The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 1/Part 27

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XXVII.

Natis in usum.

WHAT, fight with cups that should give joy?
'Tis barbarous; leave such savage ways
To Thracians. Bacchus, shamefaced boy,
Is blushing at your bloody frays.
The Median sabre! lights and wine!
Was stranger contrast ever seen?
Cease, cease this brawling, comrades mine,
And still upon your elbows lean.

Well, shall I take a toper's part
Of fierce Falernian? let our guest,
Megilla's brother, say what dart
Gave the death-wound that makes him blest.
He hesitates? no other hire
Shall tempt my sober brains. Whate'er
The goddess tames you, no base fire
She kindles; 'tis some gentle fair
Allures you still. Come, tell me truth,
And trust my honour.—That the name?
That wild Charybdis yours? Poor youth!
O, you deserved a better flame!
What wizard, what Thessalian spell,
What god can save you, hamper'd thus?
To cope with this Chimæra fell
Would task another Pegasus.