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When the false swain was hurrying o'er the deep His Spartan hostess in the Idaean bark, Old Nereus laid the unwilling winds asleep, That all to Fate might hark, Speaking through him:—“Home in ill hour you take A prize whom Greece shall claim with troops untold, Leagued by an oath your marriage tie to break And Priam's kingdom old. Alas! what deaths you launch on Dardan realm! What tolls are waiting, man and horse to tire! See! Pallas trims her aegis and her helm, Her chariot and her ire. Vainly shall you; in Venus' favour strong, Your tresses comb, and for your dames divide On peaceful lyre the several parts of song; Vainly in chamber hide From spears and Gnossian arrows, barb'd with fate, And battle's din, and Ajax in the chase Unconquer'd; those adulterous locks, though late, Shall gory dust deface. Hark! 'tis the death-cry of your race! look back! Ulysses comes, and Pylian Nestor grey; See! Salaminian Teucer on your track, And Sthenelus, in the fray Versed, or with whip and rein, s
Why, Xanthias, blush to own you love Your slave? Briseis, long ago, A captive, could Achilles move With breast of snow. Tecmessa's charms enslaved her lord, Stout Ajax, heir of Telamon; Atrides, in his pride, adored The maid he won, When Troy to Thessaly gave way, And Hector's all too quick decease Made Pergamus an easier prey To wearied Greece. What if, as auburn Phyllis' mate, You graft yourself on regal stem? Oh yes! be sure her sires were great; She weeps for them. Believe me, from no rascal scum Your charmer sprang; so true a flame, Such hate of greed, could never come From vulgar dame. With honest fervour I commend Those lips, those eyes; you need not fear A rival, hurrying on to end His fortieth year.
O, oft with me in troublous time Involved, when Brutus warr'd in Greece, Who gives you back to your own clime And your own gods, a man of peace, Pompey, the earliest friend I knew, With whom I oft cut short the hours With wine, my hair bright bathed in dew Of Syrian oils, and wreathed with flowers? With you I shared Philippi's rout, Unseemly parted from my shield, When Valour fell, and warriors stout Were tumbled on the inglorious field: But I was saved by Mercury, Wrapp'd in thick mist, yet trembling sore, While you to that tempestuous sea Were swept by battle's tide once more. Come, pay to Jove the feast you owe; Lay down those limbs, with warfare spent, Beneath my laurel; nor be slow To drain my cask; for you 'twas meant. Lethe's true draught is Massic wine; Fill high the goblet; pour out free Rich streams of unguent. Who will twine The hasty wreath from myrtle-tree Or parsley? Whom will Venus seat Chairman of cups? Are Bacchants sane? Then I'll be sober. O, 'tis sweet To fool,