This pretty trifle is intended to relieve the severity of the thirty-fifth and thirty-seventh Odes (Sellar, p.137). Translated by Hartley Coleridge, and in two forms by Cowper. Austin Dobson's rendering in Triolets is well known: 'Davus, I detest Orient display.' Cf. Thackeray's amusing, 'Dear Lucy, you know what my wish is, | I hate all your Frenchifled fuss, | Your silly entrées and made dishes | Were never intended for us'; and the irreverent 'Persicos odi, puer apparatus, | Bring me a chop and a couple of potatoes.'
Persicos: i e. luxurious, e.g. i (3. 1. 44). The ad of apparatus and adlabores (5) marks the unnecessary additions to the simple requirements of nature which the wiser Epicurean rejects. Cf. Lucret. 2. 20 sqq.—puer: cf. 2. 11. 18; 1. 19. 14. Anacr. fr. 64.
philyra: ready-made coronae sutiles; garlands, the flowers of which were held together by being sewed on strips of the inner bark of the linden tree, were bought at the shops. Cf. Ov.Fast. 5. 335.
mitte: cf. 3. 8. 17; Epode 13. 7; and omitte, 3. 29. 11.—quo locorum: cf. 1. 29. 5, quae virginum.
sera: the rose is a spring flower in Italy; sub arta vite (7) suggests midsummer heat.
adiabores: with curo.
sedulus: here with adlabores of the servant's officiousness, cf. A. P. 116, sedula nutrix, and Delia serving Messalla in Tibull. 1. 5. 32, et tantum venerata virum hune sedula curet. Cf Sat. 2. 6. 38, imprimat his, cura, Maecenas signa tabellis.—ministrum: cf. Cat. 27. 1, minister vetuli puer Falerni; Fitzgerald, Omar Khayyám, 'And lose your fingers in the tresses of | The cypress-slender minister of wine'; Mart. 8. 67. 5.
arta: thick-pleached, trellised.