The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace by Horace


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace, by Horace

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Title: Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace

Author: Horace

Release Date: April, 2004 [EBook #5432]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on July 18, 2002]
[Date last updated: August 28, 2005]

Edition: 10

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, ODES AND CARMEN SAECULARE OF HORACE ***




David Moynihan, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.



THE ODES AND CARMEN SAECULARE OF HORACE

TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH VERSE
BY JOHN CONINGTON, M.A.
CORPUS PROFESSOR OF LATIN IN THE
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.

THIRD EDITION.






PREFACE.


I scarcely know what excuse I can offer for making public this attempt
to "translate the untranslatable." No one can be more convinced than I
am that a really successful translator must be himself an original
poet; and where the author translated happens to be one whose special
characteristic is incommunicable grace of expression, the demand on the
translator's powers would seem to be indefinitely increased. Yet the
time appears to be gone by when men of great original gifts could find
satisfaction in reproducing the thoughts and words of others; and the
work, if done at all, must now be done by writers of inferior
pretension. Among these, however, there are still degrees; and the
experience which I have gained since I first adventured as a poetical
translator has made me doubt whether I may not be ill-advised in
resuming the experiment under any circumstances. Still, an experiment
of this kind may have an advantage of its own, even when it is
unsuccessful; it may serve as a piece of embodied criticism, showing
what the experimenter conceived to be the conditions of success, and
may thus, to borrow Horace's own metaphor of the whetstone, impart to
others a quality which it is itself without. Perhaps I may be allowed,
for a few moments, to combine precept with example, and imitate my
distinguished friend and colleague, Professor Arnold, in offering some
counsels to the future translator of Horace's Odes, referring, at the
same time, by way of illustration, to my own attempt.

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