Not his to lie in covert pent
Of the false steed, and sudden fall
On Priam’s ill-starr’d merriment
In bower and hall:
His ruthless arm in broad bare day
The infant from the breast had torn,
Nay, given to flame, ah, well a way!
The babe unborn:
But, won by Venus’ voice and thine,
Relenting Jove Aeneas will’d
With other omens more benign
New walls to build.
Sweet tuner of the Grecian lyre,
Whose locks are laved in Xanthus’ dews,
Blooming Agyieus! help, inspire
My Daunian Muse!
’Tis Phoebus, Phoebus gifts my tongue
With minstrel art and minstrel fires:
Come, noble youths and maidens sprung
From noble sires,
Blest in your Dian’s guardian smile,
Whose shafts the flying silvans stay,
Come, foot the Lesbian measure, while
The lyre I play:
Sing of Latona’s glorious boy,
Sing of night’s queen with crescent horn,
Who wings the fleeting months with joy,
And swells the corn.
And happy brides shall say, “’Twas mine,
When years the cyclic season brought,
To chant the festal hymn divine
By Horace taught.”
The snow is fled: the trees
their leaves put on,
The fields their green:
Earth owns the change, and rivers lessening run.
Their banks between.
Naked the Nymphs and Graces in the meads
The dance essay:
“No ’scaping death” proclaims the year, that speeds
This sweet spring day.
Frosts yield to zephyrs; Summer drives out Spring,
To vanish, when
Rich Autumn sheds his fruits; round wheels the ring,—
Yet the swift moons repair Heaven’s detriment:
We, soon as thrust
Where good Aeneas, Tullus, Ancus went,
What are we? dust.
Can Hope assure you one more day to live
From powers above?
You rescue from your heir whate’er you give
The self you love.
When life is o’er, and Minos has rehearsed
The grand last doom,
Not birth, nor eloquence, nor worth, shall burst
Not Dian’s self can chaste Hippolytus
To life recall,
Nor Theseus free his loved Pirithous
From Lethe’s thrall.
Ah Censorinus! to my comrades
Rich cups, rare bronzes, gladly would I send:
Choice tripods from Olympia on each friend
Would I confer, choicer on none than you,
Had but my fate such gems of art bestow’d
As cunning Scopas or Parrhasius wrought,
This with the brush, that with the chisel taught
To image now a mortal, now a god.
But these are not my riches: your desire
Such luxury craves not, and your means disdain:
A poet’s strain you love; a poet’s strain
Accept, and learn the value of the lyre.
Not public gravings on a marble base,