Horace: The Odes
Translated by A. S. Kline © Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved
This work may be freely reproduced, stored, and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose.
Horace fully exploited the metrical possibilities offered to him by Greek lyric verse. I have followed the original Latin metre in all cases, giving a reasonably close English version of Horace’s strict forms. Rhythm not rhyme is the essence. Please try reading slowly to identify the rhythm of the first verse of each poem, before reading the whole poem through. Counting syllables, and noting the natural rhythm of individual phrases, may help. Those wishing to understand the precise scansion of Latin lyric verse should consult a specialist text. The Collins Latin Dictionary, for example, includes a good summary. The metres used by Horace in each of the Odes, giving the standard number of syllables per line only, are listed at the end of this text (see the Index below).
- Translator’s Note
- BkIV:I Venus, be Merciful
- BkIV:II Augustus’s Return
- BkIV:III To The Muse
- BkIV:IV Drusus and the Claudians
- BkIV:V To Augustus
- BkIV:VI To Apollo
- BkIV:VII Diffugere Nives
- BkIV:VIII Poetry
- BkIV:IX Lollius
- BkIV:X Age
- BkIV:XI Maecenas’ Birthday
- BkIV:XII Spring
- BkIV:XIII You too, Lyce
- BkIV:XIV Drusus and Tiberius
- BkIV:XV To Augustus
- Index of First Lines
- Metres Used in Book IV.
BkIV:I Venus, be Merciful
Venus now you’ve returned again
to battles long neglected. Please, oh please, spare me.
I’m not prey to the power of kind
Cinara , as once I was. After fifty years,
cruel mother of sweet Cupids,
leave one now who’s hardened to your soft commands:
take yourself there, where seductive
prayers, from the young men, invite you to return.
It would be better still for you,
lifted by wings of gleaming swans, to adventure
to Paulus Maximus’s house,
if you want a worthy heart to set on fire.
Since he’s noble and he’s handsome,
and he’s not un-eloquent, for anxious clients:
he’s a lad of a hundred skills,
and he’ll carry your army’s standard far and wide:
and he’ll laugh when he’s successful
despite his rival’s expensive gifts, and he’ll raise,
just for you, by the Alban Lake,
a statue in marble, under a wooden roof.
You’ll smell rich incense, and you’ll take
delight in the notes of the lyre, when they’re mingled
with the Berecyntian flute’s,
and the sound of the reed pipes won’t be absent, there:
while sweet, virgin girls celebrate
your power, there, twice every day, see the young boys
beat the ground with their snow-white feet,
in a triple measure, like Salian dancers.
Women and boys can’t please me now,
nor those innocent hopes of mutual feeling,
nor wine-drinking competitions,
nor foreheads circled by freshly-gathered flowers.
But why, ah Ligurinus, why
should tears gather here on my cheeks, from time to time?
Why does my tongue, once eloquent,
fall indecorously silent while I’m speaking?
In dreams, at night, hard-hearted one,
I hold you prisoner, or follow you in flight,
over the grassy Fields of Mars,
or wing with you above the inconstant waters.
BkIV:II Augustus’s Return
Iulus , whoever tries to rival Pindar,
flies on waxen wings, with Daedalean art,
and is doomed, like Icarus, to give a name
to glassy waters.
Like a river, rushing down from the mountains,
that the rain has filled above its usual banks,
so Pindar’s deep voice seethes, immeasurably,
and goes on flowing,
Pindar , deserving Apollo’s laurel crown,
whether he coins new phrases in audacious
dithyrambs, and is carried along in verse
that’s free of rules,
or whether he sings gods, and kings, the children
of gods, at whose hands the Centaurs, rightly, died,
and by whom the fearful Chimaera’s fires
were all extinguished,
or speaks of those godlike ones an Elean
palm, for boxing or riding, leads home again,
granting a tribute much more powerful than
a hundred statues,
or weeps for the young man snatched from his tearful
bride, praises his powers, to the stars, his spirit,
his golden virtue, begrudging all of them
to gloomy Orcus.
Son of Antony, a powerful breeze raises
the Dircean swan, whenever it’s carried
to cloudy heights. While I create my verses,
in the manner
of a humble Matinian bee, that goes
gathering pollen from all the pleasant thyme,
and labours among the many groves, on the banks
of flowing Tiber.
You, a poet of much greater power, will sing
Caesar, honoured with well-earned wreaths, as he climbs
the sacred slopes, drawing along in his wake
the savage Germans:
he, whom no greater and no better ruler
has Fate, and the true gods, given to the world,
nor ever will, though the centuries roll back
to that first age of gold.
