Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/117

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


brave are generated by the brave and good; there is in steers, there is in horses, the virtue of their sires; nor do the courageous eagles procreate the unwarlike dove. But learning improves the innate force, and good discipline confirms the mind: whenever morals are deficient, vices disgrace what is naturally good. What thou owest, O Rome, to the Neros, the river Metaurus is a witness, and the defeated Asdrubal, and that day illustrious by the dispelling of darkness from Italy, and which first smiled with benignant victory; when the terrible African rode through the Latian cities, like a fire through the pitchy pines, or the east wind through the Sicilian waves. After this the Roman youth increased continually in successful exploits, and temples, laid waste by the impious outrage of the Carthaginians, had the [statues of] their gods set up again. And at length the perfidious Hannibal said; “We, like stags, the prey of rapacious wolves, follow of our own accord those, whom to deceive and escape is a signal triumph. That