Horace, Odes

LCL 33: 130-131

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Horace

17

Cur me querelis exanimas tuis? nec dis amicum est nec mihi te prius obire, Maecenas, mearum grande decus columenque rerum. 5a! te meae si partem animae rapit maturior vis, quid moror alteram,7 nec carus aeque nec superstes integer? ille dies utramque ducet ruinam. non ego perfidum 10dixi sacramentum: ibimus, ibimus, utcumque praecedes, supremum carpere iter comites parati. me nec Chimaerae spiritus igneae nec, si resurgat, centimanus Gyas 15divellet umquam: sic potenti Iustitiae placitumque Parcis. seu Libra seu me Scorpios aspicit formidulosus, pars violentior natalis horae, seu tyrannus 20Hesperiae Capricornus undae, utrumque nostrum incredibili modo consentit astrum: te Iovis impio tutela Saturno refulgens eripuit volucrisque Fati 25tardavit alas, cum populus frequens laetum theatris ter crepuit sonum: me truncus illapsus cerebro sustulerat, nisi Faunus ictum

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Odes II

17Our destinies are linked, Maecenas

Why do you worry me to death with your grumbling? It is not the gods’ will or mine that you should die first, Maecenas, you who are the great gloryand keystone of my existence. If some force snatches away you, who are part of my soul, before me, ah, what do I care for the other part, no longer equally loved, and, though surviving, no longer a whole person? That day will drag both of us down to death. I have sworn a solemn oath and will not break it: we will go, yes, we will go, whenever you take the lead; we are ready to set out on the final journey as comrades together. The breath of the fiery Chimaera will never tear me away from you, no, nor the hundred-handed Gyges if he should rise again. That is the will of mighty Justice and the Fates. Whether Libra or the fearsome Scorpio watches me as the more powerful influence at my birth, or Capricorn the lord of the western wave, our two signs coincide in a quite miraculous fashion. In your case, the protective power of Jupiter, shining brightly in the face of the malign Saturn, snatched you away and slowed down the wings of flying Fate at the time when the crowds of people at the theatre gave three happy rounds of applause.37 As for me, the tree that fell on my crown had carried me off had not Faunus,

  • 37Cf. I.20.3ff.
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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.horace-odes.2004