The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Book 4/Part 3

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III.

Quem tu, Melpomene.

HE whom thou, Melpomene,
Hast welcomed with thy smile, in life arriving,
Ne'er by boxer's skill shall be
Renown'd abroad, for Isthmian mastery striving;
Him shall never fiery steed
Draw in Achæan car a conqueror seated;
Him shall never martial deed
Show, crown'd with bay, after proud kings defeated,
Climbing Capitolian steep:
But the cool streams that make green Tibur flourish,
And the tangled forest deep,
On soft Æolian airs his fame shall nourish.
Rome, of cities first and best,
Deigns by her sons' according voice to hail me
Fellow-bard of poets blest,
And faint and fainter envy's growls assail me.

Goddess, whose Pierian art
The lyre's sweet sounds can modulate and measure,
Who to dumb fish canst impart
The music of the swan, if such thy pleasure:
O, 'tis all of thy dear grace
That every finger points me out in going
Lyrist of the Roman race;
Breath, power to charm, if mine, are thy bestowing!