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EPODE II.

IN PRAISE OF A COUNTRY LIFE.

“ Beatus ille qui procul negotiis.”

Happy he, who free from care
Breathes the sweets of country air,
Far from town, where traffic drives,
Noisy brats, and scolding wives.

Anxious thoughts, and worldly schemes
Ne'er disturb his pleasing dreams;
War for him has no alarms,
When ambition calls to arms.

Honest, he abjures the Law;
Splendid Courts he never saw;
Courts, where Placemen, night and day,
Flatter first, and then betray.

If, to cheat the ling'ring time,
Goddess Mirth provoke a rhyme,
Full of wit it smoothly runs,
Quaint conceits, and merry puns.

Formal pedants, bred at schools,
Boast of Aristotle's rules ;
Such, let cringing bards obey,
Servile wits, who write for pay.

Nought restrains his Muse of whim,
Critics dull may rail for him ;
Still he rhymes, and writes it down,
Let them smile, or let them frown.

If the bounteous Gods afford
Some kind wife to spread his board,
See him blest with, day and night,
Converse sweet and chaste delight.

Would you once his mind bewitch-
Give him wealth, and make him rich:
Keep him to his low degree,
Kings are not so blest as he.

ODE XX, BOOK I.

A POET'S INVITATION.

“ Vile potabis modicis Sabinum."

If you come to dine with me,

Dainties must not be your care; Harmless pleasure, social glee,

And the Poet's frugal fare ;

These I give-and should my Lord

Me to visit humbly deign, Port is all I can afford,

He must bring the bright Champaigne !

Cool beneath a spreading vine,

Jovial Horace, thirsty chap, he, Quaff’d his rich Falernian wine,

With Mæcenus snug and happy

We, in lodgings near the skies,

Of Apollo humbler scions, Banquet amidst London Cries,

And the bray of Kent-Street Lions.

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Dear Chloris, at an age like thine
To dance, coquet, and dress so fine,

And ape such youthful airs,
Might shock a taste not over nice,
So prithee take a friend's advice,

Repent, and say thy pray’rs.

Give o'er thy light fantastic tricks,
For coquetry at fifty-six,

Credulity disarms !
Forswear the company of beaux,
Nor thus to ridicule

expose
The winter of thy charms.

No beauty thou hast left to boast, Though twenty years a reigning toast,

By coxcombs pledg'd aloud ; Retreat in time, give others room,

No nostrum can restore thy bloom; Haste, Chloris ! nor defraud the tomb,

Death courts thee for a shroud.

What sprightly Phoebe, frank and free,
So well becomes, sits ill on thee,

Thou folly's doting tool;
Leave off thy pert affected prate,
Thy childish lisp, thy mincing gait,
And blush that vanity, so late,

Should make thee play the fool.

Ah! roll no more the leering eye
At ev'ry fop that flutters by,

Thy ogling days are past :
And mark the moral of my strain,
That beauty, though she proudly reign,

Must be dethron’d at last.

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