| 1 Diffugere nives, redeunt iam gramina campis |
Mutat terra vices et decrescentia ripas
| The snows have scattered, and back comes grass to fields |
And leaves to trees.
Earth changes seasons, and declining [between their] banks
| 5 Gratia cum Nymphis geminisque sororibus audet |
Ducere nuda choros.
Immortalia ne speres, monet annus et almum
Quae rapit hora diem.
| The Grace with the Nymphs and her twin sisters dares |
To lead, naked, the dance.
Lest you hope for immortal things, the year warns you, and the hour,
That hurries away the kindly day.
| Frigora mitescunt Zephyris, ver proterit aestas |
10 Interitura, simul
Pomifer autumnus fruges effuderit, et mox
Bruma recurrit iners.
| Frosts grow mild in the western winds; Summer tramples Spring, |
Who will herself perish once
Fruitful Autumn has poured out fruit; and soon
Fruitless Winter returns.
| Damna tamen celeres reparant caelestia lunae ; |
Nos ubi decidimus,
15 Quo pater Aeneas, quo dives Tullus et Ancus,
Pulvis et umbra sumus.
| Yet the moons are fast to make good their heavenly losses; |
We, when we have fallen to
Where good Aeneas and wealthy Tullus, and Ancus [have]
Are dust and shadow.
| Quis scit an adiciant hodiernae crastina summae |
Tempora di superi ?
Cuncta manus avidas fugient heredis, amico
20 Quae dederis animo.
| Who knows whether [they] will add to the sum of to-day,to-morrow's |
Time - the gods above?
All will escape the greedy hands of your heir,
Which you gave to your dear soul.
| Cum semel occideris et de te splendida Minos |
Non, Torquate, genus, non te facundia, non te
| But when once you have fallen, and on you Minos |
Has made majestic judgment,
Neither, Torquatus, shall family or eloquence
Or loyalty restore you.
| 25 Infernis neque enim tenebris Diana pudicum |
Nec Lethaea valet Theseus abrumpere caro
| For neither from the shadows below does Diana virtuous |
Hippolytus set free;
Nor can Theseus break Lethe's
Chains from [his dear] Pirithous
diffugio - flee in different directions, scatter, disperse.
nix - snow.
redeo - return, go back, give back; fall back on, revert to; respond, pay back.
gramen - grass, turf; herb; plant.
campus - plain, level field/surface; open space for action/battle/games; sea; scope. Campis is dative expressing motion to (poetic).
arbor - tree; tree trunk; mast; oar; ship; gallows; spearshaft; beam.
coma - hair, hair of the head, mane of animal; wool, fleece; foliage, leaves; rays.
muto - move, change, shift, alter, exchange, substitute (for); modify. Thus mutat terra vices: "Earth changes season" i.e. passes in regular order from winter to spring.
terra - earth, land, ground; country, region.
vices (no nom) change, seasons.
decresco - lose vigor/intensity, decline/weaken/fade influence/reputation; grow stouter.
ripa river bank.
flumen - river, stream, current.
praetereo - pass/go by; disregard/neglect/omit/miss; surpass/excel; go overdue; pass over. Praetereunt: "flow by (i.e. within) their banks." The floods of winter and autumn are over.
gratia the Grace. In Greek mythology, the Graces were the three goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity.
nympha - nymph; (semi-divine female nature/water spirit); water; bride; young maiden.
gemini (pl.) twins.
audeo - intend, be prepared; dare/have courage (to go/do), act boldly, venture, risk.
duco - lead, command; think, consider, regard; prolong.
nudus - nude, bare, stripped. The Graces were represented as naked, and so nervous of chilly weather.
chorus - chorus/choir; choral passage in a play; dancing/singing performance/ers; school.
immortalis - immortal, not subject to death; eternal, everlasting, perpetual; imperishable.
spero - hope for; trust; look forward to; hope. Ne speres: the object-clause expresses the nature of the warning.
moneo - remind, advise, warn; teach; admonish; foretell, presage.
annus - year (astronomical/civil); age, time of life; year's produce; circuit, course.
almus - nourishing, kind, propitious; of a nurse/breast, providing nurture, fostering. (alo, "I nourish"), "nurturing," because the sun supports all growth.
rapio - drag off; snatch; destroy; seize, carry off; pillage; hurry.
hora - hour; time; season. It is placed in the relative clause,although the companion of annus.
dies - day; daylight; festival; time; lifetime, age.
frigor - cold; chill.
mitesco - become/be/grow mild/soft/gentle/mellow/tame/civilized; soften.
Zephyrus - zephyr, the west wind.
ver - spring; spring-time of life, youth.
protereo - crush, tread under foot; oppress.
aestas - summer; summer heat/weather; a year.
intereo - perish, die; be ruined; cease.
pomifer - fruit-bearing. Pomum is used of any fruit; and fruges, which generally refers to grain crops, is here used of tree-fruits.
autumnus - autumn; autumn fruits, harvest.
frux - crops (pl.), fruits, produce.
effundo - pour out/away/off; allow to drain; shower; volley (missles); send/stream forth. The tense of effuderit (fut. perf.) is due to that of interitura.
mox - soon, next (time/position).
bruma - winter, winter cold/weather; winter solstice; shortest day; sun position then.
recurro - run or hasten back; return; have recourse (to).
iners. - helpless, weak, inactive, inert, sluggish, stagnant; unskillful, incompetent.
