Treasure Island

Horace

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

BkI:VII Tibur


Let others sing in praise of Rhodes, or Mytilene,
or Ephesus, or Corinth on the Isthmus,
or Thebes that’s known for Bacchus, or Apollo’s isle
of Delphi, or Thessalian Tempe.

There’s some whose only purpose is to celebrate
virgin Athene’s city forever,
and set indiscriminately gathered olive on their heads.
Many a poet in honour of Juno

will speak fittingly of horses, Argos, rich Mycenae.
As for me not even stubborn Sparta
or the fields of lush Larisa are quite as striking,
as Albunea’s echoing cavern,

her headlong Anio, and the groves of Tiburnus,
and Tibur’s orchards, white with flowing streams.
Bright Notus from the south often blows away the clouds
from dark skies, without bringing endless rain,

so Plancus, my friend, remember to end a sad life
and your troubles, wisely, with sweet wine,
whether it’s the camp, and gleaming standards, that hold you
or the deep shadows of your own Tibur.

They say that Teucer, fleeing from Salamis and his
father, still wreathed the garlands, leaves of poplar,
round his forehead, flushed with wine, and in speech to his friends
said these words to them as they sorrowed:

‘Wherever fortune carries us, kinder than my father,
there, O friends and comrades, we’ll adventure!
Never despair, if Teucer leads, of Teucer’s omens!
Unerring Apollo surely promised,


in the uncertain future, a second Salamis
on a fresh soil. O you brave heroes, you
who suffered worse with me often, drown your cares with wine:
tomorrow we’ll sail the wide seas again.’

Submitted: Wednesday, May 02, 2012

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