You’ll sing of those happy days, and the City’s
public games, when our brave Augustus returns,
in answer to our prayers: you’ll sing the Forum
free of all quarrels.
Then, if what I utter’s worth hearing, the best
strains of my voice, thrilled by Caesar’s return,
will rise, and I will sing: ‘O lovely sun, O
worthy to be praised!’
While you lead us along: ‘Hail, God of Triumph!’
not once but many times: ‘Hail, God of Triumph!’
all the city will shout, and offer incense
to the kindly gods.
Ten bulls will acquit you, and as many cows:
me, a tender calf that has left its mother,
one that’s been fattened on wide pastures, one that
can fulfil my vow,
echoing, with its brow, those returning fires
of the crescent moon, at the third night’s rising,
appearing snow-white where it carries a mark,
and the rest tawny.
BkIV:III To The Muse
Melpomene , Muse, one whom you
have looked on with favourable eyes at his birth
Ismian toil will never grant
fame as a boxer: while no straining horses
will draw him along, triumphant
in a Greek chariot, nor will his acts of war
show him to the high Capitol,
wreathed with the Delian laurel crown, who’s crushed
the bloated menaces of kings:
but the waters that run beneath fertile Tibur,
and the thick leafage of the groves,
will make him of note in Aeolian song.
It’s thought that I’m worthy by Rome’s
children, the first of cities, to rank there among
the choir of delightful poets,
and already envy’s teeth savage me less.
O Pierian girl, you who
command the golden tortoise shell’s sweet melodies,
O you, who could, if you wished,
lend a swan’s singing, too, to the silent fishes,
all of this is a gift of yours:
that I’m pointed out by the passer-by as one
who’s a poet of the Roman lyre:
that I’m inspired, and please as I please: is yours.
BkIV:IV Drusus and the Claudians
Like the winged agent of the bright lightning-bolt,
to whom Jove granted power over wandering
birds, once the divine king had found him
faithful in snatching blond Ganymede:
youth and his native vigour first launching him
fresh to his labours, out from the nest: spring winds,
despite his fears, when the storms were past,
teaching him, then, unaccustomed effort:
now with a fierce, hostile assault sweeping down
on the sheepfold, and love of spoils, and the fight,
hurling him at writhing snakes: or like
a lion-cub newly weaned from rich milk
and its tawny mother, seeing a roe deer
intent on its browsing, that’s fated to die
in his inexperienced jaws, such
was Drusus, as the Vindelici found
waging war beneath the Rhaetian Alps:
(where the custom’s derived from that, as long as
is known, has forced them to arm themselves,
clutch, in their right hands, Amazonian
battle-axes, I’ve not tried to ascertain,
it’s not right to know everything) but those hordes,
triumphant everywhere, for so long,
were conquered by the young man’s strategies:
they came to realise what mind, and character
nurtured, with care, in a fortunate household,
by Augustus’ fatherly feelings
towards his stepsons, the Neros, could do.
By the brave and good, are the brave created:
their sire’s virtues exist in horses and men,
while the ferocious golden eagles
don’t produce shy doves, but education
improves inborn qualities, and its proper
cultivation strengthens the mind: whenever
moral behaviour falls short, its faults
dishonour whatever was good at birth.
The Metaurus river’s a witness, O Rome
to what you owe to the Neros, so too is
defeated Hasdrubal, and that day
as sweet, when the shadows fled Latium,
the first day to smile in its kindly glory,
since dread Hannibal rode through Italy’s
cities, a fire among the pine-trees,
or an East wind on Sicilian seas.
And after that, through favourable efforts,
the Roman youth grew in stature, and the shrines
destroyed by Carthaginians’
impious uproar, had their gods restored.
At last that treacherous Hannibal proclaimed:
‘Of our own will, like deer who become the prey
of ravening wolves, we’re chasing those
whom it’s a triumph to flee and evade.
Their race, still strong despite the burning of Troy,
brought their children, sacred icons, and aged
fathers, tossed about on Tuscan seas,
to the towns of Italy, as some oak,
rich in its dark leaves, high on Mount Algidus,
trimmed back by the double-bladed axe, draws strength
and life, despite loss and destruction,
from the very steel itself. The Hydra,
as its body was lopped, grew no mightier,
in grief at being conquered by Hercules,
nor was any greater monster reared
by Colchis or Echionian Thebes.
Drowned in the deep, it emerges lovelier:
contend, it defeats the freshest opponent,
with great glory, and wages wars
that the housewives will tell of in story.
