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Horace
Epode 10


The ship, loosed from its moorings, sets off under a bad omen, carrying that stinker Maevius. South Wind—may you remember to beat both sides of the ship with terrible waves; Black East Wind—scatter rigging and broken oars across the swirling sea; North Wind—rise up as powerfully as when you shatter great oaks on high mountains. May no friendly star appear in the black night where sad Orion sets. May he be carried on no quieter or more even sea than the hands of the victorious Greeks, when Pallas turned her anger from burning Troy to the impious ship of Ajax.

Oh, what sweat shall pour from your sailors! And what a sickly pallor shall come over your face, and what prayers and girly screams and shall pour from your mouth to absent Jove, when the Ionian Sea with the wintry Notus has burst open your ship.

And if you, stretched out on the beach as a fat corpse, end up a tasty meal for the gulls, a randy goat and ewe will be sacrificed to the Gods of the Storm.

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