Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/63

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debar me, I will seek the river of Galesus,[1] delightful for sheep covered with skins,[2] and the countries reigned over by Lacedæmonian Phalantus.[3] That corner of the world smiles in my eye beyond all others; where the honey yields not to the Hymettian, and the olive rivals the verdant Venafrian: where the temperature of the air produces a long spring and mild winters, and Aulon friendly to the fruitful vine, envies not the Falernian grapes. That place, and those blest heights,[4] solicit you and me; there you shall bedew the glowing ashes of your poet friend with a tear due [to his memory].[5]


O thou, often reduced with me to the last extremity in the war which Brutus carried on, who has restored thee as a Roman citizen,[6] to the gods of thy country and the Italian air, Pom-

  1. Galesus, a river of Calabria, that runs into the bay of Tarentum, about five miles from the city: its waters are beautiful, and current slow; whence Horace says it is agreeable to the sheep. Watson.
  2. Pellitis ovibus. The sheep of Tarentum and Attica had a wool so fine, that they were covered with skins to preserve it from the inclemency of the weather, Pliny says, these covertures were brought from Arabia. Cruq.
  3. Alluding to the story of Phalantus and the Parthenii. Phalantus was expelled from Lacedæmon (B.C. 700) under the following circumstances: While the Spartans were absent during the Messenian wars, their ladies, either ordered, as some traditions have it, or of their own free will, elevated their slaves to the rank of temporary husbands. The offspring of these connections, denominated the Parthenii, were expelled by the Spartans on their return, and under Phalantus, their leader, they colonized Tarentum, so called from Taras, a reputed son of Neptune. Anthon.
  4. Cf. Virg. G. iv. 461. "Rhodopeiæ arces"="the heights of Rhodope."
  5. Debitâ sparges. These words, cum lacrymis posuit, are frequently found in ancient epitaphs, and in the urn a little bottle filled with tears. Torr.
  6. The name Quiritem here implies a full return to all the rights and privileges of citizenship, which had been forfeited by his bearing arms against the established authority of the triumvirate. Anthon.