Temper thy joy and sorrow, Dellius, with the thought of death. Gather the roses of life while you may. For Dives and Lazarus alike is drawn the inevitable lot that dooms us to Charon's bark and everlasting exile from the warm precincts of the cheerful day. Quintus Dellius, the boon companion of Antony, was wittily nicknamed by Messalla desultor bellorum civilium, the desultor being the circus rider who leaps from horse to horse. His last change of front was his desertion of Antony for Octavian through fear of Cleopatra. He stood high in the favor of Augustus, and was the author of memoirs of the Parthian wars and scurrilous letters ostensibly addressed to Cleopatra. VeIl. 2. 84; Sen. Suas. 1.7; Plut. Ant. 59; Sen. de Clem. 1.10. l. aequam . . . arduis: the verbal antithesis faintly suggests a latent image: a level head--a steep and rugged path. For animus aequus cf. Epp. l. 18. 112; 1. 11. 30; Plaut. Rud. 402; Lucret. 5. 1117; Aequanimitas was the last watchword given out by the Emperor Antoninus Pius on the eve of his death; mens aequa in arduis, the motto of Warren Hastings.
non secus . . . laetitia: parenthetic parallel to leading idea. non secus: and likewise, nor less. Cf. 3.25.8.
insolenti: overweening. temperatam: chastened. Cf. 3.4.66, and Sen. de Prov. 4.10: cum omnia quae excesserunt modum noceant, periculosissima felicitatis intemperantia est.
moriture: since thou must die; the inevitable conclusion to the alternative conditions maestus vixeris and bearis. For neat use of future participle to express any future contingency or probability, cf. 1.22.6; 1.28.6; 2.6.1; 3.4.60; 4.3.20; 4.4.16; 4.13.24; 4.2.3. Delli: some Mss. read 'Gelli.'
te. . . bearis: hast made merry.remoto gramine: cf.1.17.17, in reducta valle; Epode 2.23-27; Tennyson's 'banquet in the distant woods,' In Mem. 89. per: distributive, i.e. as the holidays come round. Cf. 2.14.15; 3.22.6; C. S. 21; Epp. 2.1.147.
reclinatum: cf. 2. 11. 14; Tenn. Lucretius: 'No larger feast than under plane or pine| With neighbors laid along the grass to take| Only such cups as left us friendly warm' (Lucret. 5. 1392-93); Milt. P. L., 'as they sat recline| On the soft downy bank damask'd with flowers.'
interiore nota: inner brand for brand of inner- (most), i.e. oldest and best. For nota cf. Sat. 1.10.24; Catull. 68.28, de meliore nota. The names of the consuls of the year were stamped on or attached to the cadus. Cf. 3.8.12; 3.21.l.
Cf. Milton, Comus, 'Wherefore did nature pour her bounties forth| With such a full and unwithdrawing hand?' -quo: why? unless for our enjoyment. Cf. Epp. 1.5.12, quo mihi fortunam si non conceditur uti? This use of quo is made clearer by the following quid. Cf. Ov. Met. 13.516, quo ferrea resto? quidve moror? Cf. quo . . . cur, Verg. Aen. 12.879.
ingens pinus: cf. 2.10.9. The pine is dark by implied contrast with albus, as well as tall. Cf. on 3.13.6-7.
hospitalem: cf. 'Under the hospitable covert nigh| Of trees thick interwoven' (Milt. P.R.); 'But now to form a shade| For thee green alders have together wound| Their foliage' (Words. River Duddon, 5). Cf. Plat. Phaedr. 230 B. and Verg. G. 4.24, obviaque hospitiis teneat frondentibus arbos. -amant wavers between poetic personification and φιλοῦσι, are wont.
