Imitation from HORACE Lib: I. Ode. IV. Solvitur acris &c

Lib: I. Ode. IV.
Solvitur acris &c [1] 

At last the wintry gloom is o'er,
The mingled storm no longer flies,
Inclement winds are heard no more,
And sweet Favonius rules the skies. [2] 
Once more the sailor quits his home,5
And hears with hope the flattering gales,
The syren breezes tempt to roam,
And softly woo his swelling sails.
To gambol o'er the vivid green
From whence dissolving frosts are fled,10
Jocund the sportive flocks are seen,
Fresh springing from their wintry shed.
The labourer now no longer leaves
Reluctantly his blazing fire,
The cheerful dawn he glad perceives15
And hails it with the vocal choir.
But when pale Cynthia rules the night, [3] 
The nymphs by Cytherea led, [4] 
With quick, alternate, footsteps light,
In the gay dance together tread.20
With myrtles fresh, and tender leaves,
Now be your graceful tresses bound,
Or cull the sweetest, flowery wreaths
Which Spring profusely throws around.
Behold! each hill arrayed anew.25
See how the fruitful vallies glow!
The softened earth assumes each hue,
The breathing sweets around us blow.
Now in the shadowy sacred groves
The sacrifice to Faunus bring, [5]  30
Dress the green altar of the Loves,
And let the nymphs around it sing.
Our little life forbids delay,
Alas! how soon our Spring is gone!
How quickly fades our summer's day,35
Our transient bloom of pleasure flown.
With equal steps pale Death invades
The lowly cot, and lofty dome,
Arcadia's bloom his presence fades,
And Virtue's self even finds a tomb.40
Thee too, Beloved youth! his power
Shall soon oppress with gloomy night,
No more to glad our festive hour,
For ever vanished from our sight!


[1] EDITOR'S NOTE: "Imitation from Horace Lib: I. Ode. IV. Solvitur acris &c" 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 Horace's Ode 1.4 on spring addressed to Sestius (“Keen winter is breaking up at the welcome change to spring and the Zephyr,” Charles E. Bennett translation):

Solvitur acris hiems grata vice veris et Favoni,
trahuntque siccas machinae carinas,
ac neque iam stabulis gaudet pecus aut arator igni,
nec prata canis albicant pruinis.
Iam Cytherea choros ducit Venus imminente luna,5
iunctaeque Nymphis Gratiae decentes
alterno terram quatiunt pede, dum gravis Cyclopum
Vulcanus ardens visit officinas.
Nunc decet aut viridi nitidum caput impedire mytro
aut flore, terrae quem ferunt solutae;10
nunc et in umbrosis Fauno decet immolare lucis,
seu poscat agna sive malit haedo.
Pallida Mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas
regumque turris. O beate Sesti,
vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam.15
Iam te premet nox fabulaeque Manes
et domus exilis Plutonia; quo simul mearis,
nec regna vini sortiere talis,
nec tenerum Lycidan mirabere, quo calet iuventus
nunc omnis et mox virgines tepebunt.20

[2] EDITOR'S NOTE: Favonius: one of the Roman wind gods (with dominion over flowers and plants). BACK

[3] EDITOR'S NOTE: Cynthia: alternate name for Artemis, the Greek goddess of the moon. BACK

[4] EDITOR'S NOTE: Cytherea: alternate name Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. BACK

[5] EDITOR'S NOTE: Faunus: a Roman god of the forest. BACK