Odes by Horace

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Black day he chose for planting thee,

Accurst he rear'd thee from the ground,

The bane of children yet to be,

The scandal of the village round.

His father's throat the monster press'd

Beside, and on his hearthstone spilt,

ween, the blood of midnight guest; Black Colchian drugs, whate'er of guilt

Is hatch'd on earth, he dealt in all--

Who planted in my rural stead

Thee, fatal wood, thee, sure to fall

Upon thy blameless master's head.

The dangers of the hour! no thought

We give them; Punic seaman's fear

Is all of Bosporus, nor aught

Recks he of pitfalls otherwhere;

The soldier fears the mask'd retreat

Of Parthia; Parthia dreads the thrall

Of Rome; but Death with noiseless feet

Has stolen and will steal on all.

How near dark Pluto's court I stood,

And AEacus' judicial throne,

The blest seclusion of the good,

And Sappho, with sweet lyric moan

Bewailing her ungentle sex,

And thee, Alcaeus, louder far

Chanting thy tale of woful wrecks,

Of woful exile, woful war!

In sacred awe the silent dead

Attend on each: but when the song

Of combat tells and tyrants fled,

Keen ears, press'd shoulders, closer throng.

What marvel, when at those sweet airs

The hundred-headed beast spell-bound

Each black ear droops, and Furies' hairs

Uncoil their serpents at the sound?

Prometheus too and Pelops' sire

In listening lose the sense of woe;

Orion hearkens to the lyre,

And lets the lynx and lion go.

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