Odes From Horace. - To Apollo. Book The First, Ode The Thirty-First.

A poem by Anna Seward

What asks the POET, when he pours
His first libation in the Delphic Bowers?
Duteous before the altar standing,
With lively hope his soul expanding,
O! what demands he, when the crimson wine
Flows sparkling from the vase, and laves the golden shrine?

Not the rich and swelling grain
That yellows o'er Sardinia's isle;
Nor snowy herds, slow winding thro' the plain,
When warm Calabria's rosy mornings smile;
Nor gold, nor gems, that India yields,
Nor yet those fair and fertile fields,
Which, thro' their flow'ry banks as calm he glides,
The silent [1]Liris' azure stream divides.

Let those, for whom kind fortune still
Leads lavish tendrils o'er the sloping hill,
Let such, with care their vineyard dressing,
Their bursting grapes assiduous pressing,
Gather, self-gratulant, the costly store,
And of the future year propitious suns implore!

May luscious wines, in cups of gold,
Oft for the wealthy Merchant flow!
Nor let cold Thrift those plenteous draughts withhold
That prosperous Commerce shall again bestow.
The flowing bowl he safely drains,
Since every favouring God ordains
That more than [2]once, within the circling year,
His prow shall o'er the smooth Atlantic steer.

Me, let tawny olives feed!
Me, lenient mallows from the simple mead!
Son of Latona, grant the blessing,
That, a cloudless mind possessing,
And not infirm of frame, in soft decay,
Cheer'd by the breathing lyre, my life may pass away!

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