Ode 3.30 - More Lasting than Bronze
This is probably my favorite of Horace's Odes. Here he, in all his sarcasm, claims that he will live forever.
And we are still studying this poem today...
Exegi monumentum aere perennius
reglalique situ pyramidum altius,
quod non imber edax, non aquilo impotens
possit diruere aut innumerabilis
5 annorum series et fuga tempoum.
Non omnis moriar multaque pars mei
vitabit Libitinam; usque ego postera
crescam laude recens, dum Capitolium
scandet cum tacita virgine pontifex.
10 Dicar, qua violens obstrepit Aufidus
et qua pauper aquae Daunus agrestium
regnavit poplulorum, ex humili potens,
princeps Aeolium carmen ad Italos
deduxisse modos. Sume superbiam
15 quaesitam meritis et mihi Delphica
lauro cinge volens, Melpomene, comam.
I have created a monument more lasting than bronze
and loftier than the royal structure of the pyramids,
that which neither devouring rain, nor the unrestrained North Wind
may be able to destroy nor the immeasurable
succession of years and the flight of time.
I shall not wholly die and a greater part of me
will evade Libitina [Goddess of Death]; continually I,
newly arisen, may be strengthened with ensuing praise so long
as the high priest climbs the Capitoline with the silent maiden.
It may be said that where the raging Aufidus roars
and where, short of water, Daunus ruled his rustic people,
powerful from a humble birth, I first brought Aeolian verse
to Italian measures. Assume the arrogance
sought for by those who have a claim to recognition,
and with the Delphian laurel,
Melpomene, willingly crown my head.