And now ’tis done:
more durable than brass
My monument shall be, and raise its head
O’er royal pyramids: it shall not dread
Corroding rain or angry Boreas,
Nor the long lapse of immemorial time.
I shall not wholly die: large residue
Shall ’scape the queen of funerals. Ever new
My after fame shall grow, while pontiffs climb
With silent maids the Capitolian height.
“Born,” men will say, “where Aufidus is loud,
Where Daunus, scant of streams, beneath him bow’d
The rustic tribes, from dimness he wax’d bright,
First of his race to wed the Aeolian lay
To notes of Italy.” Put glory on,
My own Melpomene, by genius won,
And crown me of thy grace with Delphic bay.
Yet again thou wak’st
That long had slumber’d! Spare me, Venus, spare!
Trust me, I am not the same
As in the reign of Cinara, kind and fair.
Cease thy softening spells to prove
On this old heart, by fifty years made hard,
Cruel Mother of sweet Love!
Haste, where gay youth solicits thy regard.
With thy purple cygnets fly
To Paullus’ door, a seasonable guest;
There within hold revelry,
There light thy flame in that congenial breast.
He, with birth and beauty graced,
The trembling client’s champion, ne’er tongue-tied,
Master of each manly taste,
Shall bear thy conquering banners far and wide.
Let him smile in triumph gay,
True heart, victorious over lavish hand,
By the Alban lake that day
’Neath citron roof all marble shalt thou stand:
Incense there and fragrant spice
With odorous fumes thy nostrils shall salute;
Blended notes thine ear entice,
The lyre, the pipe, the Berecyntine flute:
Graceful youths and maidens bright
Shall twice a day thy tuneful praise resound,
While their feet, so fair and white,
In Salian measure three times beat the ground.
I can relish love no more,
Nor flattering hopes that tell me hearts are true,
Nor the revel’s loud uproar,
Nor fresh-wreathed flowerets, bathed in vernal dew.
Ah! but why, my Ligurine,
Steal trickling tear-drops down my wasted cheek?
Wherefore halts this tongue of mine,
So eloquent once, so faltering now and weak?
Now I hold you in my chain,
And clasp you close, all in a nightly dream;
Now, still dreaming, o’er the plain
I chase you; now, ah cruel! down the stream.