Page images



I SING the god, whose arts refin'd
The savage race of human kind,
By eloquence their passions charm'd,
By exercise their bodies form'd:
Hail, winged messenger of Jove,
And all th' immortal powers above;
Sweet parent of the bending lyre,
Thy praise shall all its sounds inspire.
Artful and cunning to conceal,
Whate'er in sportive theft you steal,
When from the god who gilds the pole,
Even yet a boy, his herds you stole,
With angry voice the threat'ning power
Bade thee the fraudful prey restore ;
But of his quiver too beguil'd,
Pleas'd with the theft Apollo smil'd.

You were the wealthy Priam's guide,
When, safe from Agamemnon's pride,
Through hostile camps, which round him spread
Their watchful fires, his way he sped.
Unspotted spirits you consign
To blissful seats and joys divine,
And, powerful with your golden wand,!
The light, unbodied crowd command:
Thus grateful does your office prove
To gods below, and gods above.



STRIVE not, Leuconoë, to pry
Into the secret will of fate,
Nor impious magic vainly try,

To know our lives' uncertain date;
Whether th' indulgent power divine

Hath many seasons yet in store, Or this the latest winter thine,

Which breaks its waves against the shore.

Thy life with wiser arts be crown'd,

Thy filter'd wines abundant pour, The lengthen'd hope with prudence bound Proportion'd to the flying hour; Even while we talk in careless ease,

Our envious minutes wing their flight; Then swift the fleeting pleasure seize, Nor trust tomorrow's doubtful light.

[blocks in formation]

Claims not th' eternal sire his wonted praise?
Awful who reigns o'er gods and men supreme,
Who sea and earth-this universal globe

With grateful change of seasons guides;
From whom no being of superior power,
Nothing of equal, second glory, springs,
Yet first of all his progeny divine

Immortal honours Pallas claims: God of the vine, in deeds of valour bold, Fair virgin-huntress of the savage race, And Phoebus, dreadful with unerring dart, Nor will I not your praise proclaim. Alcides' labours, and fair Leda's twins, Fam'd for the rapid race, for wrestling fam'd, Shall grace my song: soon as whose star benign Through the fierce tempest shines serene, Swift from the rocks down foams the broken surge, Calm are the winds, the driving clouds disperse, And all the threatening waves, so will the gods,

Smooth sink upon the peaceful deep.
Here stops the song, doubtful whom next to praise,
Or Romulus, or Numa's peaceful reign,
The haughty ensigns of a Tarquin's throne,
Or Cato, glorious in his fall.

Grateful in higher tone the Muse shall sing
The fate of Regulus, the Scaurian race,
And Paulus, 'midst the waste of Canna's field,
How greatly prodigal of life!
Form'd by the hand of penury severe,
In dwellings suited to their small demesne,
Fabricius, Curius, and Camillus rose;
To deeds of martial glory rose.
Marcellus, like a youthful tree, of growth
Insensible, high shoots his spreading fame,
And like the Moon, the feebler fires among,
Conspicuous shines the Julian star.
Saturnian Jove, parent and guardian god
Of human race, to thee the fates assign
The care of Cæsar's reign; to thine alone
Inferior let his empire rise;

Whether the Parthian's formidable powers,
Or farthest India's oriental sons,

With suppliant pride beneath his triumph fall,
Wide o'er a willing world shall he
Contented reign, and to thy throne shall bend
Submissive. Thou in thy tremendous car
Shalt shake Olympus' head, and at our groves
Polluted, hurl thy dreadful bolts.



AH! when on Telephus his charms,
When on his rosy neck and waxen arms,
Lydia with ceaseless rapture dwells,
With jealous spleen my glowing bosom swells,
My reason in confusion flies,

And on my cheek th' uncertain colour dies,
While the down-stealing tear betrays
The lingering flame, that on my vitals preys.
I burn, when in excess of wine,
Brutal, he soils those snowy arms of thine,
Or on thy lips the fierce-fond boy
Impresses with his teeth the furious joy.