I’ll send no more proud messages to Carthage:
every hope of mine is ended, and ended
the fortunes of all my family,
since my brother Hasdrubal’s destruction.
There’s nothing that Claudian power can’t achieve,
protected by Jove, protected by the god’s
authority, power for which shrewd minds
clear the way through the harsh dangers of war.’
BkIV:V To Augustus
Son of the blessed gods, and greatest defender
of Romulus’ people, you’ve been away too long:
make that swift return you promised, to the sacred
councils of the City Fathers,
Blessed leader, bring light to your country again:
when your face shines on the people, like the shining
springtime, then the day itself is more welcoming,
and the sun beams down more brightly.
As a mother, with vows and omens and prayers,
calls to the son whom a southerly wind’s envious
gales have kept far from his home, for more than a year,
lingering there, beyond the waves
of the Carpathian Sea: she who never turns
her face away from the curving line of the shore:
so, smitten with the deep longing of loyalty,
the country yearns for its Caesar.
Then the ox will wander the pastures in safety,
Ceres, and kindly Increase, will nourish the crops,
our sailors will sail across the waters in peace,
trust will shrink from the mark of shame,
the chaste house will be unstained by debauchery,
law and morality conquer the taint of sin,
mothers win praise for new-born so like their fathers,
and punishment attend on guilt.
Who’ll fear the Parthians, or the cold Scythians,
and who’ll fear the offspring savage Germany breeds,
if Caesar’s unharmed? Who’ll worry about battles
in the wilds of Iberia?
Every man passes the day among his own hills,
as he fastens his vines to the waiting branches:
from there he gladly returns to his wine, calls on
you, as god, at the second course:
He worships you with many a prayer, with wine
poured out, joins your name to those of his household gods,
as the Greeks were accustomed to remembering
Castor and mighty Hercules.
‘O blessed leader, bring Italy endless peace!’
That’s what we say, mouths parched, at the start of the day,
that’s what we say, lips wetted with wine, when the sun
sinks to rest under the Ocean.
BkIV:VI To Apollo
God, whom Niobe’s children encountered, O
you, avenger of boastful words on Tityos
the robber, and Phthian Achilles, all
but proud Troy’s victor,
and a greater fighter than others, but not than
you, though he was the son of sea-born Thetis,
and made the Dardanian towers tremble,
with his fearful spear.
Like a pine-tree slashed by the bite of the axe,
or a cypress struck by an Easterly wind,
he fell, outstretched, to the earth, bowed down his neck
in the Trojan dust.
He’d not have cheated the Teucrians, with their
vain celebrations, nor Priam’s joyfully
dancing court, by hiding deep in the Horse, false
tribute to Minerva:
but he’d have burnt, ah, wickedly, wickedly,
their un-weaned offspring, with Achaean fires,
in open cruelty to his prisoners,
babes hid in the womb,
if Jupiter hadn’t agreed to your pleas,
and those of lovely Venus, that Aeneas
should come to rule the walls of a city built
with better omens.
Phoebus, musician and teacher of tuneful
Thalia , who bathe your hair in Xanthus’ stream,
defend the Daunian Muse’s honour, O
Phoebus gave me inspiration, Phoebus gave
me skill in singing, and the name of poet.
You noble young girls, and you boys who are born
of famous fathers,
both, protected by the Delian goddess,
who brings down, with the bow, swift deer and lynxes,
follow the Sapphic measure, note the rhythm
of my finger’s beat,
and ritually sing the son of Latona,
ritually sing the fire of the waxing Moon,
the quickener of crops, and swift advancer
of the headlong months.
Married, you’ll say: ‘I sang the song the gods love,
when time brought back the days of the festival,
and I was one who was trained in the measures
of Horace the bard.
BkIV:VII Diffugere Nives
The snow has vanished, already the grass returns to the fields,
and the leaves to the branches:
earth alters its state, and the steadily lessening rivers
slide quietly past their banks:
The Grace, and the Nymphs, with both of her sisters, is daring enough,
leading her dancers, naked.
The year, and the hour that snatches the kindly day away, warn you:
don’t hope for undying things.
Winter gives way to the westerly winds, spring’s trampled to ruin
by summer, and in its turn
fruitful autumn pours out its harvest, barely a moment before
lifeless winter is back again.
Yet swift moons are always repairing celestial losses:
while, when we have descended
to virtuous Aeneas, to rich Tullus and Ancus, our kings,
we’re only dust and shadow.
