Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/37

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ode xvi.



charioteer), pursue thee with intrepidity? Meriones[1] also shalt thou experience. Behold! the gallant son of Tydeus,[2] a better man than his father, glows to find you out: him, as a stag flies a wolf, which he has seen on the opposite side of the vale, unmindful of his pasture, shall you, effeminate, fly, grievously panting:—not such the promises you made your mistress. The fleet of the enraged Achilles shall defer for a time that day, which is to be fatal to Troy and the Trojan matrons: but, after a certain number of years, Grecian fire shall consume the Trojan palaces.”



O daughter, more charming than your charming mother, put what end you please to my insulting iambics; either in the flames, or, if you choose it, in the Adriatic. Nor Cybele, nor Apollo, the dweller in the shrines,[3] so shakes the breast of his priests; Bacchus does not do it equally, nor do the Corybantes so redouble their strokes on the sharp-sounding cymbals, as direful anger; which neither the Noric sword can deter, nor the shipwrecking sea, nor dreadful fire, not Jupiter himself rushing down with awful crash. It is reported that Prometheus was obliged to add to that original clay [with which he formed mankind], some ingredient taken from every animal, and that he applied the vehemence of the raging lion to the human breast. It was rage that destroyed Thyestes with horrible perdition; and has been the final cause that lofty cities have been entirely demolished, and that an insolent army has driven the hostile plowshare over their walls.[4]

  1. Meriones, a brave captain, who went out of Crete to the siege of Troy. Watson.
  2. Diomedes, king of Ætolia, the son of Tydeus and Deipyle, one of the Grecian worthies in the Trojan wars. Watson.
  3. See Orelli. Anthon and others take "incola" as meaning "habitana quasi in pectore."
  4. Imprimeretque muris. It was a custom among the Romans, to drive a plow over the walls of a city which they destroyed, to signify that the ground upon which it stood should be forever employed in agriculture. Torr.