More durable than brass

Frans Snyders, "Still Life with Grapes and Game", detail (1630)

And now ’tis done: more durable than brass
My monument shall he, and raise its head
O’er royal pyramids: it shall not dread
Corroding rain or angry Boreas,

Nor the long lapse of immemorial time.
I shall not wholly die: large residue
Shall ‘scape the queen of funerals. Ever new
My after fame shall grow, while pontiffs climb

With silent maids the Capitolian height.
“Born,” men will say, “where Aufidus is loud,
Where Daunus, scant of streams, beneath him bow’d
The rustic tribes, from dimness he wax’d bright,

First of his race to wed the Aeolian lay
To notes of Italy.” Put glory on,
My own Melpomene, by genius won,
And crown me of thy grace with Delphic bay.


Exegi monumentum aere perennius
regalique situ pyramidum altius,
quod non imber edax, non Aquilo inpotens
possit diruere aut innumerabilis
annorum series et fuga temporum.
Non omnis moriar multaque pars mei
uitabit Libitinam; usque ego postera
crescam laude recens, dum Capitolium
scandet cum tacita uirgine pontifex.
Dicar, qua uiolens obstrepit Aufidus
et qua pauper aquae Daunus agrestium
regnauit populorum, ex humili potens
princeps Aeolium carmen ad Italos
deduxisse modos. Sume superbiam
quaesitam meritis et mihi Delphica
lauro cinge uolens, Melpomene, comam.

—Horace, Odes (III.30)

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