James Clerk Maxwell

(13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879 / Edinburgh, Scotland)

Ninth Ode Of The Third Book Of Horace

Poem by James Clerk Maxwell


While I was your beloved one,
And while no other youth threw his fond arms around
Your white neck so easily,
Than the King of the world I was far happier.


While you loved not another one,
While you did not prefer Chloë to Lydia,
I then thought myself happier
Than the mother of Rome, great Rhea Silvia.


Thracian Chloë now governs me,
She can merrily sing, playing the cithara;
I'd not scruple to die for her,
If the Implacable spared Chloë, the auburn haired.


I now love and am loved again,
By my Calaïs, son of the old Ornytus;
Twice I'd die for him willingly,
If the terrible fates spared but my Calaïs.


What if love should return again,
And unite us by ties more indissoluble?
What if Chloë were cast away,
And the long-closed door open to Lydia?


My love's brighter than any star;
You, too, lighter than cork, tossed on the waves of the Hadriatic so terrible;
Still I'd live but with thee, and I could die with thee.

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Read poems about / on: son, star, mother, ode, world, love

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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