The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 4/Part 12

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XII.

Jam veris comites.

THE gales of Thrace, that hush the unquiet sea,
Spring's comrades, on the bellying canvas blow:
Clogg'd earth and brawling streams alike are free
From winter's weight of snow.
Wailing her Itys in that sad, sad strain,
Builds the poor bird, reproach to after time
Of Cecrops' house, for bloody vengeance ta'en
On foul barbaric crime.
The keepers of fat lambkins chant their loves
To silvan reeds, all in the grassy lea,

And pleasure Him who tends the flocks and groves
Of dark-leaved Arcady.
It is a thirsty season, Virgil mine;
But would you taste the grape's Calenian juice,
Client of noble youths, to earn your wine
Some nard you must produce.
A tiny box of nard shall bring to light
The cask that in Sulpician cellar lies:
O, it can give new hopes, so fresh and bright,
And gladden gloomy eyes.
You take the bait? then come without delay
And bring your ware: be sure, 'tis not my plan
To let you drain my liquor and not pay,
As might some wealthy man.
Come, quit those covetous thoughts, those knitted brows,
Think on the last black embers, while you may,
And be for once unwise. When time allows,
'Tis sweet the fool to play.