An equal mind, when storms o’ercloud,
Maintain, nor ’neath a brighter sky
Let pleasure make your heart too proud,
O Dellius, Dellius! sure to die,
Whether in gloom you spend each year,
Or through long holydays at ease
In grassy nook your spirit cheer
With old Falernian vintages,
Where poplar pale, and pine-tree high
Their hospitable shadows spread
Entwined, and panting waters try
To hurry down their zigzag bed.
Bring wine and scents, and roses’ bloom,
Too brief, alas! to that sweet place,
While life, and fortune, and the loom
Of the Three Sisters yield you grace.
Soon must you leave the woods you buy,
Your villa, wash’d by Tiber’s flow,
Leave,—and your treasures, heap’d so high,
Your reckless heir will level low.
Whether from Argos’ founder born
In wealth you lived beneath the sun,
Or nursed in beggary and scorn,
You fall to Death, who pities none.
One way all travel; the dark urn
Shakes each man’s lot, that soon or late
Will force him, hopeless of return,
On board the exile-ship of Fate.
NE SIT ANCILLAE
Why, Xanthias, blush to own you
Your slave? Briseis, long ago,
A captive, could Achilles move
With breast of snow.
Tecmessa’s charms enslaved her lord,
Stout Ajax, heir of Telamon;
Atrides, in his pride, adored
The maid he won,
When Troy to Thessaly gave way,
And Hector’s all too quick decease
Made Pergamus an easier prey
To wearied Greece.
What if, as auburn Phyllis’ mate,
You graft yourself on regal stem?
Oh yes! be sure her sires were great;
She weeps for them.
Believe me, from no rascal scum
Your charmer sprang; so true a flame,
Such hate of greed, could never come
From vulgar dame.
With honest fervour I commend
Those lips, those eyes; you need not fear
A rival, hurrying on to end
His fortieth year.
Septimius, who with me would brave
Far Gades, and Cantabrian land
Untamed by Home, and Moorish wave
That whirls the sand;
Fair Tibur, town of Argive kings,
There would I end my days serene,
At rest from seas and travellings,
And service seen.
Should angry Fate those wishes foil,
Then let me seek Galesus, sweet
To skin-clad sheep, and that rich soil,
The Spartan’s seat.
O, what can match the green recess,
Whose honey not to Hybla yields,
Whose olives vie with those that bless
Long springs, mild winters glad that spot
By Jove’s good grace, and Aulon, dear
To fruitful Bacchus, envies not
That spot, those happy heights desire
Our sojourn; there, when life shall end,
Your tear shall dew my yet warm pyre,
Your bard and friend.