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Diffugere Nives (Horace, Odes 4.7)

A.E. Housman

The snows are fled away, leaves on the shaws
   And grasses in the mead renew their birth,
The river to the river-bed withdraws,
   And altered is the fashion of the earth.

The Nymphs and Graces three put off their fear
   And unapparelled in the woodland play.
The swift hour and the brief prime of the year
   Say to the soul, Thou wast not born for aye.

Thaw follows frost; hard on the heel of spring
   Treads summer sure to die, for hard on hers
Comes autumn with his apples scattering;
   Then back to wintertide, when nothing stirs.

But oh, whate'er the sky-led seasons mar,
   Moon upon moon rebuilds it with her beams;
Come we where Tullus and where Ancus are
   And good Aeneas, we are dust and dreams.

Torquatus, if the gods in heaven shall add
   The morrow to the day, what tongue has told?
Feast then thy heart, for what thy heart has had
   The fingers of no heir will ever hold.

When thou descendest once the shades among,
   The stern assize and equal judgment o'er,
Not thy long lineage nor thy golden tongue,
   No, nor thy righteousness, shall friend thee more.

Night holds Hippolytus the pure of stain,
   Diana steads him nothing, he must stay;
And Theseus leaves Pirithous in the chain
   The love of comrades cannot take away.


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Added: 14 Apr 2003 | Last Read: 16 Oct 2018 9:18 PM | Viewed: 5218 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/8982/ | Viewed on 16 October 2018.
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