Who knows whether the gods above will add tomorrow’s hours
to the total of today?
All those you devote to a friendly spirit will escape from
the grasping hands of your heirs.
When once you’re dead, my Torquatus, and Minos pronounces
his splendid judgement on you,
no family, no eloquence, no righteousness even,
can restore you again:
Diana can never free Hippolytus, chaste as he is,
from the shadow of darkness,
nor has Theseus, for his dear Pirithous, the power to
shatter those Lethean chains.
I’d give bowls, generously, and pleasing bronzes,
to all of my comrades, my dear Censorinus,
I’d give tripods, the prizes that mighty Greeks gave,
and you wouldn’t be seeing the least of my gifts,
if I were, appropriately, rich in the works
Scopas produced, or Parrhasius created,
the latter in marble, the former in painting,
now expert in showing heroes, and now, a god.
But I’ve no such powers, and your spirit and state
don’t ask for any such kinds of amusement.
You delight in poetry, poetry we can
deliver, and establish the worth of the gift.
It’s not marble, carved out with public inscriptions,
and by which, after death, life and spirit return
to great generals, it’s not Hannibal’s rapid
retreat, once repulsed, with his threats turned against him,
nor is it the burning of impious Carthage,
that more gloriously declares all the praises
of him who winning a name from his African
conquest, came home, than the Calabrian Muses:
and you wouldn’t receive the reward for your deeds
if the books were silent. What would the child of Mars
and of Ilia be today, if mute envy
stood in the way of Romulus’s just merits?
The virtue, and favour, and speech of powerful
poets snatches Aeacus from Stygian streams,
immortalising him, in the Isles of the Blessed.
It’s the Muse who prevents the hero worth praising
from dying. The Muse gladdens heaven. So, tireless
Heracles shares the table of Jove he hoped for,
so the bright stars of the Twins, Tyndareus’ sons,
snatch storm-tossed ships out of the depths of the waters,
and Bacchus, his brow wreathed, in the green sprays of vine,
brings all of our prayers to a fortunate outcome.
Don’t think that the words I speak to accompany
the lyre ( I, born near thunderous Aufidus,
plying those skills not generally known
before) are destined to utterly die:
Though Maeonian Homer holds the first place,
Pindar’s Muse is not hidden, Simonides’
of Ceos, nor threatening Alcaeus’,
nor that of the stately Stesichorus:
time hasn’t erased what Anacreon once
played: and the love of the Lesbian girl still
breathes, all the passion that Sappho
committed to that Aeolian lyre.
Laconian Helen wasn’t the only one
inflamed by marvelling at an adulterer’s
elegant hair, or gold-spangled clothes,
his regal manners, and his companions,
Teucer wasn’t the first to fire an arrow
from a Cydonian bow, more than once great
Troy was troubled: Idomeneus
the mighty, and Sthenelus weren’t alone
in fighting wars sung by the Muses: Hector
the fierce and brave Deiophobus weren’t the first
to suffer the weight of heavy blows
for the sake of their chaste wives, and children.
Many brave men lived before Agamemnon:
but all are imprisoned in unending night,
all of them are unwept and unknown,
because of the lack of a sacred bard.
Courage that’s concealed in the tomb, is little
different to cowardice. Lollius I won’t
be silent about you in my verse,
(you’re celebrated) nor allow envious
oblivion to prey with impunity
on your many exploits. You’ve a mind that’s versed
in affairs, that’s just, in dubious
times, or in the most favourable ones,
punishing avaricious deceit, restrained
with money that draws everything to itself,
not a Consul of a single year,
but a judge often, one honest and true,
preferring honour to expediency,
with a noble look rejecting the criminal’s
bribe, a conqueror carrying arms
through the hostile ranks of the enemy.
It’s not right to call a man blessed because he
owns much: he more truly deserves a name for
being happy, who knows how to make
a wiser use of the gifts from the gods,
and how to endure the harshest poverty,
who’s a greater fear of dishonour than death:
he’s not afraid to die for the friends
that he loves, or to die for his country.
O you who are cruel still, and a master of Venus’s gifts,
when a white, unexpected plumage surmounts all your arrogance,
and the tresses that wave on your shoulders have all been shorn away,
and the colour that now outshines the flower of the crimson rose
is transformed, my Ligurinus, and has changed into roughened skin:
whenever you look at your altered face in the mirror, you’ll say:
‘Why didn’t I have, when I was a youth, the mind I have today,
or why can’t those untouched cheeks return to visit this soul of mine?’
