02 Feb Horace: “Odes” Book II
Of the three books of “Odes” published by Horace in 23 B.C., this, the second book, is the shortest, containing only twenty poems. It is also the most uniform in form, as eighteen of these twenty are composed in the Aeolian metres of Alcaeus (12) and of Sappho (6). The tone of these odes is also the most serious in tone, and the most limited in range, with only three (viz. carmina 4, 5 and 8) dealing with themes of love.
The text for this translation is taken from “The Odes of Horace,” edited by James Michie, Penguin Classics, 1964. The translators has also consulted the notes contained in the edition of Horace’s “Carminum Libri IV”, edited by T.E.Page, M.A., Macmillan, 1886, and in “Horace: The Odes,” edited by Kenneth Quinn, Bristol Classical Press, 1996.
Carmen 1. To C. Asinius Pollio (Alcaic metre).
Your theme is (lit. You are dealing with) civic unrest, (dating) from when Metellus was consul, and the causes of the war and its wrongs and phases, and the sport of Chance and the ruinous alliances of eminent men, and the weapons smeared with streams of blood still unexpiated, a task full of risky hazard, and you are advancing through fires covered by deceptive ash. May the Muse of austere tragedy be absent from the theatres for a short time (only): soon, when you have set straight the (record of) public affairs, you will resume your noble work (clad) in the buskin of Cecrops, (O) Pollio, (you) illustrious protector of sorrowful defendants and of the deliberating Senate, to whom the laurel (wreath) has procured eternal glory in consequence of your triumph in relation to Dalmatia. Already now you are dulling our ears with the threatening sound of horns, already the clarions are braying, already the flash of arms scares into flight the horses and the countenances of the horsemen. Already I seem to hear of mighty generals begrimed with the glorious dust (of battle) and all things in the world subdued with the exception of stubborn Cato’s soul. (Now) Juno and each one of the gods (who were) well-inclined to the Africans that had departed from an unavenged land had brought back the victors’ grandsons (as) offerings at Jugurtha’s (tomb). What field more fertile with Latin blood does not bear witness by its tombs to unholy battles, and (what) sound of the ruined of the West can(not) be heard by the Medes? What stormy water or what river (is) unaware of sorrowful war? What sea has Italian slaughter not discoloured? What beach is free from our blood? But, light themes having been put aside, do not take up afresh, (O) shameless Muse, tasks which belong to the Cean dirge (i.e. Simonides): (come) with me (and) look for music with a lighter plectrum in the cave of Dione (i.e. of love).
Carmen 2. To C. Sallustius Crispus (Sapphic metre).
There is no lustre in silver (when it is) hidden in the greedy earth, (O) Sallustius Crispus, hostile to bullion, unless it gleams through regular use. May Proculeius, renowned for his paternal spirit towards his brothers, live on, his span of life having been extended; everlasting fame shall carry him on its way on a wing that dreads to loosen its grip. By taming your covetous spirit you will rule more widely than if you were to unite Libya with distant Gades and each of the two Carthaginians were to be a slave to (you) alone. The savage hydropsy grows (by) indulging itself and does not drive thirst away, unless the cause of the disease has been eliminated from the veins and the watery faintness from the pallid body. Disagreeing with the mob, Virtue banishes Phraates, who has been restored to the throne of Cyrus, from the ranks of the happy, and teaches people not to make use of false words, and conferring power and a sure crown and the abiding laurel, whosoever views huge heaps (of treasure) with an eye that does not turn back.
Carmen 3. To Q. Dellius (Alcaic metre).
Remember to keep a calm (frame of) mind amidst difficult circumstances; equally (lit. not otherwise) in happy (circumstances) (keep it) free of excessive joy, (O) Delius, (who is) destined to die, whether you will live gloomy at every (fresh) crisis or whether you will cheer yourself up on feast days, stretched out on some unfrequented lawn with a brand of Falernian (wine) from the recesses of your wine-cellar. For what (other purpose) do the massive pine and the pale poplar take pleasure in sharing a hospitable shade through their bows? Why (else) does the water, eager to escape from the winding river, exert itself to bubble about? Bid (them) bring hither wine and pefume and the too short-lived flowers of the lovely rose, while circumstances and the time and the dark threads of the three sisters (still) allow (it). You will soon leave the rolling country, (which you have) purchased, and your town-house, and you will (soon) leave your your country villa, which the yellowish Tiber washes, and your heir will take possession of your treasures (which have been) piled up on high. It does not matter whether (you are) a rich man, descended from the Inachus of old, or whether, (as) a poor man and of the humblest birth, you will abide a while under the open sky, (seeing that you are) a sacrificial victim of unpitying death. We are (all) gathered together to the same (end); sooner (or) later our lot is shaken in the universal urn (and) will leap out and embark us upon the craft to eternal exile.
