From: Horace To: Phyllis Subject: Invitation
Horace: Book IV, Ode 11
by Franklin Pierce Adams
"Est mihi nonum superantis annum--"
Phyllis, I've a jar of wine,
(Alban, B.C. 49)
Parsley wreathes, and, for your tresses,
Ivy that your beauty blesses.
Shines my house with silverware;
Frondage decks the altar stair--
Sacred vervain, a device
For a lambkin's sacrifice.
Up and down the household stairs
What a festival prepares!
See the sooty smoke ascending!
What, you ask me, is the date
Of the day we celebrate?
13th April, month of Venus--
Birthday of my boss, Mycænas.
Let me, Phyllis, say a word
Touching Telephus, a bird
Ranking far too high above you;
(And the loafer doesn't love you).
Lessons, Phyllie, may be learned
From Phaëton--how he was burned!
And recall Bellerophon was
One equestrian who thrown was.
Phyllis, of my loves the last,
My philandering days are past.
Sing you, in your clear contralto,
Songs I write for the rialto.