The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 2/Part 2

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Nullus argento.

THE silver, Sallust, shows not fair
While buried in the greedy mine:
You love it not till moderate wear
Have given it shine.
Honour to Proculeius! he
To brethren play'd a father's part;
Fame shall embalm through years to be
That noble heart.
Who curbs a greedy soul may boast
More power than if his broad-based throne
Bridged Libya's sea, and either coast
Were all his own.
Indulgence bids the dropsy grow;
Who fain would quench the palate's flame
Must rescue from the watery foe
The pale weak frame.
Phraates, throned where Cyrus sate,
May count for blest with vulgar herds,
But not with Virtue; soon or late
From lying words
She weans men's lips; for him she keeps
The crown, the purple, and the bays,
Who dares to look on treasure-heaps
With unblench'd gaze.