To Faunus, guardian of the flocks. The Faunalia occurred on the 13th of February (Ov. Fast. 2.193). Horace here seems to speak of a local festival in December. Cf. 1.17.1-8. There is a charm in the Epicurean poet's kindly affectation of sympathy with the rustic faith of his neighbors. Cf. on 3.23; also the beautiful lines of Lucret. 4.580 sqq. ; Probus ad Verg. G. 1.10, Rusticis persuasum est incolentibus eam partem Italiae quae suburbana est saepe eos (sc. Faunos) in agris conspici; Herrick, Hesp. 106, 'While Faunus in the Vision comes to keep,| From rav'ning wolves the fleecie sheep'; Ronsard, Pour Hélène: 'Faunes, qui habitez ma terre paternelle,| Qui menez sur le Loir vos dances et vos tours,| Favorisez la plante et lui donnez secours,| Que l'esté ne la brusle et l'hyver ne la gelle.' There is a translation by Warton, Johnson's Poets, 18.99.
amator: by identification with the Greek Pan (1.17.2). Cf. Ov. Met. 1.701 sqq.; Shelley's Pan, 'Singing how down the vale of Maenalus I pursued a maiden'; Thomas Warton, Hecatompathia, 'If country Pan might follow nymphs in chase'; Browning, The Bishop orders his Tomb: 'Those Pans and nymphs ye wot of.' For 'Dan Faunus' as lover of the nymphs, of. F. Q. 2.2.7.
Note chiastic order. lenis: Pan's wrath was dreaded (Theoc. 1.16). aequus: with good will.
alumnis: yearlings, tender young. Cf. 3.23.7.
si: the purely formal condition in prayers. pleno anno: at the close of the year, i.e. in December; exactos (3.22.6). cadit: as a victim, sc. tibi.
Veneris sodali: in apposition to craterae. Love and wine are often associated. Cf. Sine Libero et Cerere friget Venus; Aristoph. fr. 490, οἶνος Ἀφροδίτης γάλα.
vetus: possibly an old altar which Horace found on the estate. Note the asyndeton. multo . . . odore: cf. 1.30.3, multo ture.
The suggested image of the festival develops into a description. Cf. the festival of Anna Perenna (Ov. Fast. 3. 523 sqq.).
tibi: emphatic; thy.
pagus: the village, Mandela, now Bandela. Cf. Ov. Fast. 1.669, pagus agat festum.
audacis: Shelley's 'dreadless kid.'
spargit: the December 'fall of the leaf' (Epode 11.5, December . . . silvis honorem decutit) is by a pretty personification taken as a φυλλοβολία, in honor of the god. Cf. Pind. Pyth. 9.134, 'Many the leaves and wreaths they showered on him'; Verg. Ecl. 5.50; Tenn. Princess, 'Shall strip a hundred hollows bare of spring| To rain an April of ovation round.' tibi: in thy honor.
invisam: because of the toil she exacts. pepulisse: cf. 1.4.7; 1.37.2; and, for the tense, 1.1.4; 3.4.52. fossor: delver, slave working in chains on great estates (Martial,9.22.4). Here, generally, peasant.
Note the adaptation of sound to sense, and cf. the rustic jollity in Lucret. 5. 1401-2, atque extra numerum procedere membra moventes |duriter et duro terram pede pellere matrem. ter: cf. tripudium. Cf. 4.1.28; seu cantare iuvat seu ter pede laeta ferire| gramina (carmina ?) nullus obest sings the shepherd in Calpurnius, Eclog. 4.128.