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Translations from Vincent Bourne.
To the Rev. W.C. Unwin
The same for 1790
“Si te fortè meæ gravis uret sarcina chartæ, Abjicito.'
Hor. Lib. i. Epist. 13.
A. YOU told me, I remember, glory, built On selfish principles, is shame and guilt; The deeds, that men admire as half-divine, Stark naught, because corrupt in their design. Strange doctrine this! that without scruple tears The laurel, that the very lightning spares; Brings down the warrior's trophy to the dust, And eats into his bloody sword like rust.
B. I grant that, men continuing what they are, Fierce, avaricious, proud, there must be war: And never meant the rule should be applied To him that fights with justice on his side.
Let laurels, drench'd in pure Parnassian dews, Reward his-memory, dear to every muse, Who, with a courage of unshaken root, In honour's field advancing his firm foot, Plants it upon the line that Justice draws, And will prevail or perish in her cause. 'Tis to the virtues of such men, man owes His portion in the good that Heaven bestows. And wben recording History displays Feats of renown, though wrought in ancient days, Tells of a few stout hearts, that fought and died, Where duty placed them, at their country's side; The man, that is not moved with what he reads, That takes not fire at their heroic deeds, Unworthy of the blessings of the brave, Is base in kind, and born to be a slave.
But let eternal infamy pursue
A. 'Tis your belief the world was made for man; Kings do but reason on the self-same plan : Maintaining yours, you cannot theirs condemn, Who think, or seem to think, man made for them.
B. Seldom, alas ! the power of logic reigns
Oh! bright occasions of dispensing good,