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The Rhyme Maker
Horace 65 to 8 bce
65-8 bce

Theme:  Praising Wine

Other English Translations:
To A Jar Of Wine (Ode 3.21 – Field)

Horace is addressing a "crock" of wine that shares his birthday, the year of "Manlius' consulate" (65bce)

Poets can be a wordy lot. The abridged version of this poem:  WINE IS GREAT! (stanzas 1 and 2) LET’S PARTY ‘TILL THE SUN COMES UP! (last stanza)

[first stanza] Cato: Roman official and noted historian, known as “Cato, the Elder".  He (and his great-great grandson, Cato, the Younger) were rather moralistic and prudish fellows.

[last stanza] Venus: the goddess of love.  The Graces: three sister goddesses who could grant beauty, charm, and happiness.  Phoebus:  another name for Apollo, here in his role as the sun god: you know, the dude in charge of pulling the sun across the sky with his chariot.
- S. H. Bass  

more Horace at

Dear comrade in the days when thou and I (Martin)
Hold! hold! 'Tis for Thracian madmen (Martin)
No pomp of Persian feast (de Vere)
Our common Sabine wine (Martin)
See, Spring's companion, Thracian gales (Gladstone)
Than you, O valued friend of mine (Field)
To Quintus Dellius (Field)
Wine, Women, and Song (Field)

Tributes to Horace:
On A Wine Of Horace's by Franklin P. Adams

Stop Button Clutter!
O precious crock (Ode 3.21)
Horace (65-8 bce), Roman poet
translation by Theodore Martin (1816-1909), Scottish poet

O precious crock, whose summers date,
Like mine, from Manlius' consulate,
I wot not whether in your breast
Lie maudlin wail or merry jest,
Or sudden choler, or the fire
Of tipsy Love's insane desire,
Or fumes of soft caressing sleep,
Or what more potent charms you keep,
But this I know, your ripened power
Befits some choicely festive hour!
A cup peculiarly mellow
Corvinus asks; so come, old fellow,
From your time-honored bin descend,
And let me gratify my friend!
No churl is he, your charms to slight,
Though most intensely erudite:
And even old Cato's worth, we know,
Took from good wine a nobler glow.

Your magic power of wit can spread
The halo round a dullard's head,
Can make the sage forget his care,
His bosom's inmost thoughts unbare,
And drown his solemn-faced pretense
Beneath your blithesome influence.
Bright hope you bring and vigor back
To minds outworn upon the rack,
And put such courage in the brain,
As makes the poor be men again,
Whom neither tyrants' wrath affrights,
Nor all their bristling satellites.

Bacchus, and Venus, so that she
Bring only frank festivity,
With sister Graces in her train,
Twining close in lovely chain,
And gladsome tapers' living light,
Shall spread your treasures o'er the night,
Till Phoebus the red East unbars,
And puts to rout the trembling stars.


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