Epode XVII

An ironical palinode to Canidia. Cf. Epode 5.

iam iam: cf. Catull. 63, 73, iam iam dolet quod egi.--do manus: as a captive yields his hands to the fetter; yield.

non movenda: not to be disturbed (vexed) with impunity, inviolable.

libros: of magic. So Prospero says, 'And deeper than did ever plummet sound,| I'll drown my book.'

refixa . . . devocare: unfasten and call down; refixa is proleptic. They are nailed to the spangled vault of heaven. Cf. 1.28.11.--With devocare cf. 5. 45-46 n.

sacris: may mean one thing to Canidia and another to Horace. Cf. 7.20. n.

For the rhombus, or 'bull-roarer,' a small board whirled at the end of a string in magic rites, cf. Lang, Custom and Myth, p.29; Propert. 4.5.26; Lucian, Dial. Meretr. 4.5.--citum (ciere; cf. 9.20): proleptic with retro. Reversing the motion unbinds the spell.

Three mythological instances of supplication and relentment. (1) Telephus, king of Mysia, wounded by Achilles, was told by the oracle that he could be healed only by the rust of the spear that bit him. Achilles took pity on him. (2) The body of Hector was withheld from burial by Achilles 'Till Priam did what no man born hath done,| Who dared to pass among the Argive bands,| And clasp'd the knees of him that slew his son, |And kiss'd his awful homicidal hands' (Lang, Helen of Troy, 5.30). Cf. 1.10.14. n. (3) Ulysses constrained rather than implored Circe to restore his companions, transformed into swine by her spells (Odyss. 10.320 sqq.).

nepotem: Thetis was daughter of Nereus.

unxere in the style of the Epodes may stand for the rites of burial. Others, luxere, lamented, with reference to the dirges in Il.24.719 sqq.--addictum: (once) destined; so Achilles had vowed in his grief and wrath at the death of Patroclus (Il.23.180).

homicidam: ἀνδροφόνος, 'kill-man,' is Hector's standing epithet.

heu: Macaulay could not read the passage of the Iliad without tears. Cf. Trevelyan's Life.

laboriosi: epithet of the much-enduring Ulysses.

sonus: speech.

amata . . . multum: in ironical compliment. -- institoribus: 3. 6. 30.

Mock heroic description of his sufferings.

et verecundus color: and its modest blushes.

reliquit: has left behind;the subject is color, or the general notion iuventas et color.

tuis odoribus: by thy perfumed ointments.

reclinat: relieves.

urget: cf. 3. 27. 57; Shelley, Adonais, 21, `As long as skies are blue and fields are green, | Evening must usher night, night urge the morrow.' Cf. 2. 18. 15. -- neque est: and (but) it is not (possible).

tenta praecordia: my laboring breast. Cf. Archil. fr. 9. 4, οἰδαλέους δ᾽ ἀμφ᾽ ὀδύνῃσ᾽ ἔχομεν|πνεύμονας. -- spiritu: by breathing.

negatum: i.e. quod negaveram.

Sabella: for Sabine witchcraft, cf. Sat. 1. 9. 29. --increpare: confuse, i.e. by their clamor.

dissilire: splits.

Cf. Epode 3. 17. n. -- fervida: with flamma.

ventis: dat. agent. -- cales: dost glow; literally, and with eagerness. Cf. Epp. 2. 1. 108, calet uno scribendi studio. --officina: she is a whole laboratory of poisons in herself. -- Colchicis: 2. 13. 8.

stipendium: tribute.

expiare: to do penance.

seu . . . sive: gives her a choice of two methods.

mendaci: ambiguously referring either to what he has said or to what he promises to say. The irony is transparent.

sonari: others read sonare, construed with paratus. --tu pudica, etc.: cf. Catullus' mock apology (42. 24), Pudica et proba, redde codicillos.

42-44. Stesichorus was blinded by Castor and Pollux for insulting Helen in his verse. He wrote a Palinode, and recovered his sight. Cf. Odes, 1. 16. intr.

infamis Helenae vicem: on behalf of the slandered Helen, cf. meam vicem, for my sake.

He heaps insults upon her by affecting to deny them, -- she is no daughter of a squalid hovel, no ghoulish graveyard witch, -- her generous hospitality to all men, her happy motherhood, are well known.

obsoleta: cf. 2. 10. 6, 7.

novendialis: newly buried. The last ceremonies connected with the funeral were held on the ninth day after the death.

venter: i.e. child. Similarly ὠδίς , Aesch. Ag. 1418.

fortis: implying that the indisposition was feigned, and the child supposititious.

The reply of Canidia.

non saxa . . . surdiora: English idiom presents the relevant aspect of the fact: the rocks are not more deaf when, etc.; Latin idiom presents the material fact: Neptune lashes the rocks (not more deaf). -- nudis: i.e. shipwrecked.

`What! Think, unpunished, to deride' (Martin). For this use of ut, cf. A. G. 462. a; G. L. 558; H. 559. 5 --Cotyttia: the rites of Cotytto. The worship of this goddess was of Thracian origin and was notorious for the debaucheries with which it was celebrated; Milt. Comus, `Dark-veiled Cotytto, t' whom the secret flame | Of midnight torches burns; mysterious dame,' etc.

volgata: cf. 3. 2. 27.

Sat. 1. 8, burlesques her foul rites on the Esquiline. pontifex, high-priest, is a sneer at Horace for undertaking the role of Grand Inquisitor. -- venefici: of the magic rites.

quid proderit: i.e. what profits my skill if it cannot procure me revenge? -- Paelignas anus: her teachers in sorcery.

velocius: with toxicum.

62 sqq. But no swift poison shall end his miseries. The lingering tortures of Tantalus, etc., await him. -- votis: sc. tuis.

in hoc: for this purpose, further defined by ut . . . suppetas.

laboribus: cf. 2. 13. 38, 2. 14. 20. Some Mss. read doloribus.

infidi: Catull. 64.346, periuri Pelopis. He hurled into the sea Myrtilus, Oenomăus' charioteer, by whose aid he bad won the race with Oenomăus for the hand of Hippodamīa. Soph., Electr. 504-515, traces the curse of the house of Pelops to this crime.

benignae: in tantalizing abundance. Cf. 1.9.6. n.

obligatus: cf. 4.4.65. n.--Sisyphus: cf. 2.14.20. n.

Thou wilt essay all modes of suicide.

Norico: 1.16.9.

vincla: noose, rope.

fastidiosa: 3.29.9.

A form of humiliation; she will ride him and spurn the earth in her pride. Cf. the scene in Plautus, Asinaria, 698 sq., where a slave rides his master.

an, etc.: cf. 6.15.--movere cereas imagines: to animate waxen images, as she did in the magic rites on which he spied (curiosus) in Sat. 1.8.30. Cf. Verg. Ecl. 8.81; Theoc. 2.28; Rossetti, Sister Helen, 'Why did you melt your waxen man Sister Helen?'

deripere Lunam: l. 5, and 5.46. n.

desideri . . . pocula: cf. 5.38.

plorem, etc.: i.e. 'bewail the failure of my arts on thee,' in thy case.

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