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Too soon, for thousands, shall the day be done,
Whose eyes no more shall see the setting fun.
Tumultuous speech th' impulsive rage confest, 75
And Rome's bad genius rofe in every breast.
With vile disgrace they blot their leader's name,
Pronounce ev'n Pompey fearful, flow, and tame,
And cry, He finks beneath his father's fame.
Some charge him with ambition's guilty views,
And think 'tis power, and empire, he pursues ;
That, fearing peace, he practisos delay,
And would, for ever, make the world obey.
While eaftern kings of lingering wars complain,
And wish to view their native realms again.
Thus when the gods are pleas'd to plague mankind,
Our own rash hands are to the task assign'd;
By them ordain'd the tools of Fate to be,
We blindly act the mischiefs they decree;
We call the battle, we the sword prepare,
And Rome's destruction is the Roman prayer.
• The general voice, united, Tully takes, And for the rest the sweet persuader speaks ; Tully, for happy eloquence renown'd,
95 With every Roman grace of language crown'd; Beneath whose rule and government rever'd, Fierce Catiline the peaceful axes feard : But now, detain'd amidst an armed throng, Where lost his arts, and useless was his tongue, The orator had borne the camp too long. He to the vulgar side his pleading draws, And thus enforces much their feeble cause :
For all that fortune for thy arms has done, For all thy fame acquir'd, thy battles won ; IOS This only boon her suppliant vows implore, That thou would'st deign to use her aid once more : In this, O Pompey! kings and chiefs unite, And, to chastise proud Cæsar, ask the fight. Shall he, one man against the world combin'd, Protract deftruction, and embroil mankind ? What will the vanquish'd nations murmuring say, Where once thy conquests cut their winged way; When they behold thy virtue lazy now, And see thee move thus languishing and flow? 115 Where are those fires that warm’d thee to be great? That stable soul, and confidence in Fate? Canst thou the gods ungratefully mistrust ? Or think the senate's sacred cause unjust ? Scarce are th' impatient ensigns yet withheld : Why art thou, thus, to victory compellid ? Doft thou Rome's chief, and in her cause, appear ? 'Tis hers to choose the field, and she appoints it here. Why is this ardor of the world withstood, The injur'd world, that thirsts for Cæsar's blood? 125 See ! where the troops with indignation stand, Each javelin trembling in an eager hand, And wait, unwillingly, the laft command. Resolve the senate then, and let them know, Are they thy servants, or their servant thou ? 130
Sore figh'd the listening chief, who well could read Some dire delusion by the gods decreed ; He saw the fates malignantly inclin'd, To thwart his purpose, and perplex his mind. U 2
Since thus (he cry'd) it is by all decreed,
Since my impatient friends and country need
My hand to fight, and not my head to lead;
Pompey no longer shall your fate delay,
But let pernicious Fortune take her way,
And waste the world on one devoted day.
But, oh! be witness thou, my native Rome,
With what a sad fore-boding heart I come ;
To thy hard fate unwillingly I yield,
While thy rash sons compel me to the field.
How easily had Cæsar been subdued,
And the blest victory been free from blood !
But the fond Romans cheap renown disdain,
They with for deaths to purple o'er the plain,
And reeking gore their guilty swords to stain.
Driv’n by my fleets, behold, the flying foe
At once the empire of the deep forego;
Here by necessity they seem to stand,
Coop'd-up within a corner of the land.
By famine to the last extremes compellid,
They snatch green harvests from th’unripen'd field; 155
And wish we may this only grace afford,
To let them die like soldiers, by the sword.
'Tis true, it seems an earnest of success,
That thus our bolder youth for action press :
But let them try their inmost hearts with care, 160
And judge betwixt true valour and raih fear;
Let them be sure this eagerness is right,
And certain fortitude demands the fight.
In war, in dangers, oft it has been known,
That fear has driven the headlong coward on.
Give ine the man, whose cooler soul can wait,
With patience, for the proper hour of Fate.
See what a prosperous face our fortunes bear!
Why should we trust them to the chance of war ?
Why must we risk the world's uncertain doom, 170
And rather choose to fights than overcome ?
Thou Goddess Chance ! who to my careful hand
Haft given this wearisome supreme command ;
If 'I have, to the task of empire just,
Enlarg’d the bounds committed to my trust; 175
Be kind, and to thyself the rule resume,
And, in the fight, defend the cause of Rome :
To thy own crowns, the wreath of conquest join ;
Nor let the glory, nor the crime, be mine.
But see! thy hopes, unhappy Pompey! fail : 180
We fight; and Cæsar's stronger vows prevail.
Oh, what a scene of guilt this day shall show!
What crouds fall fall, what nations be laid low!
Red fall Enipeus run with Roman blood,
And to the margin swell his foamy floud. 185
Oh! if our cause my aid no longer need,
Oh! máy my bosom be the first to bleed :
Me let the thrilling javelin foremost strike,
Since death and victory are now alike.
To-day, with ruin fhall my name be join'd, 190
Or stand the common curse of all mankind ;
By every woe the vanquish'd shall be known,
And every infamy the victor crown.
He spoke; and, yielding to th' impetuous croud,
The battle to his frantic bands allow'd.
So, when long vex'd by stormy Corus' blast,
The weary pilot quits the helm at last;
He leaves his veffel to the winds to guide,
And drive unsteady with the tumbling tide.
Loud through the camp the rising murmurs sound, 208
And one tumultuous hurry runs around;
Sudden their busy hearts began to beat,
And each pale visage wore the marks of Fate.
Anxious, they see the dreadful day is come,
That must decide the destiny of Rome.
205 This fingle vaft concern employs the host, And private fears are in the public loft. Should earth be rent, Mould darkness quench the sun, Should swelling seas above the mountains run, Should universal nature's end draw near, Who could have leisure for himself to fear ? With such consent his safety each forgot, And Rome and Pompey took up every thought.
And now the warriors all, with busy care, Whet the dull sword, and point the blunted spear; 215 With tougher nerves they string the bended bow, And in full quivers steely shafts beltow; The horseman sees his furniture made fit, Sharpens the fpur, and burnishes the bit; Fixes the rein, to check or urge his speed, And animates to fight the snorting steed. Such once the busy gods employments were, If mortal men to gods we may compare, When earth's bold sons began their impious war. The Lemnian power, with many a stroke, restor’d 225 Blue Neptune's trident, and stern Mars's sword;