BkIV:XI Maecenas’ Birthday
I’ve a jar of Alban wine over nine years
old: and there’s parsley for weaving your garlands,
in the garden, Phyllis, and see, there’s a huge
amount of ivy,
with which you shine whenever it ties your hair:
the house gleams with silver: the altar is wreathed
with pure vervain, and waits to be stained with blood,
a sacrificed lamb:
All hands are scurrying: here and there, a crowd
of boys and girls are running, and see the flames
are flickering, sending the sooty smoke rolling
high up in the air.
And so that you know to what happiness you’re
invited, it’s the Ides that are the reason,
they’re the days that divide the month of April,
of sea-born Venus,
it’s truly a solemn day for me, and more
sacred to me almost than my own birthday,
because from that morning Maecenas reckons
the flow of his years.
A rich, an impudent, young girl has captured
Telephus, one you desire, and who’s above
your station, and holds him prisoner, fettered
with beautiful chains.
Scorched Phaethon’s a warning to hope’s ambition,
and winged Pegasus offered a harsh example
in refusing his back to Bellerephon,
his earthly rider:
always pursue what’s appropriate for you,
consider it wrong to hope for what isn’t
allowed, for someone who isn’t your equal.
Come now, my last love,
(since I’ll burn for no other woman after
you) learn verses you’ll repeat in your lovely
voice: the darkest of cares will be lessened
by means of your song.
Now Spring’s companions, the Thracian northerlies,
that quieten the ocean, are swelling the canvas:
now fields are unfrozen, and rivers stop roaring
with their volumes of winter snow.
The sad swallow, tearfully mourning Itys, builds
her nest, she’s the House of Cecrops’ eternal shame,
avenging the barbarous lust of Tereus
with too savage a cruelty.
The shepherds, with indolent sheep, in the soft grass,
sing their songs to the sound of the pipes, and delight
great god, Pan, who is pleased with the flocks, and is pleased
by the dark hills of Arcady.
And, Virgil, the season has brought its thirst to us:
but if you’re eager to sip at a grape that was pressed
at Cales, you follower of noble youth, then
earn your wine with a gift of nard.
One small onyx box of nard elicits a jar
that’s lying there now in Sulpicius’ cellar,
sufficient for granting fresh hope, and effective
at washing away bitter care.
If you’re in a rush for pleasures like this, come quick
with your purchase: since I refuse to consider
dipping a gift-less you, in my wine, as if I’m
rich, my house filled with everything.
But abolish delay, and desire for profit,
and, remembering death’s sombre flames, while you can,
mix a little brief foolishness with your wisdom:
it’s sweet sometimes to play the fool.
BkIV:XIII You too, Lyce
Lyce, the gods have heard my prayers, the gods have
heard me, Lyce: you’re growing old, but still desire
the power of beauty, and still
you play, and drink quite shamelessly,
and, drunk, you urge dull Cupid on with tremulous
singing. He’s keeping watch on the beautiful cheeks
of Chia the young and fresh,
who’s expert at playing the harp.
For he flies disdainfully past the withered oak,
and he runs away from you, since you’re disfigured
by those now yellowing teeth,
those wrinkles, and that greying hair.
Now gowns of Coan purple, and those expensive
jewels, won’t bring back time, that the passage of days
has shut away, and buried,
a matter of public record.
Where’s Venus fled, alas, and beauty? And where now
are your graceful gestures? What is left of that girl,
that girl who once breathed of love,
who stole me away from myself,
happy when Cinara had vanished, and famous
for your looks and your charming ways? The Fates granted
Cinara the briefest years,
preserving Lyce, endlessly,
to suffer as long a life as an ancient crow,
so that the burning youths with many a ripple
of laughter, are here to gaze
at a fire that’s fallen to ashes.
BkIV:XIV Drusus and Tiberius
What care the Citizens and the Senators
shall take in immortalising your virtues,
granting you full honours, Augustus,
with titles and memorial plaques, O,
greatest of princes, wherever the sun shines
over the countries where people can live, you,
whose power in war the Vindelici
free of our Roman laws, till now, have learnt.
For, with your army, brave Drusus, demolished
the Genauni, that implacable race, in more
direct retaliation, the swift
Breuni, and their defences, established
on the formidable Alpine heights: and soon
Tiberius, the elder Nero, entered
that fierce fight, with his favourable
omens, defeating the wild Rhaetians:
it was wonderful to see with what destruction,
in contesting the war, he exhausted those minds
intent on the deaths of our freemen,
as the south wind, almost, when it troubles
the ungovernable waves, while the Pleiades’
constellation pierces the clouds, he was eager
to attack the hostile ranks, and drive
his neighing horse through the midst of their fire.
