Here is a cask of Alban, more
Than nine years old: here grows
- parsley, Phyllis, and good store Of ivy too
(Wreathed ivy suits your hair, you know)
The plate shines bright: the altar, strewn
With vervain, hungers for the flow
Of lambkin's blood.
There's stir among the serving folk;
They bustle, bustle, boy and girl;
The flickering flames send up the smoke
In many a curl.
But why, you ask, this special cheer?
We celebrate the feast of Ides,
- April's month, to Venus dear, In twain divides.
O, 'tis a day for reverence,
E'en my own birthday scarce so dear,
For my Maecenas counts from thence
Each added year.
'Tis Telephus that you'd bewitch:
But he is of a high degree;
- to a lady fair and rich, He is not free.
- think of Phaethon half burn'd, And moderate your passion's greed:
- how Bellerophon was spurn'd By his wing'd steed.
So learn to look for partners meet,
Shun lofty things, nor raise your aims
- your fortune. Come then, sweet, My last of flames
(For never shall another fair
Enslave me), learn a tune, to sing
With that dear voice: to music care
Shall yield its sting.
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