Odes by Horace

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Who fain at Pindar's flight would aim,

On waxen wings, Iulus, he

Soars heavenward, doom'd to give his name

To some new sea.

Pindar, like torrent from the steep

Which, swollen with rain, its banks o'erflows,

With mouth unfathomably deep,

Foams, thunders, glows,

All worthy of Apollo's bay,

Whether in dithyrambic roll

new words he burst away Beyond control,

Or gods and god-born heroes tell,

Whose arm with righteous death could tame

Grim Centaurs, tame Chimaeras fell,

Out-breathing flame,

Or bid the boxer or the steed

In deathless pride of victory live,

And dower them with a nobler meed

Than sculptors give,

Or mourn the bridegroom early torn

From his young bride, and set on high

Strength, courage, virtue's golden morn,

Too good to die.

Antonius! yes, the winds blow free,

When Dirce's swan ascends the skies,

To waft him. I, like Matine bee,

In act and guise,

That culls its sweets through toilsome hours,

Am roaming Tibur's banks along,

And fashioning with puny powers

A laboured song.

Your Muse shall sing in loftier strain

How Caesar climbs the sacred height,

The fierce Sygambrians in his train,

With laurel dight,

Than whom the Fates ne'er gave mankind

A richer treasure or more dear,

Nor shall, though earth again should find

The golden year.

Your Muse shall tell of public sports,

And holyday, and votive feast,

For Caesar's sake, and brawling courts

Where strife has ceased.

Then, if my voice can aught avail,

Grateful for him our prayers have won,

My song shall echo, "Hail, all hail,

Auspicious Sun!"

There as you move, "Ho! Triumph, ho!

Great Triumph!" once and yet again

All Rome shall cry, and spices strow

Before your train.

Ten bulls, ten kine, your debt discharge:

A calf new-wean'd from parent cow,

Battening on pastures rich and large,

Shall quit my vow.

Like moon just dawning on the night

The crescent honours of his head;

One dapple spot of snowy white,

The rest all red.

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