Carmen 4. To Phocian Xanthias (Sapphic metre).
Let not the love of a servant girl be a matter of shame to you, (O) Phocian Xanthias! Before (you), the slave-girl Briseis with her snowy complexion stirred proud Achilles; the beauty of the captive Tecmessa enraptured Ajax, the son of Telamon; the son of Atreus (i.e. Agamemnon) burned in the midst of his triumph for an abducted maiden (i.e. Cassandra), after the foreign squadrons had fallen, Achilles (being) their conqueror, and the loss of Hector had handed Pergama (i.e. Troy), (which was) quite easy to destroy, over to the Greeks. You do not know whether the rich parents of your golden-haired Phyllis might distinguish you (as) their son-in-law: she certainly mourns her royal rank and her household-gods. Believe me (when I say) that she has not been picked by you from among the base rabble, and the fact that she is so faithful (to you) (and) so indifferent to money proves that she cannot be born from a mother to be ashamed of. I praise (as) without blemish her arms and her face, and those shapely calves; avoid suspecting (one) whose age has quivered eagerly to complete his fortieth year (lit. his eighth period of five years).
Carmen 5. Concerning Lalage (Alcaic metre).
She is not yet strong (enough), her neck having been bowed, to bear the yoke, nor yet to match the obligations of a mate, nor to support the weight of the plunging bull in love. The mind of your girl (lit. heifer) is occupied with green meadows, at one time relieving the oppressive (summer) heat, at another wanting more than anything to frisk with her young friends (lit. calves) in the marshy willow plantation. Do away with the desire for an unripe grape: soon Autumn, coloured in brilliant hue, will steak bluish-green clusters for you. Soon she will pursue you: for her time of life, (now so) wild, hastens along and will credit her with years which it will take from you; soon Lalage, with her provocative appearance, will seek her husband, beloved (by you) as much as elusive Pholoe (was) not (ever loved), nor Chloris, with her white neck gleaming in such a way as a clear moon is resplendent on the sea at night, nor Cnidian Gyges, the difference in whom, if you were to insert (him) in a troop of girls would marvellously deceive (even) shrewd guests, (as it is) hard to detect, due to his flowing locks and his boyish face.
Carmen 6. To Septimius (Sapphic metre).
(O) Septimius, who would go with me to Gades and to the Cantabrians, who have yet to learn to bear our yoke, and to the barbarous Syrtes, where the Moorish sea seethes incessantly, may Tibur, built by a colonist from Argos, be the dwelling-place of my advancing years, a halt for (a man) tired of the sea and of marches and of military service! Thence, if the malignant Fates deny (me this), I shall make for the river Galaesus, pleasant with its leather-coated sheep, and the countryside (once) ruled by Spartan Phalanthus. That little corner of land attracts me beyond everything, (being a place) where the honey does not give precedence to that from Hymettus and (where) the olives vie with those from green Venafrum. (It is a place) where Jupiter gives long springs and mild winters, and where Aulon, friend to fertile Bacchus, does not need to envy the grapes from Falernus at all. That place and its prosperous hilltops are beckoning you as well as me; there, (when I am dead,) you will sprinkle the warm ashes of your poet friend with due tears.
Carmen 7. To Pompeius (Alcaic metre).
O Pompeius, the first of my drinking companions, (who was) often drawn together with me into extreme peril in the campaign when Brutus was our leader, who has restored you (as) a citizen to the gods of your native-land and to the sky of Italy? With you I have often shortened the wearisome day with (the aid of) wine, having been garlanded with regard to my locks shining with Syrian spikenard. Together with you I experienced Philippi and its hurried rout, my little shied having been abandoned not over-bravely, when courage (was) shattered and fearsome (warriors) touched the shameful soil with their chins. But swift Mercury bore me away through (the midst of) the enemy in a thick cloud; (but) the waves, sucking (you) back to war again, bore you through the raging surf. Therefore, render to Jupiter the due offering and deposit your flank, weary with lengthy military service, under my laurel-tree, and do not spare the casks (which have been) reserved for you. Fill to the brim the smooth drinking-cups with care-dispelling Massic (wine); pour (on your hair) the unguents from the capacious shells. Who is responsible for speedily making garlands with parsley or with myrtle? I shall not revel more sanely than the Edoni; with my friend having been restored to me, it is delightful to revel madly (lit. go mad).
