Come, Maecenas, and quaff cheap Sabine ordinaire bottled by me the day the Vatican hill reëchoed the plaudits of the people welcoming you back to the theater after your illness. You may drink Caecuban and Calenian at home. The wines of Falernus and Formiae do not qualify my cups.
vile: cheap.—modicis: of quality, not size, modest. Cf. Epp. 1. 5. 2, nec modica cenare times olus omne patella.—Sabinum: 'le vin du pays,' but not from his own farm (Epp. 1. 14. 23).
Graeca . . . testa: perhaps to give it a smack of the richer Greek wine, perhaps only an allusion to the tasteful Greek jar.
levi: oblevi; sealed, sc. with pitch. Cf. 3. 8. 10.—datus:sc. est.
cum: on the day when.—plausus: about B.C. 30. Cf. 2. 17. 25.
care: cf. dilecte, 2. 20. 7; amice, Epode 1. 2.—paterni: Horace elsewhere also refers to the Tiber as a Tuscan stream (3. 7. 28; Sat. 2. 2. 32). For Maecenas' Etruscan origin cf. on 1. 1. 1.
The echo of applause from Pompey's theater in the Campus Martius was returned from the Vatican (or adjoining Janiculum) hill on the other side of Tiber. The topographical improbability of such an echo does not require us to pronounce the poem a forgery. Cf. Shaks. Jul. Caes. 1. 1, 'Have you not made an universal shout, | That Tiber trembled underneath her banks, | To hear the replication of your sounds, | Made in her concave shores?' Cf. also Plat. Rep. 492 B; F. Q. 1. 6. 8, 'far rebounded noise.' Note Vatĭcani; elsewhere ī.
imago: 1. 12. 3. n.
Caecuban and Formian (from southern Latium), Calenian and Falernian (from Campania) were all fine wines.—prelo domitam Caleno uvam: the grape crushed in Calenian press. For the periphrasis aud metonymy, cf. Tenn., 'The foaming grape of Eastern France' = champagne . 'Such whose father grape grew fat | On Lusitanian summers' = port.
tu bibes: thou mayest drink (at home). For this concessive use of the future cf. 1. 7. 1, laudabunt. The passage has been endlessly vexed. Some read tum bibes, i.e. you shall drink better wine after the Sabine, but you must not expect the best (Falernian, etc.) from me. The antithesis is imperfectly expressed, and the ode is not a masterpiece, but there is no real difficulty. Lines 11 and 12 repeat the general idea, 'I have no choice wines, with fresh examples. Cf. Munro, Eng. J. Phil. 3. 349; Wilamowitz, Berlin. Acad. 1902. 2. p.872; Rhein. Mus. 57 (1902). 466; Nene Jahrbücher 21(1908). 96.
temperant: qualify (Epode 17. 80). The wines were mixed with water. The vines and hills that yield the wines are personified.