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Horace

Epodon Liber

1

Ibis Liburnis inter alta navium, amice, propugnacula, paratus omne Caesaris periculum subire, Maecenas, tuo. 5quid nos, quibus te vita si superstite iucunda, si contra, gravis? utrumne iussi persequemur otium, non dulce, ni tecum simul, an hunc laborem, mente laturi decet 10qua ferre non mollis viros? feremus et te vel per Alpium iuga inhospitalem et Caucasum vel Occidentis usque ad ultimum sinum forti sequemur pectore. 15roges, tuum labore quid iuvem meo, imbellis ac firmus parum: comes minore sum futurus in metu, qui maior absentis habet; ut adsidens implumibus pullis avis 20serpentium allapsus timet

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Epodes

Epodes

1A declaration to Maecenas

You, Maecenas, will sail on a Liburnian galley among ships with towering superstructures, prepared to undergo every danger that threatens Caesar. What about me, to whom life will be a delight if you survive, but otherwise a burden? Shall I do as you say and follow peaceful pursuits which have no charm if not shared with you? Or shall I face these hardships, determined to endure them with the spirit that men ought to show, if they are not weaklings? I will endure them, and will follow you with a stout heart across the Alpine peaks and the hostile Caucasus or to the farthest nook of the West. Should you ask how I, who am all too lacking in toughness and pugnacity, can assist your efforts with mine, the answer is that I shall be less apprehensive by your side. Fear’s grip is stronger on those who are apart from their dear ones, just as a bird that cares for her unfledged chicks dreads the snake’s stealthy attack more if

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.horace-epodes.2004