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His Camarina's ancient name 3
With Pisan olive crowned.
And thou, O father,hear his prayer,
For much I praise the knightly care
That trains the warrior steed :
Nor less the hospitable hall
whose open doors the stranger call;
Yet, praise I Psaumis most of all
For wise and peaceful rede,
And patriot love of liberty.
What? do we wave the glozing lie :
Then whoso list my truth to try,
The proof be in the deed.
To Lemnos's laughing dames of yore,
Such was the proof Ernicus bore,
When, matchless in his speed,
All brazen-armed the racer hoar,
Victorious on the applauding shore,
Sprang to the proffered meed ;
Bowed to the queen his wreathed head;
• Thou seest my limbs are light,’ he said;
• And, lady, may’st thou know,
That every joint is firmly strung,
And hand and heart alike are young ;
Though treacherous time my locks among
Have strewed a summer snow.' '
AccEPT of these Olympian games the crown,
Daughter of Ocean, rushy Camarine.
The flower of knightly worth and high renown,
Which car-borne Psaumis on thy parent shrine,
(Psaumis, the patriot, whom thy peopled town
Its second author owns,) with rite divine
Suspends. His praise the twice six altars tell
Of the great gods whom he hath feasted well
With blood of bulls; the praise of victory,
Where cars and mules and steeds contest the
And that green garland of renown to thee
He hallows, virgin daughter of the sea,
And to his sire and household deities;
Thee too, returning home from Pelop’s land,
Thee, guardian Pallas, and thy holy wood,
He hails with song, and cool Oanus' flood;
And of his native pool the rushy strand;
And thy broad bed, refreshing Hipparis,
Whose silent waves the peopled city kiss,
That city which hath blest his bounteous hand,
Rearing her goodly bowers on high.
That now, redeemed from late disgrace, The wealthy mother of a countless race, She lifts her front in shining majesty.
'T is ever thus, by toil and pain, And cumbrous cost, we strive to gain Some seeming prize whose issues lie In darkness and futurity. And yet, if conquest crown our aim, Then, foremost in the rolls of fame, Even from the envious herd a forced applause we claim. O cloud-enthroned, protecting Jove, Who sittest the Cronian cliffs above, And Alpheus” ample wave, And that dark gloom hast deigned to love Of Ida's holy cave. On softest Lydian notes to thee I tune the choral prayer, That this thy town, the brave, the free, The strong in virtuous energy, May feel thine endless care.
And, victor thou, whose matchless might
The Pisan wreath hath bound.
Still, Psaumis, be thy chief delight
In generous coursers found. Calm be thy latter age, and late And gently fall the stroke of fate,
Thy children standing round.
And know, when favoring gods have given
A green old age, a temper even.
And wealth and fame in store,
The task were vain to scale the heaven.
Have those immortals inore?
WHo seeks a goodly bower to raise,
Conspicuous to the stranger's eye,
With gold the lintel overlays,
And clothes the porch in ivory.
So bright, so bold, so wonderful,
The choicest themes of verse I cull,
To each high song a frontal high.
But lives there one whose brows around
The green Olympian wreath is bound ;
Prophet and priest in those abodes
Where Pisans laud the sire of gods;
And Syracusa’s denizen —
Who, 'mid the sons of mortal men,
While envy’s self before his name
Abates her rage, may fitlier claim
Whate’er a bard may yield of fame 2
Fer sure to no forbidden strife,
In hallowed Pisa's field of praise,