My hours, it may be, yet will run
When yours are finish’d.
For you Sicilian heifers low,
Bleat countless flocks; for you are neighing
Proud coursers; Afric purples glow
For your arraying
With double dyes; a small domain,
The soul that breathed in Grecian harping,
My portion these; and high disdain
Of ribald carping.
Cur me QUERELIS.
Why rend my heart with that sad
It cannot please the gods or me
That you, Maecenas, first should die,
My pillar of prosperity.
Ah! should I lose one half my soul
Untimely, can the other stay
Behind it? Life that is not whole,
Is that as sweet? The self-same day
Shall crush us twain; no idle oath
Has Horace sworn; whene’er you go,
We both will travel, travel both
The last dark journey down below.
No, not Chimaera’s fiery breath,
Nor Gyas, could he rise again,
Shall part us; Justice, strong as death,
So wills it; so the Fates ordain.
Whether ’twas Libra saw me born
Or angry Scorpio, lord malign
Of natal hour, or Capricorn,
The tyrant of the western brine,
Our planets sure with concord strange
Are blended. You by Jove’s blest power
Were snatch’d from out the baleful range
Of Saturn, and the evil hour
Was stay’d, when rapturous benches full
Three times the auspicious thunder peal’d;
Me the curst trunk, that smote my skull,
Had slain; but Faunus, strong to shield
The friends of Mercury, check’d the blow
In mid descent. Be sure to pay
The victims and the fane you owe;
Your bard a humbler lamb will slay.
Carven ivory have I none;
No golden cornice in my dwelling shines;
Pillars choice of Libyan stone
Upbear no architrave from Attic mines;
’Twas not mine to enter in
To Attalus’ broad realms, an unknown heir,
Nor for me fair clients spin
Laconian purples for their patron’s wear.
Truth is mine, and Genius mine;
The rich man comes, and knocks at my low door:
Favour’d thus, I ne’er repine,
Nor weary out indulgent Heaven for more:
In my Sabine homestead blest,
Why should I further tax a generous friend?
Suns are hurrying suns a-west,
And newborn moons make speed to meet their end.
You have hands to square and hew
Vast marble-blocks, hard on your day of doom,
Ever building mansions new,
Nor thinking of the mansion of the tomb.
Now you press on ocean’s bound,
Where waves on Baiae beat, as earth were scant;
Now absorb your neighbour’s ground,
And tear his landmarks up, your own to plant.
Hedges set round clients’ farms
Your avarice tramples; see, the outcasts fly,
Wife and husband, in their arms