If yet my voice can reach your ear,
Hope not to find him constant and sincere,
Cruel who hurts the fragrant kiss,

Which Venus bathes with quintessence of bliss,

Thrice happy they, whom love unites In equal fapture, and sincere delights, Unbroken by complaints or strife, Even to the latest hours of life.



UNHAPPY Vessel! shall the waves again
Tumultuous bear thee to the faithless main?
What would thy madness, thus with storms to sport?
Cast firm your anchor in the friendly port
Behold thy naked decks; the wounded mast
And sail-yards groan beneath the southern blast,
Nor without ropes thy keel can longer brave
The rushing fury of to' imperious waye :
Torn are thy sails, thy guardian gods are lost,
Whom you might call in future tempests tost.
What though majestic in your pride you stood
A noble daughter of the Pontic wood,

You now may vainly boast an empty name,
Or birth conspicuous in the rolls of fame.
The mariner, when storms around him rise,
No longer on a painted stern relies.

Ah! yet take heed, lest these new tempests sweep
In sportive rage thy glories to the deep.
Thou, late my deep anxiety and fear,
And now my fond desire and tender care,
Ah! yet take heed, avoid those fatal seas

That roll among the shining Cyclades.



WHEN the perfidious shepherd bore The Spartan dame to Asia's shore, Nereus the rapid winds oppress'd, And calm'd them to unwilling rest, That he might sing the dreadful fate Which should their guilty loyes await. "Fatal to Priam's ancient sway You bear th' all-omen'd fair away; For soon shall Greece in arms arise, Deep-sworn to break thy nuptial ties. What toils do men and horse sustain ! What carnage loads the Dardan plain! Pallas prepares the bounding car, The shield and helm, and rage of war. "Though proud of Venus 'guardian care, In vain you comb your flowing hair; In vain you sweep th' unwarlike string, And tender airs to females sing; For though the dart may harmless prove (The dart that frights the bed of love); Though you escape the noise of fight, Nor Ajax can o'ertake thy flight; Yet shalt thou, infamous of lust, Soil those adulterous hairs in dust.

"Look back and see, with furious pace, That ruin of the Trojan race, Ulysses drives, and sage in years Fam'd Nestor, hoary chief, appears. Intrepid Teucer sweeps the field, And Sthenelus, in battle skill'd; Or skill'd to guide with steady rein, And pour his chariot o'er the plain.

Undaunted Merion shalt thou feel;
While Diomed, with furious steel,
In arms superior to his sire,
Burns after thee with martial fire.

66 As when a stag at distance spies
A prowling wolf, aghast he flies,
Of pasture heedless; so shall you,
High-panting, fly when they pursue.
Not such the promises you made,
Which Helen's easy heart betray'd,
Achilles' fleet, with short delay,
Vengeful protracts the fatal day;
But when ten rolling years expire,
Thy Troy shall blaze in Grecian fire."



DAUGHTER, whose loveliness the bosom warmą More than thy lovely mother's riper charms, Give to my bold lampoons what fate you please, To wasting flames condemn'd, or angry seas.

But yet remember, nor the god of wine, Nor Pythian Phoebus from his inmost shrine, Nor Dindymene, nor her priests possest, Can with their sounding cymbals shake the breast Like furious anger in its gloomy vein, Which neither temper'd sword, nor raging main, Nor fire wide-wasting, nor tremendous Jove, Rushing in baleful thunders from above,

Can tame to fear. Thus sings the poet's lay-
Prometheus, to inform his nobler clay,
Their various passions chose from ev'ry beast,
And with the lion's rage inspir'd the human breast."
From anger all the tragic horrours rose,
That crush'd Thyestes with a weight of woes;
From hence proud cities date their utter falls,
When, insolent in ruin, o'er their walls

The wrathful soldier drags the hostile plough,
That haughty mark of total overthrow.
Me too in youth the heat of anger fir'd,
And with the rapid rage of rhyme inspir'd;
But now, repentant, shall the Muse again
To softer numbers tune her melting strain,
So thou recal thy threats, thy wrath control,
Resume thy love, and give me back my soul.



