Page images

With Cupid ever by her side, And Lycus, ferm'd in beauty's pride, With his hair of jetty dye, And the black lustre of his eye.

Charming shell, Apollo's love, How grateful to the feasts of Jove ! Hear thy poet's solemn prayer, Thou soft'ner of each anxious care.



No more in elegiac strain Of cruel Glycera complain, Though she resign her faithless charms To a new lover's younger arms. The maid, for lovely forehead fam'd, With Cyrus' beauties is inflam'd; While Pholoë, of haughty charms, The panting breast of Cyrus warms: But wolves and goats shall sooner prove The pleasures of forbidden love, Than she her virgin honour stain, And not the filthy rake disdain.

So Venus wills, whose power controls The fond affections of our souls; With sportive cruelty she binds Unequal forms, unequal minds. Thus, when a better Venus strove To warm my youthful breast to love, Yet could a slave-born maid detain My willing heart in pleasing chain, Though fiercer she than waves that roar, Winding the rough Calabrian shore.


A FUGITIVE from Heaven and prayer,
I mock'd at all religious fear,

Deep scienc'd in the mazy lore
Of mad philosophy; but now
Hoist sail, and back my voyage plough
To that blest harbour, which I left before.
For lo! that awful heavenly sire,

Who frequent cleaves the clouds with fire,
Parent of day, immortal Jove,
Late through the floating fields of air,
The face of Heaven serene and fair,

His thundering steeds and winged chariot drove ;
When, at the bursting of his flames,
The ponderous earth, and vagrant streams,
Infernal Styx, the dire abode
Of hateful Tænarus profound,
And Atlas to his utmost bound,
Trembled beneath the terrours of the god.

The hand of Jove can crush the proud
Down to the meanest of the crowd,

And raise the lowest in his stead;
But rapid Fortune pulls him down,
And snatches his imperial crown,
To place, not fix it, on another's head.



GODDESS, whom Antium, beauteous town, obeys, Whose various will with instant power can raise Frail mortals from the depths of low despair, Or change proud triumphs to the funeral tear :

Thee the poor farmer, who with ceaseless pain Labours the glebe; thee, mistress of the main, The sailor, who with fearless spirit dares The rising tempest, courts with anxious prayers:

Thee the rough Dacian, thee the vagrant band
Of field-born Scythians, Latium's warlike land,
Cities and nations, mother-queens revere,
And purple tyranny beholds with fear.

Nor in thy rage with foot destructive spurn
This standing pillar, and its strength o'erturn ;
Nor let the nations rise in bold uproar,
And civil war, to break th' imperial power.

With solemn pace and firm, in awful state
Before theé stalks inexorable Fate,
And grasps empaling nails, and wedges dread,
The hook tormentous, and the melted lead:

Thee Hope and Honour, now, alas, how rare!
With white enrob'd, attend with duteous care,
When from the palace of the great you fly
In angry mood, and garb of misery.

Not such the crowd of light companions prove, Nor the false mistress of a wanton love, Faithless who wait the lowest dregs to drain, Nor friendship's equal yoke with strength sustain

Propitious guard our Cæsar, who explores His vent'rous way to furthest Britain's shores; Our new-rais'd troops be thy peculiar care, Who dreadful to the East our banners bear.

Alas! the shameless scars! the guilty deeds, When by a brother's hand a brother bleeds! What crimes have we, an iron age, not dar'd? In terrour of the gods what altars spar'd?

Oh! that our swords with civil gore distain'd, And in the sight of gods and men profan'dSharpen again, dread queen, the blunted steel, And let our foes the pointed vengeance feel.


WITH incense heap the sacred fire,
And bolder strike the willing lyre.
Now let the heifer's votive blood
Pour to the gods its purple flood;
Those guardian gods, from furthest Spain,
Who send our Numida again.

A thousand kisses now he gives,
A thousand kisses he receives.
But Lamia most his friendship proves,
Lamia with tenderness he loves.
At school their youthful love began,
Whence they together rose to man.

With happiest marks the day shall shine,
Nor want th' abundant joy of wine;
Like Salian priests the dance we'll lead,
And many a mazy, measure tread.
Now let the Thracian goblet foam,
Nor, in the breathless draught o'ercome,
Shall Bassus yield his boasted name
To Damalis of tippling fame.

