24 Feb Horace’s Odes
What blessing shall the bard entreat
The god he hallows, as he pours
The winecup? Not the mounds of wheat
That load Sardinian threshing floors;
Not Indian gold or ivory—no,
Nor flocks that o’er Calabria stray,
Nor fields that Liris, still and slow,
Is eating, unperceived, away.
Let those whose fate allows them train
Calenum’s vine; let trader bold
From golden cups rich liquor drain
For wares of Syria bought and sold,
Heaven’s favourite, sooth, for thrice a year
He comes and goes across the brine
Undamaged. I in plenty here
On endives, mallows, succory dine.
O grant me, Phoebus, calm content,
Strength unimpaird, a mind entire,
Old age without dishonour spent,
Nor unbefriended by the lyre!