Thursday, February 25, 2010

Horace- Ode 4.9b

This is the second half of Horace's Ode 4.9 in honor of Lollius (a general). These words resonate deeply with me as I've explored who I am recently.

25 Before great Agamemnon there lived a host
Of heroes, now submerged in the endless night
Without our tears and nameless all, for
Lack of a consecrate poet's praises.

30 There is but little difference between mere sloth
And manly worth deprived of its true report.
I shall not leave you unadorned in
Writings of mine, nor permit your many

35 Accomplished labors, Lollius, such a doom
In bleak oblivion. Yours is a soul possessed
Of prudent foresight, steadfast both in
Times of good fortune and times that waver,

40 A good and faithful man who maintains the rule
Of upright conduct over expediency,
Declining bribes of wicked men and
Fighting their hordes to prevail against them.

45 A man of vast possessions does not, by rights,
Deserve the name of fortunate: we reserve
That term as more befitting one who
Uses the gifts fo the gods with wisdom,

50 Enduring all the harshness of poverty
And worse than Lethe dreading dishonor, one
Who for the sake of cherished friends or
Fatherland feels unafraid of dying.

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