Here let the rose and lily shed
Their short-liv'd bloom; let parsley spread
Its living verdure o'er the feast,

And crown with mingled sweets the guest.
On Damalis each amorous boy
Shall gaze with eyes that flow with joy.

While she, as curls the ivy-plant,

Shall twine luxuriant round her new gallant.




Now let the bowl with wine be crown'd,
Now lighter dance the mazy round,
And let the sacred couch be stor'd
With the rich dainties of a priestly board.

Sooner to draw the mellow'd wine,
Prest from the fich Cæcubian vine,
Were impious mirth, while yet elate

The queen breath'd ruin to the Roman state.

Surrounded by a tainted train,
Wretches enervate and obscene,
She rav'd of empire-nothing less→→→→→
Vast in her hopes, and giddy with success.

But, hardly rescu'd from the flames,
One lonely ship her fury tames;
While Cæsar with impelling oar
Parsu'd her flying from the Latian shore:

Her, with Egyptian wine inspir'd,

With the full draught to madness fir'd,
Augustus sober'd into tears,
And turn'd her visions into real fears.

As darting sudden from above
The hawk attacks á tender dove ;
Or sweeping huntsman drives the hare
O'er wide Æmonia's icy deserts drear;

So Cæsar through the billows press'd,
To lead in chains the fatal pest:
But she a nobler fate explor'd,

Nor woman-like beheld the deathful sword,
Nor with her navy fled dismay'd,
In distant realms to seek for aid,
But saw unmov'd her state destroy'd,
Her palace desolate, a lonely void;

With fearless hand she dar'd to grasp
The writhings of the wrathful asp,

And suck the poison through her veins,
Resolv'd on death, and fiercer from its pains:
Then scorning to be led the boast
Of mighty Cæsar's naval host,
And arm'd with more than mortal spleen,
Defrauds a triumph, and expires a queen.



I TELL thee, boy, that I detest
The grandeur of a Persian feast,
Nor for me the linden's rind
Shall the flowery chaplet bind :
Then search not where the curious rose
Beyond his season loitering grows,

But beneath the mantling vine
While I quaff the flowing wine,

The myrtle's wreath shall crown our brows,
While you shall wait, and I carouse.




O POLLIO, thou the great defence
Of sad, impleaded innocence,

On whom, to weigh the grand debate,
In deep consult the fathers wait;

For whom the triumphs o'er Dalmatia spread
Unfading honours round thy laurell'd head,

Of warm commotions, wrathful jars,
The growing seeds of civil wars;
Of double Fortune's cruel games,
The specious means, the private aims,
And fatal friendships of the guilty great,
Alas! how fatal to the Roman state!

Of mighty legions late subdu'd,
And arms with Latian blood imbru'd,
Yet unaton'd (a labour vast!

Doubtful the die, and dire the cast!)
You treat adventurous, and incautious tread
On fires with faithless embers overspread:

Retard awhile thy glowing tein,
Nor swell the solemn, tragic scene;
And when thy sage, historic cares
Have form'd the train of Rome's affairs,
With lofty rapture re-inflam'd, infuse
Heroic thoughts, and wake the buskin'd Muse:
Hark! the shrill clarion's voice I hear,
Its threatening murmurs pierce mine ear;
And in thy lines, with brazen breath,
The trumpet sounds the charge of death;
While the strong splendours of the sword affright
The flying steed, and mar the rider's sight!

Panting with terrour, I survey

The martial host in dread array,
The chiefs, how valiant and how just!
Defil'd with not inglorious dust,
And all the world in chains, but Cato see
Of spirit unsubdu'd, and dying to be free.

Imperial Juno, fraught with ire,
And all the partial gods of Tyre,
Who, feeble to revenge her cries,
Retreated to their native skies,
Have in the victor's bleeding, race, repaid
Jugurtha's ruin, and appeas'd his shade.

