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Vessels of every fort and size she fits,
And speedy to the briny deep commits
The crazy hulk, that, worn with winds and tides,
Safe in the dock, and long neglected, rides,
She planks anew, and calks her leaky fides.
Now rose the morning, and the golden sun
With beams refracted on the ocean shone;
Clear was the sky, the waves from murmur cease. 786
And every ruder wind was hulh'd in peace;
Smooth lay the glasfy furface of the main,
And offer'd to the war its ample plain :
When to the destin'd stations all repair ;
Here Cæsar's powers, the youth of Phocis there.
78.5 Their brawny arms are bar'd, their oars they dip, Swift o'er the water glides the nimble ship; Feels the strong blow the well-compacted oak, And trembling fprings at each repeated stroke. Crooked in front the Latian navy stood,
790 And wound a bending crescent o'er the flood. With four full banks of oars advancing high, On either wing the larger vessels ply, While in the centre safe the lesser galliots lie. Brutus the first, with eminent command, 795 In the tall admiral is seen to stand; Six rows of lengthening pines the billows sweep, And heave the burden o'er the groaning deep.
Now prow to prow advance each hostile fleet, And want but one concurring stroke to meet, When peals of shouts and mingling clamours roar, And drown the brazen trump, and plunging oar. The brushing pine the frothy surface plies, While on their banks the lusty rowers rise i Each
Each brings the stroke back on his ample chest,
Then firm upon his seat he lights represt.
With clashing beaks the launching vessels meet,
And from the mutual shock alike retreat.
Thick clouds of flying shafts the welkin hide,
Then fall, and floating Itrow the ocean wide. 810
At length the stretching wings their order leave,
And in the line the mingling foe receive :
Then might be seen, how, dash'd from side to side,
Before the stemming vessel drove the tide ;
Still as each keel her foamy furrow plows,
Now back, now forth, the surge obedient flows.
Thus warring winds alternate rule maintain,
And this, and that way, roll the yielding main.
Maffilia's navy, nimble, clean, and light,
With best advantage seek or thun the fight; 820
With ready ease all answer to command,
Obey the helm, and feel the pilot's hand.
Not so the Romans ; cumbrous hulks they lay,
And slow and heavy hung upon the sea ;
Yet strong, and for the closer combat good,
They yield firm footing on th' unstable flood.
Thus Brutus saw, and to the master cries,
(The master in the lofty poop he spies,
Where streaming the Prætorian ensign flies,)
Still wilt thou bear away, still shift thy place, 830
And turn the battle to a wanton chace ?
Is this a time to play so mean a part,
To tack, to veer, and boast thy trifling art?
Bring to. The war shall hand to hand be try'd;
Oppose thou to the foe our ample fide,
And let us meet like men. The Chieftain said ;
The ready master the command obey'd,
And fide-long to the foe the ihip was laid.
Upon his waste fierce fall the thundering Greeks,
Fast in his timber stick their brazen beaks ; 840
Some lie by chains and grapplings strong compellid,
While others by the tangling oars are held :
The seas are hid beneath the closing war,
Nor need they cast the javelin now from far ;
With hardy strokes the combatants engage,
And with keen faulchions deal their deadly rage :
NIan against man, and board by board they lie,
And on those decks their arms defended die.
The rolling surge is stain’d around with blood,
And foamy purple swells the rising food;
The floating carcases the ships delay,
Hang on each keel, and intercept her way;
Hielpless beneath the deep the dying link,
And gore, with briny ocean mingling, drink.
Some, while amidit the tumbling waves they strive,
And struggling with destruction float alive, 856
Or by some ponderous beain are beaten down,
Or fink transfix'd by darts at random thrown.
That fatal day no javelin flies in vain,
Missing their mark, they wound upon the main, 860
It chanc'd, a warrior ship on Cæsar's fide,
By two Massilian foes was warmly ply'd;
But with divided force the meets th' attack,
And bravely drives the bold assailants back :
When from the lofty poop, where fierce he fought, 865
Tagus to seize the Grecian ancient fought.
But double death his daring hand repress’d,
One spear transfix'd his back, and one his breast,
And deadly met within his heaving cheft.
Doubtful awhile the flood was seen to stay, 870
At length the steely safts at once gave way ;
The fleeting life a twofold passage found,'
And ran divided from each streaming wound.
Hither his fate unhappy Telon léd,
To naval arts from early childhood bred ;
No hand the helm more skilfully could guide,
Or Item the fury of the boisterous tide :
He knew what winds should on the morrow blow,
And how the fails for safety to bestow;
Celestial signals well he could descry,
Could judge the radiant lights that shine on high,
And read the coming tempest of the sky.
Full on a Latian bark his beak he drives,
The brazen beak the shivering alder rives ;
When from some hostile hand, a Romın dart,
Deep piercing, trembled in his panting heart :
Yet still his careful hand its task supplies,
And turns the guiding rudder as he dies.
To fill his place bold Gyareus essay’d,
But passing from a neighbouring ship was stay’d: 899
Swift through his loins a fiying javelin struck,
And nail'd him to the vessel he forfook.
Friendlike, and side by side, two brethren fought,
Whom, at a birth, their fruitful mother brought ::
So like the lines of each resembling face,
The same tire features, and the same the grace,
That fondly erring oft their parents look,
And each, for each, alternately mistook :
But death, too soon, a dire distinction makes,
While one, untimely snatch'd, the light forsakes. 900
His brother's form the fad survivor wears,
And still renews his hapless parents tears :
Too sure they see their single hope remain,
And while they bless the living, mourn the flain.
He, the bold youth, as board and board they stand, gos
Fix'd on a Roman ship his daring hand;
Full on his arm a mighty blow descends,
And the torn limb from off the shoulder rends;
The rigid nerves are cramp'd with stiffening cold,
Convulsive grasp, and still retain their hold. 910
Nor sunk his valour by the pain deprest,
But nobler rage inflam’d his mangled breast :
His left remaining hand the combat tries,
And fiercely forth to catch the right he flies;
The same hard destiny the left demands,
And now a naked helpless trunk he stands.
Nor deigns he, though defenceless to the foe,
To seek the safety of the hold below;
For every coming javelin's point prepar’d,
He steps between, and stands his brother's guard; 920
Till fix'd, and horrid with a wood of spears,
A thousand deaths at others aim'd he wears.
Resolv'd at length his utmost force to exert,
His fpirits gather'd to his fainting heart,
And the last vigour rouz'd in every part;
Then nimble from the Grecian deck he rose,
And with a leap sprung fierce amidst his foes :