Of cables bare,
Your keel can scarce endure the lordly wave.
Your sails are rent; you have no gods to save,
Or answer pray’r.
The noble daughter of a far-famed wood,
You boast your lineage and title good,—
A useless line!
The sailor there
In painted sterns no reassurance finds;
Unless you owe derision to the winds,
My grief erewhile,
But now my care—my longing! shun the seas
That flow between the gleaming Cyclades,
Each shining isle.
The hero of
Affairs of love
By far too numerous to be mentioned,
And scarred as I’m,
It seemeth time
That I were mustered out and pensioned.
So on this wall
My lute and all
I hang, and dedicate to Venus;
And I implore
But one thing more
Ere all is at an end between us.
O goddess fair
Who reignest where
The weather’s seldom bleak and snowy,
This boon I urge:
In anger scourge
My old cantankerous sweetheart, Chloe!
SAILOR AND SHADE
You, who have compassed land and sea,
Now all unburied lie;
All vain your store of human lore,
For you were doomed to die.
The sire of Pelops likewise fell,—
Jove’s honored mortal guest;
So king and sage of every age
At last lie down to rest.
Plutonian shades enfold the ghost
Of that majestic one
Who taught as truth that he, forsooth,
Had once been Pentheus’ son;
Believe who may, he’s passed away,
And what he did is done.
A last night comes alike to all;
One path we all must tread,
Through sore disease or stormy seas
Or fields with corpses red.
Whate’er our deeds, that pathway leads
To regions of the dead.
The fickle twin Illyrian gales
Overwhelmed me on the wave;
But you that live, I pray you give
My bleaching bones a grave!
Oh, then when cruel tempests rage
You all unharmed shall be;
Jove’s mighty hand shall guard by land
And Neptune’s on the sea.
Perchance you fear to do what may
Bring evil to your race?
Oh, rather fear that like me here
You’ll lack a burial place.
So, though you be in proper haste,
Bide long enough, I pray,
To give me, friend, what boon shall send
My soul upon its way!
In maudlin spite let Thracians fight
Above their bowls of liquor;
But such as we, when on a spree,
Should never brawl and bicker!
These angry words and clashing swords
Are quite de trop, I’m thinking;
Brace up, my boys, and hush your noise,
And drown your wrath in drinking.