The Lost Country

Spring 2013 • Vol. 2, No. 1

issn 2326-5310 (online)

Horace: Book 4, Ode 3

By Maria Stromberg

This work was published in the Spring 2013 issue of The Lost Country. You may purchase a copy of this issue from us or, if you prefer, from Amazon.

Horace: Book 4, Ode 3

translated by Maria Stromberg

He whom you, Melpomene, once
have seen emerging into gentle light,
no Isthmian boxer’s skill
shall exhibit, nor shall he swiftly guide

the horses from Achaean chariots,
nor for warlike deeds victorious,
a duke adorned in Delian foliage,
having crushed the swelling pride of kings,

shall he to the Capitol be displayed:
rather what waters flow into the fertile Tiber,
and how dense the branches of its groves,
shall earn his fame in soft Aeolian verse.

Rome, of all cities preeminent,
has deigned to place me in her chorus
as the voice of her budding loveliness
and envy’s tooth no longer stings me.

O Pierian one, who sweetly tempers
the golden lyre’s jingling chords,
who could, if you desired, on the mute fish
bestow the music of the swan,

it is wholly by your gracious gift
that I am revealed to every passer-by
as the foremost poet of the Roman lyre:
my very breath, my power to please,
if any I have, are yours.