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Diffugere Nives (Horace, Odes 4.7) Analysis

Author: poem of A.E. Housman Type: poem Views: 24

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The snows are fled away, leaves on the shaws

   And grasses in the mead renew their birth,

The river to the river-bed withdraws,

   And altered is the fashion of the earth.

The Nymphs and Graces three put off their fear

   And unapparelled in the woodland play.

The swift hour and the brief prime of the year

   Say to the soul, Thou wast not born for aye.

Thaw follows frost; hard on the heel of spring

   Treads summer sure to die, for hard on hers

Comes autumn with his apples scattering;

   Then back to wintertide, when nothing stirs.

But oh, whate'er the sky-led seasons mar,

   Moon upon moon rebuilds it with her beams;

Come we where Tullus and where Ancus are

   And good Aeneas, we are dust and dreams.

Torquatus, if the gods in heaven shall add

   The morrow to the day, what tongue has told?

Feast then thy heart, for what thy heart has had

   The fingers of no heir will ever hold.

When thou descendest once the shades among,

   The stern assize and equal judgment o'er,

Not thy long lineage nor thy golden tongue,

   No, nor thy righteousness, shall friend thee more.

Night holds Hippolytus the pure of stain,

   Diana steads him nothing, he must stay;

And Theseus leaves Pirithous in the chain

   The love of comrades cannot take away.

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