Carmen 8. To Barine (Sapphic metre).
Barine, if some punishment for a perjured oath had ever hurt you, if you were to become uglier through (one) black tooth, or perhaps by a single (back) finger-nail, I might believe (you). But, as soon as you have staked your faithless in your vows, you begin to shine forth (as) much more beautiful (than ever), and you walk around (as) a public object of love. It suits (you) to swear falsely on your mother’s buried ashes and the silent stars together with all the heavens, and the gods who are free from cold death. Venus herself, I assure (you), smiles at this, and the guileless Nymphs and wild Cupid, ever sharpening his burning arrows on his cruel whetstone. Add (to this) the fact that all the youth is growing up (as) a fresh (generation of) your slaves, nor are the older (slaves) abandoning the house of their wicked mistress, (though) often having threatened (to do so). Mothers fear you on behalf of their young sons, tight-fisted old men (fear you), and anxious brides, (until) lately virgins, (fear you) lest the breath (of) your (love) may detain their husbands.
Carmen 9. To C. Valgius Rufus (Alcaic metre).
Downpours do not spread gloom over the muddy fields indefinitely, or gusty storms disturb the Caspian Sea all the time, nor, dear Valgius, during every month does the ice lie stiff (and) lifeless nor do the oaks of (Mount) Garganus strain beneath the north winds and the ash-trees are despoiled of their leaves: (but) you always pursue your lost Mystes with mournful measures,neither with the the Evening Star appearing nor with its retreating before the hastening sun, do your feelings of love depart. But that old man (who had) passed three generations (i.e. Nestor) did not bewail the lovable Antilochus every year, nor did his parents or his Phrygian sisters weep all the time for the youth Troilus. For goodness sake, desist from these soft lamentations, and let us rather celebrate the recent victories of Caesar Augustus and the frozen Niphates, and that the Medes’ (i.e Parthians’) river, having been added to the (list of) people conquered (by him), rolls its eddying waves less (proudly), and that within their fixed limit the Geloni are riding over reduced plains.
Carmen 10. To A. Terentius Varro Licinius Murena (Sapphic metre).
Whosoever securely loves the golden mean avoids the squalour of a worn-out house, (and also) avoids rather wisely a palace which will attract much envy. The tall pine is more frequently disturbed by winds, and high towers collapse with a more serious disaster (than others) and bolts of lightning strike the summits of mountains. The well-prepared mind hopes in adversity, (but) in prosperity fears a different outcome. Jupiter brings back hideous winters, (but) he also takes (them) away. If (the prospect is) gloomy now, it will not be so in the future: Apollo sometimes arouses the silent Muse with his lute, and does not always bend his bow. In straitened circumstances, show yourself (to be) full of spirit and undaunted; likewise, if you are wise, you will take in your sails (when they have been) swollen in too favourable a wind.
Carmen 11. To Hirpinus Quinctius (Alcaic metre).
Give yourself a break, Hirpinus Quinctius, from asking what the warlike Cantabrian, and the Scythian, separated (from us) by the barrier (of the) Adriatic, is plotting, nor worry yourself to (meet) the needs of a life requiring little: beardless youth and good looks drop away behind (us), with dried out grey hair driving out playful love-affairs and untroubled sleep. Likewise, the beauty in spring flowers is not continuous, nor does the Moon shine only (when) ruddy in countenance: why do you weary with your ceaseless schemes your mind (which is) too weak (for them)? Why do we not drink, sprawling carelessly, just as we are, under a tall plane-tree, or (under) this pine, while we can (lit. it is permitted [to us]), perfumed in respect of our grey locks, with roses and Assyrian nard? Bacchus disperses consuming cares. Which slave-boy will quench more quickly (than usual) the cups of Falernian (wine) with water from the stream which passes nearby? Who will coax from her home the solitary courtesan Lyde? Come, tell (her) (to hasten) with her ivory lyre, her hair having been bound back into a neat knot in the Spartan fashion.
Carmen 12. To C. Maecenas (Third Asclepiad metre).
