The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 2/Part 20

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XX.

Non usitata.

NO vulgar wing, nor weakly plied,
Shall bear me through the liquid sky;
A two-form'd bard, no more to bide
Within the range of envy's eye
'Mid haunts of men. I, all ungraced
By gentle blood, I, whom you call
Your friend, Mæcenas
, shall not taste
Of death, nor chafe in Lethe's thrall.
E'en now a rougher skin expands
Along my legs: above I change
To a white bird; and o'er my hands
And shoulders grows a plumage strange:
Fleeter than Icarus, see me float
O'er Bosporus, singing as I go,
And o'er Gætulian sands remote,
And Hyperborean fields of snow;
By Dacian horde, that masks its fear
Of Marsic steel, shall I be known,
And furthest Scythian: Spain shall hear
My warbling, and the banks of Rhone.
No dirges for my fancied death;
No weak lament, no mournful stave;
All clamorous grief were waste of breath,
And vain the tribute of a grave.