Odes From Horace. - To Mæcenas. Book The First, Ode The First.

A poem by Anna Seward

I.

Mæcenas, from Etrurian Princes sprung,
For whom my golden lyre I strung,
Friend, Patron, Guardian of its rising song,
O mark the Youth, that towers along,
With triumph in his air;
Proud of Olympic dust, that soils
His burning cheek and tangled hair!
Mark how he spreads the palm, that crown'd his toils!
Each look the throbbing hope reveals
That his fleet steeds and kindling wheels,
Swept round the skilfully-avoided goal,
Shall with illustrious Chiefs his echo'd name enrol.


II.

Who the civic crown obtains,
Or bears into his granaries large
The plenteous tribute of the Libyan Plains;
Or he, who watches still a rural charge,
O'er his own fields directs the plough,
Sees his own fruitage load the bough;
These would'st thou tempt to brave the faithless main,
And tempt with regal wealth, thy effort should be vain.


I.

The stormy South howls thro' the sullen cloud,
Contending billows roar aloud!
The Merchant sees the gathering danger rise,
And sends a thousand yearning sighs
To his dear shelter'd home. -
Its shades receive him; - but the tides
Grow smooth; - the wild winds cease to roam;
And see! - his new-trimm'd vessel gaily rides! -
Fir'd with the hope of wealth, once more
He quits, so hardly gain'd, the shore;
Watches, with eager eye, th' unfurling sail,
Nor casts one look behind to the safe, sylvan vale.


II.

[1]The youth of gay, luxurious taste,
Breaks, in the [=a]rbutus' soft shade,
The precious day with interrupting feast;
Or quaffs, by some clear fountain in a glade,
The mellow wine of ruby gleam,
While in vain the purer stream
Courts him, as gently the green bank it laves,
To blend th' enfevering draught with its pellucid waves.


I.

Th' uplifted trumpet, and the clarion, send,
Confus'd, the mingled clang afar;
Lo! while the Matron's tender breast they rend,
Her Soldier hails that din of war. -
The wood-land Chase desired,
Far other sounds the Hunter charms;
By the enlivening shout inspired,
He breaks from his young Bride's encircling arms;
Nor heeds the morning's wintry gale,
While his deep-mouth'd hounds inhale
The tainted breeze, or hold the stag at bay,
Or while, from his strong toils, the wild boar bursts away.


II.

[2]THEE bright Learning's ivy crown
Exalts above a mortal fate;
Me shady Groves, light Nymphs, and Satyrs brown,
Raise o'er the Crowd, in sweet sequester'd state.
And there is heard the Lesbian lute,
And there Euterpe's Dorian flute;
But, should'st thou rank me with the LYRIC CHOIR,
To GLORY's starry heights thy Poet would aspire. -

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