Horace’s Carpe Diem

Translated by Francis Manning, 1701:

Desist, fond Man, nor seek to know
What end the Gods for Thee ordain,
Such vain enquiries do but shew
The way to live in endless Pain.

Since Human Life at best is short,
And all that doth on That depend;
Since Friends must from their Friends depart,
And all things seek their destin’d end.

Why should we so disturb our Minds
About the various Scenes of Death;
Or by what method Fate designs
To make us render up our Breath?

How doth it serve the use of Life
To know the limits of our State?
Less curious Minds are less at strife,
Foreknowing not the time of Fate.

Live freely whilst thy Hours do last,
‘Tis Wisdom in so short a space:
Forget the Pleasures that are past,
Nor hopes of longer life embrace.

Whilst we are talking, envious Time
Is far advanc’d upon the Wing.
Enjoy to Day without a Crime,
Nor think of what the next will bring.