Mæcenas, you, beneath the myrtle shade,
Read o'er what poets sung, and shepherds play'd.
What felt those poets but you feel the same?
Does not your soul possess the sacred flame?
Their noble strains your equal genius shares
In softer language, and diviner airs.
paints, lo! circumfus'd in air,
Celestial Gods in mortal forms appear;
Swift as they move hear each recess rebound,
Heav'n quakes, earth trembles, and the shores resound.
Great Sire of verse, before my mortal eyes,
The lightnings blaze across the vaulted skies,
And, as the thunder shakes the heav'nly plains,
A deep felt horror thrills through all my veins.
When gentler strains demand thy graceful song,
The length'ning line moves languishing along.
When great Patroclus
The grateful tribute of my tears is paid;
Prone on the shore he feels the pangs of love,
And stern Pelides
tend'rest passions move.
strain in heav'nly numbers flows,
inspire, and all the bosom glows.
O could I rival thine and Virgil's
Or claim the Muses
with the Mantuan
Soon the same beauties should my mind adorn,
And the same ardors in my soul should burn:
Then should my song in bolder notes arise,
And all my numbers pleasingly surprise;
But here I sit, and mourn a grov'ling mind,
That fain would mount, and ride upon the wind.
Not you, my friend, these plaintive strains become,
Not you, whose bosom is the Muses
When they from tow'ring Helicon
They fan in you the bright immortal fire,
But I less happy, cannot raise the song,
The fault'ring music dies upon my tongue.
The happier Terence
all the choir inspir'd,
His soul replenish'd, and his bosom fir'd;
But say, ye Muses
, why this partial grace,
To one alone of Afric's
>From age to age transmitting thus his name
With the first glory in the rolls of fame?
Thy virtues, great Mæcenas
! shall be sung
In praise of him, from whom those virtues sprung:
While blooming wreaths around thy temples spread,
I'll snatch a laurel from thine honour'd head,
While you indulgent smile upon the deed.
As long as Thames
in streams majestic flows,
in their oozy beds repose
reigns above the starry train
While bright Aurora
purples o'er the main,
So long, great Sir, the muse thy praise shall sing,
So long thy praise shal' make Parnassus
Then grant, Mæcenas
, thy paternal rays,
Hear me propitious, and defend my lays.
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