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Varus, are your trees in planting? put in none before the vine, In the rich domain of Tibur, by the walls of Catilus; There's a power above that hampers all that sober brains design, And the troubles man is heir to thus are quell'd, and only thus. Who can talk of want or warfare when the wine is in his head, Not of thee, good father Bacchus, and of Venus fair and bright? But should any dream of licence, there's a lesson may be read, How 'twas wine that drove the Centaurs with the Lapithae to fight. And the Thracians too may warn us; truth and falsehood, good and ill, How they mix them, when the wine-god's hand is heavy on them laid! Never, never, gracious Bacchus, may I move thee 'gainst thy will, Or uncover what is hidden in the verdure of thy shade! Silence thou thy savage cymbals, and the Berecyntine horn; In their train Self-love still follows, dully, desperately blind, And Vain-glory, towering upwards in its emptyheaded scorn, And the Faith that keeps no secrets, with a window i
Septimius, who with me would brave Far Gades, and Cantabrian land Untamed by Rome, and Moorish wave That whirls the sand; Fair Tibur, town of Argive kings, There would I end my days serene, At rest from seas and travellings, And service seen. Should angry Fate those wishes foil, Then let me seek Galesus, sweet To skin-clad sheep, and that rich soil, The Spartan's seat. O, what can match the green recess, Whose honey not to Hybla yields, Whose olives vie with those that bless Venafrum's fields? Long springs, mild winters glad that spot By Jove's good grace, and Aulon, dear To fruitful Bacchus, envies not Falernian cheer. That spot, those happy heights desire Our sojourn; there, when life shall end, Your tear shall dew my yet warm pyre, Your bard and friend.
Heir of Tyrrhenian kings, for you A mellow cask, unbroach'd as yet, Maecenas mine, and roses new, And fresh-drawn oil your locks to wet, Are waiting here. Delay not still, Nor gaze on Tibur, never dried, And sloping Aesule, and the hill Of Telegon the parricide. O leave that pomp that can but tire, Those piles, among the clouds at home; Cease for a moment to admire The smoke, the wealth, the noise of Rome! In change e'en luxury finds a zest: The poor man's supper, neat, but spare, With no gay couch to seat the guest, Has smooth'd the rugged brow of care. Now glows the Ethiop maiden's sire; Now Procyon rages all ablaze; The Lion maddens in his ire, As suns bring back the sultry days: The shepherd with his weary sheep Seeks out the streamlet and the trees, Silvanus' lair: the still banks sleep Untroubled by the wandering breeze. You ponder on imperial schemes, And o'er the city's danger brood: Bactrian and Serian haunt your dreams, And Tanais, toss'd by inward feud. The issue of the t
He whom thou, Melpomene, Hast welcomed with thy smile, in life arriving, Ne'er by boxer's skill shall be Renown'd abroad, for Isthmian mastery striving; Him shall never fiery steed Draw in Achaean car a conqueror seated; Him shall never martial deed Show, crown'd with bay, after proud kings defeated, Climbing Capitolian steep: But the cool streams that make green Tibur flourish, And the tangled forest deep, On soft Aeolian airs his fame shall nourish. Rome, of cities first and best, Deigns by her sons' according voice to hail me Fellow-bard of poets blest, And faint and fainter envy's growls assail me. Goddess, whose Pierian art The lyre's sweet sounds can modulate and measure, Who to dumb fish canst impart The music of the swan, if such thy pleasure: O, 'tis all of thy dear grace That every finger points me out in going Lyrist of the Roman race; Breath, power to charm, if mine, are thy bestowing!