Ode I.14 by Horace

O ship, a new wave thrusts you back
To the sea. What are you doing? Rush hard
Into port! Can you not see that
You are stripped of oars,

Mast shivered by fast African winds,
Yardarm groaning? Without rigging
Your hull cannot withstand
The imperious sea!

Your sails are torn, no longer sound—
No god will quash the evil howls.
Though formed of Black Sea pine,
Noble species of the wood,

In vain you boast of name and line—
No timid sailor trusts your painted
Prow. Beware, unless you yearn
To be mocked by the winds.

Though you had become a tedious worry
I now yearn with no slight unease
That you shun the waters threading
Like shining vines through the Cyclades.

—Translated by David Bowles
March 15, 2014

Original Latin

O nauis, referent in mare te noui
fluctus. O quid agis? Fortiter occupa
portum. Nonne uides ut
nudum remigio latus,

et malus celeri saucius Africo
antemnaque gemant ac sine funibus
uix durare carinae
possint imperiosius

aequor? Non tibi sunt integra lintea,
non di, quos iterum pressa uoces malo.
Quamuis Pontica pinus,
siluae filia nobilis,

iactes et genus et nomen inutile:
nil pictis timidus nauita puppibus
fidit. Tu, nisi uentis
debes ludibrium, caue.

Nuper sollicitum quae mihi taedium,
nunc desiderium curaque non leuis,
interfusa nitentis
uites aequora Cycladas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *