Horace’s Carpe Diem

Imitated by Anthony C. Deane, 1892

O covet not, Leuconoe, to be told
What destinies on each of us await;
Neither by those astrologers of old,
Nor those of latter date.

Seek not by post an oracle to fetch,
For oft fulfilment expectation damps,
Although “Professors” will your future sketch
For eighteen penny stamps.

Heed not the spiteful weather-forecast man;
When he announces rain and tempest strong;
Make up your mind, as quickly as you can,
The chances are he’s wrong;

And treat those sages with becoming mirth
Who speedy doom to all the world proclaim;
They’re always at it, but our ancient earth
Still rolls on much the same.

To know our destiny the gods forbid;
Strive not in vain the unseen to descry;
In darkness is the fate of all men hid,
In darkness let it lie.