The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 2/Part 4

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IV.

Ne sit ancillæ.

WHY, Xanthias, blush to own you love
Your slave? Briseis, long ago,
A captive, could Achilles move
With breast of snow.
Tecmessa's charms enslaved her lord,
Stout Ajax, heir of Telamon;
Atrides, in his pride, adored
The maid he won,
When Troy to Thessaly gave way,
And Hector's all too quick decease
Made Pergamus an easier prey
To wearied Greece.
What if, as auburn Phyllis' mate,
You graft yourself on regal stem?
Oh yes! be sure her sires were great;
She weeps for them.
Believe me, from no rascal scum
Your charmer sprang; so true a flame,
Such hate of greed, could never come
From vulgar dame.

With honest fervour I commend
Those lips, those eyes; you need not fear
A rival, hurrying on to end
His fortieth year.