Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

The Last Ode


Nov. 27, 8 B.C. Horace, BK. V. Ode 31


As watchers couched beneath a Bantine oak,
Hearing the dawn-wind stir,
Know that the present strength of night is broke
Though no dawn threaten her
Till dawn's appointed hour--so Virgil died,
Aware of change at hand, and prophesied

Change upon all the Eternal Gods had made
And on the Gods alike--
Fated as dawn but, as the dawn, delayed
Till the just hour should strike--

A Star new-risen above the living and dead;
And the lost shades that were our loves restored
As lovers, and for ever. So he said;
Having received the word...

Maecenas waits me on the Esquiline:
Thither to-night go I....
And shall this dawn restore us, Virgil mine
To dawn? Beneath what sky?

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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