2.23.2012

Horace on Openings

Be not your opening fierce, in accents bold,
Like the rude ballad-monger's chaunt of old;
"The fall of Priam, the great Trojan King!
Of the right noble Trojan War, I sing!"
Where ends this Boaster, who, with voice of thunder,
Wakes Expectation, all agape with wonder?
The mountains labour! hush'd are all the spheres!
And, oh ridiculous! a mouse appears.
How much more modestly begins HIS song,
Who labours, or imagines, nothing wrong!
"Say, Muse, the Man, who, after Troy's disgrace,
In various cities mark'd the human race!"
Not flame to smoke he turns, but smoke to light,
Kindling from thence a stream of glories bright:

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