Odes by Horace

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Your fathers' guilt you still must pay,

Till, Roman, you restore each shrine,

Each temple, mouldering in decay,

And smoke-grimed statue, scarce divine.

Revering Heaven, you rule below;

Be that your base, your coping still;

'Tis Heaven neglected bids o'erflow

The measure of Italian ill.

Now Pacorus and Montaeses twice

Have given our unblest arms the foil;

Their necklaces, of mean device,

Smiling they deck with Roman spoil.

Our city, torn by faction's throes,

Dacian and Ethiop well-nigh razed,

These with their dreadful navy, those

For archer-prowess rather praised.

An evil age erewhile debased

The marriage-bed, the race, the home;

Thence rose the flood whose waters waste

The nation and the name of Rome.

Not such their birth, who stain'd for us

The sea with Punic carnage red,

Smote Pyrrhus, smote Antiochus,

And Hannibal, the Roman's dread.

Theirs was a hardy soldier-brood,

Inured all day the land to till

With Sabine spade, then shoulder wood

Hewn at a stern old mother's will,

When sunset lengthen'd from each height

The shadows, and unyoked the steer,

Restoring in its westward flight

The hour to toilworn travail dear.

What has not cankering Time made worse?

Viler than grandsires, sires beget

Ourselves, yet baser, soon to curse

The world with offspring baser yet.

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