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In this Ode, Horace is generally understood to address the republic, under the allegory of a weather-beaten ship. He entreats it to remain in the harbour of peace; and, considering its shattered condition, not again to expose itself to the waves of civil commotion. The time when this Ode was composed is supposed by some interpreters to be the year 722, when Antony and Octaviamus vwere preparing for war; by others, to be the year B. c. 29, when Augustus deliberated with Agrippa and Maecenas, whether he should retain his sovereignty, or resign it, and restore the republic.
O NAVIs, referent in mare te novi J- ** ***
Et mâlus celeri saucius Africo '-* 5
Vix durare carinae
Non tibi sunt integra lintea,
Quamvis Pontica fiinus,
Paris is represemted as sailing through the Ægean towards Troy, carrying with him Helen, the wife of Menelaus, King of Sparta. The sea-god Nereus lulls the winds, and sings in the ear of the thoughtless youth the calamities which me was entailing upon himself and his country. Under the characters of Paris and Helen the poet is understood by many interpreters to shadow forth the history of Antony and Cleopatra, and the analogous disasters in which their guilty infatuation involved both Rome and themselves.
EASTOR quum traheret per freta navibus
Idaeis Helenen perfidus hospitam,
Ingrato celeres obruit otio
* Conjurata tuas rumpere nuptias
* Heu heu, quantus equis, quantus adest viris
* Sudor! quanta moves funera Dardanae
* Genti! Jam galeam Pallas et aegida
* Nequiquam Veneris praesidio ferox ,
* Imbelli citharâ carmina divides;
* Nequiquam thalamo graves
* Hastas et calami spicula Gnosii
* Crines pulvere collines.
* Non Laërtiaden, exitium tuae
* Gentis, non Pylium Nestora respicis?
* Urgent impavidi te Salaminius
* Pugnae, sive opus est imperitare equis,
* Quem tu, cervus uti vallis in altera
* Visum parte lupum graminis immemor,
* Sublimi fugies mollis anhelitu,
* Iracunda diem proferet Ilio
In this Ode, which is entitled Palinodia, Recantation, the poet entreats his mistress (supposed to be Tyndaris, daughter of Canidia) to destroy the bitter verses, which, in a fit of passion, he had written against her; depicts the overpowering effect of anger, and its fatal consequences; and implores her, now that he has read his apology, to restore him to her friendship and favour.
O MATRE pulchrâ filia pulchrior,
Non Dindymene, non adytis quatit 5
35. Achaius, some Codd.—36. Pergameas some Codd. CARM. 16.—5. adyti, Hemsterhusius conj.