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Or if thou rather, smiling Venus, willest,
Circling around whom flutter Mirth and Cupid :
Or if thou on thy slighted race and offspring,

Mars, again lookest:
Satiate with thy sport, alas! too lengthened,
Whom din delights, and gleam of burnished helms, and
Moorish foot-soldier's acrid visage eyeing

Foeman ensanguined.
Or, if thou, winged son of gentle Maia,
Wilt with changed semblance, personate a stripling
Here upon earth, submitting to be titled

Caesar's avenger.
Late mayest thou return to heav'n, and joyful
Long linger imid the people of Quirinus !
Premature blast withdraw thee not, incensed at

Our misdemeanours !
Here rather may'st thou love exalted triumphs;
Love to be here invoked as prince and father :
Neither let Medes unpunished ride, O Caesar,

Thou, our commander.

The ship addressed was one in which Virgil was embarking for

Athens. So much the Ode itself tells us. Anything more would be mere conjecture.

So, potent Cyprian Goddess-Queen,
So, Helen's brothers, stars of lucid sheen,

And so the sire of every wind,
All save Iapyx holding close confined,

Sive tu mavis, Erycina ridens,
Quam Jocus circum volat, et Cupido:
Sive neglectum genus et nepotes

Respicis, auctor,
Heu, nimis longo satiate ludo!
Quem juvat clamor, galeaeque leves,
Acer et Mauri peditis cruentum

Voltus in hostem.
Sive mutata juvenem figura
Ales in terris imitaris, almae
Filius Maiae, patiens vocari.

Caesaris ultor :
Serus in caelum redeas; diuque
Laetus intersis populo Quirini:
Neve te nostris vitiis iniquum

Ocior aura
Tollat. Hic magnos potius triumphos,
Hic ames dici pater atque princeps:
Neu sinas Medos equitare inultos,

Te duce, Caesar.



Sic te, Diva potens Cypri,
Sic fratres Helenae, lucida sidera,

Ventorumque regat pater,
Obstrictis aliis, praeter Iapyga,

O ship! direct thee, I implore,
That thou in safety on Athenian shore

Land Virgil, lent in trust to thee,
And so preserve my being's moiety.

Oak, verily, and triple brass
Girded the breast of him who foremost was

To launch on unrelenting sea
Frail bark, nor feared the south-west, furiously

Contending with the northern blast,
Nor tearful Hyads, nor wild south, surpassed

By none in sway o'er Adria,
Whether he will to lift the waves or lay.

Him, what approach of death could awe
Who with dry eyes the foundering monsters saw,

The turmoil of the swollen sea,
And peaked Ceraunia's rocks of infamy?

In vain has providence divine
Lands severed with dissociating brine,

If yet the interdicted deep
Our sacrilegious galleys overleap.

Adventuring every risk to run,
Through wickedness proscribed mankind rush on.

Iapetus' adventurous son Fire to mankind by baleful fraud brought down.

When fire had been from ether's reign Ravished, diseases new, a ghastly train,

Made of our earth their dwelling-place : And, distant until then, with quickened pace

Advanced Death's slow necessity. By Daedalus was air's vacuity

Navis, quae tibi creditum
Debes Virgilium, finibus Atticis

Reddas incolumem, precor,
Et serves animae dimidium meae.

Illi robur et aes triplex
Circa pectus erat, qui fragilem truci

Commisit pelago ratem
Primus : nec timuit praecipitem Africum

Decertantem Aquilonibus,
Nec tristes Hyadas, nec rabiem Noti;

Quo non arbiter Adriae
Major, tollere seu ponere vult freta.

Quem Mortis timuit gradum,
Qui siccis oculis monstra natantia,

Qui vidit mare turgidum, et Infames scopulos Acroceraunia ?

Nequicquam deus abscidit
Prudens Oceano dissociabili

Terras, si tamen impiae
Non tangenda rates transiliunt vada.

Audax omnia perpeti
Gens humana ruit per vetitum nefas.

Audax Iapeti genus
Ignem fraude mala gentibus intulit.

Post ignem aetheria domo
Subductum, macies et nova febrium

Terris incubuit cohors; Semotique prius tarda necessitas

Leti corripuit gradum. Expertus vacuum Daedalus aëra

Essayed with wings to man not given :
By toil Herculean, Acheron was riven.

For mortals nothing is too high :
At heaven itself aims our insanity.

Our sinfulness will not permit
That Jove his wrathful levin intermit.

Written in early Spring.

At Spring and Zephyr's glad return, keen winter melts

away ; On sledges, barks are launched, that dry upon the

shingle lay; And neither does the flock its stall, nor ploughman

love the fire, Nor longer does the hoary rime the whitened fields attire: But Cytherean Venus now leads forth her choral band, And (the moon hanging o'er them) Nymphs and

Graces, hand in hand, In comely union, strike the earth, with alternating feet, While the Cyclopes' smithy huge burns with Vulcanian heat. Meet is it now that glistening brow should be with

myrtle bound Or with the flower by vernal power raised from the

loosened ground.

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