Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/245

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The First Book

of the

Epistles of Horace.


EPISTLE I.
TO MÆCENAS.
The poet renounces all verses of a ludicrous turn, and resolves to apply himself wholly to the study of philosophy, which teaches to bridle the desires, and to postpone every thing to virtue.

Mæcenas, the subject of my earliest song, justly entitled to my latest, dost thou seek to engage me again in the old lists, having been tried sufficiently, and now presented with the foils? My age is not the same, nor is my genius. Veianius, his arms consecrated on a pillar of Hercules’ temple, lives snugly retired in the country, that he may not from the extremity of the sandy amphitheater so often supplicate the people’s favor. Some one seems frequently to ring in my