Franklin P. Adams

Here you will find the Poem Propertius's Bid For Immortality of poet Franklin P. Adams

Propertius's Bid For Immortality

Horace: Book III, Ode 3

"Carminis interea nostri redæmus in orbem---"

Let us return, then, for a time, 
To our accustomed round of rhyme; 
And let my songs' familiar art 
Not fail to move my lady's heart.

They say that Orpheus with his lute 
Had power to tame the wildest brute; 
That "Vatiations on a Theme" 
Of his would stay the swiftest stream.

They say that by the minstrel's song 
Cithæron's rocks were moved along 
To Thebes, where, as you may recall, 
They formed themselves to frame a wall.

And Galatea, lovely maid, 
Beneath wild Etna's fastness stayed 
Her horses, dripping with the mere, 
Those Polypheman songs to hear.

What marvel, then, since Bacchus and 
Apollo grasp me by the hand, 
That all the maidens you have heard 
Should hang upon my slightest word?

Tænerian columns in my home 
Are not; nor any golden dome; 
No parks have I, nor Marcian spring, 
Nor orchards--nay, nor anything.

The Muses, though, are friends of mine; 
Some readers love my lyric line; 
And never is Callipoe 
Awearied by my poetry.

O happy she whose meed of praise 
Hath fallen upon my sheaf of lays! 
And every song of mine is sent 
To be thy beauty's monument.

The Pyramids that point the sky, 
The House of Jove that soars so high, 
Mausolus' tomb--they are not free 
From Death his final penalty.

For fire or rain shall steal away 
The crumbling glory of their day; 
But fame for wit can never die, 
And gosh! I was a gay old guy!