Horace, Carmen Saeculare

LCL 33: 262-263

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Carmen Saeculare

Phoebe silvarumque potens Diana, lucidum caeli decus, o colendi semper et culti, date quae precamur tempore sacro, 5quo Sibyllini monuere versus virgines lectas puerosque castos dis, quibus septem placuere colles, dicere carmen. alme Sol, curru nitido diem qui 10promis et celas aliusque et idem nasceris, possis nihil urbe Roma visere maius. rite maturos aperire partus lenis, Ilithyia, tuere matres, 15sive tu Lucina probas vocari seu Genitalis: diva, producas subolem, patrumque prosperes decreta super iugandis feminis prolisque novae feraci 20lege marita, certus undenos decies per annos orbis ut cantus referatque ludos ter die claro totiensque grata nocte frequentis.


Hymn for a New Age

Hymn for a New Age

Phoebus and Diana, Queen of the Woods, radiant glory of the heavens, ever to be worshipped and ever worshipped, grant our prayers on this holy occasion, when the Sibyl’s verses1 have commanded that chosen girls and boys of good character should sing a hymn to the gods who look with favour on the Seven Hills.

Life-giving Sun, who with your shining car bring forth the day and hide it away, who are born anew and yet the same, may you never be able to behold anything greater than the city of Rome!

You whose gentle function it is to open the way for births in due season, protect our mothers, o Ilithyia, or Lucina if you prefer that name, or Genitalis. O goddess, be pleased to rear our young, and to grant success to the Fathers’ edicts on the yoking together of men and women and on the marriage law for raising a new crop of children,2 so that the unfailing cycle of ten times eleven years may bring round singing and games that are thronged with people three times by daylight and as often in the pleasant time of night.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.horace-hymn_new_age.2004