The Fourth Ode Of The First Book Of Horace Imitated

Poem By Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Solvitur acris hyems grata vice veris


Sharp winter now dissolv'd, the linnet sing,
The grateful breath of pleasing Zephyrs bring
The welcome joys of long-desired spring.
The galleys now for open sea prepare,
The herds forsake their stalls for balmy air,
The fields adorn'd with green th'approaching sun declare.
In shining nights the charming Venus leads
Her troop of Graces, and her lovely maids,
Who gaily trip the ground in myrtle shades.
The blazing forge her husband Vulcan heats
And thunderlike the labouring hammer beats,
While toiling Cyclops every stroke repeats.
Of myrtle new the cheerful wreath compose,
Of various flowers which opening spring bestows,
Till coming June presents the blushing rose.
Pay your vow'd offering to God Faunus' bower!
Then, happy Sestius, seize the present hour,
'Tis all that nature leaves to mortal power.
The equal hand of strong impartial Fate
Levels the peasant and th'imperious great,
Nor will that doom on human projects wait.
To the dark mansions of the senseless dead,
With daily steps our destin'd path we tread,
Realms still unknown, of which so much is said.
Ended your schemes of pleasure and of pride,
In joyous feasts no one will there preside,
Torn from your Lycidas' beloved side.
Whose tender youth does now our eyes engage,
And soon will give, in his maturer age,
Sighs to our virgins -- to our matrons rage.

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You little know the heart that you advise:
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Read, lovely nymph, and tremble not to read,
I have no more to wish, nor you to dread;
I ask not life, for life to me were vain,
And death a refuge from severer pain.

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Written January 1718 in the Chiosk at Pera, overlooking Constantinople


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