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METRICAL VERSIONS AND PARAPHRASES
(Catullus, 61. 216-220)
- A little Torquatus I fain would see
- Dancing on his mother’s knee;
- To father eager hands stretched out,
- All smiles around his dimpling mouth!
- By Babylon’s streams we sat us down
- And shed a bitter tear,
- Thinking of Zion razed to earth
- And exiles’ portion drear.
- When lo, the victor, swollen with pride
- In mockery cries aloud:
- “Come sing, ye dolts, a lively strain
- Of Zion and your God.”
- “We mourning exiles sing to God
- In this benighted land?
- O Zion, be thy wrongs avenged,
- As here we steadfast stand!”
(Ovid, Met. xi. 538-542)
- As many as the dashing waves,
- Death’s terrors seem to sweep their souls;
- One weeps, another stands amazed,
- A third mourns loss of funeral doles.
- Lo, yonder one to prayer hath turned,
- With hands upraised to leaden sky;
- In vain he calls for heaven’s aid,
- No answering portent greets his cry.
(Catullus, 31. 7-10)
- O what more blest than care’s release,
- When anxious mind throws off its load,
- As worn and travel-stained we reach
- The quiet of our own abode!
(Horace, Epod. 2. 1-4 and 23-28)
- How blest the man from business free,
- Like to the sturdy sires of old,
- Who plows content ancestral fields,
- With ne’er a passing thought of gold!
- How pleasant ’neath some ancient oak
- Or on the thick-meshed sward to lie,
- While plaintive wood-notes fill the air
- And brimming brook glides softly by,
- While purling waters lure to rest
- As breezes through the treetops sigh!
(Horace, Car. iii. 1. 17-21)
- When o’er a guilty head there hangs
- A naked sword suspended high,
- In vain the sumptuous banquet’s spread,
- No dulcet strain will close the eye.
(Horace, Car. iii. 5. 18-22)
- In Punic shrines mine eye hath seen
- Standards and arms by cravens lost;
- Mine eye hath seen on freemen’s backs
- With shameful bonds the forearms crossed.
(Horace, Car. iii. 2. 17-24)
- True worth, that knoweth not defeat,
- Shines on with fadeless glory blest,
- Nor takes nor lays aside its crown
- At the capricious crowd’s behest.
- True worth, for the Immortal few
- To heaven points out a shining way,
- And mounting on aspiring wing,
- Spurns sordid mob and sodden clay.
(Horace, Car. i. 9. 1-4)
- See how Soracte rears his head
- With snowy crown of dazzling white,
- While forests scarce sustain their load;
- Congealed the very streams in flight!
(Anon., in Suetonius, Nero 39. 2)
- Aeneas’ blood our Nero claims;
- We know it’s no mere fad.
- The one his mother carried off,
- The other took his dad!
(Ovid, Met. xi. 623-625)
- O Sleep, release from toil,
- For careworn soul a balm divine:
- Thy gentle ministrations soothe
- The weary frame with touch benign.
(Horace, Epod. 16. 47-52 and 61-62)
- From riven oak the golden honey drips,
- And down the steeps cool, babbling waters spring.
- Unherded flocks at even homeward turn,
- While willing kine their milky tribute bring.
- There never ’round the sleeping fold at night
- Is heard anear the bear’s alarming voice;
- No serpents swarm in upland heath or glen;
- There safe from bane and heat the flocks rejoice.
(Trans. from the Greek by Cicero, Tusc. Disp. i. 101)
- At Sparta, stranger, kindly tell
- That here you saw us where we fell,
- Obedient to the sacred laws
- Of country that we loved so well.
(Horace, Car. iv. 4. 69-72)
- Never to Carthage again, alas,
- A message of Joy Ill send.
- Gone, gone, the glory of our name
- Through Hasdrubal’s piteous end!
(Horace, Car. iii. 11. 45-52)
- Though father load me down with chains
- For mercy shown to you;
- Though to the earth’s remotest bounds
- I’m sent with ruffian crew;
- Go thou, be it by land or sea,
- While night and love preside;
- Go, blest by me, and on my tomb
- A tender word inscribe.
OTHER VERSE IN THE TEXT
|Plautus, Men. 226 ff.|
|original (music on page 239.)|
|Vergil, Ec. 4. 21 ff.|
|Horace, Epod. 15. 1.|
|Ennius, in Cicero, Cato M. 10.|
|Horace, Car. iii. 3. 7 ff.|
|Cicero, in Quintilian, ix. 4. 41.|
|Vergil, Aen. vi. 126 ff.|
|Vergil, Aen. ii. 624 ff.|
|Vergil, Aen. iii. 56 ff.|
Words and music by H. C. Nutting