The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 3/Part 25

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XXV.

Quo me, Bacche.

WHITHER, Bacchus, tear'st thou me.
Fill'd with thy strength? What dens, what forests these,
Thus in wildering race I see?
What cave shall hearken to my melodies,
Tuned to tell of Cæsar's praise
And throne him high the heavenly ranks among?
Sweet and strange shall be my lays,
A tale till now by poet voice unsung.
As the Evian on the height,
Roused from her sleep, looks wonderingly abroad,
Looks on Thrace with snow-drifts white,
And Rhodope by barbarous footstep trod,
So my truant eyes admire
The banks, the desolate forests. O great King
Who the Naiads dost inspire,
And Bacchants, strong from earth huge trees to wring!
Not a lowly strain is mine,
No mere man's utterance. O, 'tis venture sweet
Thee to follow, God of wine,
Making the vine-branch round thy temples meet!