Notes to Horace, Carmina 1.23

vito (1)
avoid, evade, shun. Vitas opens the line that introduces both the target and topic of the poem; the verb is separated from its object (me) and subject (Chloe) by a simile which makes clear the nature of their relationship -- pursuit and flight, a familiar topos of amatory poetry .

inuleus, -i m. = hinnuleus, -i m.
the young of the deer, a fawn. OLD reports that the word is derived from the Greek and that the –i (inuleus) is perhaps lengthened for metrical reasons. It is dative singular after similis.

similis, -e + genitive or dative.
like, similar; in similes it takes the dative.

Chloë = “Young Shoot” (Greek), a pseudonym or even a fictive puella whose name emphasizes her youth and inexperience (“greenness”).

quaero, -ere, quaesivi (quaesii), quaesitum
look for, search for, seek; quaerenti is a present active participle modifying inuleo.

pavidus, -a, -um
quaking, timorous, trembling. While the adjective describes the natural fearfulness of deer, here it relates as well to the relation of parent to offspring. The word is placed beside the participle referring to the fawn, whose fears are dismissed in the following lines as groundless.

mons, montis m.
mountain, hill.

avius, -a, -um
untrodden, trackless, lonely.

mater, matris f.
mother; a transference to the animal which anticipates the human mother in stanza three.

non sine = not without; an example of the rhetorical device called litotes.

vanus, -a, -um
empty, needless, vain; the adjective modifies metu in a parallel position in the next line.

aura, -ae f.
breeze, wind, air.

silva, -ae f.
forest, wood; scansion requires silvae to be pronounced siluae, as three syllables (u u _).

metus, -us m.
fear, alarm, anxiety.

seu . . . seu: correlatives
whether . . . or.

mobilis, -e
moving, waving, quick-moving, nimble.

ver, veris n.
spring; the season is metaphoric for Chloe's own "spring."

inhorresco, -escere, -ui
rustle; shiver, shudder, bristle up. The subject is unexpectedly adventus rather than a person. The repetition of –s sounds in lines 5-6 vocalizes the tremor of the leaves.

adventus, -us m.
arrival, coming, approach.

folium, -ii n.
leaf. Foliis is ablative plural (understand in), modified by mobilibus.

viridis, -e
green, fresh, young.

rubus, -i m.
bramble, bush.

dimoveo, dimovere, dimovi, dimotum
part, separate, move aside; the syncopated form of the 3rd plural perfect tense of the verb.

lacerta, -ae f.
lizard. The SPQR beside the line contains Apollo Sauroctone (Apollo Lizard-killer), a Roman marble copy of an ambiguous composition originally in bronze by Praxiteles.

cor, cordis n.

genu, -us n.

tremo, tremere, tremui
tremble, quake, quiver; the subject is inuleus, understood from stanza 1. Note how tremit, the final word of stanza 2, references metu, the final word of the 1st stanza, emphasizing the fawn’s groundless alarm.

atqui, conjunction
and yet, nevertheless.

non ego te: note the juxtaposition of ego and te before the diaeresis -- while the word order (and the lover's hope) joins them, the grammar preserves their separation as pursuer and pursued. The speaker's initial non forcefully denies the simile the lover suspects is in the mind of the timorous puella (the SPQRs at lines 9 and 10 illustrate Chloe's perspective).

tigris, -is f.

ut, adverb
as, just as; parallel to similis above, it introduces a new image.

asper, aspera, asperum
rough, harsh, fierce.

Gaetulus, -a, -um
Gaetulian, of the Gaetulians, a people inhabiting the North Africa frontier.

leo, -onis m.

frango, frangere, fregi, fractum
break, crush, shatter. Frangere is the present active infinitive expressing purpose; understand [te] as its object.

persequor, persequi, persecutus/a sum
follow all the way, pursue, chase, hunt after.

tandem, adverb
at last, finally.

desino, desinere, desii (desivi), desitum
leave off, cease, stop; its complementary infinitive sequi follows on the next line.

tempestivus, -a, -um
ripe, seasonable, ready, mature. The phrase tempestiva viro gathers up the poem's nature imagery and brings it firmly into the realm of human relationships (see Commager's note in The Odes of Horace, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995, p. 238, that the controlling metaphor of the ode is a seasonal one). The adjective tempestiva is in apposition to the unexpressed subject [Chloe] of desine; with it the poet rejects the immaturity expressed in her name and proclaims her emergence into womanhood.

sequor, sequi, secutus/a sum
follow, accompany; the verb grammatically interrupts and yet in sense bonds with the phrase tempestiva viro and thus reverses the action (vitas) that opens the poem.

vir, viri m.
man, husband. The final word of the stanza, vir, trumps the final words of the two previous stanzas (metu and tremit). It is imperative for Chloë to separate from her mother, put aside her foolish fears, and accept a man.

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