Odes by Horace

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Come, Mercury, by whose minstrel spell

Amphion raised the Theban stones,

Come, with thy seven sweet strings, my shell,

Thy "diverse tones,"

Nor vocal once nor pleasant, now

To rich man's board and temple dear:

forth thy power, till Lyde bow Her stubborn ear.

She, like a three year colt unbroke,

Is frisking o'er the spacious plain,

shy to bear a lover's yoke, A husband's rein.

The wood, the tiger, at thy call

Have follow'd: thou canst rivers stay:

monstrous guard of Pluto's hall To thee gave way,

Grim Cerberus, round whose Gorgon head

A hundred snakes are hissing death,

Whose triple jaws black venom shed,

And sickening breath.

Ixion too and Tityos smooth'd

Their rugged brows: the urn stood dry

hour, while Danaus' maids were sooth'd With minstrelsy.

Let Lyde hear those maidens' guilt,

Their famous doom, the ceaseless drain

Of outpour'd water, ever spilt,

And all the pain

Reserved for sinners, e'en when dead:

Those impious hands, (could crime do more?)

Those impious hands had hearts to shed

Their bridegrooms' gore!

One only, true to Hymen's flame,

Was traitress to her sire forsworn:

That splendid falsehood lights her name

Through times unborn.

"Wake!" to her youthful spouse she cried,

"Wake! or you yet may sleep too well:

Fly--from the father of your bride,

Her sisters fell:

They, as she-lions bullocks rend,

Tear each her victim: I, less hard

Than these, will slay you not, poor friend,

Nor hold in ward:

Me let my sire in fetters lay

For mercy to my husband shown:

Me let him ship far hence away,

To climes unknown.

Go; speed your flight o'er land and wave,

While Night and Venus shield you; go

Be blest: and on my tomb engrave

This tale of woe."

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