Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mount Soracte

Horace Odes 1:9
See the mountain standing white and deep with snow.
Struggling, trees barely hold the water's weight,
rivers can't flow through dams of sharp ice.

Scatter the frost and pile logs in the glow
of the fireplace - better still, Thaliarchus, my friend
bring out a jar of four-year-old Sabine wine.

Leave the rest to the gods, who will first, so slow
calm the winds that brawl on this bubbling plain
stilling the old ash and cypress alike.

Cease to ponder tomorrow's pain or hope,
take today's good fortune as gain.
Young as you are, don't spurn sweet love and dance.

Old age's gloom is distant; sweet whispers echo
from darkened field and square, a girl's giggle gives
up her hiding place, bangles slip from arms...

Translation by Tom Rudge. Copyright: By application

Original text by this great Latin lyric poet:

Vides ut alta stet nive candidum
Soracte, nec iam sustineant onus
siluae laborantes, geluque
flumina constiterint acuto.

Dissolve frigus ligna super foco
large reponens, atque benignius
deprome quadrimum Sabina,
o Thaliarche, merum diota.

Permitte divis cetera; qui simul
strauere ventos aequore fervido
deproeliantis, nec cupressi
nec veteres agitantur orni.

Quid sit futurum cras fuge quaerere, et
quem fors dierum cumque dabit lucro
adpone, nec dulcis amores
sperne puer neque tu choreas,

donec virenti canities abest
morosa. nunc et campus et areae
lenesque sub noctem susurri
composita repetantur hora;

nunc et latentis proditor intimo
gratus puellae risus ab angulo
pignusque dereptum lacertis
aut digito male pertinaci.

This site has a good selection of historical translations of this poem.

Translation copyright: By application

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