The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 1/Part 35

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XXXV.

O Diva, gratum.

LADY of Antium, grave and stern!
O Goddess, who canst lift the low
To high estate, and sudden turn
A triumph to a funeral show!
Thee the poor hind that tills the soil
Implores; their queen they own in thee,
Who in Bithynian vessel toil
Amid the vex'd Carpathian sea.
Thee Dacians fierce, and Scythian hordes,
Peoples and towns, and Rome, their head,
And mothers of barbarian lords,
And tyrants in their purple dread,

Lest, spurn'd by thee in scorn, should fall
The state's tall prop, lest crowds on fire
To arms, to arms! the loiterers call,
And thrones be tumbled in the mire.
Necessity precedes thee still
With hard fierce eyes and heavy tramp:
Her hand the nails and wedges fill,
The molten lead and stubborn clamp.
Hope, precious Truth in garb of white,
Attend thee still, nor quit thy side
When with changed robes thou tak'st thy flight
In anger from the homes of pride.
Then the false herd, the faithless fair,
Start backward; when the wine runs dry,
The jocund guests, too light to bear
An equal yoke, asunder fly.
O shield our Cæsar as he goes
To furthest Britain, and his band,
Rome's harvest! Send on Eastern foes
Their fear, and on the Red Sea strand!
O wounds that scarce have ceased to run!
O brother's blood! O iron time!
What horror have we left undone?
Has conscience shrunk from aught of crime?
What shrine has rapine held in awe?
What altar spared? O haste and beat
The blunted steel we yet may draw
On Arab and on Massagete!