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Peter John Allan

From Anacreon: Ode XI

What recks it me of Gyges' lot?
His wealth and power I envy not.


My beard with scented oils shall shine,
The rose shall deck this brow of mine;
So smooth shall glide my life away,
The gods have given me to-day;
To whom the morrow?-who shall say?
Then, Cupid, view a slave in me,
And, Bacchus, let me worship thee,
Till Death's last pangs Anacreon prove,
Then farewell wine, and farewell love.

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Mercy And Innocence

When Mercy, first from Heaven deputed,
(The fact has never been disputed),
Arrived on earth, there with her came
A certain bashful, blue-eyed dame,
Whom Innocence we mortals name;
These two are sisters, and their love
Made them inseparable above;
And Jove, when he sent Mercy hither,
Let gentle Innocence come with her.
Unlike the peevish brood of earth,
They never quarrelled from their birth,
And still together do they dwell,
In the warm heart of Isabel.

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The Dead Butterfly

Farewell, poor little winged flower,
Thy joyous life is o'er;
Thy sisters of the meadow now
Shall welcome thee no more;
Those pinions that in liquid air
Like sunbeams shone afar,
Now bruised, and dim, and motionless,
As leaves in autumn are.

Hark! summer sends her voice of love
Through all the gladsome earth,
And bird and insect echo her
In many a song of mirth;
But thou wilt never hear again
The zephyr's balmy sighs,
Nor kiss away the crystal tears
From drooping violet's eyes.

Oh! when o'er valley, hill, and grove,
The moonbeams glisten bright,

[...] Read more

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From Horace: Book II:Ode II

Renown'd for lyric and satiric lay,
A two-fold poet, I
Shall on strong wing be upward borne
Above the liquid sky;
No more shall earth my spirit bind-
To heav'n I'll soar, and envy leave behind.

No! my Maecenas, who wast ever just,
A witness to my worth,
By whom I'm counted as a friend,
Despite my humble birth;
I shall not lie forgotten in the grave,
Or pine encircled by the Stygian wave.

Rough grows my skin: anon, my upper half
Is changed into a swan;
Soft down and plumage sprout apace,
My arms and fingers on;
Than Daedalus more swift I soar,
And flap my wings o'er groaning Bosphorus' shore.

[...] Read more

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