Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ODES II, 14, by QUINTUS HORATIUS FLACCUS



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ODES II, 14, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh! Postumus, my friend, my friend
Last Line: With choicer wine than pontiffs drain.
Alternate Author Name(s): Horace


Oh! Postumus, my friend, my friend,
The years glide swiftly to an end:
No prayers can wrinkled age delay
Or Death's inevitable day.
Thrice yearly hecatombs of steers
From Pluto's eyes can draw no tears.
Sternly he holds Earth's giant brood
Encircled with a gloomy flood:
That flood which all must traverse soon,
All we who feed on Nature's boon,
Kings though we be, exempt from toil,
Or needy tillers of the soil.
What though we shun War's bloody plain
And the hoarse surge of Adria's main;
What though in Autumn's sultry hour
We dread the South wind's blighting power,
To black Cocytus, oozing slow
And the vile Danaids we must go.
Him we must view who rolls the stone
Condemned eternally to groan.
Earth, home, and charming wife must be
Abandoned, and no cherished tree,
Except the cypresses abhorred,
Shall follow there their short lived lord.
An heir thy Caecuban shall seize
Close guarded with a hundred keys,
And revelry thy floor shall stain
With choicer wine than Pontiffs drain.





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