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The Arcadians speak of Jupiter himself,
That they have often seen him, shaking here
His gloomy ægis, while the thunder-storms
Came rolling all around him.
Turn thine eyes,
Behold that ruin; those dismantled walls,
Where once two towns, Ianiculum
By Janus this, and that by Saturn built,
Saturnia. Such discourse brought them beneath
The roof of poor Evander; thence they saw,
-Where now the proud and stately forum stands,
The grazing herds wide scatter'd o'er the field.
Soon as he enter'd-Hercules, he said,
Victorious Hercules, on this threshold trod,
These walls contain'd him, humble as they are.
Dare to despise magnificence, my friend,
Prove thy divine descent by worth divine,
Nor view with haughty scorn this mean abode.
So saying, he led Æneas by the hand,
And placed him on a cushion stuff'd with leaves,
Spread with the skin of a Lybistian bear.
[The Episode of Venus and Vulcan omitted.]
While thus in Lemnos Vulcan was employ'd
Awaken'd by the gentle dawn of day,
And the shrill song of birds beneath the eaves
Of his low mansion, old Evander rose.
His tunic, and the sandals on his feet,
And his good sword well girded to his side,
A panther's skin dependent from his left
And over his right shoulder thrown aslant,
Thus was he clad. Two mastiffs follow'd him,
His whole retinue and his nightly guard.
OVID. TRIST. LIB. V. ELEG. XII.
Scribis, ut oblectem.
You bid me write to amuse the tedious hours,
And save from withering my poetic powers;
Hard is the task, my friend, for verse should flow
From the free mind, not fetter'd down by woe.
Restless amidst unceasing tempests toss'd,
Whoe'er has cause for sorrow, I have most.
Would you bid Priam laugh, his sons all slain;
Or childless Niobe from tears refrain,
Join the gay dance, and lead the festive train?
Does grief or study most befit the mind
To this remote, this barbarous nook confined?
Could you impart to my unshaken breast
The fortitude by Socrates possess'd,
Soon would it sink beneath such woes as mine,
For what is human strength to wrath divine?
Wise as he was, and Heaven pronounced him so,
My sufferings would have laid that wisdom low.
Could I forget my country, thee and all,
And e'en the offence to which I owe my fall,
Yet fear alone would freeze the poet's vein,
While hostile troops swarm o'er the dreary plain.
Add that the fatal rust of long disuse
Unfits me for the service of the Muse.
Thistles and weeds are all we can expect
From the best soil impoverish'd by neglect;
Unexercised, and to his stall confined,
The fleetest racer would be left behind;
The best built bark that cleaves the watery way,
Laid useless by, would moulder and decay,—
No hope remains that time shall me restore,
Mean as I was, to what I was before.
Think how a series of desponding cares
Benumbs the genius and its force impairs.
How oft, as now, on this devoted sheet,
My verse constrain'd to move with measured feet,
Reluctant and laborious limps along,
And proves itself a wretched exile's song.
What is it tunes the most melodious lays?
'Tis emulation and the thirst of praise,
A noble thirst, and not unknown to me,
While smoothly wafted on a calmer sea.
But can a wretch like Ovid pant for fame?
No, rather let the world forget my name.
Is it because that world approved my strain,
You prompt me to the same pursuit again?
No, let the Nine the ungrateful truth excuse,
I charge my hopeless ruin on the Muse,
And, like Perillus, meet my just desert,
The victim of my own pernicious art;
Fool that I was to be so warn'd in vain,
And shipwreck'd once, to tempt the deep again!
Ill fares the bard in this unletter'd land,
None to consult, and none to understand.
The purest verse has no admirers here,
Their own rude language only suits their ear.
Rude as it is, at length familiar grown,
I learn it, and almost unlearn my own ;-
Yet to say truth, even here the Muse disdains
Confinement, and attempts her former strains,
But finds the strong desire is not the power,
And what her taste condemns, the flames devour.
A part, perhaps, like this, escapes the doom,
And though unworthy, finds a friend at Rome;
But oh the cruel art, that could undo
Its votary thus! would that could perish too!
HOR. LIB. I. ODE IX.
Vides, ut altá stet nive candidum
SEEST thou yon mountain laden with deep snow,
The groves beneath their fleecy burthen bow,
The streams, congeal'd, forget to flow;
Come, thaw the cold, and lay a cheerful pile
Of fuel on the hearth;
Broach the best cask, and make old Winter smile With seasonable mirth.
This be our part,-let Heaven dispose the rest;
If Jove command, the winds shall sleep
That now wage war upon the foamy deep,
And gentle gales spring from the balmy west.
Even let us shift to-morrow as we may,
When to-morrow's pass'd away,
We at least shall have to say,
We have lived another day;
Your auburn locks will soon be silver'd o'er,
age is at our heels, and youth returns no more.
HOR. LIB. I. ODE XXXVIII.
Persicos odi, puer, apparatus.
Boy, I hate their empty shows;
Persian garlands I detest;
Bring not me the late-blown rose,
Lingering after all the rest.
Plainer myrtle pleases me,
Thus outstretch'd beneath my vine;
Myrtle more becoming thee,
Waiting with thy master's wine.
ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SAME ODE.
Boy! I detest all Persian fopperies,
Fillet-bound garlands are to me disgusting;
Task not thyself with any search, I charge thee,
Where latest roses linger;
Bring me alone, (for thou wilt find that readily,) Plain myrtle. Myrtle neither will disparage Thee occupied to serve me, or me drinking Beneath my vine's cool shelter.
HOR. LIB. II. ODE XVI.
Otium Divos rogat in patenti.
weary merchant's prayer,
EASE is the
Who ploughs by night the Ægean flood, When neither moon nor stars appear,
Or faintly glimmer through the cloud.