Odes by Horace

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The weary war where fierce Numantia bled,

Fell Hannibal, the swoln Sicilian main

Purpled with Punic blood--not mine to wed

These to the lyre's soft strain,

Nor cruel Lapithae, nor, mad with wine,

Centaurs, nor, by Herculean arm o'ercome,

The earth-born youth, whose terrors dimm'dthe shine

Of the resplendent dome

Of ancient Saturn. You, Maecenas, best

In pictured prose of Caesar's warrior feats

Will tell, and captive kings with haughty crest

Led through the Roman streets.

On me the Muse has laid her charge to tell

Of your Licymnia's voice, the lustrous hue

Of her bright eye, her heart that beats so well

To mutual passion true:

How nought she does but lends her added grace,

Whether she dance, or join in bantering play,

Or with soft arms the maiden choir embrace

On great Diana's day.

Say, would you change for all the wealth possest

By rich Achaemenes or Phrygia's heir,

Or the full stores of Araby the blest,

One lock of her dear hair,

While to your burning lips she bends her neck,

Or with kind cruelty denies the due

She means you not to beg for, but to take,

Or snatches it from you?

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