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But soon behold! the bolder youth returns, 1075 While, half consum'd, the smouldering carcase burns ; Ere yet the cleansing fire had melted down The fleshy muscles, from the firmer bone. He quench'd the relics in the briny wave, And hid them, hasty, in a narrow grave : 1080 Then with a stone the sacred duft he binds, To guard it from the breath of scattering winds : And left fome heedless mariner should come, And violate the warrior's humble tomb; Thus with a line the monument he keeps, 1085 - Beneath this stone the once great Pompey sleeps." Oh fortune ! can thy malice swell so high? Canst thou with Cæsar's every wish comply? Must he, thy Pompey once, thus meanly lie ? But oh! forbear, mistaken man, forbear! 1090 Nor dare to fix the mighty Pompey there : Where there are seas, or air, or earth, or skies, Where-e'er Rome's empire stretches, Pompey lies: Far be the vile memorial then convey'd ! Nor let this stone the partial gods upbraid.
1095, Shall Hercules all Oeta's heights demand, And Nysa's hill, for Bacchus only, stand; While one poor pebble is the warrior's doon, That fought the cause of liberty and Rome? If fate decrees he must in Ægypt lie, Let the whole fertile realm his grave supply : Yield the wide country to his awful shade, Nor let us bear on any part to tread, Fearful to violate the mighty dead.
But if one stone must bear the sacred name, 1105
Roman knight's triumphal car. With these, the mighty Pontic king be plac'd, And every nation of the vanquish'd east : Tell with what loud applause of Rome, he drove Thrice his glad wheels to Capitolian Jove : Tell too, the patriot's greatest, best renown, Tell, how the victor laid his empire down, And chang'd his armour for the peaceful gown. But ah! what marbles to the talk sufrice! Instead of these, turn, Roman, turn thy eyes ; Seek the known name our Fasti us'd to wear, The noble mark of many a glorious year; The name that wont the trophy'd arch to grace, And ev’n the temples of the gods found place : Decline thee lowly, bending to the ground, And there that name, that Pompey may be found. 1125
Oh fatal land! what curse can I bestow, Equal to those, we to thy mischiefs owe ? Well did the wise Cumæan maid of yore Warn our Hesperian chiefs to Thun thy fhore. Forbid, just heavens! your dews to bless the soil, 1130 And thou withhold thy waters, fruitful Nile! Like Ægypt, like the land of Æthiops, burn, And her fat earth to sandy deserts turn. Have we, with honours, dead Osiris crown'd, And mourn'd him to the tinkling timbrel's found;
Receiv'd her Isis to divine abodes,
1165 Or visit fultry Thebes, or fruitful Nile :
Or if the merchants drawn by hopes of gain,
Perhaps fate wills, in honour to thy fame, No marble shall record thy mighty name. So may thy duft, ere long, be worn away, 1185 And all remembrance of thy wrongs decay: Perhaps a better
shall come, when none Shall think thee ever laid beneath this stone; When Ægypt's boast of Pompey's tomb shall prove As unbeliev'd a tale, as Crete relates of Jove.
ARGUMENT, The poet having ended the foregoing book with the
death of Pompey, begins this with his Apotheofis ; from thence, after a short account of Cato's gathering up the relicks of the battle of Pharsalia, and transporting them to Cyrene in Africa, he goes on to describe Cornelia’s passion upon the death of her husband. Amongst other things, the informs his fon Sextus of his father's last commands, to continue the war in defence of the commonwealth. Sextus sets fail for Cato's camp, where he meets his elder brother Cn. Pompeius, and acquaints him with the fate of their father. Upon this occasion the poet describes the rage of the elder Pompey, and the disorders that happened in the camp, both which Cato appeases. To prevent any future inconvenience of this kind, he refolves to put them upon action, and in order to that to join with Juba. After a description of the Syrts, and their dangerous passage by them, follows Cato's Ypeech to encourage the fol.. diers to march through the deserts of Libya; then an account of Libya, the deserts, and their march. In the middle of which is a beautiful digression concerning the temple of Jupiter-Ammon, with Labienus's persuasion to Cato to quire of the oracle concerning the event of the war, and Cato's famous answer. From thence, after a warm elogy upon Cato, the author goes on to the account of the original of serpents in Afric; and this, with the description of the various kinds, and the several deaths of Bb