Wednesday, June 6th, 2012...9:38 amChris Francese

Bring Vergil back (Horace, Odes 1.3)

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Horace Odes 1.3

Horace’s sending-off poem (or propempticon) for Vergil is written in a meter usually called the “Forth Asclepiad,” (though the terminology varies depending on which modern authority you check). It consists of a Glyconic line followed by an Asclepiad line. In this installment I discuss the poem briefly and describe its meter, give my own translation, and then read it slowly in Latin. Hopefully you will be able to hear the regular sequence of long and short syllables, hear how that interacts with natural sense pauses, and perhaps even be able to understand it as you listen the Latin. Enjoy, and feel free to leave a comment if you have any suggestions. The text is Klingner’s, taken from PHI.

Sic te diva potens Cypri,

sic fratres Helenae, lucida sidera,

ventorumque regat pater

obstrictis aliis praeter Iapyga,

navis, quae tibi creditum 5

debes Vergilium: finibus Atticis

reddas incolumem precor

et serves animae dimidium meae.

illi robur et aes triplex

circa pectus erat, qui fragilem truci 10

conmisit pelago ratem

primus, nec timuit praecipitem Africum

decertantem Aquilonibus

nec tristis Hyadas nec rabiem Noti,

quo non arbiter Hadriae 15

maior, tollere seu ponere volt freta.

quem mortis timuit gradum

qui siccis oculis monstra natantia,

qui vidit mare turbidum et

infamis scopulos Acroceraunia? 20

nequiquam deus abscidit

prudens oceano dissociabili

terras, si tamen inpiae

non tangenda rates transiliunt vada.

audax omnia perpeti 25

gens humana ruit per vetitum nefas,

audax Iapeti genus

ignem fraude mala gentibus intulit.

post ignem aetheria domo

subductum macies et nova febrium 30

terris incubuit cohors

semotique prius tarda necessitas

leti corripuit gradum.

expertus vacuum Daedalus aera

pinnis non homini datis; 35

perrupit Acheronta Herculeus labor.

nil mortalibus ardui est:

caelum ipsum petimus stultitia neque

per nostrum patimur scelus

iracunda Iovem ponere fulmina. 40



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