Carmen Circulare

(Q H Flaccus)

Dellius, that car which, night and day,
    Lightnings and thunders arm and scourge—
Tumultuous down the Appian Way—
    Be slow to urge. 

Though reckless Lydia bid thee fly,
    And Telephus o’ertaking jeer,
Nay, sit and strongly occupy
    The lower gear. 

They call, the road consenting, “Haste!”—
    Such as delight in dust collected—
Until arrives (I too have raced!)
    The unexpected. 

What ox not doomed to die alone,
    Or inauspicious hound, may bring
Thee ’twixt two kisses to the throne
    Of Hades’ King, 

I cannot tell; the Furies send
    No warning ere their bolts arrive.
’Tis best to reach our chosen end
    Late but alive.