III. THE FLY "Picta auro &c"

"Picta auro &c" [1] 

Busy, hovering, timid guest,
Come, and share my friendly feast,
Buzzing, bathe thy taper limb,
Hum the Anacreontic hymn.
Fearless, here thy light wing clip,5
Largely quaff, or sparing sip,
Here indulge the genial hour,
Hail the joy-bestowing power,
While the fates yet lingering stay,
And o'er thy little web delay,10
Thy little web too quickly crushed,
In dark oblivion rudely brushed,
With doom alas! resembling mine;
Yet must not you or I repine,
Since death alike triumphant sat15
O'er Virgil and o'er Virgil's gnat!


[1] EDITOR'S NOTE: "The Fly" does not appear in Psyche, with Other Poems or Mary (or Collected Poems and Journals) and is undated in Verses. It presents a verse translation of the 10-line Carmina quadragesimalia poem “Picta auro” (“Embroidered with gold”) under the heading "Ad Mors et Senectus omni Animato conveniat? Affirmatur":

Picta auro, et nitidis variata coloribus alas,
Musca, veni nostris hospes amica scyphis.
Hospes eris, madidae seu te moderator uvae,
Haustus seu recreet plenior, hospes eris.
Indulge geniali horae sacilique Lyaeo,5
Dum saevum Lachesis tarda moratur opus.
Nam tua, devolvi praeceps, brevis interit aetas,
Et nostra est parili praecipitata suga.
Non tamen est, sortem cur indignemur iniquam;
Virgilius periit, Virgiliique Culex.10