See West’s Notes at: West, D. Horace Odes I Carpe Diem: Text, Translation and Commentary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, (1995), pp.162-7
Just as Horace is having fun with Epicureanism I try to have fun with my Christian beliefs, pointing out at the start that although I still pray this is now with one eye open, indicating that since finding a new ‘god’ in poetry I have begun to pray less perfectly. Then as Horace does I admit that despite this new awareness as it were, nevertheless I find myself doubling back and attaching myself to my Christian beliefs and practices, so as Horace plays with Epicurean and Stoic ways of looking at life and will come down firmly and exclusively on either side, neither will I come down firmly as either a Christian or a poet in that I can see how viewing things through the eyes of a Christian and through the eyes of a poet, in other words taking a middle course, will give me what Horace seeks to do which is to be a ‘human being observing the sudden, drastic, and inscrutable events which overtake human beings from an incomprehensible source’
I use the modern phrase ‘coach and horses’ to represent Jupiter’s thundering horses and flying chariot in the original. The ‘restless rivers’ in the original are represented by a ‘flooding of the mind’ in my version, Atlas wilting under the weight of the world is in mine represented by my wilting under the weight and breadth of knowledge and learning and where Horace refers to Taenarus, this was a dave on Cape Taenarus ‘which was supposed to give entry to the Underworld.’, hence my reference to being lost in a ‘labyrinth of learning’.
My stoicism is here represented by my Christian beliefs and my Epicureanism by poetry and I try to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of both. Whereas Horace attached his ‘crazy wisdom’ to Stoicism I attach my ‘insane wisdom’ to poetry. Here I am doing as Nisbet and Hubbard suggest – I’m poking fun at my own quest for knowledge via poetry and the study of poetry to the extent that by pursuing courses on poetry I have begun to lose all logic, and the more knowledge I gain the more unstable I become and the more it leads me into a kind of hell. This is of course, meant to be, as Horace was, tongue in cheek. Towards the end of the poem, as in Horace, I imply that nothing is above God, he has the power over all things and I also try to reflect the idea (also based in Christianity) that the first shall be last the last first, this by reference to the fact that the ivy crown (crown of the poet) could at any time, by a whim of God or by chance, be removed from the famous poet and placed on the head of the unknown. Yet again, we have the recurring Horace theme of trying to maintain an element of modesty and a warning that we none of us are completely in control of our own destiny. I too try to speak as a detached observer of life – one who will neither be cast down by disaster nor elated by success.
 West, D. Horace Odes I Carpe Diem: Text, Translation and Commentary, Oxford: Clarendon Press,
(1995), p. 167
 West, D. (1997) Horace: The Complete Odes and Epodes. Oxford University Press,:Oxford , 154