Horace: Ode 1.9 To Thaliarchus in Winter (From Latin)

To Thaliarchus In Winter
By Horace
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original Latin

See how Soracte1 shines in the height of snowfall, 
See how the toiling forests can hardly bear 
 their cold loads, how the streams stand frozen,
  stilled with sharp ice in bewintering air.
Thaw off this cold. Throw logs on the hearth in warm 
welcome, and be more generous with the pure    
 wine drawn from that old Sabine2 cask,        
  dear Thaliarchus, good host and sure 
friend. Let the gods take care of the rest. Once they've 
brought all the winds that brawl on the boiling sea       
 to heel, then nothing shakes the ancient
  alder and beautiful cypress tree.
Ask not of what tomorrow will bring. Each day 
fortune allows you, count as a blessed gain. 
 Young man, enjoy the sweet delights of 
  loving and dancing. Do not abstain
while your green youth is free of old peevish gray.  
Now is the time for Campus3 and plaza too, 
 for nights of sighs and whispered nothings    
  when you and her keep a rendezvous,
Time for the lovely laugh from a secret corner 
giving away the girl where she hides at last, 
 for the love-bracelet from a hand whose
  fingers pretend to resist your grasp


1- Mount Soracte, a mountain north of Rome and visible from the city streets.

2 - Sabine wine, originating in an area near Horace's own farm. Not an especially expensive vintage.

3 - "Campus" i.e. the Campus Martius or Field of Mars.


Vidēs ut altā stet nive candidum 
Sōracte, nec iam sustineant onus 
 silvae labōrantēs, gelūque
  flūmina cōnstiterint acūtō.
Dissolve frīgus, ligna super focō               
largē repōnēns atque benignius 
 dēprōme quadrīmum Sabīnā,
  ō Thaliarche, merum diōtā:
permitte dīvīs cētera, quī simul 
strāvēre ventōs aequore fervidō                       
 dēproeliantīs, nec cupressī
  nec veterēs agitantur ōrnī.
Quid sit futūrum crās fuge quaerere et 
quem Fōrs diērum cumque dabit lucrō 
 appōne, nec dulcīs amōrēs                          
  sperne puer neque tū chorēās,
dōnec virentī cānitiēs abest 
mōrōsa.  Nunc et campus et āreae 
 lēnēsque sub noctem susurrī
  compositā repetantur hōrā,          
nunc et latentis prōditor intumō 
grātus puellae rīsus ab angulō 
 pignusque dēreptum lacertīs
  aut digitō male pertinācī.

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