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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Eugene Field (1850–1895)

The Truth about Horace

From “The Little Book of Western Verse”

IT is very aggravating

To hear the solemn prating

Of the fossils who are stating

That old Horace was a prude;

When we know that with the ladies

He was always raising Hades,

And with many an escapade his

Best productions are imbued.

There’s really not much harm in a

Large number of his carmina,

But these people find alarm in a

Few records of his acts;

So they’d squelch the music caloric,

And to students sophomoric

They’d present as metaphoric

What old Horace meant for facts.

We have always thought ’em lazy;

Now we adjudge ’em crazy!

Why, Horace was a daisy

That was very much alive!

And the wisest of us know him

As his Lydia verses show him—

Go read that virile poem—

It is No. 25.

He was a very owl, sir,

And starting out to prowl, sir,

You bet he made Rome howl, sir,

Until he filled his date;

With a massic-laden ditty,

And a classic maiden pretty,

He painted up the city,

And Mæcenas paid the freight!