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All we can wish for, to secure success,
539 With large advantage, here, our arms poffess : See, in the ranks of every common band, Where Rome's illustrious names for soldiers stand. Could the great dead revisit life again, For us, once more, the Decii would be Nain; 535 The Curii, and Camilli, might we boast, Proud to be mingled in this noblest host. If men, if multitudes, can make us strong, Behold what tribes unnumber'd march along! Where-e'er the Zodiac turns its radiant round, Where-ever earth, or people, can be found ; To us the nations issue forth in swarms, And in Rome's cause all human nature arms. What then remains, but that our wings inclose, Within their ample folds, our shrinking foes ? 545 Thousands, and thousands, useless, may we spare ; Yon handful will not half employ our war. Think, from the summit of the Roman wall, You hear our loud-lamenting matrons call; Think with what tears, what lifted hands, they fue, 550 And place their last, their only hopes in you. Imagine kneeling age before you spread, Each hoary reverend majestic head; Imagine, Rome herself your aid implor’d, To save her from a proud imperious lord.
555 Think how the present age, how that to come, What multitudes from you expect their doom : On your fuccefs dependent all rely; These to be born in freedom, those to die.
Think (if there be a thought can move you more, 568
you behold (were such a posture meet)
570 Thus while he spoke, the faithful legions round, With indignation caught the mournful sound; Falsely, they think, his fears those dangers view, But vow to die, ere Cæsar proves them true. What differing thoughts the various hosts incite,
575 And urge their deadly ardour for the fight! Those bold ambition kindles into rage, And these their fears for liberty engage. How shall this day the peopled earth deface, Prevent mankind, and rob the growing race ! 580 Though all the years to come should roll in peace, And future ages bring their whole increase ; Though nature all her genial powers employ, All shall not yield what these curst hands destroy. Soon shall the greatness of the Roman name, 585 To unbelieving ears, be told by fame; Low shall the mighty Latian towers be laid, And ruins crown our Alban mountain's head; While yearly magistrates, in turns compelld To lodge by night upon th' uncover'd field, 590
Shall at old doting Numa's laws repine,
620 Our growing empire ran its rapid course!
Still every year
with new success was crown'd, And conquering chiefs enlarge the Latian bound; Till Rome stood mistress of the world confess'd, From the gray orient, to the ruddy west; From pole to pole, her wide dominions run, Where-e'er the stars, or brighter Phæbus fhone; As heaven and earth were made for her alone. But now, behold, how fortune tears away The gift of ages in one fatal day! One day shakes off the vanquish'd Indians chain, And turns the wandering Dää loose again : No longer shall the victor consul now Trace our Sarmatian cities with the plow : Exulting Parthia shall her slaughters boast, 635 Nor feel the vengeance due to Crassus' ghost. While liberty, long wearied by our crimes, Forsakes us for some better barbarous climes; Beyond the Rhine and Tanaïs the flies, To snowy mountains, and to frozen skies; While Rome, who long pursued that chiefest good, O’er fields of Naughter, and through seas of blood, In slavery, her abject state shall mourn, „Nor dare to hope the goddess will return. Why were we ever free? Oh why has heaven A short-liv'd transitory blessing given ? Of thee, first Brutus, juftly we complain! Why didst thou break thy groaning country's chain, And end the proud lascivious tyrant's reign? Why did thy patriot hand on Rome bestow Laws, and her consuls righteous rule to know?
In servitude more happy had we been,
rays adorn'd, with thunders arm’d they stand,