The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 142 pages of information about The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace.
       Their fear, and on the Red Sea strand! 
     O wounds that scarce have ceased to run! 
       O brother’s blood!  O iron time! 
     What horror have we left undone? 
       Has conscience shrunk from aught of crime? 
     What shrine has rapine held in awe? 
       What altar spared?  O haste and beat
     The blunted steel we yet may draw
       On Arab and on Massagete!



Bid the lyre and cittern play;
Enkindle incense, shed the victim’s gore;
Heaven has watch’d o’er Numida,
And brings him safe from far Hispania’s shore. 
Now, returning, he bestows
On each, dear comrade all the love he can;
But to Lamia most he owes,
By whose sweet side he grew from boy to man. 
Note we in our calendar
This festal day with whitest mark from Crete: 
Let it flow, the old wine-jar,
And ply to Salian time your restless feet. 
Damalis tosses off her wine,
But Bassus sure must prove her match to-night. 
Give us roses all to twine,
And parsley green, and lilies deathly white. 
Every melting eye will rest
On Damalis’ lovely face; but none may part
Damalis from our new-found guest;
She clings, and clings, like ivy, round his heart.


Nunc est BIBENDUM.

     Now drink we deep, now featly tread
       A measure; now before each shrine
     With Salian feasts the table spread;
       The time invites us, comrades mine. 
    ’Twas shame to broach, before to-day,
       The Caecuban, while Egypt’s dame
     Threaten’d our power in dust to lay
       And wrap the Capitol in flame,
     Girt with her foul emasculate throng,
       By Fortune’s sweet new wine befool’d,
     In hope’s ungovern’d weakness strong
       To hope for all; but soon she cool’d,
     To see one ship from burning ’scape;
       Great Caesar taught her dizzy brain,
     Made mad by Mareotic grape,
       To feel the sobering truth of pain,
     And gave her chase from Italy,
       As after doves fierce falcons speed,
     As hunters ’neath Haemonia’s sky
       Chase the tired hare, so might he lead
     The fiend enchain’d; she sought to die
       More nobly, nor with woman’s dread
     Quail’d at the steel, nor timorously
       In her fleet ships to covert fled. 
     Amid her ruin’d halls she stood
       Unblench’d, and fearless to the end
     Grasp’d the fell snakes, that all her blood
       Might with the cold black venom blend,
     Death’s purpose flushing in her face;
       Nor to our ships the glory gave,
     That she, no vulgar dame, should grace
       A triumph, crownless, and a slave.


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The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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