With and Without Horace

From Gardner Wade Earle, 1949, Moments With (and Without) Horace (PDF Book).

Ode I.11, A Moment With Horace

Ask not what ends the gods have set for thee
Or me. Do not inquire the horoscope
From those who read the charts of famed Chaldee.

How better to accept today, and hope
This season may not be the last we hear
Wild Tuscan waves break on the coastal slope.

Show wisdom. Care for things that now appear —
There’s wine to filter; grain is ripe to cut —
Leave far-flung plans and take what’s lying near.

Yea, even while we speak, the door has shut
Upon a portion of the passing flow
Of that most precious gift to cherish, but

The present tense of Time is never slow!

Same Ode, Without Horace

When you have paid to get your horoscope
And wasted dough for “readings from the sky”
You’re simply clinchin’ that you are a dope.

There’s only one thing sure as babies cry —
And that’s today. You better take it now —
It may be all there is before y’ die.

Quit thinkin’ what you’ll do next year, and how.
The wine needs strainin’ and the oats are waitin’
And stuff you’ll use for this and next year’s chow.

And while I’m gabbin’ here and disputatin’,
You know what’s goin’ on for you and me?
The only thing we got ain’t hesitatin’ —

Our Time is flittin’ like a busy bee!