Horace: Odes and Poetry

Book 1

Book 1 consists of 38 poems.[4][5]

I.1, Maecenas atavis edite regibus... - Dedication of the First Three Books of the Odes to Maecenas (Horace's Patron) - Every man is governed by his ruling passion: the Olympian charioteer, the politician, the trader, the husbandman, the merchant, the man of pleasure, the soldier, and the hunter. To win the title of a lyric poet is all that Horace desires.

I.2, Iam satis terris nivis atque dirae... - To Augustus, The Deliverer and Hope of the State - The subject of this ode is the overflowing of the Tiber, which recalls to the poet the flood of Deucalion. He imagines that the disaster is caused by the wrath of Ilia (the wife of Tiber), the civil wars, and the assassination of Julius Caesar. Augustus, as Mercury in human shape, is invoked to save the empire.

I.3, Sic te diva potens Cypri.. - To Virgil, Setting Out for Greece - The ode begins with a prayer for the safe voyage of Virgil to Athens, which suggests the daring of the earliest mariners and the boldness of men in overcoming difficulties set by Nature.

I.4, Solvitur acris hiems... - A Hymn to Springtime - The changing season warns us of the shortness of life. Horace urges his friend Sestius - vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam (The brief sum of life forbids us cling to far-off hope).

I.5, Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa... - To the Flirt Pyrrha, who is as faithless as the winds or seas, and whose fancy no lover can hold onto.

I.6, Scriberis Vario fortis et hostium victor... - Horace pleads his inability to worthily sing the praises of M. Vipsanius Agrippa, the distinguished Roman Commander.

I.7, Laudabunt alii claram Rhodon aut Mytilenen... - Fairest of Spots, O Plancus, is Tibur - There, or wherever you may be, drown your cares in wine.

I.8, Lydia, dic, per omnis te deos oro... - To Lydia, who has transformed Sybaris from a hardy athlete into a doting lover.

I.9, Vides ut alta stet nive candidum... - Winter Without Bids Us Make Merry Within - (with borrowing from an original by Alcaeus) - To Thaliarchus. The snow is deep and the frost is keen - Pile high the hearth and bring out old wine - Leave all else to the gods.

I.10, Mercuri, facunde nepos Atlantis... - Hymn to Mercury - Mercury is addressed as the god of eloquence and the promoter of the civilization of man; as the messenger of the gods and the inventor of the lyre; skilled in craft and cunning; and the conductor of souls to the Underworld.

I.11, Tu ne quaesieris... - Carpe Diem! - The poet seeks to dissuade Leuconoe from giving heed to the false arts of astrologers and diviners. It is vain to inquire into the future - Let us enjoy the present, for this is all we can command. It closes with the famous line: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero (Seize the day, trusting tomorrow as little as possible).

I.12, Quem virum aut heroa lyra... - The Praises of Augustus - The poet praises Augustus by associating him with gods and heroes, and distinguished Romans of earlier days.

I.13, Cum tu, Lydia... - Jealousy - Addressed to Lydia - The poet contrasts the misery of jealousy with the happiness secured by constancy in love.

I.14, O navis, referent in mare te novi fluctus... - The Ship of State - Horace refers to a period during which the Roman state was tossed and nearly wrecked by perpetual storms. He exhorts it to beware of fresh perils and keep safely in harbor.

I.15, Pastor cum traheret... - The Prophecy of Nereus - As Paris hurries from Sparta to Troy with Helen, Nereus stills the winds and prophesies – Ilium’s doom is inevitable.

I.16, O matre pulchra filia pulchrior... - An Apology - The poet has offended some lady by the intemperate utterances of his verse; he now seeks forgiveness for the fault. He describes the sad effects of unbridled anger, and urges her to restrain hers.

I.17, Velox amoenum saepe Lucretilem... - An Invitation to Tyndaris to Enjoy the Delights of the Country - Horace invites Tyndaris to his Sabine farm, and describes the air of tranquility and security there, blessed as it is with favoring protection of Faunus and the rural deities.

I.18, Nullam, Vare, sacra vite prius seueris arborem... - The Praise of Wine, and the ill effects of intemperance.

I.19, Mater saeua Cupidinum... - The Poet's Love for Glycera

I.20, Vile potabis modicis Sabinum cantharis... - An Invitation to Maecenas - You will drink poor Sabine wine in modest bowls when you visit the poet.

I.21, Dianam tenerae dicite virgines... - Hymn in Praise of Latona and Her Children, Diana and Apollo

I.22, Integer vitae scelerisque purus... - Upright of Life and Free from Wickedness - Addressed to Aristius Fuscus - Begins as a solemn praise of honest living and ends in a mock-heroic song of love for sweetly laughing "Lalage" (cf. II.5.16, Propertius IV.7.45).

I.23, Vitas inuleo me similis, Chloe... - Fear Me Not, Chloe, and do not shun me.

I.24, Quis desiderio sit pudor aut modus... - To Virgil - A Lament for the Death of Quinctilius

I.25, Parcius iunctas quatiunt fenestras... - Lydia, Thy Charms Are Past - Horace taunts Lydia with her approaching old age and her lack of admirers.

I.26, Musis amicus tristitiam et metus tradam... - In Praise of Aelius Lamia - The poet bids the Muses to inspire him to sing the praises of Aelius Lamia, a man distinguished for his exploits in war.

I.27, Natis in usum laetitiae scyphis... - Let Moderation Reign - At a wine party, Horace endeavors to restrain his quarrelsome companions - He asks the brother of Megilla of Opus to confide the object of his affections.

I.28, Te maris et terrae numeroque... - Death, The Doom of All - Dialogue, between a sailor and the spirit of the philosopher Archytas, on Death, the universal fate, and the duty of giving to the dead the rites of burial.

I.29, Icci, beatis nunc Arabum invides... - The Scholar Turned Adventurer - A remonstrance addressed to Iccius on his intention of giving up philosophy and of joining the expedition to Arabia Felix.

I.30, O Venus regina Cnidi Paphique... - A Prayer to Venus - Venus is invoked to abandon for a while her beloved Cyprus, and to honor with her presence the temple prepared for her at the home of Glycera.

I.31, Quid dedicatum poscit Apollinem vates?... - Prayer to Apollo on the consecration of his temple.

I.32, Poscimur. Si quid vacui sub umbra... - Invocation to the Lyre - The poet addresses his lyre, and blends with the address the praises of the Greek poet Alcaeus.

I.33, Albi, ne doleas plus nimio memor... - The Faithless Glycera - A consolation to the contemporary poet Tibullus over a lost love.

I.34, Parcus deorum cultor et infrequens... - The Poet's Conversion from Error - After hearing thunder in a cloudless sky, Horace renounces his former error and declares his belief in Jupiter, Fortuna, and the superintending providence of the gods.

I.35, O diva, gratum quae regis Antium... - Hymn to Fortuna - The poet invokes Fortune as an all-powerful goddess. He implores her to preserve Augustus in his distant expeditions, and to save the state from ruinous civil wars.

I.36, Et ture et fidibus iuvat - An Ode of Congratulation to Plotius Numida, on his safe return from Spain, where he had been serving under Augustus in a war against the Cantabrians.

I.37, Nunc est bibendum... - Now Is the Time to Drink! - An ode of joy for Augustus's victory at Actium, the capture of Alexandria, and the death of Cleopatra. The tone of triumph over the fallen queen is tempered by a tribute of admiration to her lofty pride and resolute courage.

I.38, Persicos odi, puer, apparatus... - Away With Oriental Luxury! - Horace directs his attendant to make the simplest preparations for his entertainment.

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.