Saturday, July 26, 2014

Horace at your back vii: only one thing

     You occupy the nest; I praise
     the brooks of the lovely coun-
     tryside, its woodland and rocks
     overgrown with moss. In short, 
     I know life and am a king of the
     moment, I leave behind those
     things you extol to the heavens
     with loud applause, and, like the
     slave who refuses the sacrificial
     cakes from his master the priest,
     it is bread I want and now prefer ..

     I am dictating these lines to
     you behind Vacuna's crumbling
     shrine, happy in everything
     else apart from not having 
     your company to share.

I like it, that one
studies pretty stren-
uously with this son
of a slave. I like it,
that there is always
more. I like it, that
so many of the minds
I admire, walk around
in his consciousness.
The rigor they accept
is infectious, a bond.

  Through the years, the 
  hexameters, flows an  
  uncanny demonstration. 
  The strain is nothing.  
  One is being imagined.

20 BC
John Davie
Satires and Epistles
  Epistles I, 10
op. cit.

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