The Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 176 pages of information about The Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry.

Well, in the days when Brutus held command,
With praetor’s rank, o’er Asia’s wealthy land,
Persius and King engage, a goodly pair,
Like Bithus matched with Bacchius to a hair. 
Keen as sharp steel, before the court they go,
Bach in himself as good as a whole show.

Persius begins:  amid the general laugh
He praises Brutus, praises Brutus’ staff,
Brutus, the healthful sun of Asia’s sphere,
His staff, the minor stars that bless the year,
All, save poor King; a dog-star he, the sign
To farmers inauspicious and malign: 
So roaring on he went, like wintry flood,
Where axes seldom come to thin the wood.

Then, as he thundered, King, Praeneste-bred,
Hurled vineyard slang in handfuls at his head,
A tough grape-gatherer, whom the passer-by
Could ne’er put down, with all his cuckoo cry.

Sluiced with Italian vinegar, the Greek
At length vociferates, “Brutus, let me speak! 
You are our great king-killer:  why delay
To kill this King?  I vow ’tis in your way.”


IBAM forte Via sacra.

Long the Sacred Road I strolled one day,
Deep in some bagatelle (you know my way),
When up comes one whose name I scarcely knew—­
“The dearest of dear fellows! how d’ye do?”
He grasped my hand—­“Well, thanks:  the same to you.” 
Then, as he still kept walking by my side,
To cut things short, “You’ve no commands?” I cried. 
“Nay, you should know me:  I’m a man of lore.” 
“Sir, I’m your humble servant all the more.” 
All in a fret to make him let me go,
I now walk fast, now loiter and walk slow,
Now whisper to my servant, while the sweat
Ran down so fast, my very feet were wet. 
“O had I but a temper worth the name,
Like yours, Bolanus!” inly I exclaim,
While he keeps running on at a hand-trot,
About the town, the streets, I know not what. 
Finding I made no answer, “Ah!  I see,
Tou ’re at a strait to rid yourself of me;
But ’tis no use:  I’m a tenacious friend,
And mean to hold you till your journey’s end,”
“No need to take you such a round:  I go
To visit an acquaintance you don’t know: 
Poor man! he’s ailing at his lodging, far
Beyond the bridge, where Caesar’s gardens are.” 
“O, never mind:  I’ve nothing else to do,
And want a walk, so I’ll step on with you.”

Down go my ears, in donkey-fashion, straight;
You’ve seen them do it, when their load’s too great. 
“If I mistake not,” he begins, “you’ll find
Viscus not more, nor Varius, to yoar mind: 
There’s not a man can turn a verse so soon,
Or dance so nimbly when he hears a tune: 
While, as for singing—­ah! my forte is there: 
Tigellius’ self might envy me, I’ll swear.”

Project Gutenberg
The Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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