Fuscus, whoso to good inclines,
And is a faultless liver,
Nor Moorish spear nor bow need fear,
Nor poison-arrowed quiver.
Ay, though through desert wastes he roam,
Or scale the rugged mountains,
Or rest beside the murmuring tide
Of weird Hydaspan fountains!
Lo, on a time, I gayly paced
The Sabine confines shady,
And sung in glee of Lalage,
My own and dearest lady;
And as I sung, a monster wolf
Slunk through the thicket from me;
But for that song, as I strolled along,
He would have overcome me!
Set me amid those poison mists
Which no fair gale dispelleth,
Or in the plains where silence reigns,
And no thing human dwelleth,--
Still shall I love my Lalage,
Still sing her tender graces;
And while I sing, my theme shall bring
Heaven to those desert places!