You would not wish that the long savage wars with Numantia and iron Hannibal and the Sicilian sea, crimson with Carthaginian blood, and the wild Lapiths and Hylaeus, too indulgent with wine and the young men of Earth (i.e. the Giants), at the danger of whom the bright abode of ancient Saturn shook with fear, (but) tamed with the aid of Hercules, should be set to the gentle measures of the lute; and you, (yourself), Maecenas, will tell in prose histories of Caesar’s battles and of the necks of threatening kings being conducted through the streets better (than I can). The Muse has decided that I should tell of the sweet singing of my mistress Licymnia, of her brightly sparkling eyes and of a heart firmly faithful to mutual loves, (of one) in whom it has not been unbecoming (for her) to move her feet in the dance, nor to vie in jests, nor to join (lit. give) her arms (in dancing), (while) sporting in brilliant attire with throngs of maidens on Diana’s holy day. Surely you would not want to exchange what rich Achaemenes possessed, or the riches of wealthy Phrygia’s Mygdon (i.e. Midas), or the lair of the Arabs, full (of treasure), for a hair of Licymnia’s (head), when she turns her neck towards one’s burning kisses, or refuses, with a cruelty easily (overcome), (the kisses) which she rejoices (even) more than her suitor to have stolen (from her), (and) sometimes she is even intent on snatching (them)?
Carmen 13. To a tree on his land (Alcaic metre).
Whoever planted you in the first place, he (did so) on an ill-omened day, and with an unholy hand, (O) tree, brought destruction upon our posterity and disgrace upon our local community; I can well believe that he even broke the neck of his own father, and smeared his domestic hearth with the blood of a guest; he dealt out Colchian poison, and whatever wickedness one could in any way conceive of, (and is the man) who placed you on my farm, (O) evil timber, (which is) destined to fall on the head of your master, (who is quite) undeserving (of this fate). It has never been sufficiently guarded against by a man on an hourly basis what he should, as an individual, guard against: the Carthaginian sailor shudders at the Bosphorus and does not dread the hidden doom from somewhere else beyond (it); the (Italian) soldier fears the Parthian’s arrows and his swift flight, (while) the Parthian (fears) chains and an Italian dungeon; but the unforeseen violence of death has (always) carried people off, and always will carry (them) off. How near (to us) we saw the realms of dark Proserpina and Aeacus, (while he was) judging (the dead), and the dwellings of the blessed (which have been) placed apart, and, on their Aeolian lyres, Sappho lamenting the girls of her native (island), and you, (O) Alcaeus, with your golden plectrum, singing in a fuller tone of the hardships on board ship, the hardships of exile, and the terrible hardships of war! The shades admire both of them telling of things worthy of reverent silence; but the crowd, packed shoulder to shoulder, drinks in with the ear more readily battles and tyrants being expelled. How wonderful (it is) when the hundred-headed monster (i.e. Cerbeurs), dazed by those strains, lets his dark ears drop, and the snakes entwined in the hair of the Kindly Ones (i.e. the Furies) can find relief! Nay, even Prometheus and the father of Pelops (i.e. Tantalus) are cheated of their toils by this sweet a sound, and Orion does not concern himself with lions or (with) chasing shy linxes.
Carmen 14. To Postumus (Alcaic metre).
Alas, Postumus, Postumus, the fleeting years slip away, nor will an upright life bring any delay to wrinkles and imminent old age and untamed death: (no), not (even), my friend, if you were to appease with three hundred bulls, on however many days go by, inexorable Pluto, who imprisons the thrice monstrous Geryon and Tityus by his dismal waters, doubtless needing to be sailed over by all (of us), whoever (we are) who feed on the earth’s bounty, whether we are (lit. shall be) kings or needy peasants. In vain, shall we abstain from bloody war and from the breaking waves of the raucous Adriatic; in vain, shall we dread the South Wind harming our bodies during the autumn (months): worthy to be seen (are) sombre Cocytos, meandering with its sluggish current, and the ill-famed brood of Danaus, and Sisyphus, the son of Aeolus, (who has been) condemned to endless toil: your lands and your home and your agreeable wife must be (lit. are needing to be) given up, nor shall any of these trees, which you are cultivating, follow you, its short-lived master, except the hated cypress: your heir, (who is) more worthy (than you), will consume your Caecuban (wine), (now) guarded by a hundred keys, and will stain the paved floor with the proud vintage, (which is) superior to (that served at) the banquets of priests.
Carmen 15. Complaining about ostentatious country villas (Alcaic metre).
