Snow has melted away, grass covers the meadows;
Trees bear crowns once more.
The seasons march on, and the rivers abating
Flow in their strict bounds.
 
The Graces and Nymphs cast off garments to lead
The circling dancers.
But the years and the hours that erode our bright day
Prove death’s inescapable:
 
Winter gives way to warm breezes; spring falls
Before summer, that’s lost
When the fruit swells in autumn; and too soon the lifeless
Dark days cluster in.
 
Yet the months in their circle will make good their losses.
We men who must die,
Like renowned Aeneas, or Rome’s early kings,
Go to ashes forever.

 

Who knows if the gods will add a new morning
To your store of time?
Let your heart feed this day on the glory that fades
To the dust of posterity.
 
For when you are dead and the king of the underworld
Spells out your doom,
There will be no parole, Torquatus, for high birth,
Fine speeches or piety.
 
For Diana herself could not save Hippolytus,
Pure though he was;
Nor Theseus for his dear friend Pirithous
Break fetters of Lethe.