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The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Under the rose-tree I drank my fill.

Twenty years after, passing that way,
Under the trellis I found again
Mine host, still sitting there au frais,
And singing still the same refrain.

The Jurancon, so fresh and bold,
Treats me as one it used to know;
Souvenirs of the days of old
Already from the bottle flow,

With glass in hand our glances met;
We pledge, we drink. How sour it is
Never Argenteuil piquette
Was to my palate sour as this!

And yet the vintage was good, in sooth;
The self-same juice, the self-same cask!
It was you, O gayety of my youth,
That failed in the autumnal flask!



To gallop off to town post-haste,
So oft, the times I cannot tell;
To do vile deed, nor feel disgraced,--
Friar Lubin will do it well.
But a sober life to lead,
To honor virtue, and pursue it,
That's a pious, Christian deed,--
Friar Lubin can not do it.

To mingle, with a knowing smile,
The goods of others with his own,
And leave you without cross or pile,
Friar Lubin stands alone.
To say 't is yours is all in vain,
If once he lays his finger to it;
For as to giving back again,
Friar Lubin cannot do it.

With flattering words and gentle tone,
To woo and win some guileless maid,
Cunning pander need you none,--
Friar Lubin knows the trade.
Loud preacheth he sobriety,
But as for water, doth eschew it;
Your dog may drink it,--but not he;
Friar Lubin cannot do it.

When an evil deed 's to do
Friar Lubin is stout and true;
Glimmers a ray of goodness through it,
Friar Lubin cannot do it.



Love, love, what wilt thou with this heart of mine?
Naught see I fixed or sure in thee!
I do not know thee,--nor what deeds are thine:
Love, love, what wilt thou with this heart of mine?
Naught see I fixed or sure in thee!

Shall I be mute, or vows with prayers combine?
Ye who are blessed in loving, tell it me:
Love, love, what wilt thou with this heart of mine?
Naught see I permanent or sure in thee!



My soul its secret has, my life too has its mystery,
A love eternal in a moment's space conceived;
Hopeless the evil is, I have not told its history,
And she who was the cause nor knew it nor believed.
Alas! I shall have passed close by her unperceived,
Forever at her side, and yet forever lonely,
I shall unto the end have made life's journey, only
Daring to ask for naught, and having naught received.
For her, though God has made her gentle and endearing,
She will go on her way distraught and without hearing
These murmurings of love that round her steps ascend,
Piously faithful still unto her austere duty,
Will say, when she shall read these lines full of her beauty,
"Who can this woman be?" and will not comprehend.




And now, behold! as at the approach of morning,
Through the gross vapors, Mars grows fiery red
Down in the west upon the ocean floor
Appeared to me,--may I again behold it!
A light along the sea, so swiftly coming,
Its motion by no flight of wing is equalled.
And when therefrom I had withdrawn a little
Mine eyes, that I might question my conductor,
Again I saw it brighter grown and larger.
Thereafter, on all sides of it, appeared
I knew not what of white, and underneath,
Little by little, there came forth another.
My master yet had uttered not a word,
While the first whiteness into wings unfolded;
But, when he clearly recognized the pilot,
He cried aloud: "Quick, quick, and bow the knee!
Behold the Angel of God! fold up thy hands!
Henceforward shalt thou see such officers!
See, how he scorns all human arguments,
So that no oar he wants, nor other sail
Than his own wings, between so distant shores!
See, how he holds them, pointed straight to heaven,
Fanning the air with the eternal pinions,
That do not moult themselves like mortal hair!"
And then, as nearer and more near us came
The Bird of Heaven, more glorious he appeared,
So that the eye could not sustain his presence,
But down I cast it; and he came to shore
With a small vessel, gliding swift and light,
So that the water swallowed naught thereof.
Upon the stern stood the Celestial Pilot!
Beatitude seemed written in his face!
And more than a hundred spirits sat within.
"In exitu Israel de Aegypto!"
Thus sang they all together in one voice,
With whatso in that Psalm is after written.
Then made he sign of holy rood upon them,
Whereat all cast themselves upon the shore,
And he departed swiftly as he came.



