The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 2/Part 14

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

XIV.

Eheu, fugaces.

AH, Postumus! they fleet away,
Our years, nor piety one hour
Can win from wrinkles and decay,
And Death's indomitable power;
Not though three hundred bullocks flame
Each year
, to soothe the tearless king
Who holds huge Geryon's triple frame
And Tityos in his watery ring,
That circling flood, which all must stem,
Who eat the fruits that Nature yields,
Wearers of haughtiest diadem,
Or humblest tillers of the fields.
In vain we shun war's contact red
Or storm-tost spray of Hadrian main:
In vain, the season through, we dread
For our frail lives Scirocco's bane.
Cocytus' black and stagnant ooze
Must welcome you, and Danaus' seed
Ill-famed, and ancient Sisyphus
To never-ending toil decreed.
Your land, your house, your lovely bride
Must lose you; of your cherish'd trees
None to its fleeting master's side
Will cleave, but those sad cypresses.

Your heir, a larger soul, will drain
The hundred-padlock'd Cæcuban,
And richer spilth the pavement stain
Than e'er at pontiff's supper ran.