
breeze. Wretched are those you dazzle

while still untried. As for me the votive tablet
that hangs on the temple wall reveals, suspended,
my dripping clothes, for the god,
who holds power over the sea.


Comments about Bki:V Treacherous Girl by Horace

  • Terry Craddock (12/8/2016 10:47:00 PM)


    'Pyrrha, drowned in liquid perfume, '

    would drowning in liquid perfume be better or worse than drowning in water, I think worse, the perfume would burn your eyes, but dead is dead; the method is much the same, but what a bizarre concept, with

    'surprised by roughening water,
    surprised by the darkening storms, '

    it seems Pyrrha was out of his depth with both liquid perfume and water
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  • (12/8/2016 2:47:00 PM)


    In the Greek mythology, Pyrrha and her husband, Deucalion, built an ark to survive the deluge. Deucalion was the son of Prometheus. In fact, the story of Deucalion is the story of Noah. After landing on the Mount Parnassus, they started to repopulate the earth.
    The stones that have been thrown behind their shoulders became women and men. In his interesting 'Metamorphoses', the Roman poet, Ovid, described this kind of reproduction using the bones of a dead person. More interesting is the fact that Achilles used the feminine name, Pyrrha, to find a hidden place between the princesses of Skyros.
    In the poem Iliad that has been written by Homer, Achilles used the clothes of a maiden to marry secretly one of the daughters of the king of Skyros, Deidamia. There is a version of this story in which, during the Trojan War, Deidamia dressed as a man to follow her husband.
    The mother of Achilles was Thetis, a sea nymph that became the goddess of water. She wanted to make the body of Achilles invulnerable because his father was the mortal Peleus. While dipping Achilles in the river Styx, she held his heel, and this is why his heel remained vulnerable. After growing up, he was in jeopardy because of his love for Deidamia.
    The first stanza of this poem describes so well the condition of the human vulnerability regarding love. 'What slender boy, Pyrrha, drowned in liquid perfume'. Falling down to flood the cave, the showers of roses suggest the rain of the deluge. This way, the poet intends to give another dimension to the feelings of love in their metamorphosis.
    ''How often he’ll cry at
    the changes of faith and of gods, ''
    Achilles was born to be the son of the goddess of water. To explain this metamorphosis, the poet uses some poetic epithets like 'roughening water', 'darkening storms', and 'dripping clothes'.
    At the beginning, Eve had been a part of Adam and Adam needed to understand his wound from which Eve has come to life. That wound became a scar and Adam felt love for his wife, a need to be himself, a reversal process. Adam needed the reversibility while belonging to her. Achilles used a feminine name, Pyrrha, to be drowned in that liquid having a maternal perfume. Enjoyed reading this poem. Voted 10.
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/8/2016 10:11:00 AM)


    An amazing poem coming from the great flight of imagery of the great poet. Thanks for sharing it here. (Report) Reply

  • (12/8/2016 9:31:00 AM)


    Trial and turbulence smartly written (Report) Reply

  • Paul Sebastian (12/8/2016 4:44:00 AM)

    Treacerous Girl
    'As for me the votive tablet
    that hangs on the temple wall reveals, suspended,
    my dripping clothes, for the god,
    who holds power over the sea.'

    Beautiful last stanza summing the trials....Great write. Thank you.
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (12/8/2016 12:53:00 AM)

    Dazzle
    Over the sea! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (12/8/2016 12:47:00 AM)


    surprised by roughening water,
    surprised by the darkening storms,

    Thanks for sharing...
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 2, 2012



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