Samuel Johnson

(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

Horace: Book 1, Ode 22 - Poem by Samuel Johnson

The man, my friend, whose conscious heart
With virtue's sacred ardour glows,
Nor taints with death the envenom'd dart,
Nor needs the guard of Moorish bows:

Though Scythia's icy cliffs he treads,
Or horrid Afric's faithless sands;
Or where the fam'd Hydaspes spreads
His liquid wealth o'er barbarous lands.

For while by Chloe's image charm'd,
Too far in Sabine woods I stray'd;
Me singing, careless and unarm'd,
A grisly wolf surprised, and fled.

No savage more portentous stain'd
Apulia's spacious wilds with gore;
None fiercer Juba's thirsty land,
Dire nurse of raging lions, bore.

Place me where no soft summer gale
Among the quivering branches sighs;
Where clouds condensed for ever veil
With horrid gloom the frowning skies;

Place me beneath the burning line,
A clime denied to human race;
I'll sing of Cloe's charms divine,
Her heavenly voice, and beauteous face.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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