The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 2/Part 7

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VII.

O sæpe mecum.

O, OFT with me in troublous time
Involved, when Brutus warr'd in Greece,
Who gives you back to your own clime
And your own gods, a man of peace,
Pompey, the earliest friend I knew,
With whom I oft cut short the hours
With wine, my hair bright bathed in dew
Of Syrian oils, and wreathed with flowers?
With you I shared Philippi's rout,
Unseemly parted from my shield,
When Valour fell, and warriors stout
Were tumbled on the inglorious field:
But I was saved by Mercury,
Wrapp'd in thick mist, yet trembling sore,
While you to that tempestuous sea
Were swept by battle's tide once more.
Come, pay to Jove the feast you owe;
Lay down those limbs, with warfare spent,
Beneath my laurel; nor be slow
To drain my cask; for you 'twas meant.

Lethe's true draught is Massic wine;
Fill high the goblet; pour out free
Rich streams of unguent. Who will twine
The hasty wreath from myrtle-tree
Or parsley? Whom will Venus seat
Chairman of cups? Are Bacchants sane?
Then I'll be sober. O, 'tis sweet
To fool, when friends come home again!