Happy the man, and happy he alone... (Dryden's "Imitation of Horace...")


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Wondered if anyone could help with this poetry by Horace. i believe it was originally in Greek but i can only find the English translation. Please help? Thanks. Its for a friend and it would mean the world to them...
Odes, Book 3, Verse 29: Happy the Man - Horace

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.
« Last Edit: 04 Jan, 2009, 06:58:30 by billberg23 »


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This is not Horace, but Dryden, Imitation of Horace, book III, ode 29, vv. 65-72.  The Horatian poem upon which these lines were based were written in Latin, not Greek (Odes 3.29.41-48):

ille potens sui
laetusque deget, cui licet in diem
  dixisse "vixi:  cras vel atra
    nube polum Pater occupato

vel sole puro;  non tamen irritum,
quodcumque retro est, efficiet neque
  diffinget infectumque reddet,
    quod fugiens semel hora vexit."

If you're interested, here's a roughly literal translation:

Content and
happy does he pass his time, who can each day
  say "I have lived:  tomorrow let Father
    Jupiter hold heaven's summit with dark cloud

Or bright sun;  he will not render
vain whatever is past, nor will he
  take back and undo
    what once the fleeting hour has moved."
« Last Edit: 04 Jan, 2009, 02:41:34 by billberg23 »


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