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To Theron, Muse! bring back thy wandering song, Whom those bright troops expect impatiently;
And may they do so long!
Shoot, and spare not, for I see
That no vulgar eye can trace.
Art, instead of mounting high,
The beauteous Phrygian boy
flames of day; And sometimes too he shrouds His soaring wings among the clouds.
Leave, wanton Muse! thy roving flight;
And Theron be the White.
By the Castalian waters swear (A sacred oath no poets dare
To take in vain,
A better man, or greater-sould, was born;
But in this thankless world the givers
'Tis now the cheap and frugal fashion, Rather to hide, than pay, the obligation :
Nay, 'tis much worse than so;
Lest men should'think we owe.
But all the malice they profess,
Thy secure honour cannot wound;
Is equally impossible !
THE FIRST NEMÆAN ODE
Chromius, the son of Agesidamus, a young gentleman of
Sicily, is celebrated for having won the prize of the chariotrace in the Nemæan games (a solemnity instituted first to celebrate the funeral of Opheltes, as is at large described hy Statias; and afterwards continued every third year, with an extraordinary conflux of all Greece, and with incredible honour to the conquerors in all the exercises there practised), upon which occasion the poet begins with the commendation of his country, which take to have been Ortygia (an island belonging to Sicily, and a part of Syracuse, being joined to it by a bridge), though the title of the Ode calls him Ætnæan Chromius, perhaps because he was made governor of that town by Hieron. From thence he falls into the praise of Chromius's person, which he draws from his great endowments of mind and body, and most especially from his hospitality, and the worthy use of his riches. He likens his beginning to that of Hercules ; and, according to his usual manner of being transported with any good hint that meets him in his way, passing into a digression of Hercules, and his slaying the two serpents in his cradle, concludes the Ode with that history.
BEAUTEOUS Ortygia! the first breathing-place
Of bright Lạtona,, where she bred
[grown! Who saw'st her tender forehead ere the horns were Who, like a gentle scion newly started out,
From Syracusa's side dost sprout!
Thee first my song does greet,
As thine own horses' airy feet,
Jove will approve my song and me;
Young Chromius, too, with Jove began;
From hence came his success,
The men whom Gods do love? "Tis them alone the Muse too does
The torches which the mother brought
Appear'd not half so bright,
But cast a weaker light, Through oarth, and air, and seas, and up to the
heavenly vault. “ To thee, O Proserpine ! this isle I give,"
Said Jove, and, as he said,
Smiled, and bent his gracious head. “ And thou, O isle !" said he, “ for ever thrive, And keep the value of our gift alive!
As Heaven with stars, so let
Of thousand glorious towns the nation, Of thousand glorious men each town a constella
Nor let their warlike laurel scorn [tion ! With the Olympic olive to be worn, Whose gentler honours do so well the brows of
At Chromius' hospitable gate ;
wide to let thee in,
No doubt will thee admit,
Chromius and thou art met aright,
For, as by nature thou dost write, So he by nature loves, and does by nature fight. Nature herself, whilst in the womb he was, Sow'd strength and beauty through the forming
And a vast bounty, apt and fit
'Tis madness sure treasures to hoard, And make them useless, as in mines, remain, To lose the occasion Fortune does afford
Fame and public love to gain :