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The pitchy planks their crackling prey become;
The painted sterns, and rowers feats confume.
There, hulks half-burnt fink in the main; and here,
Arms on the waves and drowning men appear.
Nor thus fuffic'd, the flames from thence aspire,
And feize the buildings with contagious fire.
Swift o'er the roofs by winds increas'd, they fly; 655
So fhooting meteors blaze along the sky,
And lead their wandering course with sudden glare,
By fulphurous atoms fed in fields of thinneft air.
Affrighted crouds the growing ruin view;
To fave the city from the fiege they flew,
When Cæfar, wont the lucky hour to chufe
Of fudden chance in war, and wifely use,
Loft not in flothful rest the favouring night,
But shipp'd his men, and sudden took his flight.
Pharos he feiz'd, an island heretofore,
When prophet Proteus Ægypt's fceptre bore,
Now by a chain of moles contiguous to the shore.
Here Cæfar's arms a double use obtain ;
Hence from the ftraiten'd foe he bars the main,
While to his friends th' important harbour lies
A fafe retreat, and open to fupplies.
Nor longer now the doom fufpended stands,
Which Juftice on Pothinus' guilt demands.
Yet not as guilt, unmatch'd like his, requires,
Not by the shameful crofs, or torturing fires, 675
Nor torn by ravenous beasts, the howling wretch
The fword difhonour'd did his head divide,
And by a fate like Rome's best fon he dy'd.
Arsinoe now, by well-concerted snares
'Scap'd from the palace, to the foe repairs ;
The trufty Ganymede affifts her flight.
Then o'er the camp she claim'd a sovereign's right;
Her brother abfent, fhe affumes the fword,
And frees the tyrant from his houshold lord;
By her juft hand Achillas meets his fate,
Rebel accurs'd! in blood and mischief great!
Another victim, Pompey, to thy shade;
But think not yet the full atonement made,
Though Egypt's king, though all the royal line
Should fall, thy murmuring ghoft would still repine;
Still unreveng'd thy murder would remain,
Till Cæfar's purple life the fenate's fwords fhall ftain.
Nor does the fwelling tempeft yet subside. The chief remov'd that did its fury guide, To the fame charge bold Ganymede fucceeds, Profperous awhile in many hardy deeds. So long th' event of war in balance lay, So great the dangers of that doubtful day, That Cæfar from that day alone might claim Immortal wreaths, and all the warrior's fame. · 700
Now while to quit the ftraiten'd mole he strove,
And to the vacant fhips the fight remove,
War's utmost terrors prefs on every side;
Before the ftrand befieging navies ride;
Behind, the troops advance. No way is seen
T'efcape, or fcarce a glorious death to win.
No room with flaughter'd foes to ftrew the plain,
And bravely fall amidst a pile of flain.
A captive to the place he now appears,
Doubtful if death should move his hope, or fears. 710
In this distress a sudden thought inspir'd
His hardy breaft, by great examples fir'd;
Bold Scæva's action he to mind recalls,
And glory won near fam'd Dyrrachium's walls;
Where, whilft his men a doubtful fight maintain, 715
And Pompey strove the batter'd works to gain,
Amidst a field of foes, that hemm'd him round,
Alone the brave Centurion kept his ground.
Here the original poem breaks off abruptly, having been left unfinished by the author.
Anacreon, Ode III.
The Story of Pyramus and Thisbe
The Triumph of Love