Odes by Horace

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Why, Xanthias, blush to own you love

Your slave? Briseis, long ago,

A captive, could Achilles move

With breast of snow.

Tecmessa's charms enslaved her lord,

Stout Ajax, heir of Telamon;

Atrides, in his pride, adored

The maid he won,

When Troy to Thessaly gave way,

And Hector's all too quick decease

Made Pergamus an easier prey

To wearied Greece.

What if, as auburn Phyllis' mate,

You graft yourself on regal stem?

Oh yes! be sure her sires were great;

She weeps for THEM.

Believe me, from no rascal scum

Your charmer sprang; so true a flame,

Such hate of greed, could never come

From vulgar dame.

With honest fervour I commend

Those lips, those eyes; you need not fear

A rival, hurrying on to end

His fortieth year.

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