Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sam De Horatii Carminibus Putat

Acceptus Columbiae collegio, I've decided to start doing more latin and greek. Ergo vobis praesento primum carminum Quintii Horatii Flacci, translatum memet:

Maecenas atavis edite regibus,
o et praesidium et dulce decus meum:
sunt quos curriculo pulverem Olympicum
collegisse iuvat metaque fervidis
evitata rotis palmaque nobilis.
terrarum dominos evehit ad deos
hunc, si mobilium turba Quiritium
certat tergeminis tollere honoribus,
illum, si proprio condidit horreo
quidquid de Libycis verritur areis.
gaudentem patrios findere sarculo
agros Attalicis condicionibus
numquam demoveas, ut trabe Cypria
Myrtoum pavidus nauta secet mare.
luctantem Icariis fluctibus Africum
mercator metuens otium et oppidi
laudat rura sui; mox reficit rates
quassas indocilis pauperiem pati.
est qui nec veteris pocula Massici
nec partem solido demere de die
spernit, nunc viridi membra sub arbuto
stratus, nunc ad aquae lene caput sacrae.
multos castra iuvant et lituo tubae
permixtus sonitus bellaque matribus
detestata. manet sub Iove frigido
venator tenerae coniugis inmemor,
seu visa est catulis cerva fidelibus
seu rupit teretes Marsus aper plagas.
me doctarum hederae praemia frontium
dis miscent superis, me gelidum nemus
Nympharumque leves cum Satyris chori
secernunt populo, si neque tibias
Euterpe cohibet nec Polyhymnia
Lesboum refugit tendere barbiton.
quodsi me lyricis vatibus inseres,
sublimi feriam sidera vertice.

(Text from Perseus)

My translation:

O Maecenas, with high kingly ancestors,
both my defense and my sweet honor:
there are those who delight in the noble palm
and in collecting Olympic dust on the track
after the turning-post has been shunned by the torrid wheels.
This man, if the mob of malleable knights
contend for the threefold honors exalts it
to the ruling gods of the earth, another
if he preserves whatever is swept up from
Libyan threshing-floors.
You could not, even with Attalic offers,
induce one who delights in cleaving his paternal
fields with a hoe to cleave instead the
Mytroan sea, a frightened sailor with a Cyprian ship.
The trader who fears the African wind wrestling
with Icarian waves praises rest and his homeland;
unable to learn to suffer poverty, he soon rebuilds
his shattered crafts.
There is he who scorns neither glasses of
aged Massican*, nor to take away a part of the whole day,
now stretching out beneath a green arbutus,
now at the soft head of a sacred river.
Many rejoice in the war-camp, and the intermixed sound
of lituus and tuba,** and in wars detested by mothers,
the hunter stays beneath a cold sky,
heedless of his soft wife,
whether a deer is spotted by faithful pups
or a Marsan boar ruptures the smooth fields.
Prises of ivy on the learned forheads stir me up
to the highest gods, soft choruses of Nymphs
with Satyrs, and icy glens cut me off from society,
if Euterpe does not hinder the reedpipe,
nor Polyhimnia*** shrink from stringing the Lesbian**** lyre.
But if you implant me among the lyric bards,
I will hit the stars in the highest pole.

*a kind of wine
**two kinds of war-trumpet
***Euterpe and Polyhimnia are musical muses
****not like THAT; 'Lesbian' refers to the isle of Lesbos, home of the great poet (and yes, legendary vaginal snorkeler) Sappho

Sloppy, I know. But Perseus' english translation is particularly unhelpful, grammatical exegesis-wise.

I feel like that's a decent use of an afternoon. More tomorrow, probably!

1 comment:

mollie said...

Lesbian? HAHAHA so fun!