As, bull-like, the Aufidus rolls on, flowing
by the domains of Apulian Daunus,
when it rages and threatens fearful
destruction to their cultivated fields,
so Tiberius overwhelmed the armoured
ranks of barbarians, his fierce impetus
covering the earth, mowing down front
and rear, and conquering them without loss,
yours the troops, the strategy and the friendly
gods. For on that date when Alexandria
opened all its harbour, and empty
palaces to you, in supplication,
good Fortune, fifteen years later, delivered
a favourable outcome to the campaign,
and awarded fame, and the glory
hoped-for, to your imperial action.
The Spaniards, never conquered before, the Medes,
the Indians, marvel at you, the roving
Scythians, O eager protector
of Italy and Imperial Rome.
The Nile, that conceals its origin, hears you,
the Danube hears, and the swift-flowing Tigris,
the Ocean, filled with monsters, roaring
around the distant island of Britain,
and the regions of Gaul, unafraid of death,
and the stubborn Iberian land, hear you:
Sygambri, delighting in slaughter,
stand, with grounded weapons, worshipping you.
BkIV:XV To Augustus
Phoebus condemned my verse, when I tried to sing
of war and conquered cities, lest I unfurled
my tiny sail on Tyrrhenian
seas. Caesar, this age has restored rich crops
to the fields, and brought back the standards, at last,
to Jupiter, those that we’ve now recovered
from insolent Parthian pillars,
and closed the gates of Janus’ temple,
freed at last from all war, and tightened the rein
on lawlessness, straying beyond just limits,
and has driven out crime, and summoned
the ancient arts again, by which the name
of Rome and Italian power grew great,
and the fame and majesty of our empire,
were spread from the sun’s lair in the west,
to the regions where it rises at dawn.
With Caesar protecting the state, no civil
disturbance will banish the peace, no violence,
no anger that forges swords, and makes
mutual enemies of wretched towns.
The tribes who drink from the depths of the Danube,
will not break the Julian law, the Getae,
nor Seres, nor faithless Persians,
nor those who are born by the Don’s wide stream.
On working days, and the same on holy days,
among laughter-loving Bacchus’ gifts to us,
with our wives and our children we’ll pray,
at first, to the gods, in the rites laid down,
then, in the manner of our fathers, bravely,
in verse, that’s accompanied by Lydian flutes,
we’ll sing past leaders, we’ll sing of Troy,
Anchises, and the people of Venus.
Index of First Lines
- Venus now you’ve returned again
- Iulus, whoever tries to rival Pindar,
- Melpomene, Muse, one whom you
- Like the winged agent of the bright lightning-bolt,
- Son of the blessed gods, and greatest defender
- God, whom Niobe’s children encountered, O
- The snow has vanished, already the grass returns to the fields,
- I’d give bowls, generously, and pleasing bronzes,
- Don’t think that the words I speak to accompany
- O you who are cruel still, and a master of Venus’s gifts,
- I’ve a jar of Alban wine over nine years
- Now Spring’s companions, the Thracian northerlies,
- Lyce, the gods have heard my prayers, the gods have
- What care the Citizens and the Senators
- Phoebus condemned my verse, when I tried to sing
Metres Used in Book IV.
The number of syllables most commonly employed in each standard line of the verse is given. This may vary slightly for effect (two beats substituted for three etc.) in a given line.
Alcaic Strophe : 11 (5+6) twice, 9, 10
used in Odes: 4,9,14,15
Sapphic and Adonic : 11(5+6) three times, 5
First Asclepiadean : 12 (6+6) all lines
Second Asclepiadean: 8, 12 (6+6), alternating
Third Asclepiadean : 12 (6+6) three times, 8
Fourth Asclepiadean : 12 (6+6) twice, 7, 8
Fifth Asclepiadean : 16 (6+4+6) all lines
Alcmanic Strophe : 17 (7+10) or less, 11 or less, alternating
Odes: None in Book IV
First Archilochian : 17 (7+10) or less, 7 alternating
Fourth Archilochian Strophe : 18 (7+11) or less, 11 (5+6) alternating
Odes: None in Book IV
Second Sapphic Strophe : 7, 15 (5+10) alternating
Odes: None in Book IV
Trochaic Strophe : 7,11 alternating
Odes: None in Book IV
Ionic a Minore : 16 twice, 8
Ode: None in Book IV