What slender boy bathed in a flowing smell
Courts you, Pyrrha, on roses
Within some pleasant cave?
Whom do you braid that golden hair for,
Simple and neat? Ah, how often
He’ll weep at how faith and gods change,
And he’ll marvel, unaccustomed,
At this rough sea that’s blackened by the wind.
Credulous, he enjoys you now, golden one.
Hoping you’ll be always free, always beautiful,
He’s unaware of the changing wind!
Unfortunate are those whom you,
Untried, dazzle. The votive plank
On the temple wall shows how I escaped:
I’ve hung up my wet clothing
In honor of the god of the sea.
—Horace (translated by David Bowles, October 2003)