THE man, my friend, whose hands are pure
Needs not the shaft of tawny Moor;
Nor, armed with innocence of heart,
Asks he, the bow or venomed dart.
His way may lie o'er sandy plains,
'Mid hills, where desolation reigns,
By fabled stream, or haunted grot,
Secure in all, he needs them not.
For me, as, musing, late I strayed
in yonder Sabine forest's shade;
And, casting to the winds, all care,
Thought, but of Lalagé my fair;
A wolf; such horrid portent roves
Not all Apulia's warlike groves;
Not such, fierce Mauritania's coast,
Dry-nurse of monsters, e'er could boast;
Lone as I was, and quite unarmed,
Took flight, and left me all unharmed.
Place me henceforth, 'mid polar fields,
Where earth no vegetation yields;
'Neath cloud-wrapt skies, where not a breeze
Wafts health and fragrance through the trees;
Or, where the tropic's ceaseless blaze
Blasts all that basks beneath its rays;
I'll fear no ill; but think the while,
Of Lalagé's bewitching smile;
Dear to my heart, she still shall be,
My sweetly-speaking Lalagé.