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To Ægypt's impious king that head they bear,
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,
Yet ere proud Cæsar touch'd the Pharian Nile,
Nigh weary now, the waves instruct him well, 985
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!
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
He faid; and, gathering in his garment, bore
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.