BOOK IL, ODE 16.
WHEN the pale moon is wrapt in cloud, And blinding mists the stars enshroud, When on the dark 2Egean shore The bursting surges flash and roar, The mariner with toil opprest Sighs for his home, and prays for rest.
So pray the warrior sons of Thrace, So pray the quivered Mede's barbaric race : Grosphus, not gold, nor gems can buy That peace which in brave souls finds sanctuary : Nor Consuls' pomp, nor treasured store, Can one brief moment's rest impart, Or chase the cares that hover o'er The fretted roof, the wearied heart.
Happy is he whose modest means afford Enough—no more : upon his board - Th' ancestral salt-vase shines with lustre clear, Emblem of olden faith, and hospitable cheer : Nor greed, nor doubt, nor envy's curses deep Disturb his innocent sleep.
Why cast on doubtful issues life's short years ? Why hope that foreign suns can dry our tears The exile from his country flies, Not from himself, or from his memories.
Care climbs the trireme's brazen sides ; Care with the serried squadron rides ; Outstrips the cloud-compelling wind, And leaves the panting stag behind : But the brave spirit, self-possest, Tempers misfortune with a jest, With joy the allotted gift receives, The gift denied, to others frankly leaves.
A chequered life the gods bestow; Snatched by swift fate Achilles died : Time-worn Tithonus, wasting slow, Long wept a death denied : A random hour may toss to me Some gifts, my friend, refused to thee.
A hundred flocks thy pastures roam, Large herds, deep-uddered, low around thy home At the red close of day : The steed with joyous neigh Welcomes thy footstep : robes that shine Twice dipt in Afric dyes are thine.
To me kind Fate with bounteous hand Grants other boon ; a spot of land, A faint flame of poetic fire, A breath from the 2Eolian lyre, An honest aim, a spirit proud That loves the truth, and scorns the crowd.
STEPHEN DE VERE.