Jan. 23 1646
Ad Joannem Rousium Oxoniensis Academiæ Bibliothecarium

De libro poëmatum amisso, quem ille sibi denuò mitti postulabat, ut cum aliis nostris in Bibliotheca publica reponeret, Ode.

Strophe I.

Gemelle cultu simplici gaudens liber,
Fronde licet geminâ,
Munditiéque nitens non operosâ,
Quam manus attulit
Juvenilis olim, [ 5 ]
Sedula tamen haud nimii Poetæ;
Dum vagus Ausonias nunc per umbras
Nunc Britannica per vireta lusit
Insons populi, barbitóque devius
Indulsit patrio, mox itidem pectine Daunio [ 10 ]
Longinquum intonuit melos
Vicinis, & humum vix tetigit pede;


Quis te, parve liber, quis te fratribus
Subduxit reliquis dolo?
Cum tu missus ab urbe, [ 15 ]
Docto jugiter obsecrante amico,
Illustre tendebas iter
Thamesis ad incunabula
Cærulei patris,
Fontes ubi limpidi [ 20 ]
Aonidum, thyasusque sacer
Orbi notus per immensos
Temporum lapsus redeunte cœlo,
Celeberque futurus in ævum;

Strophe 2.

Modò quis deus, aut editus deo [ 25 ]
Pristinam gentis miseratus indolem
(Si satis noxas luimus priore
Mollique luxu degener otium)
Tollat nefandos civium tumultus,
Almaque revocet studia sanctus [ 30 ]
Et relegatas sine sede Musas
Jam penè totis finibus Angligenûm;
Immundasque volucres
Unguibus immanentes
Figat Apollonieâ pharetrâ, [ 35 ]
Phinéamque abigat pestem procul amne Pegaséo.


Quin tu, libelle, nuntii licet malâ
Fide, vel oscitantiâ
Semel erraveris agmine fratrum,
Seu quis te teneat specus, [ 40 ]
Seu qua te latebra, forsan unde vili
Callo teréris institoris insulsi,
Lætare felix, en iterum tibi
Spes nova fulget posse profundam
Fugere Lethen, vehique Superam [ 45 ]
In Jovis aulam remige pennâ;

Strophe 3.

Nam te Roüsius sui
Optat peculî, numeróque justo
Sibi polliticum queritur abesse,
Rogatque venias ille cujus inclyta [ 50 ]
Sunt data virûm monumenta curæ:
Téque adytis etiam sacris
Voluit reponi quibus & ipse præsidet
Æternorum operum custos fidelis,
Quæstorque gazæ nobilioris, [ 55 ]
Quàm cui præfuit Iön
Clarus Erechtheides
Opulenta dei per templa parentis
Fulvosque tripodas, donaque Delphica
Iön Actæâ genitus Creüsâ. [ 60 ]


Ergo tu visere lucos
Musarum ibis amœnos,
Diamque Phœbi rursus ibis in domum
Oxoniâ quam valle colit
Delo posthabitâ, [ 65 ]
Bifidóque Parnassi jugo:
Ibis honestus,
Postquam egregiam tu quoque sortem
Nactus abis, dextri prece sollicitatus amici.
Illic legéris inter alta nomina [ 70 ]
Authorum, Graiæ simul & Latinæ
Antiqua gentis lumina, & verum decus.


Vos tandem haud vacui mei labores,
Quicquid hoc sterile fudit ingenium,
Jam serò placidam sperare jubeo [ 70 ]
Perfunctam invidiâ requiem, sedesque beatas
Quas bonus Hermes
Et tutela dabit solers Roüsi,
Quò neque lingua procax vulgi penetrabit, atque longè
Turba legentum prava facesset; [ 75 ]
At ultimi nepotes,
Et cordatior ætas
Judicia rebus æquiora forsitan
Adhibebit integro sinu.
Tum livore sepulto, [ 80 ]
Si quid meremur sana posteritas sciet
Roüsio favente.

