Debits and Credits, by Rudyard Kipling

The Last Ode

(Nov. 27, B.C. 8) HORACE, Ode 31, Bk. V.

AS watchers couched beneath a Bantine oak.
 Hearing the dawn-wind stir.
Know that the present strength of night is broke
 Though no dawn threaten her
Till dawn’s appointed hour — so Virgil died.
Aware of change at hand, and prophesied
Change upon all the Eternal Gods had made
 And on the Gods alike — Fated as dawn but, as the dawn, delayed
 Till the just hour should strike —
A Star new — risen above the living and dead;
 And the lost shades that were our loves restored
As lovers, and for ever. So he said;
 Having received the word . . .
Maecenas waits me on the Esquiline:
 Thither to-night go I . . .
And shall this dawn restore us, Virgil mine.
 To dawn? Beneath what sky?

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:56