The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 1/Part 18

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XVIII.

Nullam, Vare.

VARUS, are your trees in planting? put in
none before the vine,
In the rich domain of Tibur, by the walls of
Catilus;
There's a power above that hampers all that sober
brains design,
And the troubles man is heir to thus are quell'd,
and only thus.
Who can talk of want or warfare when the wine is
in his head,
Not of thee, good father Bacchus, and of Venus
fair and bright?
But should any dream of licence, there's a lesson
may be read,
How 'twas wine that drove the Centaurs with
the Lapithæ to fights
And the Thracians too may warn us; truth and
falsehood, good and ill,
How they mix them, when the wine-god's hand
is heavy on them laid!
Never, never, gracious Bacchus, may I move thee
'gainst thy will,
Or uncover what is hidden in the verdure of thy
shade!

Silence thou, thy savage cymbals, and the
Berecyntine horn;
In their train Self-love still follows, dully,
desperately blind,
And Vain-glory, towering upwards in its empty-
headed scorn,
And the Faith that keeps no secrets, with a
window in its mind.