PAN from Arcadia's hills descends
To visit oft my Sabine seat,

And here my tender goats defends

From rainy winds, and summer's fiery heat. For when the vales, wide-spreading round, 'The sloping hills, and polish'd rocks, With his harmonious pipe resound,

In fearless safety graze my wandering flocks;

In safety through the woody brake,

The latent shrubs and thyme explore, Nor longer dread the speckled snake,

And tremble at the martial wolf no more,

Their poet to the gods is dear,

They love his piety and Muse,

And all our rural honours here

Their flow'ry wealth around thee shall diffuse.

[blocks in formation]

To charm all his cares. Yet that no one may pass
The freedom and mirth of a temperate glass,
Let us think on the Lapitha's quarrels so dire,
And the Thracians, whom wine can to madness in-

Insatiate of liquor when glow their full veins,
No distinction of vice or of virtue remains.

Great god of the vine, who dost candour approve,
I ne'er will thy statues profanely remove;
I ne'er will thy rites, so mysterious, betray
To the broad-glaring eye of the tale-telling day.
Oh! stop the loud cymbal, the cornet's alarms,
Whose sound, when the Bacchanal's bosom it warms,
Arouses self-love, by blindness misled,
And vanity, lifting aloft the light head,
And honour, of prodigal spirit, that shows,
Transparent as glass, all the secrets it knows.



VENUS, who gave the Cupids birth,

And the resistless god of wine,
With the gay power of wanton mirth,
Now bid my heart its peace resign;
Again for Glycera I burn,

And all my long-forgotten flames return.
Like Parian marble pure and bright,
The shining maid my bosom warms;
Her face, too dazzling for the sight,

Her sweet coquetting-how it charms! Whole Venus rushing through my veins, No longer in her favourite Cyprus reigns; No longer suffers me to write

Of Scythians, fierce in martial deed, Or Parthian, urging in his flight

The battle with reverted steed: Such themes she will no more approve, Nor aught that sounds impertinent to love. Here let the living altar rise,

Adorn'd with every herb and flower; Here flame the incense to the skies,

And purest wine's libation pour ;

Due honours to the goddess paid, Soft sinks to willing love the yielding mal



A POET's beverage, vile and cheap,
(Should great Mæcenas be my guest)
Crude vintage of the Sabine grape,

But yet in sober cups, shall crown the feast:

'Twas rack'd into a Grecian cask,

Its rougher juice to melt away:

I seal'd it too-a pleasing task!

With annual joy to mark the glorious day,
When in applausive shouts thy name
Spread from the theatre around,
Floating on thy own Tiber's stream,

And Echo, playful nymph, return'd the sound, From the Cæcubian vintage prest

For you shall flow the racy wine; But ah! my meagre cup's unblest

With the rich Formian or Falernian vine,

[For the Twenty-first Ode-see the Secular Poem.]



THE man who knows not guilty fear,
Nor wants the bow nor pointed spear;
Nor needs, while innocent of heart,
The quiver teeming with the poison'd dart,

Whether through Libya's burning sands
His journey leads, or Scythia's lands,
Inhospitable waste of snows,

Or where the fabulous Hydaspes flows:

For musing on my lovely maid,

While careless in the woods I stray'd,
A wolf-how dreadful! cross'd my way,
Yet fled he fled from his defenceless prey:

No beast of such portentous size
In warlike Daunia's forests lies,
Nor such the tawny lion reigns
Fierce on his native Afric's thirsty plains,

Place me, where never summer breeze
Unbinds the glebe, or warms the trees;
Where ever-lowering clouds appear,

And angry Jove deforms th' inclement year:

Place me beneath the burning ray, Where rolls the rapid car of day; Love and the nymph shall charm my toils, The nymph who sweetly speaks and sweetly smiles.



