Not he, O MUSE! whom thy auspicious eyes
In his primeval hour beheld,
Shall victor in the Isthmian Contest rise;
Nor o'er the long-resounding field
Impetuous steeds his kindling wheels shall roll,
Gay in th' Olympic Race, and foremost at the goal.
Nor in the Capitol, triumphant shown,
The victor-laurel on his brow,
For Cities storm'd, and vaunting Kings o'erthrown; -
But Tibur's streams, that warbling flow,
And groves of fragrant gloom, resound his strains,
Whose sweet Æolian grace high celebration gains.
Now that his name, her noblest Bards among,
Th' imperial City loudly hails,
That proud distinction guards his rising song,
When Envy's carping tongue assails;
In sullen silence now she hears his praise,
Nor sheds her canker'd spots upon his springing bays.
O MUSE! who rulest each melodious lay
That floats along the gilded shell,
Who the mute tenant of the watry way
Canst teach, at pleasure, to excel
The softest note harmonious Sorrow brings,
When the expiring Swan her own sad requiem sings.
Thine be the praise, that pointing Romans guide
The Stranger's eye, with proud desire
That well he note the Man, whom Crowds decide
Should boldly string the Latian lyre. -
Ah! when I charm, if still to charm be mine,
Nymph of the warbling shell, be all the glory THINE!