More than when, sunk in thought profound
Of what the unaltered Gods require,
My steward (friend but slave) brings round
Logs for my fire.
CAN you forget, Maecenas, how together
Virgil and you and I once sped the hours
Rose-wreathed, anointed, in the summer weather,
Under the shelter of my trellised bowers?
Clear was the sky, the moon aloft was sailing,
Flooding the valley with a silver gleam;
Still was the night, save for the never-failing
Murmurous music of the rushing stream.
Dear is to me the voice of running waters,
Dearer that night was Virgil's voice of gold,
Gift of the Muses, Jove's melodious daughters,
Fraught with the wisdom of the seers of old.
How could he probe (you asked) serene, sequestered,
Hearts torn with passion, trampled in the dust;
Dido, in whom the wounds of love had festered,
Anna, the victim of her perfect trust?