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V. I-18.


TIBUS hic mos est, centum sibi poscere voces, Centum ora et linguas optare in carmina centum : Fabula seu mæsto ponatur hianda tragado, Vulnera seu Parthi ducentis ab inguine ferrum. Quiorsum hæc? aut quantas robusti carminis offas Ingeris, ut par sit centeno gutture niti? Grande locuturi, nebulas Helicone legunto: Si quibus aut Prognes, aut si quibus olla Thyestæ Fervebit, sæpe insulso cænanda Glyconi. Tu neque anhelanti, coquitur dum massa camino, Folle premis ventos; nec clauso murmure raucus Nescio quid tecum grave cornicaris inepte, Nec stloppo tumidas intendis rumpere

buccas. Verba togæ sequeris, junctura callidus acri, Ore teres modico, pallentes radere mores Doctus, et ingenuo culpam defigere ludo. Hinc trahe quæ dicas: mensasque relinque Mycenis Cum capite et pedibus: plebeiaque prandia noris.

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Poets, whene'er they sing, do still invite
An hundred tongues to utter what they write:
Whether the tragic Muse the tale rehearse,
Or deeds in arms be told in epic verse.
C. But wherefore thus ? for what bombast of thine
Must all these hundred tongues in concert join?
Let him for sounding words and fustian seek,
Who loves on themes of import high to speak;
Who all his sense in lofty language shrouds,

gropes in Helicon amidst the clouds.
If such there be, who loving things obscure,
Horrors delight, and Progne's feasts allure;
Who sit well pleased where Glyco is the guest,
And share the banquet for Thyestes dress'd;
It is not thine to brood o'er dark designs,
Or utterance give to empty sounding lines.
But thee the Muses and the arts engage,
Well taught to lash the vices of the age;


Non equidem hoc studeo, bullatis ut mihi nugis
Pagina turgescat, dare pondus idonea fumo.
Secreti loquimur: tibi nunc hortante Camena
Excutienda damus præcordia: quantaque nostræ
Pars tua sit Cornute animæ, tibi dulcis amice
Ostendisse juvat: pulsa, dignoscere cautus
Quid solidum crepet, & pictæ tectoria linguæ.
His ego centenas ausim deposcere voces:
Ut quantum mihi te sinuoso in pectore fixi,
Voce traham pura : totumque hoc verba resignent,
Quod latet arcana non enarrabile fibra.
Cum primum pavido custos mihi purpura cessit,
Bullaque succinctis laribus donata pependit:
Cum blandi comites, totaque impune Suburra
Permisit sparsisse oculos jam candidus umbo:
Cumque iter ambiguum est, et vitæ nescius error
Diducit trepidas ramosa in compita mentes,

Skill'd in smooth words keen satire to convey,
And faults to censure whilst thou seem'st in play;
Hence know thy task, let Atreus feast prepare,
Rest thou contented with plebeian fare.
P. 'Tis true, on lofty themes I seldom dwell,
Nor love with empty sounds my verse to swell.
But now, my gentle friend, while thus the hours,
While even the inspiring Muse herself is ours,
Let me my heart unfold, and there disclose
The generous love which for Cornutus glows.
An hundred voices now I dare to ask,
For praising thee becomes thy poet's task:
Nor think these words a flattering Muse has sung;
They fall not varnish'd from a faithless tongue :
They leave my bosom to thy view reveald,
And own the secret which it long conceal’d.
When first, a timid youth, I knew the town,
Exchanged the purple for the virile gown,
The golden bulla from my neck unstrung,
The sacred bauble by the Lares hung,
From harsh restraint the first enlargement knew,
And crowds of parasites around me drew;
When the white shield, by youthful warriors worn,
Through all the streets of Rome by me was borne ;
When too the martial dress forbade reproof,
And kept each friendly monitor aloof:
At that green age, when error most beguiles,
And Vice puts on her most seductive smiles,
Allures from virtue unsuspecting youth,
And teaches folly to abandon truth;

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