The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 3/Part 19

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XIX.

Quantum distat.

WHAT the time from Inachus
To Codrus, who in patriot battle fell,
Who were sprung from Æacus,
And how men fought at Ilion,—this you tell.
What the wines of Chios cost,
Who with due heat our water can allay,
What the hour, and who the host
To give us house-room,—this you will not say.
Ho, there! wine to moonrise, wine
To midnight, wine to our new augur too!
Nine to three or three to nine,
As each man pleases, makes proportion true.
Who the uneven Muses loves,
Will fire his dizzy brain with three times three;
Three once told the Grace approves;
She with her two bright sisters, gay and free,
Shrinks, as maiden should, from strife:
But I'm for madness. What has dull'd the fire
Of the Berecyntian fife?
Why hangs the flute in silence with the lyre?
Out on niggard-handed boys!
Bain showers of roses; let old Lycus hear,
Envious churl, our senseless noise,
And she, our neighbour, his ill-sorted fere.

You with your bright clustering hair,
Your beauty, Telephus, like evening's sky,
Rhoda loves, as young, as fair;
I for my Glycera slowly, slowly die.