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But may I still prefer bright honour's meed,
I am in quest of one whose willing mind I may, by favour of the Muses, find. Without the Jove-born sisters, harsh and hard Are all approaches found by every bard. Not weary yet revolving heaven appears Of bringing round the months and circling years. The car shall yet be moved by many a steed; And me shall some one as a minstrel need; Than him more deeds heroic never wrought Achilles, or stout Aias when they fought, Where in his tomb the Phrygian Ilus lies, On the broad plain of mournful Simoeis. Who, where the sun sets, dwell — on Libya's heel, The bold Phænicians shuddering terror feel; For Syracuse against them takes the field, Each with his ready spear and willow shield. Amidst them arms heroic Hieron, Equal to heroes of the times foregone; Floats o'er his helm, in wavy darkness loose, His horse-hair crest — Athene ! mightiest Zeus !
And thou, who with thy mother reignest queen O'er Ephyra the wealthy, where is seen Lysimeleia's water, may the blow Of harsh Necessity rebuke the foe, And scatter them from our sweet island back O'er the Sardonian ocean's yesty track ; And out of many few return to tell Their wives and children how the perished fell ! In the foe-ruined cities of the plain Soon may their former dwellers live again, And till the fruitful fields ! unnumbered sheep, And fat bleat cheerily ! the cattle creep Herded in safety to the wonted stalls, Warning the traveller that evening falls ! For sowing-time be wrought the fallow lea, When the cicada, sitting on his tree, Watches the shepherds in the open day, And blithely sings, perched on the topmost spray ; Oe'r martial arms may spiders draw their train, And of fierce war not e'en the name remain ; And famous Hieron, illustrious be, By poets hymned, beyond the Scythian sea, Or where Semiramis her station chose, And her huge walls, asphaltos-built, arose !
I am but one: but many others are Dear to the Muses — may it be their care To praise the warrior-king (as poets use), And people, and Sicilian Arethuse ! Ye goddesses ! whose loving favours wait On that Orchomenos, the Thebans' hate, No where unbidden, but to court or hall, Bidden, with you will I attend the call, Through your dear presence confident to please, Enchanting daughters of Eteocles ! What good, what fair can men without you see? 0! may I ever with the Graces be!
In this encomiastic address to Ptolemy Philadelphus, the poet
begins with the praise of his father the first Ptolemy, and of his mother Berenice, translated by Venus to her temple, and made her Assessor ; whence he passes to the happiness and excellence of Philadelphus himself, who was born with the most auspicious signs of being a favourite of Zeus. He speaks of his riches, amassed by means of an undisturbed peace, his munificence, and patriotic watchfulness to secure the wellbeing of his people, and of his piety to his parents and to the gods. He includes in his praise Arsinoe, the king's
consort. This idyl has been attributed by Warton and others to Calli
machus, for no other reason than that it does not savour of the style of Theocritus. “ Don Juan" and the “ Hebrew Melodies,” which are generally attributed to the same Lord Byron, by parity of reasoning, could not possibly have been written by the same person.