The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 1/Part 15

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Pastor cum traheret.

WHEN the false swain was hurrying o'er the deep
His Spartan hostess in the Idæan bark,
Old Nereus laid the unwilling winds asleep,
That all to Fate might hark,
Speaking through him:— "Home in ill hour you take
A prize whom Greece shall claim with troops untold,
Leagued by an oath your marriage tie to break
And Priam's kingdom old.
Alas! what deaths you launch on Dardan realm!
What toils are waiting, man and horse to tire!
See! Pallas trims her ægis and her helm,
Her chariot and her ire.
Vainly shall you, in Venus' favour strong,
Your tresses comb, and for your dames divide
On peaceful lyre the several parts of song
Vainly in chamber hide
From spears and Gnossian arrows, barb'd with fate,
And battle's din, and Ajax in the chase
Unconquer'd; those adulterous locks, though late,
Shall gory dust deface.

Hark! 'tis the death-cry of your race! look back!
Ulysses comes, and Pylian Nestor grey;
See! Salaminian Teucer on your track,
And Sthenelus, in the fray
Versed, or with whip and rein, should need require,
No laggard. Merion too your eyes shall know
From far. Tydides, fiercer than his sire,
Pursues you, all aglow;
Him, as the stag forgets to graze for fright,
Seeing the wolf at distance in the glade,
And flies, high panting, you shall fly, despite
Boasts to your leman made.
What though Achilles' wrathful fleet postpone
The day of doom to Troy and Troy's proud dames,
Her towers shall fall, the number'd winters flown,
Wrapp'd in Achæan flames."