BETA

ODE 27.

The bitch or fox with young, or jay,1
Ill-omen’d charterer ! marks the way2
To villains ; or, athirst for blood,3
The dun wolf from Lanuvium’s wood :4
Or serpent, where their journey leads,5
Shoots arrow-like, and scares their steeds.6
I with presaging skill endued,7
Where friendship sways me for the good,8
The raven hoarse with anxious vow9
From the auspicious east will woo ;10
Before the crow his stagnant fen,11
Herald of tempests, seeks again.12
Be happy wheresoe’er thou art,13
Galla, nor throw me from thine heart !14
No boding pye thy voyage stays,15
Thy course no warning crow delays.16
—Yet see, how prone Orion heaves,17
Tremendous, the vast world of waves !18
Adria’s grim bay too well I know,19
Where breezes fair but fatal blow.20
O in our foes—their wives, their race21
Wake the blind South-winds blast amaze !22
For them the blackening ocean roar,23
And strike with frantic surge the shore !24
Thus her false bull Europa rode25
Courageous, till amid the flood26
Dire monsters met her shrinking view :27
The wile detected paled her hue.28
She who o’er flowery meads had roved,29
To twine a wreath for those she loved,30
In the dim night could nought descry,31
Save tossing seas and starry sky.32
Soon as her footstep press’d the shore,33
Where, Crete, thy hundred cities tower ;34
O sire’s, O daughter’s name defied !35
O duty phrenzy-whelm’d ! ” she cried :36
Whence come I ? Whither ? Ill shall one37
Poor death a maiden’s crime atone.38
Wake I, my foul offence to weep ;39
Or mocks my innocence asleep40
Same dream, through ivory gate convey’d ?41
Deem I it happier to have stray’d42
O’er all this length of seas, or roam43
Cropping fresh flowers, ah me ! at home ?44
Would to my rage by righteous Heaven45
That bull, that guilty bull, were given !46
How would I gash his beauteous neck !47
His once-loved horns how strive to break !48
Shameless my father’s halls I’ve fled,49
Yet shameless fear to join the dead !50
Grant me, some listening God, to stray51
Naked, where lions prowl for prey :52
Ere furrow’d yet by meagre lines53
Withers this bloom, this plumpness pines,54
Or time has dared these charms to steal,55
Make me the tiger’s luscious meal.56
I hear my absent father cry ;57
Lost girl ! why linger thus to die ?58
That ready zone with gripe of fate,59
This ash, thy shame may expiate.60
Haply yon crag invites thee more,61
Round whose rough base the tempests roar :62
Brave, then, the storm—if rather thou63
Prefer not menial task and low ;64
Or poorly, sprung of kings, to shine65
In some rude court, slave-concubine ! ’ 66
As thus she raved, with playful tongue67
Came Venus, and (his bow unstrung)68
Sly Cupid. Much the wily Dame69
Rallied the mourner on her flame :70
Then, “ Cease to scold that hated bull ;71
Those horns,” she cried, “ again to pull72
It shall be thine. Thy sobs give o’er :73
Fits not Jove’s consort tears to pour.74
Learn thy great fortune well to bear :75
Thy name shall grace an hemisphere.”76