18 March 2014

Pitt's Translation of Horace

A preparatory sketch of Pitt by John Hoppner (1805), Stowe House, Buckinghamshire

One of the brief notes preserved by Pitt's last private secretary, William Dacres Adams, was a translation in Pitt's handwriting of Horace's L3 of his Second Ode. It seems this was the copy of the translation shared with the 5th Earl Stanhope in 1861 as the covering note is in Stanhope's handwriting:

“How blessed, how glorious they who bravely fall, 
Their Lives devoted, at their Country’s Call!
Death too pursues the Coward as he flies, 
The dart ov’rtakes him, and disgraced he dies.
No mean repulse intrepid Virtue knows. 
Spotless and pure her native Splendor glows;
No gaudy Ensigns Hers, of borrow’d Pow’r, No Fame, dependant on the varying Hour;
Bow’d to no yoke, Her honors are her own, nor court the Breath of Popular Renown. 
On Wing sublime, rises bless Virtue soars;
And oppressing Human Haunts & Earthly Shores, 
To those whom Godlike deeds forbid to die, unbars the Gates of Immortality.” [f. 104]


BL Add Ms 89036/1/19, f. 104.

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