Friday, 4 January 2013

Horace, ode 1.9: Outside it is cold, but inside it is warm and cosy!

Thus far this winter here has hardly been severe and now it is even 10 degrees; my beloved snow and ice are far away. I am jealous of Horace, looking at the snow of  mount Soracte, while sitting near the fireplace, drinking wine and giving advice to a young friend. Instead of a fireplace, I have a central heating and at the moment I am sitting here all alone. The only thing I have in common now with Horace is wine. Cheers to you all and a happy New Year!

Vides ut alta stet niue candidum
Soracte nec iam sustineant onus
     siluae laborantes geluque
     flumina constiterint acuto?

nix nivis (f):   snow (connected with English `snow’. sn is not tolerated in Latin at the beginning of a word)
candidus        bright, white
Soracte:         a high mountain in Etruria, 20 miles north of Rome.
silva:              forrest
onus, oneris (n): burden (of snow)
laborantes:    straining and bending
gelus, -us (m):           coldness, but here more probably `ice’
consto –stiti -stitum:            to stand still

Dissolue frigus ligna super foco               5
large reponens atque benignius
     deprome quadrimum Sabina,
     o Thaliarche, merum diota.

frigus, oris (n):          coldness
lignum:                      wood
focus:             fireplace
large:              abundantly
repono –posui –positum: to put again (i.e. to replace the burnt wood)
depromo -prompsi, -promptum: to draw out, draw forth, bring out, fetch
     deprome quadrimum Sabina merum diota = deprome quadrimum merum (in) Sabina diota
quadrimus:    of four winters, four years old (Sometimes commentaries leave one in the dark: is it four winters, because wine was put in jars during autumn or is it a reflection of a time that years were counted in winters, like in Oldgermanic cultures?)
Sabinus:  from the area Sabina near Rome (grammatically Sabina belongs to diota, but but semantically with merum: the wine was Sabine, not the jars)
Thaliarchus:   friend of Horace
merum:          unmixed wine (normally wine was mixed with water)
diota:              a twohandled vessel, wine-jar          

Permitte diuis cetera, qui simul
strauere uentos aequore feruido               10
     deproeliantes, nec cupressi
     nec ueteres agitantur orni.

permitto:       not `to permit’, but `to leave to, commit’
divis = deis
cetera:             everthing outside the company of friends at this very moment
simul:             together
sterno stravi stratum:         to spread out (cf. street. The a is still in German Strasse, Dutch straat), calm down. stravere  is a poetic for straverunt. The perfect does not denote a past action here, but something which is repeatedly done, so translate it as a present!
aeqor. –oris (n):        the sea
fervidus:        vehemt, violant
deproelior:    warring violently
cupressus:      cypress (an evergreen tree)
vetus veteris: old
ornus:             wild mountain-ash ( a kind of tree)
agito:              to set in violent motion (here by the winds)

Quid sit futurum cras, et
quem fors dierum cumque dabit, lucro
      adpone nec dulces amores
     sperne puer neque tu choreas,               15

cras:               tomorrow
fuge quaerere: stop looking for
et quem fors dierum cumque dabit = et quemcumque dierum fors dabit
dierum:                       genitivus partitivus
fors = fortuna
lucrum:                      gain
appono –posui –positum:  place by, consider
spernō sprēvī sprētum:       to despise
puer: some editors take this as a vocative and put it between commas, but it is more likely an appostion to tu, so `you, as long as you are a young man’
chorea:                       dance

donec uirenti canities abest
morosa. Nunc et Campus et areae
     lenesque sub noctem susurri
      composita repetantur hora,

donec:            as long as
virens –entis:            youth (virens is the participle of vireo `be green’ and so the ablative can be in i.)
canities (f):    grey hair, old age
morosus:        peevish, wayward (for reasons unknown to me, young Roman poets considered every male with grey hair as a grumpy old man)
Campus:         the Campus Martialis at Rome
area:               broad open space in a city
lenis, is:          soft
sub + acc:       just before, so `at dawn’
susurrus:       whispering’
composita hora (abl.!):          at the appointed hour
repeto –petivi –petitum:      to find (note the subjunctive: let at as long as you are young (nunc means not now here, but denotes the time of being a puer) the Campus and open places be found with the soft whispering of lovers)

nunc et latentis proditor intumo               20
gratus puellae risus ab angulo
     pignusque dereptum lacertis
     aut digito male pertinaci.

nunc et latentis proditor intumo gratus puellae risus ab angulo = nunc et (repetatur) ab angulo intumo (=intimo) gratus proditor risus puellae latentis
angulus:         corner
gratus:                       pleasing
proditor: here adjective `betraying’
risus, us (m): laughter
latens, -entis: hidden
pignus -oris (n):        pledge, but here a bracelet or ring
deripio -ripui –reptum:       tear away
lacertus:         upper-arm, arm
digitus                        finger
male pertinaci: hardly resisting

This is a poetic translation by Paul Shorey (1910):

See, how it stands, one pile of snow,
Soracte! 'neath the pressure yield
Its groaning woods; the torrents' flow
With clear sharp ice is all congeal'd.
Heap high the logs, and melt the cold,
Good Thaliarch; draw the wine we ask,
That mellower vintage, four-year-old,
From out the cellar'd Sabine cask.
The future trust with Jove; when he
Has still'd the warring tempests' roar
On the vex'd deep, the cypress-tree
And aged ash are rock'd no more.
O, ask not what the morn will bring,
But count as gain each day that chance
May give you; sport in life's young spring,
Nor scorn sweet love, nor merry dance,
While years are green, while sullen eld
Is distant. Now the walk, the game,
The whisper'd talk at sunset held,
Each in its hour, prefer their claim.
Sweet too the laugh, whose feign'd alarm
The hiding-place of beauty tells,
The token, ravish'd from the arm
Or finger, that but ill rebels. 


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  2. Undoubtedly, but I fail to see the connection with Horace....