Odes by Horace

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The man of firm and righteous will,

No rabble, clamorous for the wrong,

No tyrant's brow, whose frown may kill,

Can shake the strength that makes him strong:

Not winds, that chafe the sea they sway,

Nor Jove's right hand, with lightning red:

Should Nature's pillar'd frame give way,

That wreck would strike one fearless head.

Pollux and roving Hercules

Thus won their way to Heaven's proud steep,

'Mid whom Augustus, couch'd at ease,

Dyes his red lips with nectar deep.

For this, great Bacchus, tigers drew

Thy glorious car, untaught to slave

In harness: thus Quirinus flew

On Mars' wing'd steeds from Acheron's wave,

When Juno spoke with Heaven's assent:

"O Ilium, Ilium, wretched town!

The judge accurst, incontinent,

And stranger dame have dragg'd thee down.

Pallas and I, since Priam's sire

Denied the gods his pledged reward,

Had doom'd them all to sword and fire,

The people and their perjured lord.

No more the adulterous guest can charm

The Spartan queen: the house forsworn

No more repels by Hector's arm

My warriors, baffled and outworn:

Hush'd is the war our strife made long:

I welcome now, my hatred o'er,

grandson in the child of wrong, Him whom the Trojan priestess bore.

Receive him, Mars! the gates of flame

May open: let him taste forgiven

The nectar, and enrol his name

Among the peaceful ranks of Heaven.

Let the wide waters sever still

Ilium and Rome, the exiled race

May reign and prosper where they will:

So but in Paris' burial-place

The cattle sport, the wild beasts hide

Their cubs, the Capitol may stand

All bright, and Rome in warlike pride

O'er Media stretch a conqueror's hand.

Aye, let her scatter far and wide

Her terror, where the land-lock'd waves

Europe from Afric's shore divide,

Where swelling Nile the corn-field laves--

Of strength more potent to disdain

Hid gold, best buried in the mine,

Than gather it with hand profane,

That for man's greed would rob a shrine.

Whate'er the bound to earth ordain'd,

There let her reach the arm of power,

Travelling, where raves the fire unrein'd,

And where the storm-cloud and the shower.

Yet, warlike Roman, know thy doom,

Nor, drunken with a conqueror's joy,

Or blind with duteous zeal, presume

To build again ancestral Troy.

Should Troy revive to hateful life,

Her star again should set in gore,

While I, Jove's sister and his wife,

To victory led my host once more.

Though Phoebus thrice in brazen mail

Should case her towers, they thrice should fall,

Storm'd by my Greeks: thrice wives should wail

Husband and son, themselves in thrall."

--Such thunders from the lyre of love!

Back, wayward Muse! refrain, refrain

To tell the talk of gods above,

And dwarf high themes in puny strain.

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