Longing already to search in and round
The heavenly forest, dense and living-green,
Which tempered to the eyes the newborn day,
Withouten more delay I left the bank,
Crossing the level country slowly, slowly,
Over the soil, that everywhere breathed fragrance.
A gently-breathing air, that no mutation
Had in itself, smote me upon the forehead,
No heavier blow, than of a pleasant breeze,
Whereat the tremulous branches readily
Did all of them bow downward towards that side
Where its first shadow casts the Holy Mountain;
Yet not from their upright direction bent
So that the little birds upon their tops
Should cease the practice of their tuneful art;
But with full-throated joy, the hours of prime
Singing received they in the midst of foliage
That made monotonous burden to their rhymes,
Even as from branch to branch it gathering swells,
Through the pine forests on the shore of Chiassi,
When Aeolus unlooses the Sirocco.
Already my slow steps had led me on
Into the ancient wood so far, that I
Could see no more the place where I had entered.
And lo! my further course cut off a river,
Which, tow'rds the left hand, with its little waves,
Bent down the grass, that on its margin sprang.
All waters that on earth most limpid are,
Would seem to have within themselves some mixture,
Compared with that, which nothing doth conceal,
Although it moves on with a brown, brown current,
Under the shade perpetual, that never
Ray of the sun lets in, nor of the moon.


PURGATORIO XXX. 13-33, 85-99, XXXI. 13-21.

Even as the Blessed, at the final summons,
Shall rise up quickened, each one from his grave,
Wearing again the garments of the flesh,
So, upon that celestial chariot,
A hundred rose ad vocem tanti senis,
Ministers and messengers of life eternal.
They all were saying, "Benedictus qui venis,"
And scattering flowers above and round about,
"Manibus o date lilia plenis."
Oft have I seen, at the approach of day,
The orient sky all stained with roseate hues,
And the other heaven with light serene adorned,
And the sun's face uprising, overshadowed,
So that, by temperate influence of vapors,
The eye sustained his aspect for long while;
Thus in the bosom of a cloud of flowers,
Which from those hands angelic were thrown up,
And down descended inside and without,
With crown of olive o'er a snow-white veil,
Appeared a lady, under a green mantle,
Vested in colors of the living flame.
. . . . . .
Even as the snow, among the living rafters
Upon the back of ltaly, congeals,
Blown on and beaten by Sclavonian winds,
And then, dissolving, filters through itself,
Whene'er the land, that loses shadow, breathes,
Like as a taper melts before a fire,
Even such I was, without a sigh or tear,
Before the song of those who chime forever
After the chiming of the eternal spheres;
But, when I heard in those sweet melodies
Compassion for me, more than had they said,
"O wherefore, lady, dost thou thus consume him?"
The ice, that was about my heart congealed,
To air and water changed, and, in my anguish,
Through lips and eyes came gushing from my breast.
. . . . . .
Confusion and dismay, together mingled,
Forced such a feeble "Yes!" out of my mouth,
To understand it one had need of sight.
Even as a cross-bow breaks, when 't is discharged,
Too tensely drawn the bow-string and the bow,
And with less force the arrow hits the mark;
So I gave way beneath this heavy burden,
Gushing forth into bitter tears and sighs,
And the voice, fainting, flagged upon its passage.



Italy! Italy! thou who'rt doomed to wear
The fatal gift of beauty, and possess
The dower funest of infinite wretchedness
Written upon thy forehead by despair;
Ah! would that thou wert stronger, or less fair.
That they might fear thee more, or love thee less,
Who in the splendor of thy loveliness
Seem wasting, yet to mortal combat dare!
Then from the Alps I should not see descending
Such torrents of armed men, nor Gallic horde
Drinking the wave of Po, distained with gore,
Nor should I see thee girded with a sword
Not thine, and with the stranger's arm contending,
Victor or vanquished, slave forever more.

[The following translations are from the poems of Michael Angelo
as revised by his nephew Michael Angelo the Younger, and were
made before the publication of the original text by Guasti.]



Nothing the greatest artist can conceive
That every marble block doth not confine
Within itself; and only its design
The hand that follows intellect can achieve.
The ill I flee, the good that I believe,
In thee, fair lady, lofty and divine,
Thus hidden lie; and so that death be mine
Art, of desired success, doth me bereave.
Love is not guilty, then, nor thy fair face,
Nor fortune, cruelty, nor great disdain,
Of my disgrace, nor chance, nor destiny,
If in thy heart both death and love find place
At the same time, and if my humble brain,
Burning, can nothing draw but death from thee.



