The Odes and Carmen Saeculare/Carmen Saeculare
PHŒBUS and Dian, huntress fair,
To-day and always magnified,
Bright lights of heaven, accord our prayer
This holy tide,
On which the Sibyl's volume wills
That youths and maidens without stain
To gods, who love the seven dear hills,
Should chant the strain!
Sun, that unchanged, yet ever new,
Lead'st out the day and bring'st it home,
May nought be present to thy view
More great than Borne!
Blest Ilithyia! be thou near
In travail to each Roman dame!
Lucina, Genitalis, hear,
Whate'er thy name!
O make our youth to live and grow!
The fathers' nuptial counsels speed,
Those laws that shall on Rome bestow
A plenteous seed!
So when a hundred years and ten
Bring round the cycle, game and song
Three days, three nights, shall charm again
The festal throng.
Ye too, ye Fates, whose righteous doom,
Declared but once, is sure as heaven,
Link on new blessings, yet to come,
To blessings given!
Let Earth, with grain and cattle rife,
Crown Ceres' brow with wreathen corn;
Soft winds, sweet waters, nurse to life
The newly born!
O lay thy shafts, Apollo, by!
Let suppliant youths obtain thine ear!
Thou Moon, fair "regent of the sky,"
Thy maidens hear!
If Rome is yours, if Troy's remains,
Safe by your conduct, sought and found
Another city, other fanes
On Tuscan ground,
For whom, 'mid fires and piles of slain,
Æneas made a broad highway,
Destined, pure heart, with greater gain
Their loss to pay,
Grant to our sons unblemish'd ways;
Grant to our sires an age of peace;
Grant to our nation power and praise,
And large increase!
See, at your shrine, with victims white,
Prays Venus and Anchises' heir!
O prompt him still the foe to smite,
The fallen to spare!
Now Media dreads our Alban steel,
Our victories land and ocean o'er;
Scythia and Ind in suppliance kneel,
So proud before.
Faith, Honour, ancient Modesty,
And Peace, and Virtue, spite of scorn,
Come back to earth; and Plenty, see,
With teeming horn.
Augur and lord of silver bow,
Apollo, darling of the Nine,
Who heal'st our frame when languors slow
Have made it pine;
Lov'st thou thine own Palatial hill,
Prolong the glorious life of Rome
To other cycles, brightening still
Through time to come!
From Algidus and Aventine
List, goddess, to our grave Fifteen!
To praying youths thine ear incline,
Thus Jove and all the gods agree!
So trusting, wend we home again,
Phœbus' and Dian's singers we,
And this our strain.