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O lovelier than the lovely dame That bore you, sentence as you please Those scurril verses, be it flame Your vengeance craves, or Hadrian seas. Not Cybele, nor he that haunts Rich Pytho, worse the brain confounds, Not Bacchus, nor the Corybants Clash their loud gongs with fiercer sounds Than savage wrath; nor sword nor spear Appals it, no, nor ocean's frown, Nor ravening fire, nor Jupiter In hideous ruin crashing down. Prometheus, forced, they say, to add To his prime clay some favourite part From every kind, took lion mad, And lodged its gall in man's poor heart. 'Twas wrath that laid Thyestes low; 'Tis wrath that oft destruction calls On cities, and invites the foe To drive his plough o'er ruin'd walls. Then calm your spirit; I can tell How once, when youth in all my veins Was glowing, blind with rage, I fell On friend and foe in ribald strains. Come, let me change my sour for sweet, And smile complacent as before: Hear me my palinode repeat, And give me back your heart once more.
Q. Horatius Flaccus (Horace), The Art of Poetry: To the Pisos (ed. C. Smart, Theodore Alois Buckley), line 189 (search)