Ode to Augustus by Horace

Poem first published in Book 4 of the 'Odes' in 13 BCE.


  Augustus of Prima Porta, sculptor unknown.

Augustus of Prima Porta, sculptor unknown.

From gods benign descended, thou,
     Best guardian of the fates of Rome,
     Too long already from thy home
Hast thou, dear chief, been absent now.

Oh, then, return, the pledge redeem
     Thou gav'st the Senate, and once more
     Its light to all the land restore;
For when thy face, like spring-tide's gleam,

Its brightness on the people sheds,
     Then glides the day more sweetly by,
     A brighter blue pervades the sky,
The sun a richer radiance spreads!

As on her boy the mother calls, —
     Her boy, whom envious tempests keep
     Beyond the vexed Carpathian deep,
From his dear home, till winter falls,

And still with vow and prayer she cries,
     Still gazes on the winding shore, —
     So yearns the country evermore
For Cæsar, with fond, wistful eyes.

For safe the herds range field and fen,
     Full-headed stand the shocks of grain,
     Our sailors sweep the peaceful main,
And man can trust his fellow-men.