The Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated

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In this impartial glass, my Muse intends Fair to expose my self, my foes, my friends; [60] Publish the present age; but where my text Is vice too high, reserve it for the next: My foes shall wish my life a longer date, And ev'ry friend the less lament my fate. My head and heart thus flowing thro' my quill, [65] Verse-man or Prose-man, term me which you will, Papist or Protestant, or both between, Like good Erasmus in an honest mean, In moderation placing all my glory, While Tories call me Whig , and Whigs a Tory.

Peace is my dear delight — not Fleury 's more: But touch me, and no Minister so sore. Whoe'er offends, at some unlucky time Slides into verse, and hitches in a rhyme, [80] Sacred to ridicule his whole life long, And the sad burthen of some merry song. Slander or poyson dread from Delia 's rage , Hard words or hanging, if your Judge be From furious Sappho scarce a milder fate, [85] P—x'd by her love, or libell'd by her hate.

Its proper pow'r to hurt, each creature feels, Bulls aim their horns, and asses lift their heels, 'Tis a bear's talent not to kick but hug, And no man wonders he's not stung by Pug: Plums and Directors, Shylock and his Wife, [] Will club their testers, now, to take your life! Could pension'd Boileau lash in honest strain Flatt'rers and bigots ev'n in Louis' reign? And I not strip the gilding off a Knave, Unplac'd, unpension'd, no man's heir, or slave? I will, or perish in the gen'rous cause: Hear this and tremble! To Virtue only and her friends a friend, The World beside may murmur, or commend.

Know, all the distant din that world can keep [] Rolls o'er my Grotto , and but sooths my sleep. There, my retreat the best companions grace, Chiefs out of war, and Statesmen out of place. John mingles with my friendly bowl, The Feast of Reason and the Flow of soul: Envy must own , I live among the Great, [] No Pimp of pleasure, and no Spy of state, With eyes that pry not, tongue that ne'er repeats, Fond to spread friendships, but to cover heats, To help who want, to forward who excel; This, all who know me, know; who love me, tell; [] And who unknown defame me, let them be Scriblers or Peers, alike are Mob to me.

This is my plea, on this I rest my cause — What saith my Council learned in the laws?

First Satire Of the Second Book Of Horace, Imitated

Your Plea is good; but still, I say, beware! It stands on record, that in Richard 's times A man was hang'd for very honest rhymes. I think it is, Edwardi sext. The Case is alter'd — you may then proceed; In such a cause the Plaintiff will be hiss'd, My Lords the Judges laugh, and you're dismiss'd. The Second Satire of the Second Book of Horace, Paraphrased What, and how great, the Virtue and the Art To live on little with a chearful heart, A doctrine sage, but truly none of mine Let's talk, my friends, but talk before we dine: Not when a gilt Buffet's reflected pride [5] Turns you from sound Philosophy aside: Not when from plate to plate your eyeballs roll, And the brain dances to the mantling bowl.

Hear Bethel 's Sermon, one not vers'd in schools, But strong in sense, and wise without the rules. Go work, hunt, exercise! Your wine lock'd up, your Butler stroll'd abroad, Or kept from fish, the river yet unthaw'd If then plain bread and milk will do the feat, [15] The pleasure lies in you, and not the meat. Preach as I please, I doubt our curious men Will chuse a pheasant still before a hen; Yet hens of Guinea full as good I hold, Except you eat the feathers green and gold.

Because God made these large, the other less. Oldfield , with more than Harpy throat endu'd, [25] Cries, "Send me, Gods! By what Criterion do ye eat, d'ye think, If this is priz'd for sweetness, that for stink? Archilochus and Alcaeus were aristocratic Greeks whose poetry had a social and religious function that was immediately intelligible to their audiences but which became a mere artifice or literary motif when transposed to Rome.

However, the artifice of the Odes is also integral to their success, since they could now accommodate a wide range of emotional effects, and the blend of Greek and Roman elements adds a sense of detachment and universality. It was no idle boast. His Epodes were modeled on the verses of the Greek poet, as 'blame poetry', yet he avoided targeting real scapegoats. Whereas Archilochus presented himself as a serious and vigorous opponent of wrong-doers, Horace aimed for comic effects and adopted the persona of a weak and ineffectual critic of his times as symbolized for example in his surrender to the witch Canidia in the final epode.

He imitated other Greek lyric poets as well, employing a 'motto' technique, beginning each ode with some reference to a Greek original and then diverging from it. The satirical poet Lucilius was a senator's son who could castigate his peers with impunity. Horace was a mere freedman's son who had to tread carefully. His work expressed genuine freedom or libertas.

