Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Poem for Late Autumn

Horace III.xviii

Thou, Faun, O lover of the fleeing wood-nymphs,
come through my acres and the sunny country
softly, and keep off from my youthful nurslings.
Come, I beg, gently!

I will for my part kill a tender yearling,
nor shall we lack love's ever-present steward—
deep, brimming wine-jugs—as the ancient altar
billows in sweet smoke.

On the green meadows prance the sheep assembled,
as mid-December comes again upon thee;
idle and merry in the mead the peasants
rest with the cattle.

Wanders the fierce wolf through the fearless sheeplings;
wind-tossed trees strew thee with their wild frondlets;
gladly the ditcher slams the hated soil
thrice with his strong foot.

Man was once so audaciously artful that Jupiter snatched
pre-Raphaelism away, leaving us with modern painting.   
Original:

Faune, Nympharum fugientum amator,
per meos finis et aprica rura
lenis incedas abeasque parvis
æquus alumnis,

si tener pleno cadit hædus anno
larga nec desunt Veneris sodali
vina crateræ, vetus ara multo
fumat odore.

Ludit herboso pecus omne campo,
cum tibi Nonæ redeunt Decembres,
festus in pratis vacat otioso
cum bove pagus;

inter audacis lupus errat agnos,
spargit agrestis tibi silva frondes,
gaudet invisam pepulisse fossor
ter pede terram.

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