Horace: The Epistles

Book I: Epistle IX

Translated by A. S. Kline © Copyright 2005 All Rights Reserved

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BkIEpIX:1-13 A letter of introduction to Tiberius

Septimius alone knows, of course, Tiberius,

How much you think of me, for when he begs, no, forces

Me with prayers, to try to praise and present him to you 

As one worthy of choice for your noble household

And intentions, thinking I fill a close friend’s place,

He sees and knows better than I what power I may have.

I gave him many reasons why I should be excused:

But feared to be thought to have minimised my role,

Hiding my true influence, just to oblige myself.

So to avoid the accusation of a worse crime,

I’ve stooped to trying to win by urbane effrontery.

Yet if you endorse lack of modesty at a friend’s request,

Admit him to your circle, know he is fine and brave.

End of Book I Epistle IX