Horace I, 31.
As forth he pours the new made wine,
What blessing asks the lyric poet--
What boon implores in this fair shrine
Of one full likely to bestow it?
Not for Sardinia's plenteous store,
Nor for Calabrian herds he prayeth,
Nor yet for India's wealth galore,
Nor meads where voiceless Liris playeth.
Let honest riches celebrate
The harvest earned--I'd not deny it;
Yet am I pleased with my estate,
My humble home, my frugal diet.
Child of Latonia, this I crave;
May peace of mind and health attend me,
And down into my very grave
May this dear lyre of mine befriend me!
When The Poet Came
The ferny places gleam at morn,
The dew drips off the leaves of corn;
Along the brook a mist of white
Fades as a kiss on lips of light;
For, lo! the poet with his pipe
Finds all these melodies are ripe!
Far up within the cadenced June
Floats, silver-winged, a living tune
That winds within the morning's chime
And sets the earth and sky to rhyme;
For, lo! the poet, absent long,
Breathes the first raptures of his song!
Across the clover-blossoms, wet,
With dainty clumps of violet,
And wild red roses in her hair,
There comes a little maiden fair.
I cannot more of June rehearse--
She is the ending of my verse.
Ah, nay! For through perpetual days
Of summer gold and filmy haze,
When Autumn dies in Winter's sleet,
I yet will see those dew-washed feet,
And o'er the tracts of Life and Time
They make the cadence for my rhyme.
A Spring Poem From Bion
"Tell me, Myrson, tell me true:
What's the season pleaseth you?
Is it summer suits you best,
When from harvest toil we rest?
Is it autumn with its glory
Of all surfeited desires?
Is it winter, when with story
And with song we hug our fires?
Or is spring most fair to you--
Come, good Myrson, tell me true!"
"What the gods in wisdom send
We should question not, my friend;
Yet, since you entreat of me,
I will answer reverently:
Me the summertime displeases,
For its sun is scorching hot;
Autumn brings such dire diseases
That perforce I like it not;
As for biting winter, oh!
How I hate its ice and snow!
"But, thrice welcome, kindly spring,
With the myriad gifts you bring!
Not too hot nor yet too cold,
Graciously your charms unfold--
Oh, your days are like the dreaming
Of those nights which love beseems,
And your nights have all the seeming
Of those days of golden dreams!
Heaven smiles down on earth, and then
Earth smiles up to heaven again!"