In this poem, the narrator describes how their crush on Inachia faded, and now they are attracted to Lyciscus.
Petti, nihil me sicut antea iuvat
scribere versiculos amore percussum gravi,
amore, qui me praeter omnis expetit
mollibus in pueris aut in puellis urere.
hic tertius December, ex quo destiti
heu me, per Urbem (nam pudet tanti mali)
fabula quanta fui, conviviorum et paenitet,
in quis amantem languor et silentium
arguit et latere petitus imo spiritus…
nunc gloriantis quamlibet mulierculam
vincere mollitia amor Lycisci me tenet;
unde expedire non amicorum queant
libera consilia nec contumeliae graves,
sed alius ardor aut puellae candidae
aut teretis pueri longam renodantis comam.
--Horace, Epodes XI.1-10, 22-27
Pettius, I just can’t keep writing poetry
The way I used to, now that I’m lovestruck.
This love impels me to burn (more feverously than others do!)
For a sweet boyfriend or girlfriend.
It’s been three Decembers
Since I stopped burning for Inachia…
Oh no! It’s shameful to admit this,
But I was the talk of the town,
I was no fun at parties,
Always quiet and withdrawn.
Now a love for Lyciscus has overtaken me,
A guy who boasts he can surpass a woman in softness.
And now nothing my friends tell me—advice or criticism—
Can help me, only a new crush
For a beautiful girlfriend
Or a long-haired boyfriend.
Name: Quintus Horatius Flaccus
Date: 65 BCE – 8 BCE
The Latin poet Horace is known for his famous line, “Carpe Diem.” He was an Italian-born poet who lived during the rise and reign of Rome’s first emperor, Augustus. Although his life began with civil unrest and uncertainty (his father was enslaved and later freed during the civil wars of the 1st century BCE), Horace became friends with the influential entrepreneur Maecenas and earned the position in Augustus’ literary circle. His poetry provides valuable insight into the so-called “Golden Age” of Augustan literature.
GOLDEN AGE ROME