Poem: Rectius Vives

It has been some time since we had any Horace, so here is Ode X from Book II (translated by David West):

Rectius Vives
You will take a better course, Licinius
if you do not always thrust over the deep sea,
or hug the dangerous coast too close,
shivering at the prospect of squalls.
Whoever loves the Golden Mean
is safe (no squalor for him in a filthy garret),
and temperate (for him no mansion
that men will envy).
The huge pine is more cruelly tossed
by the winds, the loftiest towers
have the heaviest fall and lightning strikes
the tops of mountains.
The heart well prepared hopes in adversity
for a change in fortune, and fears it in prosperity.
Jupiter brings back ugly winters
and Jupiter
removes them. If all goes badly now, some day
it will not be so. Sometimes Apollo rouses
the silent Muse with his lyre. He does not always
stretch his bow.
In a difficult strait show spirit
and courage, and when the wind
is too strong at your back, be wise
and shorten the bulging sail.

Horace [1997 AD/23 BCE]: The Complete Odes and Epodes. Translation by David West. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Previous poems by Horace:  Tu ne quaesieris (Ode I: XI) and Vides ut alta (Ode I: IX).

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