Homage to Horace II
You think these words of mine will die
While Homer’s lines live on and I
Like you prize what the ages leave us:
The works of Pindar and Alcaeus?
Some fragments of Anacreon
Have cheated time’s oblivion,
And still we sense the living fire
That flamed the Aeolian maiden’s lyre.
More girls than Helen of Sparta gave
Their hearts to a Trojan playboy knave,
Whose brother Hector, not alone,
Fought for their father’s threatened throne.
Bards honor bold Deiphobus,
Idomeneus and Sthenelus,
Whose old wars left young widows lonely.
And Troy was not sacked one time only.
Brave men lived before Agamemnon,
But no verse lets their deeds live on.
Unwept, unsung—though never vanquished,
Their names, their dreams, their valor vanished.
Mary L., whose ardent heart I cherish,
Your love, which lives and will not perish,
Assuages man’s grim history,
Death’s sting and the grave’s victory.
Because your steadfast constancy
Chose honor, not expediency—
Your name will resonate as long
As fickle time preserves this song.