Peter John Allan

(1825-1848 / Canada)

From Horace: Book Ii:Ode Ii - Poem by Peter John Allan

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.

By Scythian stream and Colchian shore,
Where Rhine majestic flows,
Where dwell the Dacians wont to hide
Their fear of Roman foes,
O'er Afric's sand, and Hyperborean plain,
Shall sweep in cadence soft my touching strain.

For me I ask no funeral chant
When soaring out of sight;
Unfit the mourner's sighs and tears
To grace my glorious flight:
Let solemn silence rule the general mien,
And no vain pageant crown the closing scene.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010

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