Epode 2

Latin English




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"Beatus ille qui procul negotiis,
    ut prisca gens mortalium,
paterna rura bobus exercet suis
    solutus omni faenore,
neque excitatur classico miles truci,
    neque horret iratum mare,
Forumque vitat et superba civium
    potentiorum limina.
ergo aut adulta vitium propagine
    altas maritat populos,
aut in reducta valle mugientium
    prospectat errantes greges,
inutilesque falce ramos amputans
    feliciores inserit,
aut pressa puris mella condit amphoris,
    aut tondet infirmas oves;
vel cum decorum mitibus pomis caput
    Autumnus agris extulit,
ut gaudet insitiva decerpens pira
    certantem et uvam purpurae,
qua muneretur te, Priape, et te, pater
    Silvane, tutor finium.
libet iacere modo sub antiqua ilice,
    modo in tenaci gramine.
labuntur altis interim ripis aquae,
    queruntur in silvis aves,
fontesque lymphis obstrepunt manantibus,
    somnos quod invitet leves.
at cum tonantis annus hibernus Iovis
    imbres nivesque comparat,
aut trudit acris hinc et hinc multa cane
    apros in obstantes plagas,
aut amite levi rara tendit retia,
    turdis edacibus dolos,
pavidumque leporem et advenam laqueo gruem
    iucunda captat praemia.
quis non malarum, quas amor curas habet,
    haec inter obliviscitur?
quod si pudica mulier in partem iuvet
    domum atque dulces liberos,
Sabina qualis aut perusta solibus
    pernicis uxor Apuli,
sacrum vetustis exstruat lignis focum
    lassi sub adventum viri,
claudensque textis cratibus laetum pecus
    distenta siccet ubera,
et horna dulci vina promens dolio
    dapes inemptas adparet:
non me Lucrina iuverint conchylia
    magisve rhombus aut scari,
si quos Eois intonata fluctibus
    hiems ad hoc vertat mare;
non Afra avis descendat in ventrem meum,
    non attagen Ionicus
iucundior quam lecta de pinguissimis
    oliva ramis arborum
aut herba lapathi prata amantis et gravi
    malvae salubres corpori
vel agna festis caesa Terminalibus
    vel haedus ereptus lupo.
has inter epulas ut iuvat pastas oves
    videre properantes domum,
videre fessos vomerem inversum boves
    collo trahentis languido
postosque vernas, ditis examen domus,
    circum renidentis Lares."
haec ubi locutus faenerator Alfius,
    iam iam futurus rusticus,
omnem redegit Idibus pecuniam,
    quaerit Kalendis ponere.

"Happy the man who, far away from
business cares, like the pristine race of
mortals, works his ancestral acres with his
steers, from all money-lending free; who is
not, as a soldier, roused by the wild clarion,
nor dreads the angry sea; he avoids the
Forum and proud thresholds of more
powerful citizens; and so he either weds his
lofty poplar-trees to well-grown vines, or in
secluded dale looks out upon the ranging
herds of lowing cattle, and, cutting off useless
branches with the pruning-knife, engrafts
more fruitful ones, or stores away pressed
honey in clean jars, or shears the helpless
sheep. Or when Autumn in the fields has
reared his head crowned with ripened fruits,
how he delights to pluck the grafted pears,
and grapes that with the purple vie, with
which to honour thee, Priapus, and thee,
Father Silvanus, guardian of boundaries.

'Tis pleasant, now to lie beneath some ancient
ilex-tree, now on the matted turf. Meanwhile
the rills glide between their high banks; birds
warble in the woods; the fountains plash
with their flowing waters, a sound to invite
soft slumbers. But when the wintry season of
thundering Jove brings rains and snow, with
his pack of hounds one either drives fierce
boars from here and there into the waiting
toils, or on polished pole stretches
wide-meshed nets, a snare for greedy
thrushes, and catches with the noose the timid
hare and the crane that comes from
far--sweet prizes! Amid such joys, who does
not forget the wretched cares that passion
brings?

But if a modest wife shall do her part in
tending home and children dear, like to some
Sabine woman or the well-tanned mate of
sturdy Apulian, piling high the sacred hearth
with seasoned firewood against the coming
of her weary husband, penning the frisking
flock in wattled fold, draining their swelling
udders, and, drawing forth this year's sweet
vintage from the jar, prepare an unboughtmeal --
then not Lucrine oysters would please
me more, nor scar, nor turbot, should winter,
thundering on the eastern waves, turn them to
our coasts; not Afric fowl nor Ionian
pheasant would make for me a repast more
savoury than olives gathered from the richest
branches of the trees, or the plant of the
meadow-loving sorrel, and mallows
wholesome to the ailing body, or than a lamb
slain at the feast of Terminus, or a kid
rescued from the wolf. Amid such feasts,
what joy to see the sheep hurrying homeward
from pasture, to see the wearied oxen
dragging along the upturned plowshare on
their listless necks, and the home-bred slaves,
troop of a wealthy house, ranged around the
gleaming Lares!"

When the usurer Alfius had uttered this, on
the very point of beginning the farmer's life,
he called in all his funds upon the Ides -- and
on the Kalends seeks to put them out again!


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Epistles: 1.7 | 1.10 | 1.14 | 1.16 | 1.18
Epode: 2
Odes: 1.17 | 1.20 | 1.22 | 2.13 | 2.17 | 2.18 | 3.1 | 3.4 | 3.8 | 3.13 | 3.18 | 3.22 | 3.23 | 3.29
Satires: 2.3 | 2.6 | 2.7
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