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Bid the lyre and cittern play; Enkindle incense, shed the victim's gore; Heaven has watch'd o'er Numida, And brings him safe from far Hispania's shore. Now, returning, he bestows On each dear comrade all the love he can; But to Lamia most he owes, By whose sweet side he grew from boy to man. Note we in our calendar This festal day with whitest mark from Crete: Let it flow, the old wine-jar, And ply to Salian time your restless feet. Damalis tosses off her wine, But Bassus sure must prove her match tonight. Give us roses all to twine, And parsley green, and lilies deathly white. Every melting eye will rest On Damalis' lovely face; but none may part Damalis from our new-found guest; She clings, and clings, like ivy, round his heart.
No vulgar wing, nor weakly plied, Shall bear me through the liquid sky; A two-form'd bard, no more to bide Within the range of envy's eye 'Mid haunts of men. I, all ungraced By gentle blood, I, whom you call Your friend, Maecenas, shall not taste Of death, nor chafe in Lethe's thrall. E'en now a rougher skin expands Along my legs: above I change To a white bird; and o'er my hands And shoulders grows a plumage strange: Fleeter than Icarus, see me float O'er Bosporus, singing as I go, And o'er Gaetulian sands remote, And Hyperborean fields of snow; By Dacian horde, that masks its fear Of Marsic steel, shall I be known, And furthest Scythian: Spain shall hear My warbling, and the banks of Rhone. No dirges for my fancied death; No weak lament, no mournful stave; All clamorous grief were waste of breath, And vain the tribute of a grave.