A Diversity of Creatures

A Translation

(HORACE, BK. V. Ode 3)

Rudyard Kipling

THERE are whose study is of smells,
    And to attentive schools rehearse
How something mixed with something else
    Makes something worse.

Some cultivate in broths impure
    The clients of our body—these,
Increasing without Venus, cure,
    Or cause, disease.

Others the heated wheel extol,
    And all its offspring, whose concern
Is how to make it farthest roll
    And fastest turn.

Me, much incurious if the hour
    Present, or to be paid for, brings
Me to Brundusium by the power
    Of wheels or wings;

Me, in whose breast no flame hath burned
    Life-long, save that by Pindar lit,
Such lore leaves cold. I am not turned
    Aside to it

More than when, sunk in thought profound
    Of what the unaltering Gods require,
My steward (friend but slave) brings roun
    Logs for my fire.

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