What, Albius! why this passionate
For cruel Glycera? why melt your voice
In dolorous strains, because the perjured fair
Has made a younger choice?
See, narrow-brow’d Lycoris, how she glows
For Cyrus! Cyrus turns away his head
To Pholoe’s frown; but sooner gentle roes
Apulian wolves shall wed,
Than Pholoe to so mean a conqueror strike:
So Venus wills it; ’neath her brazen yoke
She loves to couple forms and minds unlike,
All for a heartless joke.
For me sweet Love had forged a milder spell;
But Myrtale still kept me her fond slave,
More stormy she than the tempestuous swell
That crests Calabria’s wave.
My prayers were scant, my offerings
While witless wisdom fool’d my mind;
But now I trim my sails anew,
And trace the course I left behind.
For lo! the Sire of heaven on high,
By whose fierce bolts the clouds are riven,
To-day through an unclouded sky
His thundering steeds and car has driven.
E’en now dull earth and wandering floods,
And Atlas’ limitary range,
And Styx, and Taenarus’ dark abodes
Are reeling. He can lowliest change
And loftiest; bring the mighty down
And lift the weak; with whirring flight
Comes Fortune, plucks the monarch’s crown,
And decks therewith some meaner wight.
O diva, GRATUM.
Lady of Antium, grave
O Goddess, who canst lift the low
To high estate, and sudden turn
A triumph to a funeral show!
Thee the poor hind that tills the soil
Implores; their queen they own in thee,
Who in Bithynian vessel toil
Amid the vex’d Carpathian sea.
Thee Dacians fierce, and Scythian hordes,
Peoples and towns, and Koine, their head,
And mothers of barbarian lords,
And tyrants in their purple dread,
Lest, spurn’d by thee in scorn, should fall
The state’s tall prop, lest crowds on fire
To arms, to arms! the loiterers call,
And thrones be tumbled in the mire.
Necessity precedes thee still
With hard fierce eyes and heavy tramp:
Her hand the nails and wedges fill,
The molten lead and stubborn clamp.
Hope, precious Truth in garb of white,
Attend thee still, nor quit thy side
When with changed robes thou tak’st thy flight
In anger from the homes of pride.
Then the false herd, the faithless fair,
Start backward; when the wine runs dry,
The jocund guests, too light to bear
An equal yoke, asunder fly.
O shield our Caesar as he goes
To furthest Britain, and his band,
Rome’s harvest! Send on Eastern foes