The Survival

Horace, Ode 22., Bk v.

"The Janeites"






SECURELY, after days
Unnumbered, I behold
Kings mourn that promised praise
Their cheating bards foretold.

Of earth constricting Wars,
Of Princes passed in chains,
Of deeds out-shining stars,
No word or voice remains.

Yet furthest times receive,
And to fresh praise restore,
Mere breath of flutes at eve,
Mere seaweed on the shore.

A smoke of sacrifice;
A chosen myrtle-wreath;
An harlot's altered eyes;
A rage 'gainst love or death;

Glazed snow beneath the moon -
The surge of storm-bowed trees -
The Caesars perished soon,
And Rome Herself: But these

Endure while Empires fall
And Gods for Gods make room....
Which greater God than all
Imposed the amazing doom?