Horace Odes Book III, poem XXIX

Natasha Logan

Tyrrhena regum progenies

God foresees all future time and hides
what is to come in mist and darkness.
   He smiles if mortals fret
      too much. Make sure you deal calmly

with what is here. Everything else
flows by like a river, now gliding peacefully
   in mid-channel down to the Tuscan sea,
      now rolling down uprooted trees

and eroded rocks, cattle, and houses
all together with a great roaring of mountains
   and forest along its banks
      as the wild spate whips up

its peaceful flow. A man will be happy and in control
of his life if he can say at each day’s end,
   ’I have lived’. Tomorrow Father Jupiter
      can fill the sky with dark cloud

or cloudless sunlight, but he will not
annul what is behind us, nor
   will he remake or cancel
      what the flying hour has brought.