Horace, Carmina III.2

A strong youth learns how to suffer happily
thinning poverty with a soldier’s sword and
the horseman formidable with spear
harries the ferocious Parthians, he

Leads his life under the divine and the most
fearful circumstance. The warlike tyrant’s mom
looks down on him from atop the walls
as they’re attacked, her maiden daughter breathes

A sigh: “Oh my!, do not let my royal hus-
band try to attack th’ opposing ranks charging
harsh as a lion, whom bloody anger
seizes in the very midst of carnage.”

It is sweet and noble to die for our land:
Destruction also chases a man who flees
and spares not even the unscarred knees
of the young or a fearful coward’s back.

True right, which knows nothing about shameful de-
feat, glistens with recognition untainted
and does not take or place the people’s
sovereignty to an arbitrary wind.

Virtue, uncovering the sky for those of
blameless way, tries to find a path where the road
is blocked and scorns the wet ground with a
wing that soars over the earth: It exists,

And its payment is completed in faithful
silence; I shun one who publicly profanes
the sacred mysteries of Earth, he
can not enter into my home or em-

Bark his fragile ship with me; so often has
the one God, when neglected, turned hostile against
the polluted one, and Punic men
don’t surmount cowardice on wounded foot.


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