Odes by Horace

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What man, what hero, Clio sweet,

On harp or flute wilt thou proclaim?

What god shall echo's voice repeat

In mocking game

To Helicon's sequester'd shade,

Or Pindus, or on Haemus chill,

Where once the hurrying woods obey'd

The minstrel's will,

Who, by his mother's gift of song,

Held the fleet stream, the rapid breeze,

And led with blandishment along

The listening trees?

Whom praise we first? the Sire on high,

Who gods and men unerring guides,

Who rules the sea, the earth, the sky,

Their times and tides.

No mightier birth may He beget;

No like, no second has He known;

Yet nearest to her sire's is set

Minerva's throne.

Nor yet shall Bacchus pass unsaid,

Bold warrior, nor the virgin foe

Of savage beasts, nor Phoebus, dread

With deadly bow.

Alcides too shall be my theme,

And Leda's twins, for horses be,

He famed for boxing; soon as gleam

Their stars at sea,

The lash'd spray trickles from the steep,

The wind sinks down, the storm-cloud flies,

The threatening billow on the deep

Obedient lies.

Shall now Quirinus take his turn,

Or quiet Numa, or the state

Proud Tarquin held, or Cato stern,

By death made great?

Ay, Regulus and the Scaurian name,

And Paullus, who at Cannae gave

His glorious soul, fair record claim,

For all were brave.

Thee, Furius, and Fabricius, thee,

Rough Curius too, with untrimm'd beard,

Your sires' transmitted poverty

To conquest rear'd.

Marcellus' fame, its up-growth hid,

Springs like a tree; great Julius' light

Shines, like the radiant moon amid

The lamps of night.

Dread Sire and Guardian of man's race,

To Thee, O Jove, the Fates assign

Our Caesar's charge; his power and place

Be next to Thine.

Whether the Parthian, threatening Rome,

His eagles scatter to the wind,

Or follow to their eastern home

Cathay and Ind,

Thy second let him rule below:

Thy car shall shake the realms above;

Thy vengeful bolts shall overthrow

Each guilty grove.

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