Gambar halaman

Now the fair morning-ftar began to show The fign of day from Caffia's lofty brow,

And ev'n the dawn made fultry Ægypt glow. 565.
When from afar the marching troops appear,
Not in loose squadrons scatter'd here and there,
But one broad front of war, as if that day
To meet an equal force, and fight in just array.
While Cæfar thinks not the town-walls fecure, 570
He bars the palace-gates, compell'd t' endure
Th' inglorious fiege, and in a corner hide
Inclos'd, nor dares to the whole court confide.
In hafte he arms his friends; his anxious breast,
Now fir'd with fury, now with doubt depreft,
Much fears th' affault, yet more that fear difdains;
So when fome generous favage, bound with chains,
Is fhut within his den, he howls with rage,
And breaks his teeth against the maffy cage:
And thus, if by new weight of hills impos'd
Sicilian Ætna's breathing jaws were clos'd,
Ev'n thus th' imprifon'd god of fire would rave,
And drive his flames rebellowing round the cave.
Behold the man, who lately fcorn'd to dread
The fenate's army to just battle led,


The flower of Roman lords, and Pompey at their


Who, in a cause forbidden hope, could trust
That Providence for him fhould prove unjust,
Behold him now oppreft, forlorn of aid,
Driv'n to a house, and of a flave afraid!

He, whom rough Scythians had not dar'd abuse,
Nor favage Moors, who barbarously use




In fport, to try inhospitable arts

On ftrangers bound, their living mark for darts;
Though Rome's extended world, though India join'd
With Tyrian Gades feems a realm confin'd,
A space too fcanty to his vafter mind,
Now, like a boy or tender maid, he flies,
When fudden arms th' invaded works furprize;
He traverfes the court, each room explores,
His hope is all in bars and bolted doors.
Yet doubtful while he wanders here and there,
He leads the captive king his fate to fhare,
Or expiate that death the flaves for him prepare.
If darts or miffive flames fhall fail, he'll throw
Their fovereign's head against th' advancing foe.
So, when Medea fled her native clime,

And fear'd juft vengeance on her impious crime,
With ready fteel the cruel forceress stood,
To greet her father with her brother's blood,
Prepar'd his head, to ftop, with dire affright,
A parent's speed, and to affure her flight.

Yet Cæfar, that unequal arms might ceafe,
Sufpends his fury, and effays a peace.
A herald from the king is fent, t' affuage
His rebel fervants, and upbraid their rage,
And in their absent Tyrant's name t' enquire
The fecret author of this kindled fire.

But, fcornful of reproach, th' audacious crew
The facred laws of nations overthrew,
And for his speech the royal envoy flew.




[blocks in formation]

Inhuman deed! that fwells the guilty score
Of Ægypt's monsters, well increas'd before.
Not Theffaly, not Juba's savage train,
Pharnaces' impious troops, not cruel Spain,
Nor Pontus, nor the Syrtes' barbarous land,
Dar'd an attempt like this voluptuous band.

Th' attack is form'd, the palace closely pent; Huge javelins to the fhaken walls are fent,

A storm of flying spears; yet from below


No battering rams refiftless drive the blow,
No engine 's brought, no fires; the giddy croud
In parties roam, and with brute clamours loud,
In feveral bands their wasted strength divide,
And here and there to force an entrance try'd; 635
In vain, for Fortune fights on Cæsar's fide.



Then, where the palace 'midst furrounding waves Projects luxuriant, and their fury braves, The fhips too their united force apply, And swiftly hurl the naval war on high.

Yet, prefent every where with sword or fire,


Cæfar th' approaches guards, and makes the foes re


To all by turns he brings fuccessful aids,

Inverts the war, and, though besieg'd, invades.
Fireballs, and torches dreft with unctuous spoil 645
Of tar combuftible, and frying oil,

Kindled he launch'd against the fleet; nor flow
The catching flames inveft the fmouldering tow.

[blocks in formation]


The pitchy planks their crackling prey become ;
The painted fterns, 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 thooting 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 reft the favouring night,
But shipp'd his men, and fudden took his flight.
Pharos he feiz'd, an island heretofore,
When prophet Proteus Egypt'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 Justice on Pothinus' guilt demands.
Yet not as guilt, unmatch'd like his, requires,
Not by the shameful cross, or torturing fires, 675
Nor torn by ravenous beafts, the howling wretch




The fword difhonour'd did his head divide,
And by a fate like Rome's best son he dy'd.
'Arfinoe now, by well-concerted fnares
'Scap'd from the palace, to the foe repairs ;
The trufty Ganymede affifts her flight.
Then o'er the camp fhe claim'd a fovereign's right;
Her brother abfent, fhe affumes the sword,
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 fhade;
But think not yet the full atonement made,
Though Ægypt's king, though all the royal line
Should fall, thy murmuring ghoft would ftill 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 fubfide.
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.



Now while to quit the traiten'd mole he strove,
And to the vacant fhips the fight remove,
War's utmost terrors prefs on every fide;
Before the ftrand befieging navies ride ;

X 4



« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »