Ode to a Wine Jar
Odes : Book III Ode XXI
O, born like me under the Consul Manlius,
Bring violent quarrels or joyful banter,
Heavy disputes or passionate affairs,
Or easy sleep, affectionate pot.
However you preserved this excellent wine,
Descend, and dignify this special occasion,
Descend, for Corvinus invites you forth,
For trusty Corvinus has asked for more wine.
He’s not a man to pass up a drink
Though he’s steeped in Socratic ideas, not him.
And it’s even recorded that Cato himself
Used to glow from your influence from time to time.
Your gentle persuasion draws out the dull,
Loosens the rigid, gets secrets from those
Who consider themselves to be wise: they let slip
Their doubts and fears with a laugh and a joke.
You bring hope to the troubled and uneasy mind
And increase the horns of the poor, so they stand
Before nobles and kings, and soldiers at arms,
They stand without trembling or shaking of limbs.
Immortal Liber and, haply, Venus
Will loosen the ties of desire and we,
The living, will bring out the lamps until Phoebus
Returns to chase away the stars.
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