Horace, Ode 17, Bk. V.
HOW comes it that, at even-tide.
When level beams should show most truth.
Man, failing, takes unfailing pride
In memories of his frolic youth?
Venus and Liber fill their hour;
The games engage, the law-courts prove;
Till hardened life breeds love of power
Or Avarice, Age’s final love.
Yet at the end, these comfort not —
Nor any triumph Fate decrees —
Compared with glorious, unforgot —
ten innocent enormities
Of frontless days before the beard.
When, instant on the casual jest.
The God Himself of Mirth appeared
And snatched us to His heaving breast.
And we — not caring who He was
But certain He would come again —
Accepted all He brought to pass
As Gods accept the lives of men . . .
Then He withdrew from sight and speech.
Nor left a shrine. How comes it now.
While Charon’s keel grates on the beach.
He calls so clear: ‘Rememberest thou?’?
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:52