The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 3/Part 8

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VIII.

Martiis cœlebs.

THE first of March! a man unwed!
What can these flowers, this censer mean?
Or what these embers, glowing red
On sods of green?
You ask, in either language skill'd!
A feast I vow'd to Bacchus free,
A white he-goat, when all but kill'd
By falling tree.
So, when that holyday comes round,
It sees me still the rosin clear
From this my wine-jar, first embrown'd
In Tullus' year.
Come, crush one hundred cups for life
Preserved, Mæcenas; keep till day
The candles lit; let noise and strife
Be far away.
Lay down that load of state-concern;
The Dacian hosts are all o'erthrown;
The Mede, that sought our overturn,
How seeks his own;
A servant now, our ancient foe,
The Spaniard, wears at last our chain;
The Scythian half unbends his bow
And quits the plain.

Then fret not lest the state should ail;
A private man such thoughts may spare;
Enjoy the present hour's regale,
And banish care.