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Horace

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Maecenas atavis edite regibus, o et praesidium et dulce decus meum, sunt quos curriculo pulverem Olympicum collegisse iuvat, metaque fervidis 5evitata rotis palmaque nobilis terrarum dominos evehit ad deos; hunc, si mobilium turba Quiritium certat tergeminis tollere honoribus; illum, si proprio condidit horreo 10quidquid de Libycis verritur areis. gaudentem patrios findere sarculo agros Attalicis condicionibus numquam demoveas ut trabe Cypria Myrtoum pavidus nauta secet mare. 15luctantem Icariis fluctibus Africum mercator metuens otium et oppidi laudat rura sui; mox reficit ratis quassas, indocilis pauperiem pati. est qui nec veteris pocula Massici 20nec partem solido demere de die spernit, nunc viridi membra sub arbuto

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Odes I

Book I

1Dedication to Maecenas

Maecenas, descended from royal lineage, my protection, my fame and my joy, there are some who enjoy raising Olympic dust with their chariots (the turning post just cleared by their scorching wheels, and the palm of glory, exalt them to heaven as lords of the earth); one man is delighted if the mob of fickle citizens strive to elevate him to the three great offices;1 another if he has stored in his own barn every grain that is swept from the threshing floors of Libya. If a man takes pleasure in tilling his father’s fields with a hoe, you will never tempt him away, even on Attalus’ terms, to become a terrified sailor cleaving the Sea of Myrto in a Cyprian bark. When a gale from Africa fights with the Icarian waves, the frightened trader recommends an easy life on a farm near his home town; a little later he repairs his shattered fleet, for he cannot learn to put up with modest means. One man does not refuse cups of old Massic, and is prepared to take a slice out of the working day, stretched out at length beneath a leafy arbutus or at

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.horace-odes.2004