Best guardian of Rome's people, dearest boon
Of a kind Heaven, thou lingerest all too long:
Thou bad'st thy senate look to meet thee soon:
Do not thy promise wrong.
Restore, dear chief, the light thou tak'st away:
Ah! when, like spring, that gracious mien of thine
- on thy Rome, more gently glides the day, And suns serener shine.
See her whose darling child a long year past
Has dwelt beyond the wild Carpathian foam;
That long year o'er, the envious southern blast
Still bars him from his home:
Weeping and praying to the shore she clings,
Nor ever thence her straining eyesight turns:
So, smit by loyal passion's restless stings,
Rome for her Caesar yearns.
In safety range the cattle o'er the mead:
Sweet Peace, soft Plenty, swell the golden grain:
O'er unvex'd seas the sailors blithely speed:
Fair Honour shrinks from stain:
No guilty lusts the shrine of home defile:
Cleansed is the hand without, the heart within:
The father's features in his children smile:
Swift vengeance follows sin.
Who fears the Parthian or the Scythian horde,
Or the rank growth that German forests yield,
- Caesar lives? who trembles at the sword The fierce Iberians wield?
In his own hills each labours down the day,
Teaching the vine to clasp the widow'd tree:
Then to his cups again, where, feasting gay,
He hails his god in thee.
- household power, adored with prayers and wine, Thou reign'st auspicious o'er his hour of ease:
Thus grateful Greece her Castor made divine,
And her great Hercules.
Ah! be it thine long holydays to give
To thy Hesperia! thus, dear chief, we pray
At sober sunrise; thus at mellow eve,
When ocean hides the day.
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