Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[ocr errors]

But thou be hid, be safe from every fear,
While kings and nations in destruction share : 1090
Shun thou the crush of my impending fate,
Nor let it fall on thee with all its weight.
Then if the gods my overthrow ordain,
And the fierce victor chace me o'er the plain,
Thou shalt be left me ftill, my better part, 1095
To looth my cares, and heal my broken heart;
Thy open arins I shall be sure to meet,
And fly with pleasure to the dear retreat.

Stunn'd and astonish'd at the deadly stroke,
All sense, at first, the matron sad forsook.
Motion, and life, and speech, at length returns,
And thus in words of heaviest woe the mourns :
No, Pompey! 'tis not that my lord is dead,
**Tis not the hand of fate has robb'd

my
But like some base plebeian I am cursd, TI05
And by my cruel husband stand divorc'd.
But Cæsar bids us part ! thy father comes !
And we must yield to what that tyrant dooms !
Is thy Cornelia's faith fo poorly known,
That thou should't think her safer whilst alone ?
Are not our loves, our lives, our fortunes one ?
Canst thou, inhuman, drive me from thy side,
And bid my single head the coming storm abide ?
Do I not read thy purpose in thy eye?
Dost thou not hope, and wish, ev’n now to die? 1115
And can I then be safe? Yet death is free,
That last relief is not deny'd to me;
Though banish'd by thy harsh command I

gos Yet I will join thee in the realms below.

Thon

bed ;

}

Thou bidst me with the pangs of absence Atrive, 1120
And, till I hear thy certain loss, furvive.
My vow'd obedience, what it can, shall bear;
But, oh! my heart 's a woman, and I fear,
If the good gods, indulgent to my prayer,
Should inake the laws of Rome, and thee, their care ;
In distant climes I may prolong my woe, 1126
And be the last thy victory to know.
On some bleak rock that frowns upon the deep,
A constant watch thy weeping wife shall keep;
There from each fail misfortune shall I guess, 1130
And dread the bark that brings me thy success.
Nor Thall those happier tidings end my fear,
The vanquish'd foe may bring new danger near ;
Defenceless I may still be made a prize,
And Cæsar snatch me with him, as he flies :

1135
With ease my known retreat he shall explore,
While thy great name distinguishes the shore :
Soon shall the Lesbian exile stand reveal'd,
The wife of Pompey cannot live conceal'd.
But if th' o'er-ruling powers thy cause forsake, 1140
Grant me this only last request I make;
When thou shalt be of troops and friends bereft,
And wretched fight is all thy safety left;
Oh! follow not the dictates of thy heart,
But choose a refuge in some distant part. 1145
Where-e'er thy unauspicious bark shall steer,
Thy sad Cornelia's fatal shore forbear,
Since Cæsar will be sure to seek thee there.

So saying, with a groan the matron fled, And, wild with sorrow, left her holy bed : T150 R

She

}

}

She sees all lingering, all delays are vain,
And rushes headlong to possess the pain ;
Nor will the hurry of her griefs afford
One lait embrace from her forsaken lord.
Uncommon cruel was the fate, for two,
Whole lives had lasted long, and been so true,
To lose the pleasure of one last adieu.
In all the woful days that cross’d their bliss,
Sure never hour was known fo sad as this;
By what they suffer'd now, inur’d to pain,
They met all after-sorrows with disdain,
And fortune shot her envious shafts in vain.

Low on the ground the fainting dame is laid ;
Her train officious hasten to her aid :
Then gently rearing, with a careful hand, 1165
Support her, slow-descending o'er the strand.
There, while with eager arms she grasp?d the shore,
Scarcely the mourner to the bark they bore.
Not half this grief of heart, these pangs, she knew,
When from her native Italy The flew :

1170 Lonely, and comfortless, the takes her flight, Sad seems the day, and long the sleepless night. In vain her maids the downy couch provide, She wants the tender partner of her side. When weary oft in heaviness she lies,

1175 And dozy number steals upon

her

eyes ;
Fain, with fond arms, her lord she would have prest,
But weeps to find the pillow at her breast.
Though raging in her veins a fever burns,
Painful ihe lies, and restless oft she turns.

118
She

She shuns his sacred side with awful fear,
And would not be convinc'd he is not there.
But, oh! too soon the want shall be supply'd,
The gods too cruelly for that provide :
Again, the circling hours bring back her lord, 1185
And Pompey shall be fatally restord.

[blocks in formation]

LUCAN’S PHARSALI A.

BOOK

VI.

THE ARGUMENT.

Cæfar and Pompey lying now near Dyrrhachium,

after several marches and counter-marches, the former with incredible diligence runs a vast line, or work, round the camp of the latter. This, Pompey, after suffering for want of provisions, and a very gallant resistance of Scæva, a centurion of Cæsar's, at length breaks through. After this, Cæsar makes another unsuccessful attempt upon a part of Pompey's army, and then marches away into Theffaly: And Pompey, against the persuasion and counsel of his friends, follows him. After a description of the ancient inhabitants, the boundaries, the mountains, and rivers of Thessaly; the poet takes ocu casion, from this country being famous for witchcraft, to introduce Sextus Pompeius, inquiring the event of the civil war from the forceress Erictho.

N OW, near encamp’d, each on a neighbouring

height,
The Latian chiefs prepare for sudden fight.
The rival pair seem hither brought by fate,
As if the gods would end the dire debate,
And here determine of the Roman state.
Cæsar, intent upon his hostile son,
Demands a conquest here, and here alone ;
Neglects what laurels captive towns must yield,
And (corns the harvest of the Grecian field,

« ПредишнаНапред »