Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ode I. 11 - Horace

translated by Burton Raffel

Leucon, no one's allowed to know his fate,
Not you, not me: don't ask, don't hunt for answers
In tea leaves or palms. Be patient with whatever comes.
This could be our last winter, it could be many
More, pounding the Tuscan Sea on these rocks:
Do what you must, be wise, cut your vines
And forget about hope. Time goes running, even
As we talk. Take the present, the future's no one's affair.

To kick off a week of farewells and good luck is Horace, and some timeless advice.  The future is not ours to know, and the present is ours to live.  Savor what we have now, because it can be gone in a moment.  I do not think "forget about hope" is meant to be a depressing line.  Rather, it's a caution against forgetting to live in the moment and recognize the good around oneself.

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