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

Bki:Iv Spring

Fierce winter slackens its grip: it’s spring and the west wind’s sweet change:
the ropes are hauling dry hulls towards the shore,
The flock no longer enjoys the fold, or the ploughman the fire,
no more are the meadows white with hoary frost.

Now Cytherean Venus leads out her dancers, under the pendant moon,
and the lovely Graces have joined with the Nymphs,
treading the earth on tripping feet, while Vulcan, all on fire, visits
the tremendous Cyclopean forges.

Now its right to garland our gleaming heads, with green myrtle or flowers,
whatever the unfrozen earth now bears:
now it’s right to sacrifice to Faunus, in groves that are filled with shadow,
whether he asks a lamb, or prefers a kid.

Pale death knocks with impartial foot, at the door of the poor man’s cottage,
and at the prince’s gate. O Sestus, my friend,
the span of brief life prevents us from ever depending on distant hope.
Soon the night will crush you, the fabled spirits,

and Pluto’s bodiless halls: where once you’ve passed inside you’ll no longer
be allotted the lordship of wine by dice,
or marvel at Lycidas, so tender, for whom, already, the boys
are burning, and soon the girls will grow hotter.

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Comments (6)

the ropes are hauling dry hulls towards the shore, The flock no longer enjoys the fold, or the ploughman the fire, no more are the meadows white with hoary frost.- - - - - - - - - - - - - nice clips of life back then so different from our own Pale death knocks with impartial foot, at the door of the poor man’s cottage, and at the prince’s gate. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -my favorite lines from this poem
A word Smith by trade, a politician trying to survive.. iip
It strikes me that this poem, as it comes across in translation, models subject matter and tone for much of Western poetry that would follow. And now I'm interested to read more of Horace. GK
Wonderful indeed. It has got deep meaning for life...
Towards the shore! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
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