« PredošláPokračovať »
and life returns to illuftrious generals after their decease; not the precipitate flight of Hannibal, and his menaces retorted upon his own head; not the flames of impious Carthage more eminently fet forth his praifes, who returned, having gained a name from conquer'd Africa, than the + Calabrian 'mufes; neither, thou'd writings be filent, wou'd you have any adequate reward for your laudable actions. What we'd the fon of Mars and Ilia be, if invidious filence had ftifled the merits of Romulus? The force, and favour, and voice of powerful poets confecrates acus, fnatched from the Stygian floods, to the fortunate iflands. The mufe forbids a praife-worthy man to die: the mafe confers the happiness of heaven. Thus laborious Hercules has a place at the long'd-for banquets of Jupiter: thus the t fons of Tyndarus, that bright conftellation, refcue fhatter'd veffels from the bofom of the deep; and thus Bacchus, with his temples adorned with the verdant vinebranch, brings the prayer of his votaries to a fuccefsful iffue.
Scipio, hence named Seipio Africanas.
+ Ennius, the famous old poet, was born in Galabria, Cafter and Pollux.
AD MARCUM LOLLIUM.
Ejus nomen fuis carminibus ab hominum oblivione conatur vindicare.
N Longe fonantem natus ad Aufidum,
Non ante vulgatas per artes
Verba loquor focianda chordis. Non, fi priores Mæonius tenet Sedes Homerus, Pindarica latent, Ceæque, et Alcai minaces,
Stefichorique graves Camcene:
Et comites, Helene Lacana:
Vexata: non pugnavit ingens
Idomeneus Sthenelufve folus Dicenda Mufis prælia: non ferox Hector, vel acer Deiphobus graves Excepit ictus pro pudicis. Conjugibus puerifque primus:
To MARCUS. LOLLIUS.
The poet endeavours, by his verfes, to rescue Lol's name from oblivion.
O not imagine that thofe words will perhaps be loft, which I, though born on the farrefounding Aufidus, utter to be accompanied with the lyre, by arts hitherto undivulged. If Mæonian Homer does poffefs the firft rank, yet the Pindaric and Cean mufes, and the menacing frains of Alcæus, and the majestic ones of Stefichorus, are by no means obfcure: neither, if Anacreon, tho' long ago, and ever: fo lightly fung any thing, hath time deftroyed it: even now breathes the love, and live the ardours of the † Æolian maid committed to her lyre. The Lacedemonian Helen is not the only fair who hath been inflamed by admiring the delicate ringlets of a gallant, and garments embroidered with gold, and courtly accomplishments, and retinue: or was Teucer the firft that directed arrows from the Cydonian bow: Troy was more than once harraffed: the great Idomeneus and Sthenelus were not the only heroes that fought battles worthy to be recorded by the mufes: The fierce Hector or the ftrenuous Deiphobus were not the first that received heavy blows in defence of virtuous wives and children; many brave men lived
*Simonides was a Ceian.
Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona
Rerumque prudens, et fecundis
Temporibus dubiifque rectus; Vindex avare fraudis, et abftiners Ducentis ad fe cuncta pecuniæ; Confulque non unius anni;
Sed quoties bonus atque fidus Judex honeftum prætulit utili, et Rejecit alto dona nocentium
Vultu, et per obftantes catervas
• Distat inertia. Benth.
Chartis inornatum fileti..
lived before Agamemnon: but all them, unla-. mented and unknown, are overwhelmed with endlefs obfcurity, because they were deftitute of a facred bard. Valour, uncelebrated, differs but little from cowardice when in the grave. I will not therefore, O Lollius, pafs you over in filence, uncelebrated in my writings, or fuffer envious forgetfulness with impunity to feize fo many glorious toils of yours. You have a mind ever prudent in the conduct of affairs, and fteady alike amidst fuccefs or danger: You are an avenger of avaritious fraud, and proof against money, that attracts every thing by its influence; and a conful not of the year only, but as often as the good and upright magiftrate has preferr'd the honourable to the profitable, and has rejected; with a difdainful brow, the bribes of wicked men, and, triumphant thro' oppofing bands, has difplay'd the arms of his integrity. You cannot with propriety call him happy, that poffeffes much; he more juftly claims the title of happy man, who well understands how to make a wife ufe of the gifts of the Gods, and how to bear fevere poverty, and dreads a reproachful action worfe than death: fuch a man as this is not afraid to perifh in defence of his dear friends, or his country.