What plain, by mortals travers'd o'er,
Is not enrich'd with Roman gore?
Unnumber'd sepulchres record

The deathful harvest of the sword,
And proud Hesperia, rushing into thrall,
While distant Parthia heard the cumbrous fall,

What gulph, what rapid river flows
Unconscious of our wasteful woes?
What rolling sea's unfathom'd tide
Have not the Daunian slaughters dv'd?
What coast, encircled by the briny flood,
Boasts not the shameful tribute of our blood?

But thon, my Muse, to whom belong The sportive jest and jocund song, Beyond thy province cease to stray, Nor vain revive the plaintive lay: Seek humbler measures, indolently laid With me beneath some love sequester'd shade.



GOLD hath no lustre of its own, It shines by temperate use alone, And when in earth it hoarded lies, My Sallust can the mass despise. With never-failing wing shall Fame To latest ages bear the name Of Proculeius, who could prove A father, in a brother's love. By virtue's precepts to control. The furious passions of the soul Is over wider realms to reign, Unenvied monarch, than if Spain You could to distant Lybia join,, And both the Carthages were thine.

The dropsy, by indulgence nurs'd, Pursues us with increasing thirst, Till art expels the cause, and drains The watery languour from our veins. But Virtue can the crowd unteach Their false, mistaken forms of speech; Virtue, to crowds a foe profest, Disdains to number with the blest, Phraates, by his slaves ador'd, And to the Parthian crown restor❜d, And gives the diadem, the throne, And laurel wreath, to him alone Who can a treasur'd mass of gold With firm, undazzled eye behold.

[blocks in formation]

Here pour your wines, your odours shed.
Bring forth the rose's short-liv'd flower,
While Fate yet spins thy mortal thread,
While youth and fortune give th' indulgent hour.
Your purchas'd woods, your house of state,
Your villa, wash'd by Tiber's wave,

You must, my Dellius, yield to Fate,

We all must tread the paths of Fate;
And ever shakes the mortal urn,
Whose lot embarks us, soon or late,
On Charon's boat, ah! never to return.



LET not my Phoceus think it shame
For a fair slave to own his flame;
A slave could stern Achilles move,
And bend his haughty soul to love:
Ajax, invincible in arms,

Was captiv'd by his captive's charms :
Atrides 'midst his triumphs mourn'd.
And for a ravish'd virgin burn'd,
What time the fierce barbarian bands
Fell by Pelides' conquering hands,
And Troy (her Hector swept away)
Became to Greece an easier prey.

Who knows, when Phyllis is your bride,'
To what fine folk you'll be allied?,
Her parents dear, of gentle race,
Shall not their son-in-law disgrace.
She sprang from kings, or nothing less,
And weeps the family's distress.

Think not that such a charming she Can of the wretched vulgar be,

A maid, so faithful and so true

To love, to honour, and to you!

Her dear mamma, right-virtuous dame,
Could ne'er have known the blush of shame.
While thus with innocence I praise,

Let me no jealous transports raise.
Heart-whole and sound I laud her charms,
Her face, her taper legs, her arms;
For, trembling on to forty years,
My age forbids all jealous fears.


SEE, thy heifer's yet unbroke
To the labours of the yoke,
Nor hath strength enough to prove
Such impetuous weight of love.
Round the fields her fancy strays,
O'er the mead she sportive plays;
Now beneath the sultry beam
Cools her in the passing stream,
Now with frisking steerlings young
Sports the sallow groves among.

Do not then commit a rape
On the crude, unmellow'd grape :
Autumn soon, of various dyes,
Shall with kinder warmth arise,
Bid the livid clusters glow,
And a riper purple show.

Time to her shall count each day,
Which from you it takes away,
Till with bold and forward charms

And to your heir these high-pil'd treasures leave. She shall rush into your arms.

Whether you boast a monarch's birth,

While wealth unbounded round you flows,

Or poor, and sprung from vulgar earth, No pity for his victim Pluto knows.


Pholoë, the flying fair,

Shall not then with her compare ; Nor the maid of bosom bright, Like the Moon's unspotted light,

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

O'er the waves, with silver rays,
When its floating lustre plays;
Nor the Cnidian fair and young,
Who, the virgin-choir among.
Might deceive, in female guise,
Strangers, though extremely wise,
With the difference between
Sexes hardly to be seen,
And his hair of flowing. grace,
And his boyish, girlish face.



