To Quintilius Varus

by Horace


Varus, you shou'd no tree prefer before the sacred vine,
If you to plant the kindly soil of Catilus design.
For to the droughty all things hard has Heav'n and nature made;
Nor can we rankling care escape without the bottle's aid.
Who make a racket in their cups, of want or war's distress,
Nor rather Bacchus, sire of joy, and graceful Venus bless?
But lest we shou'd transgress and take more liquor than we ought,
The Centaurean battles warn o'er such carousing fought.
Great Bacchus is a warning too as most severely just
Against Sithonians right and wrong confounding in their lust.
To thee my candid Bassareus I will not do despite;
Nor bring from underneath the leaf what best had shunn'd the light.
Restrain your Berecynthian horn, and hush your savage drums,
After whose clam'rous din, self-love in partial blindness comes;
Vain glory next, with empty head aloft, is wont to pass;
And tattling treachery succeeds seen through as clear as glass.

Last updated May 19, 2019