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Now falling crouds at once resign their breath,
But Cæsar, unconfin’d, and camp'd on high, Feels not the mischief of the sluggish sky : On hills sublime he breathes the purer air, And drinks no damps, nor poisonous vapours, there, 189 Yet hunger keen an equal plague is found; Famine and meagre want besiege him round: The fields, as yet, no hopes of harvest wear, Nor yellow stems disclose the bearded ear. The scatter'd vulgar search around the fields, 185 And pluck whate'er the doubtful herbage yields; Some strip the trees in every neighbouring wood, And with the cattle share their grasly food. Whate'er the softening flame can pliant make, Whate'er the teeth, or labouring jaws, can break; 190
What flesh, what roots, what herbs foe'er they get,
At length, impatient longer to be held
Some fled amaz’d, while vainly valiant some
But (what nor Cxsar, nor his fortune cou'd)
235 And stops the rapid victor in his course. Scæva! a name erewhile to fame unknown, And first distinguish'd on the Gallic Rhone; There seen in hardy deeds of arms to fine, He reach'd the honours of the Latian vine. Daring and bold, and ever prone to ill, Inur'd to blood, and active to fulfil The dictates of a lawless tyrant's will; Nor virtue's love, nor reason's laws he knew, But, careless of the right, for hire his sword he drew. 245 Thus courage by an impious cause is curst, And he that is the bravest, is the worst. Soon as he saw his fellows fhun the fight, And seek their safety in ignoble flight,
Can you, ye
Whence does, he said, this coward's terror grow, 250 This shame, unknown to Cæsar's arms till now?
flavith herd, thus tamely yield ? Thus fly, unwounded, from the bloody field ? Behold, where pild in flaughter'd beaps on high, Firm to the last, your brave companions lie ; 255 Then blush to think what wretched lives you save, From what renown you fly, from what a glorious grave. Though sacred fame, though virtue yield to fear, Let rage, let indignation, keep you here. We! we the weakest, from the rest are chose, 260 To yield a passage to our scornful foes! Yet, Pompey, yet, thou shalt be yet withstood, And stain thy victor's laurel deep in blood. With pride, 'tis true, with joy I should have dy'd, If haply. I had fall’n by Cæsar's side ; But fortune has the noble death deny'd. Then Pompey, thou, thou on my fame shalt wait, Do thou be witness, and applaud my fate. Now push we on, disdain we now to fear, A thousand wounds let every bosom bear, Till the keen sword be blunt, be broke the pointed
spear. And see the clouds of dusty battle rise ! Hark how the shout runs rattling through the skies! The distant legions catch the sounds from far, And Cæsar listens to the thundering war, 275 He comes, he comes, yet ere his foldier dies, Like lightning swift the winged warrior flies : Haste then to death, to conquest haste away ; Well do we fall, for Cæfar wins the day.
He spoke, and straight, as at the trumpet's found, 286 Rekindled warmth in every breast was found; Recall'd from flight, the youth admiring wait, To mark their daring fellow-foldier's fate, To see if haply virtue might prevail, And, ev’n beyond their hopes, do more than greatly fail.
High on the tottering wall he rears his head, 286 With slaughter'd carcases around him fpread; With nervous arms uplifting these he throws, These rolls oppreffive, on ascending foes. Each where materials for his fury lie,
29• And all the ready ruins arms supply : Even his fierce self he seems to aim below, Headlong to shoot, and dying dart a blow. Now his tough staff repels the fierce attack, And tumbling, drives the bold assailants back :
295 Now heads, now hands he lops, the carcase falls, Whilst the clench'd fingers gripe the topmost walls : Here stones he heaves ; the mass descending full, Crushes the brain, and shivers the frail scull. 299 Here burning pitchy brands he whirls around
j Infix’d, the flames hiss in the liquid wound, Deep drench'd in death, in flowing crimson drown'd.
And now the swelling heaps of flaughter'd foes, Sublime and equal to the fortress rose; Whence, forward, with a leap, at once he sprung, 305 And shot himself amidst the hostile throng. So daring, fierce with rage, so void of fear, Bounds forth the spotted pard, and scorns the hunter's spear, .