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- Tobogganing On Parnassus - 2/17 -

If every girl were fair of face; If women did not fear to get Their suits for so-called bathing wet-- If all these things were true, This earth would be a pleasant place. But where would people get their laughs? And whence would spring the paragraphs? And what would jokers do?

The Simple Stuff


Horace: Book I, Ode 32.

"_Persicos odi, puer, apparatus_."

Nix on the Persian pretence! Myrtle for Quintus H. Flaccus! Wreaths of the linden tree, hence! Nix on the Persian pretence! Waiter, here's seventy cents-- Come, let me celebrate Bacchus! Nix on the Persian pretence! Myrtle for Quintus H. Flaccus.

"Carpe Diem," or Cop the Day


Horace: Book I, Ode 13.

_"Tu ne quoesieris, scire nefas--"_

It is not right for you to know, so do not ask, Leuconoe, How long a life the gods may give or ever we are gone away; Try not to read the Final Page, the ending colophonian, Trust not the gypsy's tea-leaves, nor the prophets Babylonian. Better to have what is to come enshrouded in obscurity Than to be certain of the sort and length of our futurity. Why, even as I monologue on wisdom and longevity How Time has flown! Spear some of it! The longest life is brevity.

That For Money!


Horace: Book II, Ode 2

_"Nellus argento color est avaris."_

Sallust, I know you of old, How you hate the sight of gold-- "Idle ingots that encumber Mother Earth"--I've got your number.

Why is Proculeius known From Elmira to Malone? For his money? Don't upset me! For his love of folks--you get me?

Choke the Rockefeller yen For the clink of iron men! Happiness it will not mint us, Take it from your Uncle Quintus.

Fancy food and wealthy drink Raise Gehenna with a gink; Pastry, terrapin, and cheeses Bring on gout and swell diseases.

Phraates upon the throne Old King Cyrus used to own Fails to hoodwink or deceive me, Cyrus was some king, believe me!

Get me right: a man's-size prince Knows that money is a quince. When they see the Yellow Taffy, Reg'lar Princes don't go daffy.

Xanthias Jollied


Horace: Book II, Ode 4.

_"Ne sit ancillae tibi amor pudori."_

Nay, Xanthias, feel unashamed That she you love is but a servant. Remember, lovers far more famed Were just as fervent.

Achilles loved the pretty slave Briseis for her fair complexion; And to Tecmessa Ajax gave His young affection.

Why, Agamemnon at the height Of feasting, triumph, and anointment, Left everything to keep, one night, A small appointment.

And are you sure the girl you love-- This maid on whom you have your heart set Is lowly--that she is not of The Roman smart set?

A maiden modest as is she, So full of sweetness and forbearance, Must be all right; her folks must be Delightful parents.

Her arms and face I can commend, And, as the writer of a poem, I fain would compliment, old friend, The limbs below 'em.

Nay, be not jealous. Stop your fears. My tendencies are far from sporty. Besides, the number of my years Is over forty.

Horace the Wise


Horace: Book I, Ode 5.

_"Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa"_

What lady-like youth in his wild aberrations Is putting cologne on his brow? For whom are the puffs and the blond transformations? I wonder who's kissing you now. [Footnote: Paraphraser's note: Horace beat the modern song writers to this. The translation is literal enough--"Quis...gracilis te puer...urget?".]

Tee hee! I must laugh when I think of his finish, Not wise to your ways and your rep. Ha! ha! how his fancy for you will diminish! I know, for I'm Jonathan Hep.



Horace: Book I., Ode 13.

_"Quem tu, Lydia, Telephi Cervicem roseam, cerea Telephi--"_

What time thou yearnest for the arms Of Telephus, I fain would twist 'em; When thou dost praise his other charms It just upsets my well-known system; My brain is like a three-ring circus, In short, it gets my _capra hircus_.

My reason reels, my cheeks grow pale, My heart becomes unduly spiteful, My verses in the _Evening Mail_ Are far from snappy and delightful. I put a civil question, Lyddy: Is that a way to treat one's stiddy?

What mean those marks upon thee, girl? Those prints of brutal osculation? Great grief! that lowlife and that churl! That Telephus abomination! Can him, O votary of Venus,

Tobogganing On Parnassus - 2/17

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