The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 91 pages of information about The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace.

IV.

QUALEM MINISTRUM.

     E’en as the lightning’s minister,
        Whom Jove o’er all the feather’d breed
     Made sovereign, having proved him sure
       Erewhile on auburn Ganymede;
     Stirr’d by warm youth and inborn power,
       He quits the nest with timorous wing,
     For winter’s storms have ceased to lower,
       And zephyrs of returning spring
     Tempt him to launch on unknown skies;
       Next on the fold he stoops downright;
     Last on resisting serpents flies,
       Athirst for foray and for flight: 
     As tender kidling on the grass
       Espies, uplooking from her food,
     A lion’s whelp, and knows, alas! 
       Those new-set teeth shall drink her blood: 
     So look’d the Raetian mountaineers
       On Drusus:—­whence in every field
     They learn’d through immemorial years
       The Amazonian axe to wield,
     I ask not now:  not all of truth
       We seekers find:  enough to know
     The wisdom of the princely youth
       Has taught our erst victorious foe
     What prowess dwells in boyish hearts
       Rear’d in the shrine of a pure home,
     What strength Augustus’ love imparts
       To Nero’s seed, the hope of Rome. 
     Good sons and brave good sires approve: 
       Strong bullocks, fiery colts, attest
     Their fathers’ worth, nor weakling dove
       Is hatch’d in savage eagle’s nest. 
     But care draws forth the power within,
       And cultured minds are strong for good: 
     Let manners fail, the plague of sin
       Taints e’en the course of gentle blood. 
     How great thy debt to Nero’s race,
       O Rome, let red Metaurus say,
     Slain Hasdrubal, and victory’s grace
       First granted on that glorious day
     Which chased the clouds, and show’d the sun,
       When Hannibal o’er Italy
     Ran, as swift flames o’er pine-woods run,
       Or Eurus o’er Sicilia’s sea. 
     Henceforth, by fortune aiding toil,
       Rome’s prowess grew:  her fanes, laid waste
     By Punic sacrilege and spoil,
       Beheld at length their gods replaced. 
     Then the false Libyan own’d his doom:—­
       “Weak deer, the wolves’ predestined prey,
     Blindly we rush on foes, from whom
       ’Twere triumph won to steal away. 
     That race which, strong from Ilion’s fires,
       Its gods, on Tuscan waters tost,
     Its sons, its venerable sires,
       Bore to Ausonia’s citied coast;
     That race, like oak by axes shorn
       On Algidus with dark leaves rife,
     Laughs carnage, havoc, all to scorn,
       And draws new spirit from the knife. 
     Not the lopp’d Hydra task’d so sore
       Alcides, chafing at the foil: 
     No pest so fell was born of yore
       From Colchian

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook