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In terrible array, the blue-ey'd maid
The horrors of her Gorgon fhield display'd ;
Phoebus his once victorious shafts renew'd,
Disus’d, and rusty with the Python's blood; 230
While, with unweary'd toil, the Cyclops strove
To forge new thunders for imperial Jove.
Nor wanted then dire omens; to declare
What curst events Theffalia's plains prepare;
Black storms oppos'd against the warriors lay, 235
And lightnings thwarted their forbidden way;
Full in their eyes the dazzling fashes broke,
And with amaze their troubled fenses ftroke:
Tall fiery columns in the skies were seen,
With watery Typhons interwove between..
Glancing along the bands swift meteors shoot,
And from the helm the plumy honours cut;
Sudden the flame dissolves the javelin's head,
And liquid runs the shining steely blade.
Strange to behold! their weapons disappear, 245
While fulphurous odour taints the smoking air:
The standard, as unwilling to be borne,
With pain from the tenacious earth is torn:
Anon, black swarms hang clustering on its height,
And press the bearer with unwonted weight. 250
Big drops of grief each sweating marble wears,
And Parian gods and heroes, stand in tears.
No more th' aufpicious victim tamely dies,
But furious from the hallow'd fane he fies;
Breaks off the rites with prodigies prophane, 255
And bellowing fecks Emathia's fatal.plain:
But who, o Cæfar! who were then thy gods? Whom didst thou summon from their dark abodes? The Furies liften'd to thy grateful vows, And dreadful to the day the powers of hell arose. 260
Did then the monsters, fame records, appear ? Or were they only phantoms form’d by fear ? Some saw the moving mountains meet like foes, And rending earth new gaping caves disclose. Others beheld a fanguine torrent take
265 Its purple course, through fair Bæbeïs' lake; Heard each returning night, portentous, yield Loud fhouts of battle on Pharfalia's field. While others thought they faw the light decay, And sudden shades opprefs the fainting day; 270 Fancy'd wild horrors in each other's face, And faw the ghosts of all their bury'd race; Beheld them rise and glare with pale affright, And stalk around them, in the new-made night. Whate'er the cause, the croud, by fate decreed, To make their brothers, sons, and fathers bleed, Consenting, to the prodigies agreed; And, while they thirst impatient for that blood, Bless these nefarious omens all as good.
But wherefore should we wonder, to behold 280 That death's approach by madness was foretold ? Wild are the wandering thoughts which last survive ; And these had not another day to live. These shook for what they faw; while distant climes, Unknowing, trembled for Emathia's crimes, Where Tyrian Gades sees the setting fun, And where Araxes' rapid waters run,
From the bright orient to the glowing west,
In every nation, every Roman breast
The terrors of that dreadful day confeft.
Where Aponus first springs in smoky steam, 291
And full Timavus rolls his nobler stream ;
Upon a hill that day, if fame be true,
A learned augur fat the skies to view :
'Tis come, the great event is come (he cry'd) 295
Our impious chiefs their wicked war decide.
Whether the seer observ'd Jove's forky flame,
And mark'd the firmament's discordant frame;
Or whether, in that gloom of sudden night,
The struggling sun declar'd the dreadful fight: 300
From the first birth of morning in the skies,
Sure never day like this was known to rise ;
In the blue vault, as in a volume spread,
Plain might the Latian destiny be read.
Oh Rome! oh people, by the gods assign'd
To be the worthy masters of mankind !
On thee, the heavens with all their signals wait,
And suffering nature labours with thy fate.
When thy great names to latest times convey'd,
By fame, or by my verse immortal made,
In free-born nations justly shall prevail,
And rouze their passions with this noblest tale ;
How shall they fear for thy approaching doom,
As if each past event were yet to come!
How shall their bofoms swell with vast concern, 315
And long the doubtful chance of war to learn!
Ev’n then the favouring world with thee shall join,
And every honeft heart to Pompey's cause incline.
Descending, now, the bands in just array, From burnish'd arms reflect the beamy day;
In an ill hour they spread the fatal field,
And with portentous blaze the neighbouring mountains
On the left wing, bold Lentulus, their head,
The first and fourth selected legions led :
Luckless Domitius, vainly brave in war;
Drew forth the right with unaufpicious care:
In the mid battle daring Scipio fought,
With eight full legions from Cilicia bronight.
Submissive here to Pompey's high command,
The warrior undiftinguith'd took his stand,
Referv’d to be the chief on Libya's burning sand.
Near the low marshes and Enipeus' flood,
The Pontic horse and Cappadocian stood.
While kings and tetrarchs proud, a purple train,
Leigemen and vassals to the Latian reign,
Poffess'd the rising grounds and drier plain.
Here troops of black Numidians scour the field,
And bold Iberians narrow bucklers wield;
Here twang. the Syrian and the Cretan bow,
And the fierce Gauls provoke their well-known foe. 340
Go, Pompey, lead to death th' unnumber'd hoft,
Let the whole human race at once be loft.
Let nations, upon nations, heap the plain,
And tyranny want subjects for its reign.
Cæsar, as chance ordain'd, that morn decreed 345
The spoiling bands of foragers to lead ;
When, with a sudden, but a glad surprize,
The foc descending struck his wondering eyes.
Eager, and burning for unbounded fway,
Long had he borne the tedious war's delay; 350
Long had he struggled with protracting time,
That sav'd his country, and deferr'd his crime:
At length he sees the wish’d-for day is come,
To end the strife for liberty, and Rome ;
Fate's dark mysterious threatenings to explain, 355
And eafe th' impatience of ambition's pain.
But, when he saw the vast event fo nigh,
Unusual horror damp'd his iinpious joy ;
For one cold moment funk his heart suppress’d,
And doubt hung heavy on his anxious breast.
Though his past fortunes promise now fuccess,
Yet Pompey, from his own, expects no less.
His changing thoughts revolve with various cheer,
While these forbid to hope, and those to fear.
At length his wonted confidence returns, 365
With his first fires his daring bosom burns ;
As if secure of victory, he stands,
And fearless thus bespeaks the listening bands :
Ye warriors ! who have made your Cæsar great, On whom the world, on whom my fortunes wait, 370 To-day, the gods, whate’er you with, afford, And fate attends on the deciding sword. By your firm aid alone your leader stands, And trusts his all to your long-faithful hands. This day shall make our promis'd glories good, 375 The hopes of Rubicon's distinguishid flood. For this blest morn we trusted long to fate, Deferr'd our fame, and bad the triumph wait.