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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 the Ship of State

By Horace (65–8 B.C.)

From William Ewart Gladstone’s ‘Odes of Horace’

O SHIP! new billows sweep thee out

Seaward. What wilt thou? Hold the port, be stout!

Seest not thy mast

How rent by stiff southwestern blast?

Thy side, of rowers how forlorn!

Thine hull, with groaning yards, with rigging torn,

Can ill sustain

The fierce and ever fiercer main;

Thy gods, no more than sails entire,

From whom, yet once, thy need might aid require.

O Pontic pine,

The first of woodland stock is thine,

Yet race and name are but as dust.

Not painted sterns give storm-tost seamen trust

Unless thou dare

To be the sport of storms, beware!

Of old at best a weary weight,

A yearning care and constant strain of late,

O shun the seas

That gird those glittering Cyclades.