Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Horace, Ode 2.20

Non usitata nec tenui ferar
penna biformis per liquidum aethera
vates, neque in terris morabor
longius invidiaque maior

urbes relinquam. Non ego, pauperum
sanguis parentum, non ego, quem vocas,
dilecte Maecenas, obibo
nec Stygia cohibebor unda.

Iam iam residunt cruribus asperae
pelles, et album mutor in alitem
superne, nascunturque leves
per digitos umerosque plumae.

Iam Daedaleo notior Icaro
visam gementis litora Bosphori
Syrtisque Gaetulas canorus
ales Hyperboreosque campos.

Me Colchus et, qui dissimulat metum
Marsae cohortis, Dacus et ultimi
nosent Geloni, me peritus
discet Hiber Rhodanique potor.

Absint inani funere neniae
luctusque turpes et querimoniae;
compesce clamorem ac sequlcri
mitte supervacuos honors.


A two-formed poet, I will be borne through the
clear sky on wings neither slight nor
common, nor will I delay in lands
for a long time and greater than envy

I will abandon the cities. Not I, the family of
poor parents, not I, whom you send for,
dear Maecenas, I will not die
nor will I be restrained by a Stygian wave.

Now already the rough skins shrink
on my legs, and I am changed to a white bird
above, and light feathers spring forth
on my fingers and shoulders.

Now, more famous than Icarus son of Daedalus,
I, a melodious bird, will visit the shores of the
groaning Bosphorus and Syrtis and Gaetulia and
the Hyperborean fields.

The Colchians will know me, who hide their
fear of the Marsian friend, and the Dacians and the
farthest Gelonians will know me, the skilled
Spaniard and the drinker of the Rhone will hear of me.

The funeral dirges and shameful grievings and
complaints are absent from the empty funeral;
restrain the noise and dismiss the unnecessary
honors of the tomb.


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