CHLOE flies me like a fawn, Which through some sequester'd lawn Panting seeks the mother-deer, Not without a panic fear

Of the gently-breathing breeze,
And the motion of the trees.
If the curling leaves but shake,
If a lizard stir the brake,
Frighted it begins to freeze,
Trembling both at heart and knees.
But not like a tiger dire,
Nor a lion fraught with irc,
I pursue my lovely game
To destroy her tender frame.
Haste thee, leave thy mother's arms,
Ripe for love are all thy charms,



WHEREFORE restrain the tender tear?
Why blush to weep for one so dear?
Sweet Muse, of melting voice and lyre,
Do thou the mournful song inspire.
Quintilius sunk to endless rest,
With death's eternal sleep opprest!
Oh! when shall Faith, of soul sincere,
Of Justice pure the sister fair,
And Modesty, unspotted maid,
And Truth in artless guise array'd,
Among the race of human kind
An equal to Quintilius find?

How did the good, the virtuous mourn,
And pour their sorrows o'er his urn!
But, Virgil, thine the loudest strain,
Yet all thy pious grief is vain :
In vain do you the gods implore
Thy lov'd Quintilius to restore,
Whom on far other terms they gave,
By nature fated to the grave.

What though you can the lyre command, And sweep its tones with softer hand Than Orpheus, whose harmonious song Once drew the listening trees along, Yet ne'er returns the vital heat The shadowy form to animate; For when the ghost-compelling god Forms his black troops with horrid rod, He will not, lenient to the breath Of prayer, unbar the gates of Death. 'Tis hard: but patience must endure, And soothe the woes it cannot cure.

[blocks in formation]

While raging tempests chill the skies,
And burning lust (such lust as tries
The madding dams of horses) fries
Thy liver;
Our youth, regardless of thy frown,
Their heads with fresher wreaths shall crown,
And fling thy wither'd garlands down
The river.



WHILE in the Muse's friendship blest,
Nor fear nor grief shall break my rest;
Bear them, ye vagrant winds, away,
And drown them in the Cretan sea.
Careless am I, or who shall reign
The tyrant of the Scythian plain,
Or with what anxious fear opprest
Heaves Tiridates' panting breast.
Sweet Muse, who lov'st the virgin spring,
Hither thy sunny flow'rets bring,
And let thy richest chaplet shed
Its fragrance round my Lamia's head;
For nought avails the poet's praise,
Unless the Muse inspire his lays.

Oh! string the Lesbian lyre again,
Let all thy sisters raise the strain,
And consecrate to deathless fame
My lov'd, my Lamia's honour'd name.



WITH glasses made for gay delight, 'Tis Thracian, savage rage, to fight. With such intemperate, bloody fray, Fright not the modest god away.

Monstrous! to see the dagger shine Amidst the midnight joys of wine. Here bid this impious clamour cease, And press the social couch in peace.

Say, shall I drink this heady wine, Press'd from the rough Falernian vine? Instant, let yonder youth impart The tender story of his heart, By what dear wound he blissful dies, And whence the gentle arrow flies. What! does the bashful boy deny? Then, if I drink it let me die. Whoe'er she be, a generous flame Can never know the blush of shame. Thy breast no slave-born Venus fires, But fair, ingenuous love inspires. Then safely whisper in my ear, For all such trusts are sacred here. Ah! worthy of a better flame! Unhappy youth! is she the dame? Unhappy youth! how art thou lost, In what a sea of troubles tost!

What drugs, what witchcraft, or what charms, What god, can free thee from her arms? Scarce Pegasus can disengage

Thy heart from this Chimera's rage.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

ARCHYTAS, what avails thy nice survey Of ocean's countless sands, of earth and sea} In vain thy mighty spirit once could soar To orbs celestial, and their course explore; If here, upon the tempest-beaten strand, You lie confin'd, till some more liberal hand Shall strow the pious dust in funeral rite, And wing thee to the boundless realms of light. GHOST.

