To an Old Comrade in the Army of Brutus

Dear friend who fought so often, together with me,
In the ranks of Brutus in hardship and in danger,
Under whose sponsorship have you come back,
A citizen again, beneath our sky?

Pompey, we drank together so many times,
And we were together in the Philippi fight,
The day I ran away, leaving my shield,
And Mercury got me out it, carrying me

In a cloud, in a panic, right through the enemy rage;
But the undertow of a wave carried you back
Into the boiling waters of the war.
Come, stretch your weary legs out under this tree;

Let’s dedicate a feast to Jupiter
Just as we told each other we’d do someday.
I’ve got good food to eat, good wine to drink;
Come celebrate old friendship under the laurel.

 

 

Horace

(Ode ii.7; translation by David Ferry)

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