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Best guardian of Rome's people, dearest boon
Of a kind Heaven, thou lingerest all too long:
Thou bad'st thy senate look to meet thee soon:
Do not thy promise wrong.
Restore, dear chief, the light thou tak'st away:
Ah! when, like spring, that gracious mien of thine
Dawns on thy Rome, more gently glides the day,
And suns serener shine.
See her whose darling child a long year past
Has dwelt beyond the wild Carpathian foam;
That long year o'er, the envious southern blast
Still bars him from his home:
Weeping and praying to the shore she clings,
Nor ever thence her straining eyesight turns:
So, smit by loyal passion's restless stings,
Rome for her Caesar yearns.
In safety range the cattle o'er the mead:
Sweet Peace, soft Plenty, swell the golden grain:
O'er unvex'd seas the sailors blithely speed:
Fair Honour shrinks from stain:
No guilty lusts the shrine of home defile:
Cleansed is the hand without, the heart within:
The father's features in his children smile
Swift vengeance follows sin.
Who fears the Parthian or the Scythian horde,
Or the rank growth that German forests yield,
While Caesar lives? who trembles at the sword
The fierce Iberians wield?
In his own hills each labours down the day,
Teaching the vine to clasp the widow'd tree:
Then to his cups again, where, feasting gay,
He hails his god in thee.
A household power, adored with prayers and wine,
Thou reign'st auspicious o'er his hour of ease:
Thus grateful Greece her Castor made divine,
And her great Hercules.
Ah! be it thine long holydays to give
To thy Hesperia! thus, dear chief, we pray
At sober sunrise; thus at mellow eve,
When ocean hides the day.
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