Now steps Ryanus forth at call of furious Mars,
And from his oaken staff the sphere speeds to the stars;
And now he gains the tertiary goal, and turns,
While whiskered balls play round the timid staff of Burns.
Lo! from the tribunes on the bleachers comes a shout,
Beseeching bold Ansonius to line ’em out;
And as Apollo’s flying chariot cleaves the sky,
So stanch Ansonius lifts the frightened ball on high.
Like roar of ocean beating on the Cretan cliff,
The strong Komiske gives the panting sphere a biff;
And from the tribunes rise loud murmurs everywhere,
When twice and thrice Mikellius beats the mocking air.
And as Achilles’ fleet the Trojan waters sweeps,
So horror sways the throng,—Pfefferius sleeps!
And stalwart Konnor, though by Mercury inspired,
The Equus Carolus defies, and is retired.
So waxes fierce the strife between these godlike men;
And as the hero’s fame grows by Virgilian pen,
So let Clarksonius Maximus be raised to heights
As far above the moon as moon o’er lesser lights.
But as for me, the ivy leaf is my reward,
If you a place among the lyric bards accord;
With crest exalted, and O “People,” with delight,
I’ll proudly strike the stars, and so be out of sight.
The day is done; and, lo! the shades
Melt ’neath Diana’s mellow grace.
Hark, how those deep, designing maids
Feign terror in this sylvan place!
Come, friends, it’s time that we should go;
We’re honest married folk, you know.
Was not the wine delicious cool
Whose sweetness Pyrrha’s smile enhanced?
And by that clear Bandusian pool
How gayly Chloe sung and danced!
And Lydia Die,—aha, methinks
You’ll not forget the saucy minx!
But, oh, the echoes of those songs
That soothed our cares and lulled our hearts!
Not to that age nor this belongs
The glory of what heaven-born arts
Speak with the old distinctive charm
From yonder humble Sabine farm!
The day is done. Now off to bed,
Lest by some rural ruse surprised,
And by those artful girls misled,
You two be sadly compromised.
You go; perhaps I’d better stay
To shoo the giddy things away!
But sometime we shall meet again
Beside Digentia, cool and clear,—
You and we twain, old friend; and then
We’ll have our fill of pagan cheer.
Then, could old Horace join us three,
How proud and happy he would be!
Or if we part to meet no more
This side the misty Stygian Sea,
Be sure of this: on yonder shore
Sweet cheer awaiteth such as we;
A Sabine pagan’s heaven, O friend,—
The fellowship that knows no end!