Not without fire can any workman mould
The iron to his preconceived design,
Nor can the artist without fire refine
And purify from all its dross the gold;
Nor can revive the phoenix, we are told,
Except by fire. Hence if such death be mine
I hope to rise again with the divine,
Whom death augments, and time cannot make old.
O sweet, sweet death! O fortunate fire that burns
Within me still to renovate my days,
Though I am almost numbered with the dead!
If by its nature unto heaven returns
This element, me, kindled in its blaze,
Will it bear upward when my life is fled.



Oh give me back the days when loose and free
To my blind passion were the curb and rein,
Oh give me back the angelic face again,
With which all virtue buried seems to be!
Oh give my panting footsteps back to me,
That are in age so slow and fraught with pain,
And fire and moisture in the heart and brain,
If thou wouldst have me burn and weep for thee!
If it be true thou livest alone, Amor,
On the sweet-bitter tears of human hearts,
In an old man thou canst not wake desire;
Souls that have almost reached the other shore
Of a diviner love should feel the darts,
And be as tinder to a holier fire.



The course of my long life hath reached at last,
In fragile bark o'er a tempestuous sea,
The common harbor, where must rendered be
Account of all the actions of the past.
The impassioned phantasy, that, vague and vast,
Made art an idol and a king to me,
Was an illusion, and but vanity
Were the desires that lured me and harassed.
The dreams of love, that were so sweet of yore,
What are they now, when two deaths may be mine,--
One sure, and one forecasting its alarms?
Painting and sculpture satisfy no more
The soul now turning to the Love Divine,
That oped, to embrace us, on the cross its arms.



Lady, how can it chance--yet this we see
In long experience--that will longer last
A living image carved from quarries vast
Than its own maker, who dies presently?
Cause yieldeth to effect if this so be,
And even Nature is by Art at surpassed;
This know I, who to Art have given the past,
But see that Time is breaking faith with me.
Perhaps on both of us long life can I
Either in color or in stone bestow,
By now portraying each in look and mien;
So that a thousand years after we die,
How fair thou wast, and I how full of woe,
And wherefore I so loved thee, may be seen.



When the prime mover of my many sighs
Heaven took through death from out her earthly place,
Nature, that never made so fair a face,
Remained ashamed, and tears were in all eyes.
O fate, unheeding my impassioned cries!
O hopes fallacious! O thou spirit of grace,
Where art thou now? Earth holds in its embrace
Thy lovely limbs, thy holy thoughts the skies.
Vainly did cruel death attempt to stay
The rumor of thy virtuous renown,
That Lethe's waters could not wash away!
A thousand leaves, since he hath stricken thee down,
Speak of thee, nor to thee could Heaven convey,
Except through death, a refuge and a crown.



What should be said of him cannot be said;
By too great splendor is his name attended;
To blame is easier those who him offended,
Than reach the faintest glory round him shed.
This man descended to the doomed and dead
For our instruction; then to God ascended;
Heaven opened wide to him its portals splendid,
Who from his country's, closed against him, fled.
Ungrateful land! To its own prejudice
Nurse of his fortunes; and this showeth well,
That the most perfect most of grief shall see.
Among a thousand proofs let one suffice,
That as his exile hath no parallel,
Ne'er walked the earth a greater man than he.



Ah me! ah me! when thinking of the years,
The vanished years, alas, I do not find
Among them all one day that was my own!
Fallacious hope; desires of the unknown,
Lamenting, loving, burning, and in tears
(For human passions all have stirred my mind),
Have held me, now I feel and know, confined
Both from the true and good still far away.
I perish day by day;
The sunshine fails, the shadows grow more dreary,
And I am near to fail, infirm and weary.



To noble heart Love doth for shelter fly,
As seeks the bird the forest's leafy shade;
Love was not felt till noble heart beat high,
Nor before love the noble heart was made.
Soon as the sun's broad flame
Was formed, so soon the clear light filled the air;
Yet was not till he came:
So love springs up in noble breasts, and there
Has its appointed space,
As heat in the bright flames finds its allotted place.
Kindles in noble heart the fire of love,
As hidden virtue in the precious stone:
This virtue comes not from the stars above,
Till round it the ennobling sun has shone;
But when his powerful blaze
Has drawn forth what was vile, the stars impart
Strange virtue in their rays;
And thus when Nature doth create the heart
Noble and pure and high,
Like virtue from the star, love comes from woman's eye.




