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DESCRIB'D shalt thou by Varius be,

High soaring on Mæonian wing, As brave, and o'er the enemy

Victorious; he best can sing Whate'er thy warriors, under thee, Have bravely done by land or sea.

For we to tell of things like these,

Agrippa, or the stubborn wrath
Of Peleus' son, or o'er the seas

The crafty-sould Ulysses' path,
Or Pelops' cruel family,
Dare not attempt: the themes so high,

Our power so weak; while diffidence,

And the sweet Muse that loves to sway The peaceful lyre without pretence,

Forbid me sully with a lay
Of faulty genius, such as mine,
Illustrious Cæsar's praise, or thine.

Quis Martem tunicâ tectum adamantina
Dignè scripserit ? aut pulvere Troïo
Nigrum Merionen? aut ope Palladis

Tydiden superis parem ?

Nos convivia, nos proelia virginum
Sectis in juvenes unguibus acrium
Cantamus, vacui, sive quid urimur,

Non præter solitum leves.



LAUDABUNT alii claram Rhodon, aut Mitylenen,

Aut Epheson, bimarisve Corinthi Monia, vel Baccho Thebas, vel Apolline Delphos Who worthily of Mars shall write

In adamantine tunic bound?
Who shall Merion's fame recite,

Thickly with Trojan dust embrown'd ?
Or Tydeus' son, by Pallas' aid,
A match for the immortals made ?

We, whether fir'd with love, or free,

As ever is our wonted way,
Delight to sing with levity

Of banquets, and the virgin fray,
In which the anger'd fair assails
Too forward youth with sharpen'd nails.



SOME may fam'd Rhodes or Mitylene please,

Or Ephesus, to celebrate; Or Corinth, with its walls between two seas,

Or Thebes by Bacchus render'd great,

Insignes, aut Thessala Tempe.
Sunt quibus unum opus est, intactæ Palladis urbem

Carmine perpetuo celebrare, et
Undique decerptæ frondi præponere olivam.

Plurimus, in Junonis honorem,
Aptum dicit equis Argos, ditesque Mycenas.

Me nec tam patiens Lacedæmon,
Nec tam Larissæ percussit campus opimæ,

Quàm domus Albuneæ resonantis,
Et præceps Anio, et Tiburni lucus, et uda

Mobilibus pomaria rivis.
Albus ut obscuro deterget nubila celo

Sæpe Notus, neque parturit imbres
Perpetuos : sic tu sapiens finire memento

Tristitiam vitæque labores
Molli, Plance, mero; seu te fulgentia signis

Castra tenent, seu densa tenebit
Tiburis umbra tui. Teucer Salamina patremque

Cum fugeret, tamen uda Lyæo
Tempora populeâ fertur vinxisse coronâ,

Sic tristes affatus amicos :

Or Delphi by Apollo, or thy vale,

Thessalian Tempe. Some there are
In endless verse chaste Pallas' city hail,

Their sole employment, and prefer
The olive to all leaves where'er they spring.

Many of Argos fam'd for steeds,
And rich Mycenæ, Juno honouring, sing.

But nor Larissa's fertile meads,
Nor patient Lacedæmon struck me so,

As did thine echoing retreat,
Albunea, and the headlong Anio,

And old Tiburnus' shady seat,
'Mid sylvan groves, and orchards passing fair,

Water'd by ever ductile streams.
As oft the white south-wind the darken'd air

Of vapour clears, nor alway teems
With showers; so, Plancus, mind life's care and

Wisely to end with mellow wine ;
Whether the camp, gay-banner'd, thee detains,

Or haply the dense shade of thine
Own Tibur. From his sire when Teucer fled,

And Salamis, yet still he drest
His wine-moist brow with poplar wreaths ’tis said,

And thus harangu'd his friends distrest :

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