Silence thou thy savage cymbals, and the Berecyntine horn;
In their train Self-love still follows, dully, desperately
And Vain-glory, towering upwards in its empty-headed scorn,
And the Faith that keeps no secrets, with a window in its mind.
MATER SAEVA CUPIDINUM
Cupid’s mother, cruel
And Semele’s Theban boy, and Licence bold,
Bid me kindle into flame
This heart, by waning passion now left cold.
O, the charms of Glycera,
That hue, more dazzling than the Parian stone!
O, that sweet tormenting play,
That too fair face, that blinds when look’d upon!
Venus comes in all her might,
Quits Cyprus for my heart, nor lets me tell
Of the Parthian, hold in flight,
Nor Scythian hordes, nor aught that breaks her spell.
Heap the grassy altar up,
Bring vervain, boys, and sacred frankincense;
Fill the sacrificial cup;
A victim’s blood will soothe her vehemence.
Not large my cups, nor rich my
This Sabine wine, which erst I seal’d,
That day the applauding theatre
Your welcome peal’d,
Dear knight Maecenas! as ’twere fain
That your paternal river’s banks,
And Vatican, in sportive strain,
Should echo thanks.
For you Calenian grapes are press’d,
And Caecuban; these cups of mine
Falernum’s bounty ne’er has bless’d,
Nor Formian vine.
Of Dian’s praises, tender
Of Cynthus’ unshorn god, young striplings, sing;
And bright Latona, well
Beloved of Heaven’s high King.
Sing her that streams and silvan foliage loves,
Whate’er on Algidus’ chill brow is seen,
In Erymanthian groves
Dark-leaved, or Cragus green.
Sing Tempe too, glad youths, in strain as loud,
And Phoebus’ birthplace, and that shoulder fair,
His golden quiver proud
And brother’s lyre to bear.
His arm shall banish Hunger, Plague, and War
To Persia and to Britain’s coast, away
From Rome and Caesar far,
If you have zeal to pray.
No need of Moorish archer’s
To guard the pure and stainless liver;
He wants not, Fuscus, poison’d shaft
To store his quiver,
Whether he traverse Libyan shoals,
Or Caucasus, forlorn and horrent,
Or lands where far Hydaspes rolls
His fabled torrent.
A wolf, while roaming trouble-free
In Sabine wood, as fancy led me,
Unarm’d I sang my Lalage,
Beheld, and fled me.
Dire monster! in her broad oak woods
Fierce Daunia fosters none such other,