The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 1/Part 14

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XIV.

O navis, referent.

O LUCKLESS bark! new waves will force you back
To sea. O, haste to make the haven yours!
E'en now, a helpless wrack,
You drift, despoil'd of oars;
The Afric gale has dealt your mast a wound;
Your sailyards groan, nor can your keel sustain,
Till lash'd with cables round,
A more imperious main.
Your canvass hangs in ribbons, rent and torn;
No gods are left to pray to in fresh need.
A pine of Pontus born
Of noble forest breed,
You boast your name and lineage—madly blind!
Can painted timbers quell a seaman's fear?
Beware! or else the wind
Makes you its mock and jeer.
Your trouble late made sick this heart of mine,
And still I love you, still am ill at ease.
O, shun the sea, where shine
The thick-sown Cyclades!