SEPTIMIUS, who hast vow'd to go
With Horace even to farthest Spain,
Or see the fierce Cantabrian foe,

Untaught to bear the Roman chain,
Or the barbaric Syrts, with mad recoil
Where Mauritanian billows ceaseless boil:
May Tibur to my latest hours

Afford a kind and calm retreat;
Tibur, beneath whose lusty towers

The Grecians fix'd their blissful seat:
There may my labours end, my wanderings cease,
There all my toils of warfare rest in peace!
But should the partial Fates refuse
That purer air to let me breathe,
Galesus, thy sweet stream I'll choose,

Where flocks of richest fleeces bathe:
Phalantus there his rural sceptre sway'd,
Uncertain offspring of a Spartan maid.
No spot so joyous smiles to me

Of this wide globe's extended shores;
Where nor the labours of the bee

Yield to Hymettus' golden stores,
Nor the green berry of Venafran soil
Swells with a riper flood of fragrant oil.
There Jove his kindest gifts bestows,

There joys to crown the fertile plains;
With genial warmth the winter glows,

And spring with lengthen'd honours reigns; Nor Aulon, friendly to the clustering vine, Envies the vintage of Falernian wine.

That happy place, that sweet retreat,
The charming hills that round it rise,
Your latest hours and mine await :

And when at length your Horace dies,
There the deep sigh thy poet-friend shall mourn,
And pious tears bedew his glowing urn.



VARUS, from early youth belov'd, And oft with me in danger prov'd, Our daring host when Brutus led, And in the cause of freedom bled, To Rome and all her guardian powers What happy chance the friend restores, With whom I've cheer'd the tedious day, And drunk its loitering hours away, Profuse of sweets while Syria shed Her liquid odours on my head?

With thee I saw Philippi's plain,

Its fatal rout, a fearful scene!

And dropp'd, alas! th' inglorious shield, Where valour's self was forc'd to yield, Where soil'd in dust the vanquish'd lay, And breath'd th' indignant soul away.

But me, when dying with my fear, Through warring hosts, inwrapp'd in air, Swift did the god of wit convey; While thee wild war's tempestuous sea In ebbing tides drove far from shore, And to new scenes of slaughter bore.

To Jove thy votive offerings paid, Beneath my laurel's sheltering shade, Fatigu'd with war, now rest reclin'd, Nor spare the casks for thee design'd. Here joyous fill the polish'd bowl, With wine oblivious cheer thy soul, And from the breathing phials pour Of essenc'd sweets a larger shower.

But who the wreath unfading weaves Of parsley, or of myrtle leaves? To whom shall beauty's queen assign To reign the monarch of our wine? For Thracian-like I'll drink to day, And deeply Bacchus it away. Our transports for a friend restor❜'d Should ev'n to madness shake the board.



If e'er th' insulted powers had shed
Their vengeance on thy perjur'd head,
If they had mark'd thy faithless truth
With one foul nail, or blacken'd tooth,
Again thy falsehood might deceive,
And I the faithless vow believe.

But when, perfidious, you engage
To meet high Heaven's vindictive rage,
You rise, with heighten'd lustre fair,
Of all our youth the public care.

It thrives with thee to be foresworn
By thy dead mother's hallow'd urn:
By Heaven and all the stars that roll
In silent circuit round the pole:
By Heaven, and every nightly sign,
By every deathless power divine.

Yes; Venus laughs, the nymphs with smiles,
The simple nymphs! behold thy wiles,
And with the blood of some poor swain
By thy perfidious beauty slain,
Fierce Cupid whets his burning darts,
For thee to wound new lovers' hearts.

Thy train of slaves grows every day,
Infants are rising to thy sway;
And they who swore to break thy chain
Yet haunt those impious doors again.

Thee for their boys the mothers fear,
The frugal father for his heir;
And weeping stands the virgin bride,
In Hymen's fetters lately tied,
Lest you detain, with brighter charms,
Her perjur'd husband from her arms.



