Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rectius Vives

Storm over Zion by Peter Kunasz
The proper course in life, Licinius,
is neither always to dare the deep, nor,
timidly chary of storms, to hug
the dangerous shore.

Who values most the middle way
avoids discreetly both the squalor
of the slum and the palace liable
to excite envy.

The gale shakes most the lofty pine,
tall towers fall with the louder
crash and the highest peaks most often
are struck by lightning.

Hopeful in evil times and cautious
in good, ready for weal or woe,
be prepared. Jupiter imposes
the ugly winter,

but then withdraws it. Bad luck
is not for ever: Apollo varies
his archery sometimes by harping
to waken the Muse.

In difficult straits show spirit
and fortitude, but on the other hand
always shorten sail when you
run before the wind.

~ Horace, Odes Book II:10 (W. G. Shepherd Translation)


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