AD XANTHIAM PHOCEUM (ODES, II, 4)
by: Horace (Quintus Horatius
Flaccus) (65-8 B.C.)
- AY, Xanthias,
- That she you love is but a servant.
- Remember, lovers far more famed
- Were just as fervent.
- Achilles loved the pretty slave
- Brisëis for her fair complexion;
- And to Texmessa Ajax gave
- His young affection.
- Why, Agamemnon at the height
- Of feasting, triumph, and anointment,
- Left everything to keep, one night,
- A small appointment.
- And are you sure the girl you love--
- This maid on whom you have your heart set
- Is lowly--that she is not of
- The Roman smart set?
- A maiden modest as is she,
- So full of sweetness and forbearance,
- Must be all right; her folks must be
- Delightful parents.
- Her arms and face I can commend,
- And, as the writer of a poem,
- I fain would compliment, old friend,
- The limbs below 'em.
- Nay, be not jealous. Stop your fears.
- My tendencies are far from sporty.
- Besides, the number of my years
- Is over forty.
POEMS BY HORACE
This English translation of "Ad
Xanthiam Phoceum" was composed by F.P. Adams (1881-1960).