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Your heart on Arab wealth is set, Good Iccius: you would try your steel On Saba's kings, unconquerd yet, And make the Mede your fetters feel. Come, tell me what barbarian fair Will serve you now, her bridegroom slain? What page from court with essenced hair Will tender you the bowl you drain, Well skill'd to bend the Serian bow His father carried? Who shall say That rivers may not uphill flow, And Tiber's self return one day, If you would change Panaetius' works, That costly purchase, and the clan Of Socrates, for shields and dirks, Whom once we thought a saner man?
For ease, in wide Aegean caught, The sailor prays, when clouds are hiding The moon, nor shines of starlight aught For seaman's guiding: For ease the Mede, with quiver gay: For ease rude Thrace, in battle cruel: Can purple buy it, Grosphus? Nay, Nor gold, nor jewel. No pomp, no lictor clears the way 'Mid rabble-routs of troublous feelings, Nor quells the cares that sport and play Round gilded ceilings. More happy he whose modest board His father's well-worn silver brightens; No fear, nor lust for sordid hoard, His light sleep frightens. Why bend our bows of little span? Why change our homes for regions under Another sun? What exiled man From self can sunder? Care climbs the bark, and trims the sail, Curst fiend! nor troops of horse can 'scape her, More swift than stag, more swift than gale That drives the vapour. Blest in the present, look not forth On ills beyond, but soothe each bitter With slow, calm smile. No suns on earth Unclouded glitter. Achilles' light was quench'd at noon; A
Jove rules in heaven, his thunder shows; Henceforth Augustus earth shall own Her present god, now Briton foes And Persians bow before his throne. Has Crassus' soldier ta'en to wife A base barbarian, and grown grey (Woe, for a nation's tainted life!) Earning his foemen-kinsmen's pay, His king, forsooth, a Mede, his sire A Marsian? can he name forget, Gown, sacred shield, undying fire, And Jove and Rome are standing yet? 'Twas this that Regulus foresaw, What time he spurn'd the foul disgrace Of peace, whose precedent would draw Destruction on an unborn race, Should aught but death the prisoner's chain Unrivet. “I have seen,” he said, “Rome's eagle in a Punic fane, And armour, ne'er a blood-drop shed, Stripp'd from the soldier; I have seen Free sons of Rome with arms fast tied; The fields we spoil'd with corn are green, And Carthage opes her portals wide. The warrior, sure, redeem'd by gold, Will fight the bolder! Aye, you heap On baseness loss. The hues of old Revisit not the wool we s<
The first of March! a man unwed! What can these flowers, this censer mean? Or what these embers, glowing red On sods of green? You ask, in either language skill'd! A feast I vow'd to Bacchus free, A white he-goat, when all but kill'd By falling tree. So, when that holyday comes round, It sees me still the rosin clear From this my wine-jar, first embrown'd In Tullus' year. Come, crush one hundred cups for life Preserved, Maecenas; keep till day The candles lit; let noise and strife Be far away. Lay down that load of state-concern; The Dacian hosts are all o'erthrown; The Mede, that sought our overturn, Now seeks his own; A servant now, our ancient foe, The Spaniard, wears at last our chain; The Scythian half unbends his bow And quits the plain. Then fret not lest the state should ail; A private man such thoughts may spare; Enjoy the present hour's regale, And banish care.