By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Horace Giving Thanks

As we approach Thanksgiving week, we can listen to Horace teaching us gratitude.

Here is Dryden translating Horace in Ode 3.29:

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He, who can call to day his own:
He, secure within, can say
To morrow do thy worst, for I have liv'd to day.
Be fair, or foul, or rain, or shine,
The joys I have possest, in spight of fate are mine.
Not Heav'n it self upon the past has pow'r;
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.

And modern poet Charles Tomlinson translates the same lines:

Happy the man who to himself can say
"Whatever awaits me now, I've lived today.
Let tomorrow's sky be filled
With cloud or sunshine--why should I
Discount the happiness I've had:
Fate itself cannot undo what's done
Or take away that hour's content
That came and went, yet lives within the mind.

Both translations are quoted from Horace The Odes: New Translations by Contemporary Poets, ed. J.D. McClatchy (Princeton Univ. Press, 2002), pp. 5, 241.

Each of us has that hour of magical gratitude. As for me, I fondly recall an extended holiday in the very middle of Spain with my children.

(Image below under Creative Commons License, Wikimedia Commons)