damnum - finanical/property/physical loss/damage/injury; forfeiture/fine; lost possession. Damna caelestia: their losses in the sky, i.e. their monthly waning.
celer - swift, quick, agile, rapid, speedy, fast; rash, hasty, hurried; lively; early.
reparo - prepare again; renew, revive. The monthly waning is regularly balanced by their monthly waxing.
caelestis - heavenly, of the heavens/sky, from heaven/sky; celestial; divine; of the gods.
luna - the moon; month.
decido - fall/drop/hang/flow down/off/over; sink/drop; fail, fall in ruin; end up; die. The antecedent of quo must be supplied in translating, as also decidit and deciderunt (from decidimus) as the predicate of the relative clauses. The place meant is Orcus or Hades, the underworld.
pater - father
Aeneas - the son of Venus and Anchises, the leader of the fugitives who escaped from Troy, and founded the Roman nation in Italy.
dives rich. Torquatus (see below) is compared to rich men of the past.
Tullus - Tullus Hostilius, the third king of Rome, 673-642 B.C. Horace names him as a type of the mighty on earth who are brought to one level by death.
Ancus - Ancus Martius, the fourth king of Rome, 642-617 B.C.
pulvis - dust, powder; sand.
umbra - shade; ghost; shadow. Pulvis et umbra: the dead are reduced to dust (pulvis) on earth, and ghosts or shadows (umbrae) in Hades.
scio - know, understand.
adicio - add, increase, raise; add to (dat/ad+acc); suggest; hurl (weapon); throw to/at. An adiciant: "whether they [the gods] will add."
hodiernus - of this day; present. Hodiernae summae: add dierum tuorum ; lit. " to the sum of your days, as it stands to-day."
crastinus - of tomorrow/the next day/the future.
summa - sum; summary; chief point, essence, principal matter, substance; total.
tempus - time, condition, right time; season, occasion; necessity.
deus - god; divine essence/being, supreme being.
superus - above, high; higher, upper, of this world; greatest, last, highest.
cunctus - altogether (usu. pl.), in a body; every, all, entire; total/complete; whole of.
manus - hand, fist; gang, band of soldiers; handwriting; (elephant's) trunk.
avidus - greedy, eager, ardent, desirous of; avaricious, insatiable; lustful, passionate. Torquatus (see below) is rich enough to leave an estate worth arguing over.
fugio - flee, fly, run away; avoid, shun; go into exile.
heres - heir/heiress.
amicus - friendly, dear, fond of; supporting (political), loyal, devoted; loving.
dedo - give up/in, surrender; abandon/consign/devote (to); yield, hand/deliver over. Dederis animo: all that one spends upon oneself, spends on one's own pleasure.
animus - mind; intellect; soul; feelings; heart; spirit, courage, character, pride; air.
occido - fall, fall down; perish, die, be slain; be ruined/done for, decline, end.
splendidus - splendid, glittering. Or "majestic," referring to the majestic solemnity of Minos' judgment-seat.
Minos - In Greek mythology, a king of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa. Every year he made King Aegeus pick seven men and seven women to go to the labyrinth, to be eaten by The Minotaur. After his death, he became a judge of the dead in Hades, together with Aeacus (viii. 25) and Rhadamanthus. Minos declines with stem Mino-, the accusative having a Greek form ( Minoa) besides Minoem.
facio - make/build/construct/create/cause/do; have built/made; fashion.
arbitrium - arbitration; choice, judgment, decision; sentence; will, mastery, authority.
Torquatus - a friend of Horace's, who is apparently facing death himself. Nature can renew itself, Torquatus cannot.
genus - birth; kind, class, rank; mode, method; sort, style; race, family; noble birth.
facundia - eloquence.
restituo - restore; revive; bring back; make good.
pietas - responsibility, sense of duty; loyalty; tenderness, goodness; pity; piety (bee). It includes the "duty" of a man towards (1) his parents ; (2) his country; (3) the gods.
infernum - the lower regions (pl.), infernal regions, hell.
tenebra - darkness (pl.), obscurity; night; dark corner; ignorance; concealment; gloom.
Diana - Diana was the goddess of chastity, and so would try to save Hippolytus from his fate.
pudicus - chaste, modest; virtuous; pure.
libero - free; acquit, absolve; manumit; liberate, release.
Hippolytus - son of Theseus, and stepson of Phaedra, who tried to win his love, and being rejected accused him to Theseus as guilty of her own offence. Theseus cursed him, and he was slain by Neptune (Poseidon). For his chastity, he was a special favourite of Diana, who could not however save him from death
Letheus - of lethe; causing forgetfulness, of the underworld. Lethe was a river in the infernal regions, from which the shades drank and obtained forgetfulness of the past
valeo - be strong/powerful/influential/healthy; prevail.
Theseus - a hero-king of Athens. In conjunction with his friend Pirithous, king of the Lapithae, he descended to Hades in order to carry off Proserpina, Queen of Hades. Theseus was allowed to escape, but Pirithous was chained for ever in Hades, as a punishment for his audacity, and Theseus could not rescue him
abrumpo - break (bonds); break off; tear asunder; cut through, sever; remove, separate.
carus - dear, beloved; costly, precious, valued; high-priced, expensive.
vinculum - chain, bond, fetter; imprisonment (pl.).
Pirithous - king of the Lapithae (see above). Pirithoo: dative of the indirect object. For the allusion, see Theseus above.
THE LOGIC MUSEUM Copyright (translation) E.D.Buckner 2010