Cantata. Set By Mons. Galliard

A poem by Matthew Prior

Beneath a verdant laurel's ample shade
His lyre to mournful numbers strung,
Horace, immortal bard supinely laid,
To Venus thus address'd the song;
Ten thousand little loves around,
Listening dwelt on every sound.

Potent Venus, bid thy son
Sound no more his dire alarms:
Youth on silent wings is flown;
Graver years come rolling on,
Spare my age unfit for arms:
Safe and humble let me rest,
From all amorous care released.
Potent Venus, bid thy son
Sound no more his dire alarms.

Yet, Venus, why do I each morn prepare
The fragrant wreath for Cloe's hair?
Why, why do I all day lament and sigh,
Unless the beauteous maid be nigh?
And why all night pursue her in my dreams
Through flowery meads and crystal streams?

Thus sung the bard, and thus the goddess spoke:
Submissive bow to Love's imperious yoke;
Every state and every age
Shall own my rule and fear my rage:
Compell'd by me, thy Muse shall prove
That all the world was born to love.

Bid thy destined lyre discover
Soft desire and gentle pain:
Often praise, and always love her;
Through her ear her heart obtain.
Verse shall please and sight shall move her,
Cupid does with Phoebus reign.

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