If thou art sleeping, maiden,
Awake and open thy door,
'T is the break of day, and we must away,
O'er meadow, and mount, and moor.

Wait not to find thy slippers,
But come with thy naked feet;
We shall have to pass through the dewy grass,
And waters wide and fleet.





"He is gone to the desert land
I can see the shining mane
Of his horse on the distant plain,
As he rides with his Kossak band!

"Come back, rebellious one!
Let thy proud heart relent;
Come back to my tall, white tent,
Come back, my only son!

"Thy hand in freedom shall
Cast thy hawks, when morning breaks,
On the swans of the Seven Lakes,
On the lakes of Karajal.

"I will give thee leave to stray
And pasture thy hunting steeds
In the long grass and the reeds
Of the meadows of Karaday.

"I will give thee my coat of mail,
Of softest leather made,
With choicest steel inlaid;
Will not all this prevail?"


"This hand no longer shall
Cast my hawks, when morning breaks,
On the swans of the Seven Lakes,
On the lakes of Karajal.

"I will no longer stray
And pasture my hunting steeds
In the long grass and the reeds
Of the meadows of Karaday.

"Though thou give me thy coat of mall,
Of softest leather made,
With choicest steel inlaid,
All this cannot prevail.

"What right hast thou, O Khan,
To me, who am mine own,
Who am slave to God alone,
And not to any man?

"God will appoint the day
When I again shall be
By the blue, shallow sea,
Where the steel-bright sturgeons play.

"God, who doth care for me,
In the barren wilderness,
On unknown hills, no less
Will my companion be.

"When I wander lonely and lost
In the wind; when I watch at night
Like a hungry wolf, and am white
And covered with hoar-frost;

"Yea, wheresoever I be,
In the yellow desert sands,
In mountains or unknown lands,
Allah will care for me!"


Then Sobra, the old, old man,--
Three hundred and sixty years
Had he lived in this land of tears,
Bowed down and said, "O Khan!

"If you bid me, I will speak.
There's no sap in dry grass,
No marrow in dry bones! Alas,
The mind of old men is weak!

"I am old, I am very old:
I have seen the primeval man,
I have seen the great Gengis Khan,
Arrayed in his robes of gold.

"What I say to you is the truth;
And I say to you, O Khan,
Pursue not the star-white man,
Pursue not the beautiful youth.

"Him the Almighty made,
And brought him forth of the light,
At the verge and end of the night,
When men on the mountain prayed.

"He was born at the break of day,
When abroad the angels walk;
He hath listened to their talk,
And he knoweth what they say.

"Gifted with Allah's grace,
Like the moon of Ramazan
When it shines in the skies, O Khan,
Is the light of his beautiful face.

"When first on earth he trod,
The first words that he said
Were these, as he stood and prayed,
There is no God but God!

"And he shall be king of men,
For Allah hath heard his prayer,
And the Archangel in the air,
Gabriel, hath said, Amen!"


Black are the moors before Kazan,
And their stagnant waters smell of blood:
I said in my heart, with horse and man,
I will swim across this shallow flood.

Under the feet of Argamack,
Like new moons were the shoes he bare,
Silken trappings hung on his back,
In a talisman on his neck, a prayer.

My warriors, thought I, are following me;
But when I looked behind, alas!
Not one of all the band could I see,
All had sunk in the black morass!

Where are our shallow fords? and where
The power of Kazan with its fourfold gates?
From the prison windows our maidens fair
Talk of us still through the iron grates.

We cannot hear them; for horse and man
Lie buried deep in the dark abyss!
Ah! the black day hath come down on Kazan!
Ah! was ever a grief like this?


Down from yon distant mountain height
The brooklet flows through the village street;
A boy comes forth to wash his hands,
Washing, yes washing, there he stands,
In the water cool and sweet.

Brook, from what mountain dost thou come,
O my brooklet cool and sweet!
I come from yon mountain high and cold,
Where lieth the new snow on the old,
And melts in the summer heat.

Brook, to what river dost thou go?
O my brooklet cool and sweet!
I go to the river there below
Where in bunches the violets grow,
And sun and shadow meet.