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His style included 'metrical vandalism' and looseness of structure. Horace instead adopted an oblique and ironic style of satire, ridiculing stock characters and anonymous targets. His libertas was the private freedom of a philosophical outlook, not a political or social privilege. The Epistles may be considered among Horace's most innovative works.

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There was nothing like it in Greek or Roman literature. Occasionally poems had had some resemblance to letters, including an elegiac poem from Solon to Mimnermus and some lyrical poems from Pindar to Hieron of Syracuse. Lucilius had composed a satire in the form of a letter, and some epistolary poems were composed by Catullus and Propertius.


But nobody before Horace had ever composed an entire collection of verse letters, [73] let alone letters with a focus on philosophical problems. The sophisticated and flexible style that he had developed in his Satires was adapted to the more serious needs of this new genre. His craftsmanship as a wordsmith is apparent even in his earliest attempts at this or that kind of poetry, but his handling of each genre tended to improve over time as he adapted it to his own needs.

Nevertheless, the first book includes some of his most popular poems. Horace developed a number of inter-related themes throughout his poetic career, including politics, love, philosophy and ethics, his own social role, as well as poetry itself. His Epodes and Satires are forms of 'blame poetry' and both have a natural affinity with the moralising and diatribes of Cynicism.

This often takes the form of allusions to the work and philosophy of Bion of Borysthenes [nb 13] but it is as much a literary game as a philosophical alignment.

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By the time he composed his Epistles , he was a critic of Cynicism along with all impractical and "high-falutin" philosophy in general. Over time, he becomes more confident about his political voice. Epicureanism is the dominant influence, characterizing about twice as many of these odes as Stoicism. A group of odes combines these two influences in tense relationships, such as Odes 1.

While generally favouring the Epicurean lifestyle, the lyric poet is as eclectic as the satiric poet, and in Odes 2. This book shows greater poetic confidence after the public performance of his "Carmen saeculare" or "Century hymn" at a public festival orchestrated by Augustus. In it, Horace addresses the emperor Augustus directly with more confidence and proclaims his power to grant poetic immortality to those he praises. It is the least philosophical collection of his verses, excepting the twelfth ode, addressed to the dead Virgil as if he were living. In that ode, the epic poet and the lyric poet are aligned with Stoicism and Epicureanism respectively, in a mood of bitter-sweet pathos.

What is true and what befits is my care, this my question, this my whole concern. Ambiguity is the hallmark of the Epistles. It is uncertain if those being addressed by the self-mocking poet-philosopher are being honoured or criticized. Though he emerges as an Epicurean, it is on the understanding that philosophical preferences, like political and social choices, are a matter of personal taste. Thus he depicts the ups and downs of the philosophical life more realistically than do most philosophers. The reception of Horace's work has varied from one epoch to another and varied markedly even in his own lifetime.

Odes 1—3 were not well received when first 'published' in Rome, yet Augustus later commissioned a ceremonial ode for the Centennial Games in 17 BC and also encouraged the publication of Odes 4, after which Horace's reputation as Rome's premier lyricist was assured. His Odes were to become the best received of all his poems in ancient times, acquiring a classic status that discouraged imitation: In a verse epistle to Augustus Epistle 2. For one modern scholar, however, Horace's personal qualities are more notable than the monumental quality of his achievement:.

We think rather of a voice which varies in tone and resonance but is always recognizable, and which by its unsentimental humanity evokes a very special blend of liking and respect. Yet for men like Wilfred Owen , scarred by experiences of World War I, his poetry stood for discredited values:. My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The Old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.

The same motto, Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori , had been adapted to the ethos of martyrdom in the lyrics of early Christian poets like Prudentius. These preliminary comments touch on a small sample of developments in the reception of Horace's work. More developments are covered epoch by epoch in the following sections. Horace's influence can be observed in the work of his near contemporaries, Ovid and Propertius. Ovid followed his example in creating a completely natural style of expression in hexameter verse, and Propertius cheekily mimicked him in his third book of elegies.

His influence had a perverse aspect. As mentioned before, the brilliance of his Odes may have discouraged imitation. Conversely, they may have created a vogue for the lyrics of the archaic Greek poet Pindar , due to the fact that Horace had neglected that style of lyric see Pindar Influence and legacy. Ovid's Ibis was a rare attempt at the form but it was inspired mainly by Callimachus , and there are some iambic elements in Martial but the main influence there was Catullus. Both Horace and Lucilius were considered good role-models by Persius , who critiqued his own satires as lacking both the acerbity of Lucillius and the gentler touch of Horace.

