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To Ægypt's impious king that head they bear,
That laurels us'd to bind, and monarchs fear.

Those facred lips, and that commanding tongue,
On which the listening Forum oft has hung;
That tongue which could the world with ease restrain,
And ne'er commanded war or peace in vain ;
That face, in which success came smiling home, 93®
And doubled every joy it brought to Rome;
Now pale and wan, is fix'd upon a spear,
And borne, for public view, aloft in air.
The tyrant, pleas'd, beheld it; and decreed
To keep this pledge of his detested deed.

935 His Naves straight drain the serous parts away, And arm the wasting flesh against decay ; Then drugs and gums through the void vessels pass, And for duration fix the stiffening mass. Inglorious boy ! degenerate and base!

940 Thou last and worst of the Lagæan race ! Whose feeble throne, ere long, shall be compellid, To thy lascivious fifter's reign to yield : Canst thou, with altars, and with rites divine, The rash vain youth of Macedon inshrine; 945 Can Ægypt such stupendous fabrics build; Can her wide plains with pyramids be fillid; Canst thou, beneath such monumental pride, Thy worthless Ptolomæan fathers hide; While the great Pompey's headless trunk is tofs'd 950 In scorn, unbury'd, on thy barbarous coast? Was it so much? Could not thy care fuffice, To keep him whole, and glut his father's eyes ?




In this, his fortune ever held the same,
Still wholly kind, or wholly cross, she came.
Patient, his long prosperity she bore,
But kept this death, and this sad day, in store.
No meddling god did e'er his power employ,
To ease his sorrows, or to damp his joy ;
Unmingled came the bitter and the sweet,
And all his good and evil was complete.
No sooner was he struck by fortune's hand,
But, see! he lies unbury'd on the sand ;
Rocks tear him, billows toss him up and down,
And Pompey by a headless trunk is known.

Yet ere proud Cæsar touch'd the Pharian Nile,
Chance found his mangled foe a funeral pile :
In pity half, and half in scorn, she gave
A wretched, to prevent a nobler grave.
Cordus, a follower long of Pompey's fate,
(His quæstor in Idalian Cyprus late)
From a close cave, in covert where he lay,
Swift to the neighbouring thore betook his way :
Safe in the shelter of the gloomy shade,
And by strong ties of pious duty sway'd,
The fearless youth the watery strand survey’d.
'Twas now the thickest darkness of the night,
And waining Phoebe lent a feeble light;
Yet foon the glimmering goddess plainly shew'd
The paler corse, amidst the dusky flood.
The plunging Roman flies to its relief,
And with strong arms infolds the floating chief.
Long (trove his labour with the tumbling main,
And dragg’d the sacred burden on with pain.





Nigh weary now, the waves instruct him well, 985
To seize th' advantage of th' alternate swell :
Borne on the mounting surge, to fhore he flies,
And on the beach in safety lands his prize.
There o'er the dead he hangs with tender care,
And drops in every gaping wound a tear :

990 Then, lifting to the gloomy skies his head, Thus to the stars, and cruel gods, he pray'd :

See, fortune! where thy Pompey lies! and oh!
In pity, one, last little boon bestow.
Hie asks no heaps of frankincense to rise,

No eastern odours to perfume the skies;
No Roman necks his patriot corse to bear,
No reverend train of statues to appear ;
No pageant shows his glories to record,
And tell the triumphs of his conquering sword; 1000
Noinftruments in plaintive notes to sound.
No legions säd to march in folemn round;
A bier, no better than the vulgar need,
A little wood the kindling flaine to feed,
With some poor hand to tend the homely fire, 1005
Is all, these wretched relicks now require.
Your wrath, ye powers ! Cornelia's hand denies;
Let that, for every other loss. suffice;
She takes not her last leave, she weeps not here,
And yet she is, ye gods ! she is too near.

Thus while he spoke, he saw where through the shade A slender flame its gleaming light display'd; There, as it chanc'il, abandon'd and unmourn’d, A poor neglected body lonely burn'd.




He feiz'd the kindled brands; and oh! (he said) 1015
Whee'er thou art, forgive me, friendless shade;
And though unpity'd and forlorn thou lie,
Thyself a better office shalt supply.
If there be fense in fouls departed, thine
To my great leader shall her rites refign:
With humble joy shall quit her meaner claim,
And blush to burn, when Pompey wants the flame.

He faid; and, gathering in his garment, bore
The glowing fragments to the neighbouring shore.
There foon arriv'd, the noble trunk he found, 1025
Half wash'd into the flood, half reiting on the ground.
With diligence his hands a trench prepare,
Fit it around, and place the body there.
No cloven oaks in lofty order lic,
To lift the great patrician to the sky:

1030 By chance a few poor planks were hard at hand, By fome late shipwreck cast upon the strand; These pious Cordus gathers where they lay, And plants about the chief, as best he may.

Now while the blaze began to rise around, 1035 The youth fat mournful by upon the ground : And ah (he cry'd) if this unworthy flame Disgrace thy great, majestic, Roman name; If the rude outrage of the storiny seas Seem better to thy ghost, than rites like these ; 104.0 Yet let thy injur'd shade the wrong forget, Which duty and officious zeal commit. Fate seems itself, in my excuse to plead, And thy hard fortune justifies my deed,


I only wish'd, nor is that wish in vain,

1045 To save thee from the monsters of the main ; From vultures claws, from lions that devour, From mortal malice, and from Cæfar's power, No longer, then, this humbler flame withstand ; "Tis lighted to thee by a Roman hand.

rogo If e'er the god's permit unhappy me, Once more, thy lov'd Hesperian land to see, With me thy exil'd ashes shall return, And chaste Cornelia give thee to thy urn. Mean-while, a signal shall thy care provide, 1055 Some future Roman votary to guide; When with due rites thy fate he would deplore, And thy pale head to these thy limbs restore : Then shall he mark the witness of my stone, And, taught by me, thy sacred ghost atone.

He spoke; and straight, with busy, pious hands, Heap'd on the smoaking corse the scatter'd brands, Slow funk amidst the fire the wasting dead, And the faint flame with dropping marrow fed. Now 'gan the glittering stars to fade away, 1065 Before the rosy promise of the day, When the pale youth th' unfinish'd rites forsook, And to the covert of his cave betook,

Ah! why thus rafhly would thy fears disclaim That only deed, which must record thy name? 1070 Ev'n Cæsar's self shall just applause bestow, And praise the Roman that inters his foe. Securely tell him where his son is laid, And he shall give thee back his mangied head.



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