The Last Ode
Horace, Ode 31., Bk v.
Nov. 27, 8 B.C.
"The Eye of Allah"
AS WATCHERS couched beneath a Bantine oak,
Hearing the dawn-wind stir,
Know that the present strength of night is broke
Though no dawn threaten her
Till dawn's appointed hour - so Virgil died,
Aware of change at hand, and prophesied
Change upon all the Eternal Gods had made
And on the Gods alike -
Fated as dawn but, as the dawn, delayed
Till the just hour should strike -
A Star new-risen above the living and dead;
And the lost shades that were our loves restored
As lovers, and for ever. So he said;
Having received the word...
Maecenas waits me on the Esquiline:
Thither to-night go I....
And shall this dawn restore us, Virgil mine
To dawn? Beneath what sky?