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A double madness paints her cheeks by turns,
With fear she freezes, and with fury burns :
Sad breathing sighs with heavy accent go,
And doleful from her fainting bosom blow.
So when no more the storm sonorous sings,
But noisy Borcas hangs his weary wings:
In hollow groans the falling winds complain,
And murmur o'er the hoarse-resounding main.
Now by degrees the fire æthereal fail'd,
And the dull human sense again prevail'd; 310
While Phoebus, sudden, in a murky shade,
Hid the past vision from the mortal maid.
Thick clouds of dark oblivion rise between,
And snatch away at once the wondrous scene ;
Stretch'd on the ground the fainting priestess lies, 375
While to the Tripod, back, th' informing spirit flies.
Mean-while, fond Appius, erring in his fate,
Dream'd of long safety, and a neutral state ;
And, ere the great event of war was known,
Fix'd on Euboean Chalcis for his own.
Fool! to believe that power could ward the blow,
Or snatch thee from amidst the general woe!
In times like these, what god but death can save ?
The world can yield no refuge, but the grave.
Where struggling feas Charystos rude constrains, 329
And, dreadful to the proud, Rhamnusia reigns ;
Where by the whirling current barks are tost
From Chalcis to unlucky Auli's coast;
There shalt thou meet the gods appointed doom,
A private death, and long-remember'd tomb, 330
To other wars the victor now succeeds,
And his proud eagles from Iberia leads :
When the chang’d gods his ruin seem'd to threat,
And cross the long successful course of fate.
Amidst his camp, and fearless of his foes, 335
Sudden he saw where inborn dangers rose,
He saw those troops that long had faithful stood,
Friends to his cause, and enemies to good,
Whether the trumpet's found too long had ceas'd, 349
And Daughter slept in unaccustom'd rest:
Or whether, arrogant by mischief made,
The soldier held his guilt but half repayd:
Whilft avarice and hope of bribes prevail,
'Turn against Cæsar, and his cause, the scale,
And set the mercenary sword to sale.
Nor, e'er before, so truly could he read
What dangers strow those paths the mighty tread,
Then, first he found, on what a faithless base
Their nodding towers ambition's builders place: 350
He who fo late, a potent faction's head,
Drew in the nations, and the legions led;
Now stript of all, beheld in every hand
The warriors weapons at their own command;
Nor service now, nor safety they afford,
But leave him single to bis guardian sword.
Nor is this rage the grumbling of a croud,
That shun to tell their discontents aloud;
Where all with gloomy looks suspicious go,
And dread of an informer chokes their woe :
But, bold in numbers, proudly they appear,
And scorn the bashful mean restraints of fear.
For laws, in great rebellions, lose their end,
And all go free, when multitudes offend.
Among the rest, one thus: At length 'tis time 365
To quit thy cause, oh Cæsar! and our crime:
The world around for foes thou hast explor'd,
And lavishly expos'd us to the sword ;
To make thee great, a worthless crowd we fall,
Scatter'd o'er Spain, o'er Italy, and Gaul; 370
clime beneath the spacious sky,
Our leader conquers, and his soldiers die.
What boots our march beneath the frozen zone,
Or that loft blood which stains the Rhine and Rhone!
When scarr'd with wounds, and worn with labours
We come with hopes of recompence prepard,
Thou giv'st us war, more war, for our reward.
Though purple rivers in thy cause we fpilt,
And stain'd our horrid hands in every guilt;
With unavailing wickedness we toild,
In vain the gods, in vain the senate fpoil'd ;
Of virtue, and reward, alike beseft,
Our pious poverty is all we ’ve left.
Say to what height thy daring arms would rise?
If Rome 's too little, what can e'er suffice ?
Oh, fee at length! with pity, Cæsar, see,
These withering arms, there hairs grown white for thee,
In painful wars our joyless days have past,
Let weary age lie down on peace at last:
Give us, on beds, our dying limbs to lay, 390
And figh, at home, our parting souls away.
Nor think it much we make the bold demand,
And ask this wondrous favour at thy hand :
Let our poor babes and weeping wives be by,
To close our drooping eyelids when we die.
Be merciful, and let disease afford
Some other way to die, beside the sword;
Let us no more a common carnage burn,
But each be laid in his own decent urn.
Still wilt thou urge us, ignorant and blind, 400
To some more monstrous mischief yet behind ?
Are we the only fools, forbid to know
How much we may deserve by one sure blow ?
Thy head, thy head is ours, whene'er we please;
Well has thy war inspir'd such thoughts as these : 405
What laws, what oaths, can urge their feeble bands,
To hinder these determin'd daring hands ?
That Cæsar, who was once ordain'd our head,
When to the Rhine our lawful arms he led,
Is:how no more our chieftain, but our mate; 410
Guilt equal, gives equality of state.
Nor shall his foul ingratitude prevail,
Nor weigh our merits in his partial scale;
He views our labours with a scornful glance,
And calls our victories the works of chance :
415 But his proud heart, henceforth, shall learn to own, His power, his fate, depends on us alone. Yes, Cæsar, spite of all those rods that wait, With mean obsequious service, on thy state ;
Spite of thy gods, and thee, the war shall ceafe, 420 And we thy soldiers will command a peace.
He spoke, and fierce tumultuous rage inspir’d, The kindling legions round the camp were fir'd, And with loud cries their absent chief requir’d. Permit it thus, ye righteous gods, to be;
425 Let wicked hands fulfil your great decree ; And, since loit faith and virtue are no more, Let Cæsar's bands the public peace restore. What leader had not now been chill'd with fear, And heard this tumult with the last despair? 430 But Cæsar, form’d for perils hard and great, Headlong to drive, and brave opposing fate; While yet with fiercest fires their furies flanie, Secure, and fcornful of the danger, came. Nor was he wroth to see the madness rise,
435 And mark the vengeance threatening in their eyes; With pleasure could he crown their curst designs, With
rapes of matrons, and the spoils of shrines; Had they but ask'd it, well he could approve. The waste and plunder of Tarpeian Jove : 440 No mischief he, no sacrilege, denies, But would himself bestow the horrid prize. With joy he sees their souls by rage poffeft, Sooths and indulges every frantic breast, And only fears what reason may suggest. Still, Cæfar, wilt thou tread the paths of blood ? Wilt thou, thou singly, hate thy country's good! Shall the rude soldier first of war complain, And teach thee to be pitiful in vain ?