Brook, to what garden dost thou go?
O my brooklet cool and sweet!
I go to the garden in the vale
Where all night long the nightingale
Her love-song doth repeat.

Brook, to what fountain dost thou go?
O my brooklet cool and sweet!
I go to the fountain at whose brink
The maid that loves thee comes to drink,
And whenever she looks therein,
I rise to meet her, and kiss her chin,
And my joy is then complete.


Welcome, O Stork! that dost wing
Thy flight from the far-away!
Thou hast brought us the signs of Spring,
Thou hast made our sad hearts gay.

Descend, O Stork! descend
Upon our roof to rest;
In our ash-tree, O my friend,
My darling, make thy nest.

To thee, O Stork, I complain,
O Stork, to thee I impart
The thousand sorrows, the pain
And aching of my heart.

When thou away didst go,
Away from this tree of ours,
The withering winds did blow,
And dried up all the flowers.

Dark grew the brilliant sky,
Cloudy and dark and drear;
They were breaking the snow on high,
And winter was drawing near.

From Varaca's rocky wall,
From the rock of Varaca unrolled,
the snow came and covered all,
And the green meadow was cold.

O Stork, our garden with snow
Was hidden away and lost,
Mid the rose-trees that in it grow
Were withered by snow and frost.



Tityrus, thou in the shade of a spreading beech-tree reclining,
Meditatest, with slender pipe, the Muse of the woodlands.
We our country's bounds and pleasant pastures relinquish,
We our country fly; thou, Tityrus, stretched in the shadow,
Teachest the woods to resound with the name of the fair

O Meliboeus, a god for us this leisure created,
For he will be unto me a god forever; his altar
Oftentimes shall imbue a tender lamb from our sheepfolds.
He, my heifers to wander at large, and myself, as thou seest,
On my rustic reed to play what I will, hath permitted.

Truly I envy not, I marvel rather; on all sides
In all the fields is such trouble. Behold, my goats I am
Heartsick, further away; this one scarce, Tityrus, lead I;
For having here yeaned twins just now among the dense hazels,
Hope of the flock, ah me! on the naked flint she hath left them.
Often this evil to me, if my mind had not been insensate,
Oak-trees stricken by heaven predicted, as now I remember;
Often the sinister crow from the hollow ilex predicted,
Nevertheless, who this god may be, O Tityrus, tell me.

O Meliboeus, the city that they call Rome, I imagined,
Foolish I! to be like this of ours, where often we shepherds
Wonted are to drive down of our ewes the delicate offspring.
Thus whelps like unto dogs had I known, and kids to their
Thus to compare great things with small had I been accustomed.
But this among other cities its head as far hath exalted
As the cypresses do among the lissome viburnums.

And what so great occasion of seeing Rome hath possessed thee?

Liberty, which, though late, looked upon me in my inertness,
After the time when my beard fell whiter front me in shaving,--
Yet she looked upon me, and came to me after a long while,
Since Amaryllis possesses and Galatea hath left me.
For I will even confess that while Galatea possessed me
Neither care of my flock nor hope of liberty was there.
Though from my wattled folds there went forth many a victim,
And the unctuous cheese was pressed for the city ungrateful,
Never did my right hand return home heavy with money.

I have wondered why sad thou invokedst the gods, Amaryllis,
And for whom thou didst suffer the apples to hang on the
Tityrus hence was absent! Thee, Tityrus, even the pine-trees,
Thee, the very fountains, the very copses were calling.

What could I do? No power had I to escape from my bondage,
Nor had I power elsewhere to recognize gods so propitious.
Here I beheld that youth, to whom each year, Meliboeus,
During twice six days ascends the smoke of our altars.
Here first gave he response to me soliciting favor:
"Feed as before your heifers, ye boys, and yoke up your

Fortunate old man! So then thy fields will be left thee,
And large enough for thee, though naked stone and the marish
All thy pasture-lands with the dreggy rush may encompass.
No unaccustomed food thy gravid ewes shall endanger,
Nor of the neighboring flock the dire contagion inject them.
Fortunate old man! Here among familiar rivers,
And these sacred founts, shalt thou take the shadowy coolness.
On this side, a hedge along the neighboring cross-road,
Where Hyblaean bees ever feed on the flower of the willow,
Often with gentle susurrus to fall asleep shall persuade thee.
Yonder, beneath the high rock, the pruner shall sing to the
Nor meanwhile shalt thy heart's delight, the hoarse wood-pigeons,
Nor the turtle-dove cease to mourn from aerial elm-trees.

