Thursday, September 23, 2010

Horace at your back

Though you're built of the best pine
from the most noble forest, upon a plank
of which your famous name is lettered - 
and so beautifully - who can trust paint?

You make a sailor nervous. Be careful
or you'll become a toy of the storm.
You who, not that long ago, were just
my headache, my pain in the neck,

but who have now my heart aboard,
steer clear of those narrow seas
that cut past the bright lights
marking the rocks of the Cyclades.


Horace, The Odes, I - 14, 
translation Debora Greger, 
JD McClatchy, editor,
Princeton, 2002 

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