The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 2/Part 17

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XVII.

Cur me querelis.

WHY rend my heart with that sad sigh?
It cannot please the gods or me
That you, Mæcenas, first should die,
My pillar of prosperity.
Ah! should I lose one half my soul
Untimely, can the other stay
Behind it? Life that is not whole,
Is that as sweet? The self-same day

Shall crush us twain; no idle oath
Has Horace sworn; whene'er you go,
We both will travel, travel both
The last dark journey down below.
No, not Chimæra's fiery breath,
Nor Gyas, could he rise again,
Shall part us; Justice, strong as death,
So wills it; so the Fates ordain.
Whether 'twas Libra saw me born
Or angry Scorpio, lord malign
Of natal hour, or Capricorn,
The tyrant of the western brine,
Our planets sure with concord strange
Are blended. You by Jove's blest power
Were snatch'd from out the baleful range
Of Saturn, and the evil hour
Was stay'd, when rapturous benches full
Three times the auspicious thunder peal'd;
Me the curst trunk, that smote my skull,
Had slain; but Faunus, strong to shield
The friends of Mercury, check'd the blow
In mid descent. Be sure to pay
The victims and the fane you owe;
Your bard a humbler lamb will slay.