Therefore the agile stags shall sooner feed in the ether,
And the billows leave the fishes bare on the sea-shore.
Sooner, the border-lands of both overpassed, shall the exiled
Parthian drink of the Soane, or the German drink of the Tigris,
Than the face of him shall glide away from my bosom!

But we hence shall go, a part to the thirsty Afries,
Part to Scythia come, and the rapid Cretan Oaxes,
And to the Britons from all the universe utterly sundered.
Ah, shall I ever, a long time hence, the bounds of my country
And the roof of my lowly cottage covered with greensward
Seeing, with wonder behold,--my kingdoms, a handful of
Shall an impious soldier possess these lands newly cultured,
And these fields of corn a barbarian? Lo, whither dicord
Us wretched people hath brought! for whom our fields we have
Graft, Meliboeus, thy pear-trees now, put in order thy
Go, my goats, go hence, my flocks so happy aforetime.
Never again henceforth outstretched in my verdurous cavern
Shall I behold you afar from the bushy precipice hanging.
Songs no more shall I sing; not with me, ye goats, as your
Shall ye browse on the bitter willow or blooming laburnum.

Nevertheless, this night together with me canst thou rest thee
Here on the verdant leaves; for us there are mellowing apples,
Chestnuts soft to the touch, and clouted cream in abundance;
And the high roofs now of the villages smoke in the distance,
And from the lofty mountains are falling larger the shadows.



TRISTIA, Book III., Elegy X.

Should any one there in Rome remember Ovid the exile,
And, without me, my name still in the city survive;

Tell him that under stars which never set in the ocean
I am existing still, here in a barbarous land.

Fierce Sarmatians encompass me round, and the Bessi and Getae;
Names how unworthy to be sung by a genius like mine!

Yet when the air is warm, intervening Ister defends us:
He, as he flows, repels inroads of war with his waves.

But when the dismal winter reveals its hideous aspect,
When all the earth becomes white with a marble-like frost;

And when Boreas is loosed, and the snow hurled under Arcturus,
Then these nations, in sooth, shudder and shiver with cold.

Deep lies the snow, and neither the sun nor the rain can dissolve
Boreas hardens it still, makes it forever remain.

Hence, ere the first ha-s melted away, another succeeds it,
And two years it is wont, in many places, to lie.

And so great is the power of the Northwind awakened, it levels
Lofty towers with the ground, roofs uplifted bears off.

Wrapped in skins, and with trousers sewed, they contend with the
And their faces alone of the whole body are seen.

Often their tresses, when shaken, with pendent icicles tinkle,
And their whitened beards shine with the gathering frost.

Wines consolidate stand, preserving the form of the vessels;
No more draughts of wine,--pieces presented they drink.

Why should I tell you how all the rivers are frozen and solid,
And from out of the lake frangible water is dug?

Ister,--no narrower stream than the river that bears the
Which through its many mouths mingles its waves with the deep;

Ister, with hardening winds, congeals its cerulean waters,
Under a roof of ice, winding its way to the sea.

There where ships have sailed, men go on foot; and the billows,
Solid made by the frost, hoof-beats of horses indent.

Over unwonted bridges, with water gliding beneath them,
The Sarmatian steers drag their barbarian carts.

Scarcely shall I be believed; yet when naught is gained by a
Absolute credence then should to a witness be given.

I have beheld the vast Black Sea of ice all compacted,
And a slippery crust pressing its motionless tides.

'T is not enough to have seen, I have trodden this indurate
Dry shod passed my foot over its uppermost wave.

If thou hadst had of old such a sea as this is, Leander!
Then thy death had not been charged as a crime to the Strait.

Nor can the curved dolphins uplift themselves from the water;
All their struggles to rise merciless winter prevents;

And though Boreas sound with roar of wings in commotion,
In the blockaded gulf never a wave will there be;

And the ships will stand hemmed in by the frost, as in marble,
Nor will the oar have power through the stiff waters to cleave.

Fast-bound in the ice have I seen the fishes adhering,
Yet notwithstanding this some of them still were alive.

