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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.
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