France, mother of arts, of warfare, and of laws.
Happy the man who, like Ulysses, has made a fine voyage, or has won the Golden Fleece, and then returns, experienced and knowledgeable, to spend the rest of his life among his family!
A Vow to Heavenly Venus
We that with like hearts love, we lovers twain,
New wedded in the village by thy fane,
Lady of all chaste love, to thee it is
We bring these amaranths, these white lilies,
A sign, and sacrifice; may Love, we pray,
Like amaranthine flowers, feel no decay;
Like these cool lilies may our loves remain,
Perfect and pure, and know not any stain;
And be our hearts, from this thy holy hour,
Bound each to each, like flower to wedded flower.
Hymm to the Winds
To you, troop so fleet,
That with winged wandering feet,
Through the wide world pass,
And with soft murmuring
Toss the green shades of spring
In woods and grass,
Lily and violet
I give, and blossoms wet,
Roses and dew;
This branch of blushing roses,
Whose fresh bud uncloses,
Ah, winnow with sweet breath,
Winnow the holt and heath,
Round this retreat;
Where all the golden morn
We fan the gold o’ the corn,
In the sun’s heat.
To a Friend in Elysium
So long you wandered on the dusky plain,
Where flit the shadows with their endless cry,
You reach the shore where all the world goes by,
You leave the strife, the slavery, the pain;
But we, but we, the mortals that remain
In vain stretch hands; for Charon sullenly
Drives us afar, we may not come anigh
Till that last mystic obolus we gain.
But you are happy in the quiet place,
And with the learned lovers of old days,
And with your love, you wander ever-more
In the dim woods, and drink forgetfulness
Of us your friends, a weary crowd that press
About the gate, or labour at the oar.
The Olive Tree
If life is less than one day’s passing sigh
within eternity, and if the year
too soon revolved, may never reappear,
if, helpless, all things here on earth soon die,
what do you dream about, caged soul, and why
this trouble take when darkness hovers near?
Although your dreams sing on to regions clear,
you seem a soul in pain whose wings can’t fly.
Seek there the Good above, beyond the sky,
there the rest which to each man lends cheer,
there is Love, there pleasure, thither steer,
there, my soul, is heaven found, on high.
There you shall realize that rare rapport
with Beauty which in this world I adore...