8 December 65 BC – 27 November 8 BC / Italy

Bkii:Xi Don’t Ask -

Don’t ask what the warlike Spaniards are plotting,
or those Scythians, Quinctius Hirpinus,
the intervening Adriatic
keeps off, don’t be anxious about the needs

of life: it asks little: sweet youth and beauty
are vanishing behind us, and dry old age
is driving away all our playful
affections, and all our untroubled sleep.

And the glory of spring flowers won’t last forever,
and the blushing moon won’t always shine, with that
selfsame face: why weary your little
mind with eternal deliberations?

Why not drink while we can, lying, thoughtlessly,
under this towering pine, or this plane-tree,
our greying hair scented with roses,
and perfumed with nard from Assyria?

Bacchus dispels all those cares that feed on us.
Where’s the boy now, who’ll swiftly dilute for us
these cups of fiery Falernian,
with clear water drawn from the passing stream?

Who’ll lure Lyde, that fickle jade, from the house?
Go, tell her to hurry, with her ivory lyre,
her hair done in an elegant knot,
tied up, as if she were a Spartan girl.
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