Saturday, May 31, 2008

Horace, Ode 22, Book V- Translated by Rudyard Kipling

Securely, after days
Unnumbered, I behold
Kings mourn that promised praise
Their cheating bards foretold.
Of earth-constricting wars,
Of Princes passed in chains,
Of deeds out-shining stars,
No word or voice remains.
Yet furthest times receive
And to fresh praise restore,
Mere flutes that breathed at eve,
Mere seaweed on the shore.
A smoke of sacrifice;
A chosen myrtle wreath;
An harlot's altered eyes;
A rage 'gainst love or death;
Glazed snow beneath the moon;
The surge of storm-bowed trees-
The Caesars perished soon,
And Rome Herself: But these
Endure while Empires fall
And Gods for Gods make room. . .
Which greater God than all
Imposed the amazing doom?

1 comment:

K. K. said...

Horace, alas, did not write this: the "fifth book" of Horace's odes, in Latin, was made up by Kiping and a bunch of his friends and published not long before this translation. It's a lot of fun, but it ain't Homer.