Horace

8 December 65 BC – 27 November 8 BC / Italy

Bki:Xxvii Entanglement

To fight with wine-cups intended for pleasure
only suits Thracians: forget those barbarous
games, and keep modest Bacchus away
from all those bloodthirsty quarrels of yours.

The Persian scimitar’s quite out of keeping
with the wine and the lamplight: my friends restrain
all that impious clamour, and rest
on the couches, lean back on your elbows.

So you want me to drink up my share, as well,
of the heavy Falernian? Then let’s hear
Opuntian Megylla’s brother tell
by what wound, and what arrow, blessed, he dies.

Does your will waver? I’ll drink on no other
terms. Whatever the passion rules over you,
it’s not with a shameful fire it burns,
and you always sin with the noblest

of lovers. Whoever it is, ah, come now,
let it be heard by faithful ears – oh, you wretch!
What a Charybdis you’re swimming in,
my boy, you deserve a far better flame!

What magician, with Thessalian potions,
what enchantress, or what god could release you?
Caught by the triple-formed Chimaera,
even Pegasus could barely free you.
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