Horace IV, II.

A poem by Eugene Field

Come, Phyllis, I've a cask of wine
That fairly reeks with precious juices.
And in your tresses you shall twine
The loveliest flowers this vale produces.

My cottage wears a gracious smile--
The altar decked in floral glory,--
Yearns for the lamb which bleats the while
As though it pined for honors gory.

Hither our neighbors nimbly fare--
The boys agog, the maidens snickering,
And savory smells possess the air
As skyward kitchen flames are flickering.

You ask what means this grand display,
This festive throng and goodly diet?
Well--since you're bound to have your way--
I don't mind telling on the quiet.

'Tis April 13, as you know--
A day and month devote to Venus,
Whereon was born some years ago,
My very worthy friend, Macenas.

Nay, pay no heed to Telephus--
Your friends agree he doesn't love you;
The way he flirts convinces us
He really is not worthy of you!

Aurora's son, unhappy lad!
You know the fate that overtook him?
And Pegasus a rider had--
I say he had before he shook him!

Haec docet (as you may agree):
'Tis meet that Phyllis should discover
A wisdom in preferring me
And mittening every other lover.

So come, O Phyllis, last and best
Of loves with which this heart's been smitten;
Come, sing my jealous fears to rest--
And let your songs be those I've written.

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