Gambar halaman

On every side proud palaces arise,

And lavish gold each common use supplies.
Their fathers frugal tables stand abhoṛr'd,
And Afia now and Afric are explor'd,
For high-pric'd dainties, and the citron board.
In filken robes the minion men appear,


Which maids and youthful brides should blush to wear.
That age by honeft poverty adorn'd,


Which brought the manly Romans forth, is scorn'd;
Where-ever aught pernicious does abound,

For luxury all lands are ranfack'd round,




And dear-bought deaths the finking state confound.
The Curii's and Camilli's little field,
To vaft extended territories yield;
And foreign tenants reap the harveft now,
Where once the great Dictator held the plow.
Rome, ever fond of war, was tir'd with ease;
Ev'n liberty had loft the power to please:
Hence rage and wrath their ready minds invade,
And want could every wickedness perfuade:
Hence impious power was first esteem'd a good,
Worth being fought with arms, and bought with blood:
With glory, tyrants did their country awe,

And violence prefcrib'd the rule to law.
Hence pliant fervile voices were constrain'd,
And force in popular affemblies reign'd;
Confuls and tribunes, with oppofing might,
Join'd to confound and overturn the right:
Hence fhameful magiftrates were made for gold,
And a base people by themselves were fold:






Hence flaughter in the venal field returns,
And Rome her yearly competitions mourns:
́Hence death unthrifty, careless to repay,
And ufury still watching for its day:
Hence perjuries in every wrangling court;
And war, the needy bankrupt's last resort.




Now Cæfar, marching swift with winged hafte, The fummits of the frozen Alps had paft; With vast events and enterprizes fraught, And future wars revolving in his thought." Now near the banks of Rubicon he stood; When lo! as he furvey'd the narrow flood, Amidst the dufky horrors of the night, A wondrous vifion stood confeft to fight. Her awful head Rome's reverend image rear'd, Trembling and fad the matron form appear'd; A towery crown her hoary temples bound, And her torn treffes rudely hung around: Her naked arms uplifted ere fhe spoke, Then groaning, thus the mournful filence broke. Presumptuous men! oh, whither do you run? Oh, whither bear you these my enfigns on? If friends to right, if citizens of Rome, Here to your utmost barrier are you come. She faid; and funk within the clofing fhade: Aftonishment and dread the chief invade; Stiff rofe his ftarting hair, he stood dismay'd, And on the bank his flackening steps were ftay'd. 365 O thou (at length he cry'd) whofe hand controls

The forky fire, and rattling thunder rolls;

E 3




[ocr errors]

Who from thy capitol's exalted height,

Doft o'er the wide-spread city caft thy fight!

Ye Phrygian gods, who guard the Julian, line! 370
Ye myfteries of Romulus divine!

Thou, Jove! to whom from young Ascanius came
Thy Alban temple, and thy Latian name:
And thou, immortal facred Veftal flame !
But chief, oh! chiefly, thou, majestic Rome!
My first, my great divinity, to whom
Thy ftill fuccefsful Cæfar am I come ;

Nor do thou fear the fword's deftructive rage,
With thee my arms no impious war fhall wage.
On him thy hate, on him thy curse bestow,
Who would perfuade thee Cæfar is.thy foe;
And fince to thee I confecrate my toil,



Acrofs the fwelling flood, purfued his way...

Oh favour thou my cause, and on thy foldier smile.
He faid; and ftraight, impatient of delay,


So when on fultry Libya's defert fand

The lion fpies the hunter hard at hand,
Couch'd on the earth the doubtful falvage lies,
And waits a while till all his fury rife;
His lafhing tail provokes his fwelling fides,
And high upon his neck, his mane with horror rides
Then if at length the flying dart infeft,

Or the broad fpear invade his ample breast,
Scorning the wound, he yawns a dreadful roar,
And flies like lightning on the hostile Moor.

While with hot skies the fervent fummer glows,

The Rubicon an humble river flows;




Through lowly vales he cuts his winding way,

And rolls his ruddy waters to the fea.


His bank on either fide a limit ftands,
Between the Gallic and Aufonian lands.



But stronger now the wintery torrent grows,
The wetting winds had thaw'd the Alpine fnows,
And Cynthia rifing with a blunted beam
In the third circle, drove her watery team,
A fignal fure to raife the fwelling stream.
For this, to ftem the rapid water's course,
First plung'd amidst the flood the bolder horse;
With ftrength oppos'd against the stream they lead,
While to the smoother ford, the foot with eafe fucceed.
The leader now had pafs'd the torrent o'er,
And reach'd fair Italy's forbidden fhore:
Then rearing on the hostile bank his head,
Here farewell peace and injur'd laws! (he said.)
Since faith is broke, and leagues are set aside,
Henceforth thou, goddefs Fortune, art my guide;
Let fate and war the great event decide.

He spoke; and, on the dreadful task intent,
Speedy to near Ariminum he bent;

To him the Balearic fling is flow,


And the fhaft loiters from the Parthian bow.

eager marches fwift he reach'd the town,
As the fhades fled, the finking ftars were gone,
And Lucifer the laft was left alone.

At length the morn, the dreadful morn arofe,
Whose beams the first tumultuous rage disclose:

E 4



Whether the ftormy south prolong'd the night,
Or the good gods abhorr'd the impious fight,
The clouds a while withheld the mournful light.
To the mid Forum on the foldier pafs'd.
There halted, and his victor enfigns plac'd :
With dire alarms from band to band around,
The fife, hoarfe horn, and rattling trumpets found.
The starting citizens uprear their heads;




The luftier youth at once forfake their beds ; 435
Hafty they fnatch the weapons, which among
Their houfhold-gods in peace had refted long;
Old bucklers of the covering hides bereft,
The mouldering frames disjoin'd and barely left;
Swords with foul ruft indented deep they take,
And useless fpears with points inverted shake.
Soon as their crefts the Roman eagles rear'd,
And Cæfar high above the rest appear'd;
Each trembling heart with secret horror shook,
And filent thus within themfelves they spoke.
Oh, hapless city! oh, ill-fated walls!
Rear'd for a cui fe fo near the neighbouring Gauls!
By us deftruction ever takes its way,

We first become each bold invader's prey;


Oh, that by fate we rather had been plac'd

Upon the confines of the utmost east!

The frozen north much better might we know,
Mountains of ice, and everlasting fnow.
Better with wandering Scythians choose to roam,
Than fix in fruitful Italy our home,

And guard thefe dreadful paffages to Rome.



« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »