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A Palinode. I-16 (From The Odes Of Horace)

Helen Leah Reed 1864 (Saint John, ) – 1926 (Cambridge, Massachusetts,)

Oh, daughter, lovelier than your lovely mother,
Whatever punishment you may desire
Give my offending verses; in the fire
Throw them, please you, or in the Adriatic.
Not Dindymene, no, nor even Apollo
So shakes the minds of priests within the shrine;
Nor so disturbing is the God of wine,
Nor Corybantes doubling their shrill cymbals,
As direful fits of anger that are frightened
Neither by Noric sword nor savage flame,
Nor by ship-wrecking seas, nor them can tame
Great Jupiter himself, with all his thunders.
To our original clay, they say Prometheus
Was forced to add a portion he had made
Of bits from every creature, and he laid
In human hearts rage from the furious lion.
With crushing ruin rage destroyed Thyestes;
And as a final cause rage may be known
Why mighty cities fell, quite overthrown,
And why upon their walls a sneering army
Its plowshare drags along. But keep your temper!
Me, too in my sweet youth a frenzied heart
Has tempted sorely, and its maddening dart
Has driven me to write impetuous verses
To change sad things for brighter I am seeking,
And since my offending verses I retract,
I beg of you in turn a friendly act,
That you again to me your heart give over.
 

 
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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Helen Leah Reed

Helen Leah Reed American teacher and author; a graduate of Radcliffe College: known for her children's books, which were entertaining as well as educative, the best remembered being her Brenda series of novels. more…

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