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Why blush to let our tears unmeasured fall For one so dear? Begin the mournful stave, Melpomene, to whom the sire of all Sweet voice with music gave. And sleeps he then the heavy sleep of death, Quintilius? Piety, twin sister dear Of Justice! naked Truth! unsullied Faith! When will ye find his peer? By many a good man wept, Quintilius dies; By none than you, my Virgil, trulier wept: Devout in vain, you chide the faithless skies, Asking your loan ill-kept. No, though more suasive than the bard of Thrace You swept the lyre that trees were fain to hear, Ne'er should the blood revisit his pale face Whom once with wand severe Mercury has folded with the sons of night, Untaught to prayer Fate's prison to unseal. Ah, heavy grief! but patience makes more light What sorrow may not heal.
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
Whither, Bacchus, tear'st thou me. FiIl'd with thy strength? What dens, what forests these, Thus in wildering race I see? What cave shall hearken to my melodies, Tuned to tell of Caesar's praise And throne him high the heavenly ranks among? Sweet and strange shall be my lays, A tale till now by poet voice unsung. As the Evian on the height, Roused from her sleep, looks wonderingly abroad, Looks on Thrace with snow-drifts white, And Rhodope by barbarous footstep trod, So my truant eyes admire The banks, the desolate forests. O great King Who the Naiads dost inspire, And Bacchants, strong from earth huge trees to wring! Not a lowly strain is mine, No mere man's utterance. O, 'tis venture sweet Thee to follow, God of wine, Making the vine-branch round thy temples meet!
The gales of Thrace, that hush the unquiet sea, Spring's comrades, on the bellying canvas blow: Clogg'd earth and brawling streams alike are free From winter's weight of snow. Wailing her Itys in that sad, sad strain, Builds the poor bird, reproach to after time Of Cecrops' house, for bloody vengeance ta'en On foul barbaric crime. The keepers of fat lambkins chant their loves To silvan reeds, all in the grassy lea, And pleasure Him who tends the flocks and groves Of dark-leaved Arcady. It is a thirsty season, Virgil mine: But would you taste the grape's Calenian juice, Client of noble youths, to earn your wine Some nard you must produce. A tiny box of nard shall bring to light The cask that in Sulpician cellar lies: O, it can give new hopes, so fresh and bright, And gladden gloomy eyes. You take the bait? then come without delay And bring your ware: be sure, 'tis not my plan To let you drain my liquor and not pay, As might some wealthy man. Come, quit those covetous thoughts, those kn