Soon these princely piles will leave few acres for the plough, ponds stretching more widely than the Lucrine lake will be seen everywhere, and the unwedded plane-tree will supplant the elms; then, violet-beds and myrtle-bushes and every abundance (of delight) to the nostrils will spread scent over the previous owner’s olive groves; then, the laurel-tree, thick with boughs, will block out the (sun’s) burning rays. Not so (was it) ordained by Romulus, and by the example of bearded Cato and by the practice of the men of old. Their private income was scanty, (but) the common interest (was) the big thing: no portico laid out by an indidual’s ten-foot measuring rod caught the shady Northern Light, nor did the laws allow the scorning of a chance (piece of) turf, (while) decreeing the decorating of town buildings at public expense and the temples of the gods with newly-cut stone.
Carmen 16. To Pompeius Grosphus (Sapphic metre).
(The man who is) caught in the midst of the Aegean begs the gods for calm, as soon as black clouds conceal the moon, and the trusty stars do not shine on the sailors; War-crazed Thrace (begs for) peace, the Medes (i.e. the Parthians), adorned with their quivers, beg, (O) Grosphus, for the peace that cannot be purchased by purple-cloth nor by gold. For neither oriental riches nor a consul’s lictor can clear away the sad tumults of the heart and the anxieties flying around panelled ceilings. It is lived well on a little (by him) for whom the family salt-cellar glitters on a frugal table, and no fear (of death) or ignoble greed steals his easy sleep. With life (being) short, why do we aim so bravely at so many things? Why do we exchange our own countries (for those) warmed by a different sun? Who has ever escaped himself (by becoming) an exile? Morbid anxiety climbs up bronze-prowed ships, and, (being) swifter than stags and swifter than the cloud-compelling East Wind, does not leave the squadrons of cavalry. Let one’s mind, (when) happy in the present, scorn to be anxious about what is in the future, and show forbearance to bitter things with a gentle smile; nothing is blessed from all viewpoints.A quick death snatched away famous Achilles, unending old-age withered Tithonus, and so the (passage of an) hour will perhaps offer me (something) which it denies you. A hundred sheep (bleat) and Sicilian cattle low around you, a mare in training for chariot-racing raises a neighing (sound) in your (stall), and wool, twice dipped in an African purple-dye, adorns you. But Fate, that does not lie, has given me a small farm and some slight inspiration from the Greek Muses and a scorning of the grudging crowd.
Carmen 17. To: C. Maecenas (Alcaic metre).
Why do you frighten me to death with your lamentations? Nor is it welcome to the gods or to me that you, Maecenas, the great glory and pillar of my estate should die before (me). Ah! if their premature assault snatches you, (one) half of my soul, away, why should I, the other half, linger on, neither equally dear nor surviving unimpaired? That day will lead to the destruction of both of us. I have not sworn the military oath in bad faith: we shall go wherever you will lead the way, ready to travel (as) companions on that final journey. Neither the breath of the fiery Chimera nor hundred-handed Gyas, if he should rise up (to confront me), shall tear me (from you); thus is it decreed by powerful Justice and by the Fates. Whether Libra or terrible Scorpio looked down on me, or whether Capricorn, the lord of the Western seas (was) the ascendant influence at the hour of my birth, both of our stars are linked in an incredible way: the resplendent protection of Jupiter snatched you from (the power of) the dastardly Saturn, and delayed, alas! the wings of Death, when the thronging populace sounded their joyous applause in the theatres three times: a tree-trunk collapsing on my brain would have carried me off, if Faunus, the guardian of the men, of whom Mercury is the patron (i.e. poets) had not averted the blow with his right(-hand). Remember to offer (a number of) victims in requital; I shall sacrifice a humble lamb.
Carmen 18. To an unnamed ‘nouveau riche’ (Hipponactean metre).
