Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Dispute with Lydia

Horace III.9

‘Oh when you loved me, Lydia,
And no young lad but me
Would slide his arms around your neck,
I shone in kingly glee.’

‘Oh when you burned, Horatius,
For mine, not Chloë’s face,
Then I outshone great Ilia,
The mother of our race.’

‘Now Chlöe has my soul enslaved,
She strums a honeyed lay:
I would not fear to lose my soul
If Fate her death could stay.’

‘And I am wasted in a fire
For Calaïs the glad,   
For whom I’d die not once but twice,
If Fate would spare that lad.’

‘What if our love could come again
And yoke us as before?
If I threw flaxen Chloë out
Would you come through my door?’

‘Although he’s fairer than a star
And you’re as light as bark,
Yet I will fondly live with you;
With you I’ll face the dark.’

‘Donec gratus eram tibi
     Nec quisquam potior bracchia candidæ
Cervici juvenis dabat,
     Persarum vigui rege beatior.’

‘Donec non aliâ magis
     Arsisti neque erat Lydia post Chloën,
Multi Lydia nominis,
     Romana vigui clarior Ilia.’

‘Me nunc Thressa Chloë regit,
     Dulcis docta modos et citharæ sciens,
Pro qua non metuam mori,
     Si parcent animæ fata superstiti.’

‘Me torret face mutua
     Thurini Calaïs filius Ornyti,
Pro quo bis patiar mori
     Si parcent puero fata superstiti.’
‘Quid si prisca redit Venus
     Diductosque jugo cogit aëneo?
Si flava excutitur Chloë
     Rejectæque patet janua Lydiæ?’

‘Quamquam sidere pulchrior
     Ille est, tu levior cortice et inprobo
Iracundior Hadria:
     Tecum vivere amem, tecum obeam lubens.’

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