Live How We Can Yet Die We Must

Horace Odes 2.14

Alas! the fleeting years, Postumus, Postumus, slip by, and piety will not bring a delay to wrinkles and impending old age and invincible death, not [even] if, [my] friend, you were to placate with three hundred bulls for each day that passes the pitiless Pluto, who confines three-bodied (lit., thrice huge) Geryones and Tityos with the gloomy water that must certainly be crossed by all of us who feed on earth's gift, whether we are (lit., will be) kings or poor farmers.

In vain will we avoid bloody Mars and the crashing waves of the raucous Adriatic; in vain will we, in the autumn, fear Auster as it harms (lit., harming) [our] bodies. We must see black Cocytus, wandering with a sluggish current, and the ill-famed family of Danaus, and Sisyphus, son of Aeolus, condemned to long toil. We must leave the earth and [our] home and pleasing wife, nor will any of these trees that you cultivate, except for hateful cypresses, follow you, [their] short[-lived] master. A worthier heir will drink up [your] Caecuban wines, [which were] guarded by a hundred keys, and he will stain the floor with proud wine, better than [that of] the dinners of the high priests.

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