Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/40

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book i.

with various leaves. Cease your dire cymbals, together with your Phrygian horn, whose followers are blind Self-love and Arrogance, holding up too high her empty head, and the Faith communicative of secrets, and more transparent than glass.



The cruel mother of the Cupids, and the son of the Theban Gemele, and lascivious ease, command me to give back my mind to its deserted loves. The splendor of Glycera, shining brighter than the Parian marble, inflames me: her agreeable petulance, and her countenance, too unsteady to be beheld, inflame me. Venus, rushing on me with her whole force, has quitted Cyprus; and suffers me not to sing of the Scythians,[1] and the Parthian,[2] furious when his horse is turned for flight, or any subject which is not to the present purpose. Here, slaves, place me a live turf; here, place me vervains and frankincense, with a flagon of two-year-old wine. She will approach more propitious, after a victim has been sacrificed.



My dear knight Mæcenas, you shall drink [at my house] ignoble Sabine wine in sober cups, which I myself sealed up in the Grecian cask,[3] stored at the time, when so loud an ap-

  1. Scythia was a large country, now called Tartary, divided into the Asiatic and European. Watson.
  2. Parthian. Parthia, a country in Asia, lying between Media and Carmania, and the Hyrcanian Sea. The Parthians fought with bows and arrows, and that flying; so that by turning about their horses, they shot and wounded the enemy who was pursuing them. Watson.
  3. When the ancients filled their casks, they closed them with wax, pitch, gum, or plaster, and although the Sabine wine was by no means worthy of so much care, yet as Mæcenas at that time had received some remarkable applause in the theater, the poet preserved on his vessels the remembrance of a day so glorious to his patron. San.