by: Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65-8 B.C.)

      HE man in righteousness arrayed,
      A pure and blameless liver,
      Needs not the keen Toledo blade,
      Nor venom-freighted quiver.
      What though he wind his toilsome way
      O'er regions wild and weary--
      Through Zara's burning desert stray,
      Or Asia's jungles dreary:
      What though he plow the billowy deep
      By lunar light, or solar,
      Meet the resistless Simoon's sweep,
      Or iceberg circumpolar!
      In bog or quagmire deep and dank
      His foot shall never settle;
      He mounts the summit of Mont Blanc,
      Or Popocatapetl.
      On Chimborazo's breathless height
      He treads o'er burning lava;
      Or snuffs the Bohan Upas blight,
      The deathful plant of Java.
      Through every peril he shall pass,
      By Virtue's shield protected;
      And still by Truth's unerring glass
      His path shall be directed.
      Else wherefore was it, Thursday last,
      While strolling down the valley,
      Defenseless, musing as I passed
      A canzonet to Sally,
      A wolf, with mouth-protruding snout,
      Forth from the thicket bounded--
      I clapped my hands and raised a shout--
      He heard--and fled--confounded.
      Tangier nor Tunis never bred
      An animal more crabbèd;
      Nor Fez, dry-nurse of lions, fed
      A monster half so rabid;
      Nor Ararat so fierce a beast
      Has seen since days of Noah;
      Nor stronger, eager for a feast,
      The fell constrictor boa.

This English translation of "To Sally" was composed by John Quincy Adams (1767-1848).



  • Horace - A biography of the Roman philosopher and dramatic critic Quintus Horatius Flaccus.
  • Horace: Bibliography - A bibliography of the works of Quintus Horatius Flaccus; includes a list of critical and biographical resources.
  • Latin Dramatic Criticism - An overview of dramatic criticism as it developed during the Roman Empire.
  • The Maxims of Horace - An overview of the Roman critic's rules for dramatic construction.
  • Purchase books by Horace


[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]

Home · Poetry Store · Links · Email · © 2002