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Oh Lydia ! learn from me to dread
Such love's inconstant fleetness, As thus a blighting print could spread O'er lips, where Venus' self had shed
The essence of her sweetness.
Thrice happy they, whose days consume
In love's divine communion; Whose constant faith secure shall bloom, 'Till the dread summons of the tomb
Dissolve the blissful union!
HORACE.-BOOK III. ODE X.
While Lydia's heart was all my own,
Nor dearer arms might try The circle of her graceful zone, Not Persia's monarch on his throne
Was half so blest as I.
Ere thy fond heart a warmer flame
Had caught from Chloe's eye, While Lydia was the sweeter name, Not Rome's great mother, dear to fame,
Was half so blest as I.
Now tuneful Chloe holds my heart
In chords of harmony, Skilled in the power of music's art; For whose dear sake with life to part,
Were joy enough for me!
The youthful Calais claims me now
In love's delightful yoke; Calais, to save whose pearly brow, Full oft this head I'd gladly bow
To death's severest stroke.
What if the fires of love return
With all their ancient flame, If Chloe's eyes should cease to burn, And this sad heart again should learn
To cherish Lydia's name?
Though he, as evening's star, is fair,
And thou art like the wave, Fickle and fierce as stormy air, Thy lot in life I'd gladly share
Thy slumbers in the grave. 1842.
HORACE.-BOOK 1. ODE XV.
When homeward, o'er the Egean sea,
Ill-fated ! homeward thou hast led,
Whom Greece shall seek across the flood, Sworn to immerse thy marriage bed,
And Priam's ancient throne, in blood ! Alas! upon the hard fought plain,
What hosts must find their resting place! Of mortal woes, a heavy train
Thou lead'st to Troy's unhappy race. E'en now dread Pallas takes the field,
And hastes to yoke her flaming car, While flashes round her gorgon shield,
Tremendous in the coming war.
In vain, in love's protection bold,
Thy hands shall deck thy flowing hair, Or on thy peaceful harp of gold,
Make music for the listening fair. In vain within thy halls concealed,
Thou hop'st to shun the Grecian spear, Thou scap'st not thus the stormy field,
Nor Ajax thundering in thy rear.
Thy rosy cheek and forehead fair,
In war, no martial prize may gain; And those soft locks, adorned with care,
Must sweep at length in blood the plain.
Lo! where the angry warriors throng,
Ulysses and the Pylian seer, And Teucer pours his hosts along,
Crowding thy flight in wild career. But most, Tydides fierce demands
Thy blood, through all the ranks of war, From whose huge spear and slaughtering hands
Thy quaking limbs must bear thee far; E’en as the stag in lowly vale,
When howls the wolf, forgets to eat, And swift outstrips the mountain gale,
With breathing soft, on flying feet;