Horace, Epodes

LCL 33: 274-275

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Horace

inutilisque falce ramos amputans feliciores inserit, 15aut pressa puris mella condit amphoris, aut tondet infirmas ovis; vel cum decorum mitibus pomis caput Autumnus agris extulit, ut gaudet insitiva decerpens pira 20certantem et uvam purpurae, qua muneretur te, Priape, et te, pater Silvane, tutor finium! libet iacere modo sub antiqua ilice, modo in tenaci gramine: 25labuntur altis interim ripis1 aquae, queruntur in silvis aves, fontesque lymphis obstrepunt manantibus, somnos quod invitet levis. at cum tonantis annus hibernus Iovis 30imbris nivisque comparat, aut trudit acris hinc et hinc multa cane apros in obstantis plagas, aut amite levi rara tendit retia, turdis edacibus dolos, 35pavidumque leporem et advenam laqueo gruem iucunda captat praemia. quis non malarum, quas amor curas habet, haec inter obliviscitur? quodsi pudica mulier in partem iuvet 40domum atque dulcis liberos, Sabina qualis aut perusta solibus pernicis uxor Apuli, sacrum vetustis exstruat lignis focum lassi sub adventum viri,

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Epodes

dead branches with his sickle and grafts on more fruitful ones, or he squeezes out honey, storing it in clean jars, or he shears the unresisting sheep; when in the countryside Autumn raises his head arrayed with ripe fruit, how he enjoys picking the pears he grafted and the clusters that rival the dyer’s purple, to reward you, Priapus, and you, Father Silvanus, for watching over his land!

It is a delight to lie under an old holm oak, or in the clinging grass; meanwhile the streams glide between their steep banks, birds twitter in the trees, springs burble as their water gushes forth—sounds that induce a pleasant nap. But in wintertime, when thundering Jove brings masses of rain and snow, he hunts fierce boars from here and there with packs of hounds into the nets that are spread in their path, or with smooth rods he stretches baggy nets to catch greedy thrushes, and with a snare he takes a timid hare and a migrant crane—choice prizes. When occupied in these ways, who does not forget the wretched worries that accompany love?

But if a respectable wife played her part in looking after the home and the dear children (like a Sabine woman or the sun-tanned wife of an energetic Apulian), piled seasoned wood onto the sacred hearth to welcome her husband when he came home tired, shut up the teeming

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.horace-epodes.2004