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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

To Phidyle

By Horace (65–8 B.C.)

Translation of John Conington

IF, Phidyle, your hands you lift

To heaven, as each new moon is born,

Soothing your Lares with the gift

Of slaughtered swine, and spice, and corn,

Ne’er shall Sirocco’s bane assail

Your vines, nor mildew blast your wheat;

Ne’er shall your tender younglings fail

In autumn, when the fruits are sweet.

The destined victim, ’mid the snows

Of Algidus in oak woods fed,

Or where the Alban herbage grows,

Shall dye the pontiff’s axes red.

No need of butchered sheep for you

To make your homely prayers prevail!

Give but your little gods their due:

The rosemary twined with myrtle frail,

The sprinkled salt, the votive meal,

As soon their favor will regain—

Let but the hand be pure and leal—

As all the pomp of heifers slain.