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 roams,
Or scales the rugged mountains,
Or rests 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!