NOR everlasting rain deforms

The squalid fields; nor endless storms,

Inconstant, vex the Caspian main;
Nor on Armenia's frozen plain
The loitering snow unmelting lies;
Nor, loud when northern winds arise,
The labouring forests bend the head,
Nor yet their leafy honours shed:
Yet still in elegiac strains
My Valgius for his son complains.
When Vesper lifts his evening ray,
Or flies the rapid beam of day.

Not for his son the Grecian sage,
Renown'd for thrice the mortal age,
Not for their youthful brother dead,
Such sorrows Priam's daughters shed.

At length these weak complaints give o'er, Indulge th' unmanly grief no more: But let us bolder sweep the string. And Cæsar's new-rais'd trophies sing: The Tigris, and its freezing flood. Euphrates, with its realms, subdu'd; Whose waves are taught with humbler pride Smoother to roll their lessening tide; The Scythians, who reluctant yield, Nor pour their squadrons o'er the field.



LICINIUS, would you live with ease, Tempt not too far the faithless seas, And when you hear the tempest roar, Press not too near th' unequal shore.

The man, within the golden mean Who can his boldest wish contain, Securely views the ruin'd cell, Where sordid want and sorrow dwell, And, in himself serenely great, Declines an envied room of state.

When high in air the pine ascends, ́ To every ruder blast it bends. The palace falls with heavier weight, When tumbling from its airy height; And when from Heaven the lightning flies, It blasts the hills that proudest rise.

Whoe'er enjoys th' untroubled breast, With virtue's tranquil wisdom blest, With hope the gloomy hour can cheer, And temper happiness with fear.

If Jove the winter's horrours bring, Yet Jove restores the genial spring. Then let us not of Fate complain, For soon shall change the gloomy scene. Apollo sometimes can inspire The silent Muse, and wake the lyre: The deathful bow not always plies, Th' unerring dart not always flies. When Fortune, various goddess, lowers, Collect your strength, exert your powers: But, when she breathes a kinder gale, Be wise, and furl your swelling sail.



Be not anxious, friend, to know What our fierce Cantabrian foe, What intends the Scythian's pride, Far from us whom seás dívide.

Tremble not with vain desires,
Few the things which life requires.
Youth with rapid swiftness flies,
Beauty's lustre quickly dies,
Wither'd age drives far away
Gentle sleep and amorous play.

When in vernal bloom they glow,
Flowers their gayest honours show.
Nor the Moon with equal grace
Always lifts her ruddy face.
Thus while nature's works decay,
Busy mortal, prithee say,
Why do you fatigue the mind,
Not for endless schemes design'd?

Thus beneath this lofty shade, Thus in careless freedom laid, While Assyrian essence sheds Liquid fragrance on our heads, While we lie with roses crown'd, Let the cheerful bowl go round: Bacchus can our cares control, Cares that prey upon the soul.

Who shall from the passing stream Quench our wine's Falernian flame? Who the vagrant wanton bring, Mistress of the lyric string, With her flowing tresses tied, Loosely, like a Spartan bride?



NUMANTIA's wars, for years maintain'd,
Or Hannibal's vindictive ire,

Or seas with Punic gore distain'd,
Suit not the softness of my feeble lyre;
Nor savage Centaurs mad with wine,
Nor Earth's gigantic rebel brood,
Who shook old Saturn's seats divine,
Till by the arm of Hercules subdu'd.
You in historic prose shall tell

The mighty power of Cæsar's war;
How kings beneath his battle fell,
Or dragg'd indignant his triumphal car.
Licymnia's dulcet voice, her eye

Bright-darting its resplendent ray,
Her breast, where love and friendship lie,
The Muse commands me sing in softer lay;

In raillery the sportive jest,

Graceful her mien in dancing charms, When playful at Diana's feast

To the bright virgin choir she winds her arms,

Say, shall the wealth by kings possest,
Or the rich diadems they wear,

Or all the treasures of the East,

Purchase one lock of my Licymnia's hair?

While now her bending neck she plies
Backward to meet the burning kiss,

Then with an easy cruelty denies,

Yet wishes you would snatch, not ask the bliss

ODE XIII. WHOEVER rais'd and planted thee, Unlucky and pernicious tree,

« PreviousContinue »