Ode I. 11

By Horace
Translated by Burton Raffel
Leucon, no one’s allowed to know his fate,
Not you, not me: don’t ask, don’t hunt for answers
In tea leaves or palms. Be patient with whatever comes.
This could be our last winter, it could be many
More, pounding the Tuscan Sea on these rocks:
Do what you must, be wise, cut your vines
And forget about hope. Time goes running, even
As we talk. Take the present, the future’s no one’s affair.

Horace, Ode I. 11, translated by Burton Raffel, from The Essential Horace. Copyright © 1983 by Burton Raffel. Reprinted with the permission of North Point Press, a division of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC.
Source: The Essential Horace (1983)
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