Odes by Horace

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Bacchus I saw in mountain glades

Retired (believe it, after years!)

Teaching his strains to Dryad maids,

While goat-hoof'd satyrs prick'd their ears.

Evoe! my eyes with terror glare;

My heart is revelling with the god;

'Tis madness! Evoe! spare, O spare,

Dread wielder of the ivied rod!

Yes, I may sing the Thyiad crew,

The stream of wine, the sparkling rills

That run with milk, and honey-dew

That from the hollow trunk distils;

And I may sing thy consort's crown,

New set in heaven, and Pentheus' hall

With ruthless ruin thundering down,

And proud Lycurgus' funeral.

Thou turn'st the rivers, thou the sea;

Thou, on far summits, moist with wine,

Thy Bacchants' tresses harmlessly

Dost knot with living serpent-twine.

Thou, when the giants, threatening wrack,

Were clambering up Jove's citadel,

Didst hurl o'erweening Rhoetus back,

In tooth and claw a lion fell.

Who knew thy feats in dance and play

Deem'd thee belike for war's rough game

Unmeet: but peace and battle-fray

Found thee, their centre, still the same.

Grim Cerberus wagg'd his tail to see

Thy golden horn, nor dream'd of wrong,

But gently fawning, follow'd thee,

And lick'd thy feet with triple tongue.

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