Monday, November 3, 2014

Stifled Love: A Waltz from Horace

This is the next installment in my series of translations. My goal is to keep the meter of the original, and hopefully some of the feeling. [Edited 18 May 2015]

Ode III.13: To Neobulë.

It’s the fate of wretched maidens to suppress their loving yearnings,
and they dare not drown their sorrows with a sweet wine
in their terror of the fierce tongue of their uncle.

Aphrodite’s flying boy has snatched away your wicker basket,
and your yarn—ah, Neobulë, what has done this?
It’s the splendor of fair Hebrus Liparæus.

Him, who bathes his oiled shoulders in the waters of the Tiber,
who rides better than Bellerophon the horseman;
neither outrun nor outwrestled by his rivals.

Just the same in open meadows, when the frightened herd is fleeing,
he can deftly spear a stag; and just as nimbly
draws a boar out from within the knitted branches.

Miserarum est neque amori dare ludum neque dulci
mala vino lavere aut exanimari
metuentes patruæ verbera linguæ.

Tibi qualum Cythereæ puer ales, tibi telas
operosæque Minervæ studium aufert,
Neobule, Liparæi nitor Hebri,

simul unctos Tiberinis umeros lavit in undis,
eques ipso melior Bellerophonte,
neque pugno neque segni pede victus;

catus idem per apertum fugientis agitato
grege cervos jaculari et celer arto
latitantem fruticeto excipere aprum.

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