Hence, if the savage strength of omnipotent Boreas freezes
Whether the salt-sea wave, whether the refluent stream,--

Straightway,--the Ister made level by arid blasts of the
Comes the barbaric foe borne on his swift-footed steed;

Foe, that powerful made by his steed and his far-flying arrows,
All the neighboring land void of inhabitants makes.

Some take flight, and none being left to defend their
Unprotected, their goods pillage and plunder become;

Cattle and creaking carts, the little wealth of the country,
And what riches beside indigent peasants possess.

Some as captives are driven along, their hands bound behind them,
Looking backward in vain toward their Lares and lands.

Others, transfixed with barbed arrows, in agony perish,
For the swift arrow-heads all have in poison been dipped.

What they cannot carry or lead away they demolish,
And the hostile flames burn up the innocent cots.

Even when there is peace, the fear of war is impending;
None, with the ploughshare pressed, furrows the soil any more.

Either this region sees, or fears a foe that it sees not,
And the sluggish land slumbers in utter neglect.

No sweet grape lies hidden here in the shade of its vine-leaves,
No fermenting must fills and o'erflows the deep vats.

Apples the region denies; nor would Acontius have found here
Aught upon which to write words for his mistress to read.

Naked and barren plains without leaves or trees we behold here,--
Places, alas! unto which no happy man would repair.

Since then this mighty orb lies open so wide upon all sides,
Has this region been found only my prison to be?

TRISTIA, Book III., Elegy XII.

Now the zephyrs diminish the cold, and the year being ended,
Winter Maeotian seems longer than ever before;

And the Ram that bore unsafely the burden of Helle,
Now makes the hours of the day equal with those of the night.

Now the boys and the laughing girls the violet gather,
Which the fields bring forth, nobody sowing the seed.

Now the meadows are blooming with flowers of various colors,
And with untaught throats carol the garrulous birds.

Now the swallow, to shun the crime of her merciless mother,
Under the rafters builds cradles and dear little homes;

And the blade that lay hid, covered up in the furrows of Ceres,
Now from the tepid ground raises its delicate head.

Where there is ever a vine, the bud shoots forth from the
But from the Getic shore distant afar is the vine!

Where there is ever a tree, on the tree the branches are
But from the Getic land distant afar is the tree!

Now it is holiday there in Rome, and to games in due order
Give place the windy wars of the vociferous bar.

Now they are riding the horses; with light arms now they are
Now with the ball, and now round rolls the swift-flying hoop:

Now, when the young athlete with flowing oil is anointed,
He in the Virgin's Fount bathes, over-wearied, his limbs.

Thrives the stage; and applause, with voices at variance,
And the Theatres three for the three Forums resound.

Four times happy is he, and times without number is happy,
Who the city of Rome, uninterdicted, enjoys.

But all I see is the snow in the vernal sunshine dissolving,
And the waters no more delved from the indurate lake.

Nor is the sea now frozen, nor as before o'er the Ister
Comes the Sarmatian boor driving his stridulous cart.

Hitherward, nevertheless, some keels already are steering,
And on this Pontic shore alien vessels will be.

Eagerly shall I run to the sailor, and, having saluted,
Who he may be, I shall ask; wherefore and whence he hath come.

Strange indeed will it be, if he come not from regions adjacent,
And incautious unless ploughing the neighboring sea.

Rarely a mariner over the deep from Italy passes,
Rarely he comes to these shores, wholly of harbors devoid.

Whether he knoweth Greek, or whether in Latin he speaketh,
Surely on this account he the more welcome will be.

Also perchance from the mouth of the Strait and the waters
Unto the steady South-wind, some one is spreading his sails.

Whosoever he is, the news he can faithfully tell me,
Which may become a part and an approach to the truth.

He, I pray, may he able to tell me the triumphs of Caesar,
Which he has heard of, and vows paid to the Latian Jove;

And that thy sorrowful head, Germania, thou, the rebellious,
Under the feet, at last, of the Great Captain hast laid.

Whoso shall tell me these things, that not to have seen will
afflict me,
Forthwith unto my house welcomed as guest shall he be.

Woe is me! Is the house of Ovid in Scythian lands now?
And doth punishment now give me its place for a home?

Grant, ye gods, that Caesar make this not my house and my
But decree it to be only the inn of my pain.

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