TO SALLY (ODES, I, 22)
by: Horace (Quintus Horatius
Flaccus) (65-8 B.C.)
- HE man in
- A pure and blameless liver,
- Needs not the keen Toledo blade,
- Nor venom-freighted quiver.
- What though he wind his toilsome way
- O'er regions wild and weary--
- Through Zara's burning desert stray,
- Or Asia's jungles dreary:
- What though he plow the billowy deep
- By lunar light, or solar,
- Meet the resistless Simoon's sweep,
- Or iceberg circumpolar!
- In bog or quagmire deep and dank
- His foot shall never settle;
- He mounts the summit of Mont Blanc,
- Or Popocatapetl.
- On Chimborazo's breathless height
- He treads o'er burning lava;
- Or snuffs the Bohan Upas blight,
- The deathful plant of Java.
- Through every peril he shall pass,
- By Virtue's shield protected;
- And still by Truth's unerring glass
- His path shall be directed.
- Else wherefore was it, Thursday last,
- While strolling down the valley,
- Defenseless, musing as I passed
- A canzonet to Sally,
- A wolf, with mouth-protruding snout,
- Forth from the thicket bounded--
- I clapped my hands and raised a shout--
- He heard--and fled--confounded.
- Tangier nor Tunis never bred
- An animal more crabbèd;
- Nor Fez, dry-nurse of lions, fed
- A monster half so rabid;
- Nor Ararat so fierce a beast
- Has seen since days of Noah;
- Nor stronger, eager for a feast,
- The fell constrictor boa.
POEMS BY HORACE
This English translation of "To
Sally" was composed by John Quincy Adams (1767-1848).