Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
The Fifth Ode Of The First Book Of Horace Imitated
Poem by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa.
For whom are now your airs put on,
And what new beauty's doom'd to be undone?
That careless elegance of dress,
This essence that perfumes the wind,
Your ev'ry motion does confess
Some secret conquest is design'd.
Alas! the poor unhappy maid,
To what a train of ills betray'd!
What fears, what pangs shall rend her breast,
How will her eyes dissolve in tears!
That now with glowing joy is bless'd,
Charm'd with the faithless vows she hears.
So the young sailor on the summer sea
Gaily pursues his destin'd way:
Fearless and careless on the deck he stands,
Till sudden storms arise and thunders roll;
In vain he casts his eyes to distant lands,
Distracting terror tears his timorous soul.
For me, secure I view the raging main,
Past are my dangers, and forgot my pain:
My votive tablet in the temple shows
The monument of folly past;
I paid the bounteous god my grateful vows,
Who snatch'd from ruin, sav'd me at the last.
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