Treasure Island

Horace

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

BkI:VI A Tribute to Agrippa


BkI:VI A Tribute to Agrippa
You should be penned as brave, and a conqueror
by Varius, winged with his Homeric poetry,
whatever fierce soldiers, with vessels or horses,
have carried out, at your command.

Agrippa, I don’t try to speak of such things,
not Achilles’ anger, ever unyielding,
nor crafty Ulysses’ long sea-wanderings,
nor the cruel house of Pelops,

I’m too slight for grandeur, since shame and the Muse,
who’s the power of the peaceful lyre, forbids me
to lessen the praise of great Caesar and you,
by my defective artistry.

Who could write worthily of Mars in his armour
Meriones the Cretan, dark with Troy’s dust,
or Tydides, who with the help of Athene,
was the equal of all the gods?

I sing of banquets, of girls fierce in battle
with closely-trimmed nails, attacking young men:
idly, as I’m accustomed to do, whether
fancy free or burning with love.

Submitted: Wednesday, May 02, 2012

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