Even he, who did with gods the banquet share, Tithonus, rais'd to breathe celestial air, And Minos, Jove's own counsellor of state, All these have yielded to the power of fate.


Even your own sage, whose monumental shield, Borne through the terrours of the Trojan field, Prov'd' that alone the mouldering body dies, And souls immortal from our ashes rise, Even he a second time resign'd his breath, Sent headlong to the gloomy realms of Death:


Not meanly skill'd, even by your own applause, In moral truth, and nature's secret laws.

One endless night for all mankind remains,
And once we all must tread the shadowy plains.
In horrid pomp of war the soldier dies;
The sailor in the greedy ocean lies;

Thus age and youth promiscuous crowd the tomb:
No mortal head can shun th' impending doom.

When sets Orion's star, the winds, that sweep The raging waves, o'erwhelm'd me in the deep: Nor thou, my friend, refuse with impious hand A little portion of this wandering sand To these my poor remains; so may the storm Rage o'er the woods, nor ocean's face deform: May gracious Jove with wealth thy toils repay, And Neptune guard thee through the watery way! Thy guiltless race this bold neglect shall mourn, And thou shalt feel the just returns of scorn. My curses shall pursue thy guilty deed, And all in vain thy richest victims bleed. Whate'er thy haste, oh! let my prayer prevail, Thrice strow the sand, then hoist the flying sail.



Iccius, the blest Arabia's gold
Can you with envious eye behold?
Or will you boldly take the field,
And teach Sabæa's kings to yield,
Or meditate the dreadful Mede
In chains triumphantly to lead?

Should you her hapless lover slay,
What captive maid shall own thy sway?
What courtly youth, with essenc'd hair,
Shall at thy board the goblet bear,
Skilful with his great father's art
To wing with death the pointed dart?
Who shall deny that streams ascend,
And Tiber's currents backward bend,

When you have all our hopes betray'd;
You, that far other promise made;
When all your volumes, learned store!
The treasures of Socratic lore,
Once bought at mighty price, in vain,
Are sent to purchase arms in Spain?



QUEEN of beauty, queen of smiles,
Leave, oh! leave thy favourite isles:
A temple rises to thy fame,
Where Glycera invokes thy name,
And bids the fragrant incense flame.
With thee bring thy love-warm son,
The graces bring with flowing zone,
The nymphs, and jocund Mercury,
And sprightly youth, who without the
Is nought but savage liberty.



WHEN at Apollo's Hallow'd shrine
The poet hails the power divine,
And here his first libations pours,
What is the blessing he implores?

He nor desires the swelling grain,
That yellows o'er Sardinia's plain;
Nor the fair herds, that lowing feed
On warm Calabria's flowery mead;
Nor ivory, of spotless shine;
Nor gold, forth-flaming from its mine;
Nor the rich fields that Liris laves,
And eats away with silent waves.

Let others quaff the racy wine,
To whom kind Fortune gives the vine;
The golden goblet let him drain,
Who vent'rous ploughs th' Atlantic main,
Blest with three safe returns a-year,
For he to every god is dear.

To me boon Nature frankly yields
Her wholesome salad from the fields;
Not ask I more, than sense and health
Still to enjoy my present wealth.
From age and all its weakness free,
O son of Jove, preserv'd by thee,
Give me to strike the tuneful lyre,
And thou my latest song inspire.



Is with thee beneath the shade
Many an idle air I play'd,
Now the Latian song, my lyre,
With some immortal strain inspire,

Such as once Alcæus sung,
Who, fierce in war, thy music strung,
When he heard the battle roar,

Or moor'd his sea-tost vessel on the shore.
Wine and the Muses were his theme,
And Venus, laughter-loving dame,

« PreviousContinue »