The gods have heard, the gods
have heard my prayer;
Yes, Lyce! you are growing old, and still
You struggle to look fair;
You drink, and dance, and trill
Your songs to youthful Love, in accents weak
With wine, and age, and passion. Youthful Love!
He dwells in Chia’s cheek,
And hears her harp-strings move.
Rude boy, he flies like lightning o’er the heath
Past wither’d trees like you; you’re wrinkled now;
The white has left your teeth
And settled on your brow.
Your Coan silks, your jewels bright as stars,
Ah no! they bring not back the days of old,
In public calendars
By flying Time enroll’d.
Where now that beauty? where those movements? where
That colour? what of her, of her is left,
Who, breathing Love’s own air,
Me of myself bereft,
Who reign’d in Cinara’s stead, a fair, fair face,
Queen of sweet arts? but Fate to Cinara gave
A life of little space;
And now she cheats the grave
Of Lyce, spared to raven’s length of days,
That youth may see, with laughter and disgust,
A fire-brand, once ablaze,
Now smouldering in grey dust.
QUAE Cura Patrum.
What honours can a grateful Rome,
A grateful senate, Caesar, give
To make thy worth through days to come
Emblazon’d on our records live,
Mightiest of chieftains whomsoe’er
The sun beholds from heaven on high?
They know thee now, thy strength in war,
Those unsubdued Vindelici.
Thine was the sword that Drusus drew,
When on the Breunian hordes he fell,
And storm’d the fierce Genaunian crew
E’en in their Alpine citadel,
And paid them back their debt twice told;
’Twas then the elder Nero came
To conflict, and in ruin roll’d
Stout Raetian kernes of giant frame.
O, ’twas a gallant sight to see
The shocks that beat upon the brave
Who chose to perish and be free!
As south winds scourge the rebel wave
When through rent clouds the Pleiads weep,
So keen his force to smite, and smite
The foe, or make his charger leap
Through the red furnace of the fight.
Thus Daunia’s ancient river fares,
Proud Aufidus, with bull-like horn,
When swoln with choler he prepares
A deluge for the fields of corn.
So Claudius charged and overthrew
The grim barbarian’s mail-clad host,
The foremost and the hindmost slew,
And conquer’d all, and nothing lost.
The force, the forethought, were thine own,
Thine own the gods. The selfsame day
When, port and palace open thrown,
Low at thy footstool Egypt lay,
That selfsame day, three lustres gone,
Another victory to thine hand
Was given; another field was won
By grace of Caesar’s high command.
Thee Spanish tribes, unused to yield,