This is Pantheon Poets’s selection of twenty-four of Horace’s poems in the order in which they appear in his four Books of the Odes. Click on the description of each Ode to link to the page where you can hear it in Latin and follow an English translation.
Odes 1.3 Horace wishes his friend Virgil bon voyage and a safe return from a trip to Athens. Metre: second Asclepiad
Odes 1.5: Pyrrha has a new lover. Metre: fourth Asclepiad
Odes 1.9: Mount Soracte under winter snows inspires a reflection on the good things of youth and life. Metre: Alcaic
Odes 1.11: Horace coins (or recalls) the famous phrase, “carpe diem.” Metre: fifth Asclepiad
Odes 1.13: An admirer’s jealousy for a pretty girl’s stormy new affair. Metre: second Asclepiad.
Odes 1.16: In a compliment to a lovely mother and her lovelier daughter, Horace renounces the libellous poems of his youth
Odes 1.22: an encounter with a wolf reminds Horace of the need to lead a decent life. Metre: Sapphic
Odes 2.8: beware of Barine, the femme fatale! Metre: Sapphic
Odes 2.19: Horace pays an impassioned and elegant tribute to Bacchus, God of wine and intoxication. Metre: Alcaic
Odes 3.5: Horace uses the example of Regulus, a Roman legend of unshakeable courage and devotion to duty from the wars against Carthage, to assert the need for the same qualities in his own time. Metre: Alcaic
Odes 3.8: a compliment from Horace to Maecenas, his patron and friend, in the form of an invitation to dinner. Metre: Sapphic
Odes 3.13: O fons Bandusiae – Horace venerates a spring for the Roman festival of Fontinalia. Metre: fourth Asclepiad
Odes 3.19: Horace is throwing a party to celebrate Murena’s election to the college of augurs. Metre: second Asclepiad
Odes 3.21: Horace’s prayer to a wine-jar. Metre: Alcaic
Odes 3.28: Horace celebrates Neptune’s feast-day. Metre: second Asclepiad
Odes 3.30: Horace signs off from the Odes – or so he thought – by asserting that in them he has created a monument more lasting than bronze. Metre: first Asclepiad
Odes 4.1: returning to poetry in lyric metre after a break of perhaps ten years, Horace in middle age is now past love – or so he thinks. Metre: second Asclepiad.
Odes 4.7: Horace mourns the transience of life in this poem to the dark side of “carpe diem.” Metre: Hexameters followed by an Archilochius minor
Odes 4.11: Horace tries out his powers of seduction for one last time. Metre: Sapphics
Odes 4.15: Horace brings his last book of Odes to a close with a final panegyric on the success and legacy of Augustus. Metre: Alcaic.