‘te duce, Mein Trumpf’

Here is the second in Austin Diaz’s new series of satiric translations of Horace’s Odes.

Reminder: Diaz, an American living in Switzerland and teaching Latin there, has decided to channel his grief over Trump’s victory into something creative. An expert on Horace, and struck by the level of sycophancy in the Odes, he has started translating those poems (mainly written in honor of, if not directly addressed to, Augustus) as though he were a sycophantic classics professor who voted for Trump out of spite and was then later hired by Kellyanne Conway to translate Horace to flatter the new president.  An unusual project, to be sure, but certainly an interesting one — and, as you can see from this inspired translation of the second poem, an amusing one.

(A more conventional and formal translation of Book 1, II (to Augustus) is available here.


To Trump
            a proof of our fealty

Now enough debt and freeloading serfs brought by
th’Obamanation with handouts and free cell
phones causing carnage in once great metropoles
         now so terrified,

the terrified silent majority long
fearful of the return of a new New Deal,
’68 hippies turned skinny-jeaned hipsters
           with brunches and beards.

We saw the unions with liberal policy
dot the landscape with their tombstoned factories
and overwhelm those who just love our country,
            and precious freedom,

raging revenge on beneficent owners,
marching for wages they never could have earned,
while our thought-leader Rand sat somewhere in dis-
            approval. So ‘Sad!’tm

They’ll hear, our children cut low by abortion,
of politically-correct sharpened tongues,
they’ll hear of the lazy reproaching the real,
            true Americans.

Whom can the God-fearing patriots beseech to
stem the socialist flood? With what free-market
prayers can we hope to bend the ear of our sweet
            Lady Liberty?

On whom will Strong Leader bestow the task of
purification? Perhaps, at last, our lil’
Rubio, parched and repeating those well-timed,
            focus-grouped zingers,

or cackling Carly, slayer of RINOs,
come from the business world with lyin’ Cruz,
or just maybe he’ll turn his Px90-
            toned cheeks, bristling

with new down, the author of our Randian
hopes, turning his back on the swamp-drowned hordes,
stepping up, like Brutus, to cut out the pork
            defiling both floors.

But if we’re lucky that sacred soul of old
will leave his heavenly Hermitage to dwell
once more in corporeal form, re-named the
            Gipper’s avenger:

Stay for a while, at least two terms (maybe more!)
and make what was once great yet greater again,
let not the trespasses and cold-hard facts of
            your punditry foes

take you too soon. Here you will be the strong voice
for the forgotten men and women, slaying
the media. We will reign most triumphant,
            te duce, mein Trump.

See here for the collection of all translations so far.

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