Odes by Horace

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The broils that from Metellus date,

The secret springs, the dark intrigues,

The freaks of Fortune, and the great

Confederate in disastrous leagues,

And arms with uncleansed slaughter red,

A work of danger and distrust,

You treat, as one on fire should tread,

Scarce hid by treacherous ashen crust.

Let Tragedy's stern muse be mute

Awhile; and when your order'd page

Has told Rome's tale, that buskin'd foot

Again shall mount the Attic stage,

Pollio, the pale defendant's shield,

In deep debate the senate's stay,

The hero of Dalmatic field

By Triumph crown'd with deathless bay.

E'en now with trumpet's threatening blare

You thrill our ears; the clarion brays;

The lightnings of the armour scare

The steed, and daunt the rider's gaze.

Methinks I hear of leaders proud

With no uncomely dust distain'd,

And all the world by conquest bow'd,

And only Cato's soul unchain'd.

Yes, Juno and the powers on high

That left their Afric to its doom,

Have led the victors' progeny

As victims to Jugurtha's tomb.

What field, by Latian blood-drops fed,

Proclaims not the unnatural deeds

It buries, and the earthquake dread

Whose distant thunder shook the Medes?

What gulf, what river has not seen

Those sights of sorrow? nay, what sea

Has Daunian carnage yet left green?

What coast from Roman blood is free?

But pause, gay Muse, nor leave your play

Another Cean dirge to sing;

With me to Venus' bower away,

And there attune a lighter string.

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