Plant your vines, Varus. Wine is the only dispeller of care. But shun the excesses of the Centaurs and the wild Thracians, and the blind self-love and vainglory that follow the abuse of Father Liber's gifts.Varus is probably the Quintilius (Varus) of 1. 24, and the Quintilius praised as a faithful literary critic, A. P. 438. For praise of wine, cf. 3. 21. For Bacchus, cf. 2. 19; 3. 25.
Modeled on Alcaeus' fr. 44 in same meter, μηδὲν ἄλλο φυτεύσῃς πρότερον δένδριον ἀμπέλω.—sacra: to Bacchus.—severis: plant; cf. on 1. 11. 1.
circa: with solum and moenia a slight zeugma.—mite: fruitful.—Catili: for Catilli. Cf. on 1. 7. 13; 2. 6. 5.
siccis: for those who abstain; cf. Epist. 1. 19. 9; the opposite of uvidus, 4. 5. 39.—dura: predicatively.
mordaces: gnawing; δακέθυμοι, θυμοβόροι. Cf. 2. 11. 18 and Milton's 'eating cares'; Verg. Aen. 1. 261.—aliter: in any other way, sc. than by use of wine (Eurip. Bacch. 278 sqq.).—diffugiunt: Wine is 'The mighty Mahmúd, Allah-breathing Lord, | That all the misbelieving and black Horde | Of Fears and Sorrows that infest the soul | Scatters before him with his whirlwind sword' (Fitzgerald's Rubaiyát, 60). Cf. Alcaeus, οἶνον λαθικάδεα.
post vina: cf. 3. 21. 19, post te. For plural, cf. 4. 5. 31. —gravem: i.e. the hardships of.—crepat: cf. Sat. 2. 3. 33; Epist. 1. 7. 84; 2. 3. 247; prates, rattles on, παταγεῖ understood by a very slight zeugma with the next verse too.
Bacche pater: cf. 3. 3. 13; Epist. 2. 1. 5, Liber pater; Verg. G. 2. 4; Ion. Eleg. 1. 13, πάτερ Διόνυσε. The Greek Bacchus was ever young, but pater is not an epithet of age. It is a half humorous, half reverential recognition of the god's gifts.—decens: cf. 1. 4. 6.
ac: and yet. Some editors adopt the reading at, on the ground that ac is not sufficiently adversative here.—modici: the epithet is transferred from the use of the gift to the giver.—transiliat: abuse; the word implies transgression as in 1. 3. 24.—munera Liberi occurs 4. 15. 26. Cf. Bacehylides' Διονυσίοισι; Verg. G. 2. 5.
Centaurea . . . rixa: the strife arose out of the assault of the drunken Centaurs on the bride Hippodamia at the wedding of Pirithous, king of the Lapithae. Cf. 2. 12. 5; Ovid, Met 12. 219 sqq.; F. Q. 4. 1. 23:' And there the relics of the drunken fray, | The which amongst the Lapithees befell: | And of the bloody feast, which sent away | So many Centaurs' drunken souls to hell'; Arnold, The Strayed Reveller. It was represented in the metopes of the Parthenon. οἶνος καὶ Κένταυρον (Odyss. 21. 295) was proverbial. Cf. Anth. Pal. 11, 1; Callim. 62. 3.—Centaurea: of the Centaurs.—monet: is a warning.—super mero: over their win, both Horace and Vergil use this abl. for the more usual acc. Cf. 1. 9. 5; 1. 12. 6; 3. 1. 17; Eclog. 1. 80; Aen. 6. 203.
debellata: fought out; cf. 1 . 3. 13. n.—Sithoniis . . . Euhius: Euhius' severity to the Sithonians, lit., Euhius not gentle to. The Sithonians were one of the tribes of Thrace; for other examples of poetic specification cf. 3. 26. 10; 1. 27. 2; 1. 36. 14; 2. 7. 27. The drunkenness of the Thracians was notorious. The god is said to be non levis to them on account of the drunken brawls which their drinking caused.—Euhius: another name for Bacchus; from εὐοῖ. Cf. on 2. 19 5, and Lucretius, 5. 743. The orgiastic appellations Euhius and Bassareu are aptly used when the darker side of the deity is emphasized rather than the friendliness of Liber pater.
When in their greed they distinguish right and wrong only by the narrow boundary which their passions set, lit., of their passions; i.e. what they want is right to them. For the general thought cf. Shaks. Tim. of Athens, 5. 5, 'making your wills the scope of justice.'
non ego te: recurs 1. 23. 9; 4. 12. 22.—candide: 'bright god of the vine' (Martin). Cf. Epode 3. 9; Ov. Fast. 3. 772;Tibull. 3. 6. 1. But cf. Epode 14. 5. n.—Bassareu: from the foxskin, βασσάρα, from which the Bassarids = Maenads took their name. Macrobius (Sat. 1. 18. 9) speaks of a bearded Bacchus under this name. Cf. Class. Review, 10. 21. 12 sqq. The thought 'I will not abuse the gifts of Bacchus,' is clothed in imagery borrowed from his mystic rites. For the concealing leaves and the affected mystery of Bacchic orgies, Cf. Theoc. 26. 3; Catullus, 64. 259, 260; Tibull. 1. 7. 48.—quatiam: rouse. The poet probably has in mind the shaking of the thyrsus, one of the symbols of the god, by the Bacchantes. Cf. Catull. 64. 255, horum pars tecta quatiebant cuspide thyrsos.—obsita: (symbols) concealed.—frondibus: chiefly grape and ivy leaves.
sub divum: into the light; cf.1. 1. 25; 3. 2. 5; 2. 3. 23.—saeva: harsh, appalling. Saeva sonoribus arma (Verg. Aen. 9. 651).—tene: check, hush.—Berecyntio: the Berecynthian horn belonged to the worship of Cybele (Lucret. 2. 619), but was transferred to that of Bacchus also. Cf. Catull. 64. 264; Eurip. Bacchae, 78; cf. 3. 19. 18.
quae subsequitur: in whose train follow, and then the poet adds some of the characteristics of intoxication: self-love, vainglory, and reckless talkativeness.—caecus: Eigenliebe macht die Augen trübe. Sen. Ep. 109. 16, quos amor sui excaecat.
plus nimio: this colloquialism, in Cicero nimio plus, recurs 1. 33. 1; Epist. 1. 10. 30. Nimio is abl. of measure.—gloria: vainglory. Cf. miles gloriosus, and the famous French epigram, 'ci-git le glorieux ă côtĕ de la gloire.'
fides prodiga: an oxymoron, like Tennyson's 'Faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.' Cf. 3. 24. 59, and 1. 5. 5.—per | lucidior: cf. on 2. 12. 25.—vitro: cf. 3. 13. 1; 1. 17. 20. For the thought, cf. the proverbial οἶνος καὶ ἀλήθεια and κάτοπρον εἴδους χαλκός ἐστ¹, οἶνος δὲ νοῦ, Aesch. fr. 393; Alcaeus, fr. 53, 57.