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Odes, Book 3, Verse 29: Happy the Man -- Horace

Guest poem submitted by Simon Pereira Shorey:
(Poem #1365) Odes, Book 3, Verse 29: Happy the Man
 Happy the man, and happy he alone,
 He who can call today his own:
 He who, secure within, can say,
 Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
 Be fair or foul or rain or shine
 The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
 Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,
 But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.
-- Horace
 Quintus Horatius Flaccus, 65 to 8 BC.
 Translated by John Dryden, 1631 to 1700 AD.

I always feel that this captures the essence of the imperative for each
of
us to take maximum advantage of our brief sojourn upon this planet. In
the unlikely event of my having an epitaph, this would be one to which I
should like to aspire.

Simon.

[PS. See Poem #633 for a biography and some comments on Horace's Odes -
t.]

50 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Virani Salima said...

That's a lovely poem. It reminds me instantly of this particular verse by Laurence Hope.

For this is Wisdom; to love, to live
To take what fate, or the Gods may give.

To ask no question, to make no prayer,
To kiss the lips and caress the hair,

Speed passion's ebb as you greet its flow
To have, - to hold - and - in time, - let go!

- Laurence Hope

PS: If I ever had an epitaph (equally unlikely) this would be my pick ;)

chr3 said...

The first four lines of this poem are recited by the narrator of Tony
Richardson's classic 1963 film version of Tom Jones as the last words in
the film. They're a perfect summation of its spirit.

Charles Rammelkamp

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