Monday, 24 December 2012

Tu ne quaesieris (Ode I.11), Horace

Don't be too eager to ask

what the gods have in mind for us,
What will become of you,

what will become of me,
What you can read in the cards,

or spell out on the ouija board,
It's better not to know.

Either Jupiter says
This coming winter is not

after all going to be
The last winter you have,

or else Jupiter says
This winter that's coming soon,

eating away the cliffs
Along the Tyrrhenian Sea,

is going to be the final
Winter of all. Be mindful.

Take good care of your vineyard.
The time we have is short.

Cut short your hopes for longer.
Now as I say these words,

the time has already fled
Backwards away--

Leuconoƫ-- Hold on to the day.


Translated by David Ferry.

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