Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920.  1920.
 
For the Eighth of December
 
George Meason Whicher
 
 
(The Birthday of Horace)
 
 
THIS festal day, two thousand times returning,
  Should light fresh fires on all the altar-sods.
His natal day! we should set incense burning,
  And call—if gods there were—upon the gods.
We, his good friends, right joyous should demean us,        5
Like Horace on the birthday of Mæcenas.
 
Eheu! we lack all Persian apparatus—
  The wine, the nard, the rose’s tardy bloom;
No troops of saucy home-bred slaves await us,
  Nor polished silver in the fire-lit room;        10
And as for lyres and lutes of sound convention,
The H. C. L. forbids their very mention.
 
Around our board what cronies he’d find missing:
  No Tyndaris, no Cyrus—and no quarrel!
No Telephus with his tantalizing kissing,        15
  No Cervius droning his long-winded moral.
No Thaliarch to push the lagging Massic!
What in our party, then, would he find classic?
 
There is one thing would save us from disaster,
  And make our feast right worthy of the day;        20
A fitting tribute to the lyric master—
  I mean, of course, an Ode by F. P. A.
Give us but that; ’twere the whole celebration
In Horace’s and in our estimation.

  The Nation
 

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