No panelled ceiling (adorned with) ivory and gold reflects the light in my house, no architraves (of marble) from Hymettus press upon columns quarried in furthest Africa, nor have I, (as) an unwitting heir of Attalus, taken possession of a palace, nor do my clients’ wives, of gentle birth, trail their gowns of Spartan purple (in my house): but I have honesty and an unstinting vein of talent, and the rich man comes to visit me (although I am) poor: I assail the gods for nothing beyond (what I have), nor do I pester my influential friend for more generous (gifts), (as I am) well enough off with my one and only Sabine (farm), (and) each day is thrust aside by the (following) day, and new moons wax, (only) to wane. (But yet) you let out a contract for marble to be cut right up to the very (day of) your death, and you build houses with no thought for your grave, and you are eager to push forward the shore of the sea that breaks on Baiae, (as you are) not wealthy enough with the shore hemming you in. What shall I say of the fact that you even remove the boundary-stones from your neighbours’ land and, in your greed, you leap beyond your clients’ boundary lines? Both wife and husband are driven out, clutching in their bosoms their household-gods and their shabby children. Yet no more certain palace awaits the rich owner than the destined end of greedy Orcus (i.e. Death). Why do you reach out in fresh directions? An impartial earth opens herself up to the sons of the poor and of kings (alike), nor did the attendant of Orcus (i.e. Charon), having been bribed with gold, ferry wily Prometheus back (across the Styx). He confines proud Tantalus and Tantalus’ brood, (but) he, (when) called upon, to relieve the poor man, (who has) performed his labours, and (even if) not called upon, attends (to the summons).
Carmen 19. To Bacchus (Alcaic metre).
I saw Bacchus teaching hymns on some remote rocks – believe me, (O) those who are to come – and (I saw) attentive Nymphs and the pricked-up ears of goat-footed satyrs. Euoi! my mind is quivering with recent dread, and rejoices tumultuously with a heart full of Bacchus: Euoi! spare me, (O) Liber, spare me from your deeply fearsome ivy-rod! It is right for me to celebrate in song your tireless Maenads and your fountains of wine and rivers rich in milk, and to sing afresh of the honey dripping from the hollow tree-trunks: (it is) also right (for me to sing of) the added mark of honour of your blessed wife (i.e. Ariadne) among the stars and (of) the palace of Pentheus having been razed in an unsmooth downfall and (of) the demise of Lycurgus in Thrace. You can turn rivers in their course, you can divert the foreign sea, (and) tipsy on some remote heights, confine without harm the locks of the Bistonian women in a knot of serpents: when the brigade of Giants was scrambling up through the great sky to the unholy realms of the (Great) Father, you turned back Rhoetus with your lion’s claws and that terrible jaw; although (you were) said (to be) suited to dances and jests and play, you professed (yourself) not sufficiently well suited to fighting: but you were in the midst of peace and war alike. Harmless Cerberus, gently wagging his tail, saw you, splendid with your golden horn, and licked your departing feet and your legs with the tongues of his three mouths (lit. with his three-tongued mouth).
Carmen 20. To C. Maecenas (Alcaic metre).
(As) a bard of two forms, I shall not be conveyed through the yielding air on ordinary and puny wings, nor shall I linger on the ground any longer, and (as a source of) great envy I shall leave the cities (far) behind. Nor shall I die, the offspring of poor parents and (a man) whom you summoned (as a guest to your table), my dear Maecenas, nor shall I be confined by the waters of the Styx. Already now scaly skin is settling on my legs, and from the top (of my body) I am changing into a white bird, and downy feathers are sprouting through my fingers and shoulder (blades). Soon, I, better known than Icarus, the son of Daedalus, will, (as) a singing bird (i.e. a swan), visit the shores of the groaning Bosphorus and the Gaetulian Syrtes and the Hyperborean plains. The Colchi and the Daci, who conceal their fear of our Marsian cohorts, and the remotest Geloni will know of me, (and) the able Spaniard and the wine-drinker of the Rhone will learn about me. Let there be no dirges and unsightly mourning and lamentations at a pointless funeral; check your wailing and dispense with the superfluous honours of the grave.
APPENDIX. CELEBRATED QUOTATIONS FROM “ODES” BOOK II.
Aequam memento rebus in arduis / servare mentem: Remember to keep a level head (lit. mind) when life’s path is steep (lit. amidst difficult circumstances). (III. 1-2)
Omnes eodem cogimur: We are all driven into the same (fold). (III. 25)
Auream quisquis mediocritatem / diligit: Whoever prizes the golden mean. (X. 5-6)
Neque semper arcum / tendit Apollo: Nor does Apollo always keep his bow strung (lit. always bend his bow). (X. 19-20)
Eheu fugaces, Postume, Postume / labuntur anni: Alas, Postumus, Postumus, the fleeting years slip away. (XIV. 1-2)
Nihil est ab omni / parte beatum: No (lot) is happy in all respects (lit. [when seen] from every direction). (XVI. 27-28)
Credite posteri: Believe (me), (O you) in after years (lit. [O] posterity). (XIX. 2)