Pluck This, Here, Now

Don’t ask (we may not know), Leuconoe,
What ends the gods propose for me
Or you. Let Chaldees try
To read the ciphered sky;

Better to bear the outcome, good or bad,
Whether Jove purposes to add
Fresh winters to the past
Or to make this the last

Which now tires out the Tuscan sea and mocks
Its strength with barricades of rocks.
Be wise, strain clear of the wine
And prune the rambling vine

Of expectation. Life’s short. Even while
We talk Time, grudging, runs a mile.
Don’t trust tomorrow’s bough
For Fruit. Pluck this, here, now.

(Horace, Ode XI, Book I, Translated by James Michie)