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Of Dian's praises, tender maidens, tell; Of Cynthus' unshorn god, young striplings, sing; And bright Latona, well Beloved of Heaven's high king. Sing her that streams and silvan foliage loves, Whate'er on Algidus' chill brow is seen, In Erymanthian groves Dark-leaved, or Cragus green. Sing Tempe too, glad youths, in strain as loud, And Phoebus' birthplace, and that shoulder fair, His golden quiver proud And brother's lyre to bear. His arm shall banish Hunger, Plague, and War To Persia and to Britain's coast, away From Rome and Caesar far, If you have zeal to pray.
The broils that from Metellus date, The secret springs, the dark intrigues, The freaks of Fortune, and the great Confederate in disastrous leagues, And arms with uncleansed slaughter red, A work of danger and distrust, You treat, as one on fire should tread Scarce hid by treacherous ashen crust. Let Tragedy's stern muse be mute Awhile; and when your order'd page Has told Rome's tale, that buskin'd foot Again shall mount the Attic stage, Pollio, the pale defendant's shield, In deep debate the senate's stay, The hero of Dalmatic field By Triumph crown'd with deathless bay. E'en now with trumpet's threatening blare You thrill our ears; the clarion brays; The lightnings of the armour scare The steed, and daunt the rider's gaze. Methinks I hear of leaders proud With no uncomely dust distain'd, And all the world by conquest bow'd, And only Cato's soul unchain'd. Yes, Juno and the powers on high That left their Afric to its doom, Have led the victors' progeny As victims to Jugurtha's tomb. W
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.
The rain, it rains not every day On the soak'd meads; the Caspian main Not always feels the unequal sway Of storms, nor on Armenia's plain, Dear Valgius, lies the cold dull snow Through all the year; nor northwinds keen Upon Garganian oakwoods blow, And strip the ashes of their green. You still with tearful tones pursue Your lost, lost Mystes; Hesper sees Your passion when he brings the dew, And when before the sun he flees. Yet not for loved Antilochus Grey Nestor wasted all his years In grief; nor o'er young Troilus His parents' and his sisters' tears For ever flow'd. At length have done With these soft sorrows; rather tell Of Caesar's trophies newly won, And hoar Niphates' icy fell, And Medus' flood, 'mid conquer'd tribes Rolling a less presumptuous tide, And Scythians taught, as Rome prescribes, Henceforth o'er narrower steppes to ride.