Odes by Horace

Home > Latin Authors and Literature > Horace


Home | Prev | Next | Contents


When the false swain was hurrying o'er the deep

His Spartan hostess in the Idaean bark,

Nereus laid the unwilling winds asleep, That all to Fate might hark,

Speaking through him:--"Home in ill hour you take

A prize whom Greece shall claim with troops untold,

Leagued by an oath your marriage tie to break

And Priam's kingdom old.

Alas! what deaths you launch on Dardan realm!

What toils are waiting, man and horse to tire!

See! Pallas trims her aegis and her helm,

Her chariot and her ire.

Vainly shall you, in Venus' favour strong,

Your tresses comb, and for your dames divide

On peaceful lyre the several parts of song;

Vainly in chamber hide

From spears and Gnossian arrows, barb'd with fate,

And battle's din, and Ajax in the chase

Unconquer'd; those adulterous locks, though late,

Shall gory dust deface.

Hark! 'tis the death-cry of your race! look back!

Ulysses comes, and Pylian Nestor grey;

See! Salaminian Teucer on your track,

And Sthenelus, in the fray

Versed, or with whip and rein, should need require,

No laggard. Merion too your eyes shall know

From far. Tydides, fiercer than his sire,

Pursues you, all aglow;

Him, as the stag forgets to graze for fright,

Seeing the wolf at distance in the glade,

And flies, high panting, you shall fly, despite

Boasts to your leman made.

What though Achilles' wrathful fleet postpone

The day of doom to Troy and Troy's proud dames,

Her towers shall fall, the number'd winters flown,

Wrapp'd in Achaean flames."

Prev | Next | Contents