Horace’s Aequam Memento

Translated by Thomas Hare, 1737.

Let Fortune smile, or be unkind,
Still, Delius, keep an equal Mind,
Nor in Prosperity elate,
Nor abject in an adverse State;
Let chearful Mirth, and mod’rate joy
Your transitory Span employ.
Alike grim Death will seize his Prey,
Whether you mourn your Life away;
Or else, when festal Days succeed,
Seek the Retirement of the Mead,
On easy Grass your Limbs recline,
And gaily drink your choicest Wine.
Beneath an hospitable Shade
By social Pines and Poplars made,
Nigh which a winding Riv’let glides,
And murm’ring strikes its jutting Sides:
Come, Wine and Oil, and Roses bring,
The short-liv’d Glories of the Spring,
Whilst blooming Youth and Wealth remain,
And e’er your Thread be cut in twain.
Depart you must from all that’s here,
From all that in the World is dear:
Your Country-Seat and spacious Groves,
Near which the yellow Tyber roves,
Your City-House, and Heaps of Store
Shall be your Heir’s, and yours no more.
No matter, whether rich or not,
Of Parents high or low begot;
Whether in Beds of State you lie,
Or see no Cov’ring but the Sky:
Hell’s Victim you alike must prove,
For Pluto’s Pity none can move.
We all must go or soon or late,
All share our Lot, and yield to Fate;
Sail Exiles to the Stygian Coast,
There doom’d for ever to be lost.