Horace Odes II.10 translated by Maria Frances Cecilia Cowper
Horace. Book II. Ode 10
Sail not too rashly out to sea,
My friend, nor, fearful of the roar
Of winds and waters, hug too close
The rocky shore.
Among the least remembered poets of World War I was Edmund Blunden, who lived to a miraculously ripe old age, spending some of it in Japan teaching English literature. His verse is quiet, patient, descriptive, often taking a side look at what might have been the cause of terror and grief. Here’s a poem I don’t recall having read before, though I have leafed through a good deal of his work.
Enough: and leave the rest to Fame.
‘Tis to commend her but to name. . . .
Andrew Marvell wrote masterpieces in several genres of verse, from satire to love poems to the most ambitious ode in the language. While it is foolish to use words like “the greatest” of any one poet, the worth of this libidinous Puritan is beyond question.