Odes of Anacreon - Ode 24


To all that breathe the air of heaven,
Some boon of strength has Nature given.
In forming the majestic bull,
She fenced with wreathed horns his skull;
A hoof of strength she lent the steed,
And winged the timorous hare with speed.
She gave the lion fangs of terror,
And, o'er the ocean's crystal mirror,
Taught the unnumbered scaly throng
To trace their liquid path along;
While for the umbrage of the grove,
She plumed the warbling world of love.

To man she gave, in that proud hour,
The boon of intellectual power.
Then, what, oh woman, what, for thee,
Was left in Nature's treasury?
She gave the beauty — mightier far
Than all the pomp and power of war.
Nor steel, nor fire itself hath power
Like woman, in her conquering hour.
Be thou but fair, mankind adore thee,
Smile, and a world is weak before thee!
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