Statius paid homage to Horace by composing one poem in Sapphic and one in Alcaic meter the verse forms most often associated with Odes , which he included in his collection of occasional poems, Silvae. Ancient scholars wrote commentaries on the lyric meters of the Odes , including the scholarly poet Caesius Bassus.

By a process called derivatio , he varied established meters through the addition or omission of syllables, a technique borrowed by Seneca the Younger when adapting Horatian meters to the stage. Horace's poems continued to be school texts into late antiquity. Works attributed to Helenius Acro and Pomponius Porphyrio are the remnants of a much larger body of Horatian scholarship. Porphyrio arranged the poems in non-chronological order, beginning with the Odes , because of their general popularity and their appeal to scholars the Odes were to retain this privileged position in the medieval manuscript tradition and thus in modern editions also.

Horace was often evoked by poets of the fourth century, such as Ausonius and Claudian. Prudentius presented himself as a Christian Horace, adapting Horatian meters to his own poetry and giving Horatian motifs a Christian tone. What has Horace to do with the Psalter?

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Boethius , the last major author of classical Latin literature, could still take inspiration from Horace, sometimes mediated by Senecan tragedy. Classical texts almost ceased being copied in the period between the mid sixth century and the Middle Ages. Horace's work probably survived in just two or three books imported into northern Europe from Italy. These became the ancestors of six extant manuscripts dated to the ninth century. Two of those six manuscripts are French in origin, one was produced in Alsace , and the other three show Irish influence but were probably written in continental monasteries Lombardy for example.

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His influence on the Carolingian Renaissance can be found in the poems of Heiric of Auxerre [nb 24] and in some manuscripts marked with neumes , mysterious notations that may have been an aid to the memorization and discussion of his lyric meters. This hymn later became the basis of the solfege system Do, re, mi However, the melody is unlikely to be a survivor from classical times, although Ovid [98] testifies to Horace's use of the lyre while performing his Odes.

The German scholar, Ludwig Traube , once dubbed the tenth and eleventh centuries The age of Horace aetas Horatiana , and placed it between the aetas Vergiliana of the eighth and ninth centuries, and the aetas Ovidiana of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, a distinction supposed to reflect the dominant classical Latin influences of those times. Such a distinction is over-schematized since Horace was a substantial influence in the ninth century as well. Traube had focused too much on Horace's Satires. In fact medieval scholars were also guilty of over-schematism, associating Horace's different genres with the different ages of man.

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  4. A twelfth century scholar encapsulated the theory: Horace wrote four different kinds of poems on account of the four ages, the Odes for boys, the Ars Poetica for young men, the Satires for mature men, the Epistles for old and complete men. The later Middle Ages however gave special significance to Satires and Epistles , being considered Horace's mature works. Dante referred to Horace as Orazio satiro , and he awarded him a privileged position in the first circle of Hell, with Homer , Ovid and Lucan. Horace's popularity is revealed in the large number of quotes from all his works found in almost every genre of medieval literature, and also in the number of poets imitating him in quantitative Latin meter.

    The most prolific imitator of his Odes was the Bavarian monk, Metellus of Tegernsee , who dedicated his work to the patron saint of Tegernsee Abbey , St Quirinus , around the year He imitated all Horace's lyrical meters then followed these up with imitations of other meters used by Prudentius and Boethius, indicating that variety, as first modelled by Horace, was considered a fundamental aspect of the lyric genre.

    The content of his poems however was restricted to simple piety. Petrarch is a key figure in the imitation of Horace in accentual meters. His verse letters in Latin were modelled on the Epistles and he wrote a letter to Horace in the form of an ode. However he also borrowed from Horace when composing his Italian sonnets. One modern scholar has speculated that authors who imitated Horace in accentual rhythms including stressed Latin and vernacular languages may have considered their work a natural sequel to Horace's metrical variety.

    Montaigne made constant and inventive use of Horatian quotes. The first English translator was Thomas Drant , who placed translations of Jeremiah and Horace side by side in Medicinable Morall , Ben Jonson put Horace on the stage in in Poetaster , along with other classical Latin authors, giving them all their own verses to speak in translation. Horace's part evinces the independent spirit, moral earnestness and critical insight that many readers look for in his poems.

    Alexander Pope 21 May — 30 May was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. Pope is famous for his use of the heroic couplet. Read more Read less. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Product details File Size: June 2, Sold by: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video.

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    The Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated The Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated
    The Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated The Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated
    The Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated The Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated
    The Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated The Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated
    The Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated The Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated

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