1 March, 2005Issue 4.2Creative WritingOriginal Poetry

Email This Article Print This Article

After Horace: II.3

Anabella Pomi

Enjoy the fleeting hour!
Aequam memento rebus in arduis…

Dellius, my friend
Remember to keep a calm mind
When life is rough
And likewise, when life is good
Restrain from excessive joy.
For whether you live
In perpetual gloomy times, or
Recline your holidays in remote meadows,
Indulging in Falernian wine
From your innermost cellar,
You will die.

Why do the tall pine
And white poplar
Love to form a hospitable shade
With their branches?
Why does the fleeing water labour
Nervously over its twisted course?
This is it: Tell them to bring
Wine and perfume and the brief blooms of roses,
While life and time and the black threads
Of the three Sisters of Fate allow it.

You will leave the forest
You bought and your house
And your villa washed clean
By the yellow Tiber river.
You will leave them
And your heir will inherit
The wealth you have built up to great heights.

Whether you live
Under the sky a rich man
Or a poor man
From the lowest family,
It makes no difference.
You are still a miserable victim of Orcis,
Of Death.

We are all gathered together
To the same place
For the same purpose:
For all
The lot shaken in the urn of Fate
Sooner or later
Will come out
And put us on the boat for eternal exile.