Ode tribus constat Strophis totidémque Antistrophis unâ demum epodo clausis, quas, tametsi omnes nec versuum numero, nec certis ubique colis exactè respondeant, ita tamen secuimus, commodè legendi potius, quàm ad antiquos concinendi modos rationem spectantes. Alioquin hoc genus rectiùs fortasse dici monostrophicum debuerat. Metra partim sunt κατα   σχεσιν, partim απολελυμενα. Phaleucias quæ sunt, spondæum tertio loco bis admittunt, quod idem in secundo loco Catullus ad libitum fecit.

Jan. 23 1646
To John Rouse Oxford University Librarian

On a lost volume of my poems which he asked me to send him a second time that he might place it with my other works in the public library, an Ode.

Strophe I

Two-fold book rejoicing in a single dress, yet with a double paging, and bright with an unstudied elegance which in time past a youthful hand imparted — a diligent hand but hardly that of a seasoned poet — while the wandering author dallied now through the Ausonian shades, now over the British greenswards, ignorant of his people and aloof while he gave himself up to his native lute, and so anon with Daunian quill sounded his foreign strain to those about him, and scarce touched the ground with his foot.


Little book, who slyly stole you from your remaining fellows, when at my learned friend's continued requests you were proceeding upon your illustrious journey, sent from the city to the cradle of Thames, Cerulean father, where are the limpid fountains of the Muses, and where the sacred Bacchic dance is known to the world, and will for ever be famous while the heaven revolves through the endless lapse of time?

Strophe 2

Now what god or demigod, pitying the pristine genius of our race — if we have sufficiently atoned for our earlier faults and our ease, degenerate to the point of unmanly sloth — will put down this accursed strife among our citizens; and what divinity will call back sacred studies and the Muses now driven homeless from almost all the land of England; who with Apollo's quiver will transfix the unclean birds now threatening us with their talons; and who will drive the pest of Phineus far away from the river of Pegasus?


But, little book, though by the bad faith or carelessness of my messenger you have wandered from the company of your brothers, whether some den or lurking-place now confines you, where perhaps you are rubbed by the vile callous hand of a stupid huckster, yet be happy and rejoice; lo! new hope may shine again for you to escape from the depths of Lethe and be lifted on rowing wing to the heavenly courts of Jupiter.

Strophe 3

Rejoice, for Rouse, to whose care are entrusted the noble memorials of men, wishes you to be among his treasures; he complains that you are lacking from the full number promised him, and asks that you be sent. He wishes to place even you in the sacred inner chambers over which he himself presides, a faithful guardian of works eternal, a custodian of nobler treasures than the golden tripods and Delphic offerings over which Ion, illustrious son of Erectheus, had charge in the rich temple of his divine father — Ion, born of Actaean Creusa.


Therefore you shall go to view the pleasant groves of the Muses; you shall go again to the divine home of Phoebus where he dwells in the vale of Oxford, a home which he prefers to Delos and the cloven peak of Parnassus. Honored shall you go, since a distinguished lot is yours, and you are solicited by my propitious friend. There you shall be read among the exalted names of authors who were the ancient lights and true glory of the Greek and Latin peoples.


You, then, my labors, whatever my poor talents have brought forth, were hardly in vain. And now at last I bid you hope for placid rest, when envy shall have spent itself, for the blessed abodes which good Hermes and the watchful care of Rouse shall give you, where the coarse tongue of the vulgar shall never penetrate, and whence the crowd of uncouth readers shall ever be far off. But perhaps our remote descendants and an age of greater wisdom and purer heart will render fairer judgment on all things; then, thanks to Rouse, with envy in the tomb, a sane posterity will know if any merit is mine.

The ode consists of three strophes and as many antistrophes, closed at the end with an epode. While the strophes do not precisely correspond in the number of verses, or everywhere tally in the response of colon to colon, nevertheless I have divided them as above with an eye to propriety of reading rather than to observance of the ancient rules of versification. Yet in other respects this type of poem ought perhaps more correctly to have been called monostrophic. The verses are in part κατα schesin σχεσιν, in part απολελυμενα. There are two Phalaeceans that admit a spondee in the third foot, a form that Catullus freely used in the second foot.