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So kindly blends the seasons there the King of all the gods.
That shore the Argonautic bark's stout rowers never gained,
Nor the wily She of Colcbis with step unchased profaned;
The sails of Sidon's galleys ne'er were wafted to that strand,
Nor ever rested on its slopes Ulysses's toil-worn band;
For Jupiter, when he with brass the Golden Age alloyed,
That region set apart by the good to be enjoyed;
With brass and then with iron he the ages seared ; but ye,
Good men and true, to that bright home arise, arise and follow me.
LUCKY I will not call myself, as though
Thy friendship I to mere good fortune owe.
No chance it was secured me thy regards,
But Virgil first — that best of men and bards;
And then kind Varius mentioned what I was.
Before you brought, with many a faltering pause,
Dropping some few brief words (for bashfulness
Robbed me of utterance), I did not profess
That was sprung of lineage old and great,
Or used to canter round my own estate
On a Satureian barb; but what and who
I was, as plainly told. As usual, you
Brief answer make me. I retire, and then -
Some nine months after - summoning me again,
You bid me 'mongst your friends assume a place;
And proud I feel that thus I won your grace;
Not by an ancestry long known to fame,
But by my life, and heart devoid of blame.
I WALK alone, by mine own fancy led,
Inquire the price of pot-herbs and of bread,
The circus cross, to see its tricks and fun,
The forum too, at times near set of sun;
With other fools there do I stand and gape
Round fortune-tellers' stalls; thence home escape
To a plain meal of pancakes, pulse and pease ;
Three young boy-slaves attend on me with these.
Upon a slab of snow-white marble stand
A goblet, and two beakers; near at hand
A common ewer, patera, and bowl:
Compania's potteries produced the whole.
To sleep then I..
I keep my couch till ten, then walk awhile,
Or having read or writ what may beguile
A quiet after-hour, anoint my limbs
With oil - not such as filthy Natta skims
From lamps defrauded of their unctuous fare.
And when the sunbeams, grown too hot to bear,
Warn me to quit the field and hand-ball play,
The bath takes all my weariness away.
Then having lightly dined — just to appease
The sense of emptiness — I take mine ease,
Enjoying all home's simple luxury.
This is the life of bard unclogged, like me,
By stern ambition's miserable weight.
So placed, I own, with gratitude, my state
Is sweeter, aye, than though a quæstor's power
From sire and grandsires had been my dower.
THE FOUNTAIN OF BANDUSLA. BANDUSIA's fount, in clearness crystalline,
O worthy of the wine, the flowers we vow! To-morrow shall be thine
A kid, whose crescent brow
Is sprouting, all for love and victory,
In vain; his warm red blood, so early stirred, Thy gelid stream shall dye,
Child of the wanton herd.
Thee the fierce Sirian star, to madness fired,
Forbears to touch; sweet cool thy waters yield To ox with ploughing tired,
And flocks that range afield.
Thou too one day shalt win proud eminence
'Mid honored founts, while I the ilex sing Crowning the cavern, whence
Thy babbling waters spring.
THE SABINE FARM. ABOUT my farm, dear Quinctius: You would know What sort of produce for its lord 't will grow; Plough-land is it, or meadow-land, or soil For apples, vine-clad elms, or oil ?
So (but you 'll think me garrulous) I'll write
A full description of its form and site:
In long continuous lines the mountains run,
Cleft by a valley, which twice feels the sun
Once on the right, when first he lifts his beams;
Once on the left, when he descends in streams.
You'd praise the climate; well, and what d'ye say
To sloes and cornels hanging from the spray?
What to the oak and ilex which afford
Fruit to the cattle, shelter to the lord ?
What, but that rich Tarentum must have been
Transplanted nearer Rome, with all its green ?
Then there's a fountain, of sufficient size
To name the river that there takes its rise :
Not Thracian Hebrus colder or more pure,
Of power the head's and stoinach's ills to cure.
This sweet retirement — nay, 't is more than sweet-
Insures my health even in September's heat.
HORACE AT HOME.
WHEN, when shall I the country see,
Its woodlands green oh, when be free,
With books of great old men, and sleep,
And hours of dreamy ease, to creep
Into oblivion sweet of life,
Its agitations and its strife?
When on my table shall be seen
Pythagoras's kinsman bean,
And bacon - not too fat - embellish
My dish of greens, and give it relish ?
O happy nights, O feasts divine,
When with the friends I love I dine
At mine own hearth-fire, and the meat
We leave gives my bluff hinds a treat!
No stupid laws our feasts control,
But each guest drains or leaves the bowl
Precisely as he feels inclined.
If he be strong, and have a mind
For bumpers, good! If not he's free
To sip his liquor leisurely.
And then the talk our banquet rouses!
But not about our neighbors' houses,
Or if 't is generally thought
That Lepus dances well or not?
But what concerns us nearer, and
Is harmful not to understand :
Whether by wealth or worth 't is plain
That men to happiness attain ?
By what we're led to choose our friends —
Regard for them, or our own ends ?
In what does good consist, and what
Is the supremest form of that?
And then friend Cervius will strike in
With some old grandam's tale, akin
To what we are discussing. Thus
If some one have cried up to us
Avellius's wealth, forgetting how
Much care it cost him, "Look you now,
Once on a time," he will begin,
“A country mouse received within
His rugged cave a city brother,
As one old comrade would another.”
I HAVE laid in a cask of Albanian wine,
Which nine mellow summers have ripened and more. In my gardens, dear Phyllis, thy brows to entwine,
Grows the brightest of yellow parsley in plentiful store; There's ivy to gleam on thy dark glossy hair :
My plate, newly burnished, enlivens my rooms, And the altar, athirst for its victim, is there
Enwreathed with chaste vervain and choicest of blooms.
Every hand in the household is busily toiling,
And hither and thither boys bustle and girls ; Whilst, up from the hearth-fires careering and coiling,
The smoke round the rafter-beams languidly curls.
Let the joys of the revel be parted between us !
'Tis the Ides of young April, the day which divides The month, dearest Phyllis, of ocean-spring Venus
A day to me dearer than any besides.
And well may I prize it, and hail its returning
My own natal day not more hallowed or dear;
For Mæcenas, my friend, dates from this happy morning
The life which has swelled to a lustrous career.
So come, my own Phyllis, my heart's latest treasure
For ne'er for another this bosom shall long -
And I 'll teach, while your loved voice re-echoes the measure,
How to charm away care with the magic of song.
OUR common Sabine wine shall be
The only drink I 'll give to thee.
In modest goblets too;
'T was stored in crock of Grecian delf,
Dear knight Mæcenas, by myself,
That very day when through
The theatre thy plaudits rang,
And sportive echo caught the clang,
And answered from the banks
Of thine own dear paternal stream,
Whilst Vatican renewed the theme
Of homage and of thanks!
Old Cæcuban, the very best,
And juice in vats Falerian pressed,
You drink at home, I know.
My cups no choice Falerian fills,
Nor unto them do Formiæ's hills
Impart a tempered glow.
The proper thing is to be cleanly and nice,
And yet so as not to be over-precise ;
To be neither constantly scolding your slaves,
Like that old prig Albutus, as losels and knaves,
Nor, like Nævius, in such things who's rather too easy,
To the guests at your board present water that's greasy.