Why does the huddling brook strive to bicker down its winding way? Cf. Epp. 1.10.21, quae per pronum trepidat curn murmure rivum; Ov. Met. 1.39, fluminaque obliquis cinxit declivia ripis.
huc: hither bid bring. vina: acc. plur. always in odes, but vini, 1.4.18; vino, 1.27.5.
flores . . . rosae: cf. on 3.29.3. The rose has always been the symbol of the brief 'bloom of beauty in the south' -'Et rose elle a vécu ce que vivent les roses,| L'espace d'un matin.' Cf. breve lilium (1.36. 16); cf. F. Q. 2. 12.74-75; Wailer's 'Go, lovely rose'; Ronsard's 'Mignonne, allons voir si la rose'; Auson. Idyll. 14; Herrick, 208; Anth. Pal. 11.53.
res: thy fortune -aetas: youth. Cf.1.9.17; 4.12.26, dum licet. sororum: sc. Parcarum, the Greek fates. Cf. Lowell, 'Spin, spin, Clotho, spin, Lachesis twist and Atropos sever'; Milton, Arcades, 'those that hold the vital shears'; Lycidas, 'comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears| And slits the thin-spun life'; Plato. Rep. 617 c; F. Q. 4.2.48, . . . most wretched men whose days depend on threads so vain'; Boileau, Epître VI., 'mon esprit tranquille| Met à profit les jours que Ia Parque me file.'
atra: darkened by association with death. Cf. nigrorum (4.12.26); Stamina pulla (Martial, 4.73.4); but aurea in compliment to Domitian (6.3.5); 'whitest wool' (Herrick, 149. 17).
coemptis: bought up on all sides; cf. 1.29.13; and for the laying of field to field, cf. Epp. 2.2.177. saltibus: hill pastures (Epp. 2.2.178); the 'high lawns' of Milton's Lycidas.-domo is the city house.
villa: for villa by Tiber, cf. Propert. l. 14. flavus: cf. 1.2.13. lavit: laves, not lavat, washes, is the form used in the odes.
cedes: thou shalt leave; pathetic anaphora. Cf. 3.3. 18; 4.4. 70, and for sentiment, 2.14.21. exstructis: cf. Epode 2.43; Sat. 2.3.96, divitiis . . . quas qui construxerit.
heres: cf. on 2.14.25.
It matters not whether rich and sprung from ancient Inachus, or poor and of the lowliest lineage, thou lingerest in the light of day, (doomed) victim (that thou art) of unpitying Orcus. -Inacho: first mythical king of Argos, here typical of ancient lineage. Cf. 3.19. l. n.; Verg. Aen. 7.372.
sub divo: cf. l. 18. 13; 3. 2. 5; ὕπ᾽ αἰθέρι, Aesch. Eumen. 368. moreris: life is only a mora mortis, this world, 'this battered caravanserai| Whose portals are alternate night and day,' is, as Epictetus and the Imitation tell us, an inn, not a home. "Tis but a tent where takes his one day's rest| A Sultan to the realm of death addrest' (Omar Khayyám);παρεπιδημία τίς ἐστιν ὁ βίος(Pseudo-Plat. Axiochus, 365 B); Commorandi enim natura deversorium nobis, non habitandi dedit (Cic. Cat. Maior, 23.84); Paulumque morati| serius aut citius sedem properamus ad unam (Ov. Met. 10.32). For commonplace of impartiality of death, cf. 1.4.12; 2.18.32; 4.7.23; Job 3.19; Pind. Nem. 7.19; Simon. Fr. 38.
nil miserantis: νηλεὲς ἦτορ ἔχων (Hes. Theog. 456). Cf. 2.14.6.
cogimur: driven as by a shepherd. So coerces, 1.10.18; compulerit, 1.24.18.
urna: the lots of all men are shaken in an urn by necessity. When a man's lot flies out, he must die. Cf. Verg. Aen. 6.432, quaesitor Minos urnam movet. Cf. 3.1.16 and Sen. Herc. Fur. 193, recipit populos urna citatos. 27-28: 'When our lot leaps out it will put us on board Charon's boat for everlasting exile.' serius ocius: sooner or later.
aeternum: note the suggestive hypermetron. Cf. 3.29. 35.
exsilium: cf. Longfellow, Cemetery at Newport, 'The long mysterious exodus of death'; Dante, Infern. 23. 117, 'disteso in croce| Tanto vilmente nel eterno esilio.' cumbae: cf. Translations from Lucian, Emily J. Smith, p.119; Propert. 4.17.24, torvi publica cumba senis; Verg. Aen. 6.303; Sen. Herc. Fur. 779,cumba populorum capax; Juv. Sat. 2.151.