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CAN earth, or fire, or liquid air,
With water's sacred stream compare ?
Can aught that wealthy tyrants hold
Surpass the lordly blaze of gold?-
Or lives there one, whose restless eye
Would seek along the empty sky,
Beneath the sun's meridian ray,
A warmer star, a purer day?
O thou, my soul, whose choral song
Would tell of contests sharp and strong,
Extol not other lists above

The circus of Olympian Jove;
Whence borne on many a tuneful tongue,
To Saturn's seed the anthem sung,
With harp, and flute and trumpet's call,
Hath sped to Hiero's festival.-

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Over sheep clad Sicily

Who the righteous sceptre beareth, Every flower of virtue's tree

Wove in various wreath he weareth,-But the bud of poesy

Is the fairest flower of all;

Which the bards, in social glee,

Strow round Hiero's wealthy hall.

The harp on yonder pin suspended,

Sieze it, boy, for Pisa's sake,

And that good steed's, whose thought will wake
A joy with anxious fondness blended :-
No sounding lash his sleek side rended:

By Alpheus' bride, with feet of flame,
Self-driven to the goal he tended:

And earned the olive wreath of fame
For that dear lord, whose righteous name
The sons of Syracusa tell :—

Who loves the generous courser well:
Beloved himself by all who dwell
In Pelop's Lydian colony.—
-Of earth-embracing Neptune, he
The darling, when, in days of yore,
All lovely from the caldron red
By Clotho's spell delivered,

The youth an ivory shoulder bore.

-Well,-these are tales of mystery !

And many a darkly woven lie
With men will easy credence gain;
While truth, calm truth, may speak in vain ;
For eloquence, whose honeyed sway

Our frailer mortal wits obey,

Can honor give to actions ill,
And faith to deeds incredible ;-
And bitter blame, and praises high,
Fall truest from posterity.

But if we dare the deeds rehearse
Of those that aye endure,

'T were meet that in such dangerous verse
Our every word were pure.
Then, son of Tantalus, receive
A plain unvarnished lay.
My song shall elder fables leave,
And of thy parent say,

That when in heaven a favored guest,
He called the gods in turns to feast
On Sipylus, his mountain home :—
The sovereign of the ocean foam,
-Can mortal form such favor prove?—
Rapt thee on golden car above
To highest house of mighty Jove;

To which, in after day,

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