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Aye, you heap
On baseness loss. The hues of old
Revisit not the wool we steep;
And genuine worth, expell'd by fear,
Returns not to the worthless slave.
Break but her meshes, will the deer
Assail you? then will he be brave
Who once to faithless foes has knelt;
Yes, Carthage yet his spear will fly,
Who with bound arms the cord has felt,
The coward, and has fear'd to die.
He knows not, he, how life is won;
Thinks war, like peace, a thing of trade!
Great art thou, Carthage! mate the sun,
While Italy in dust is laid!”
His wife's pure kiss he waved aside,
And prattling boys, as one disgraced,
They tell us, and with manly pride
Stern on the ground his visage placed.
With counsel thus ne'er else aread
He nerved the fathers' weak intent,
And, girt by friends that mourn'd him, sped
Into illustrious banishment.
Well witting what the torturer's art
Design'd him, with like unconcern
The press of kin he push'd apart
And crowds encumbering his return,
As though, some tedious business o'er
nd brave good sires approve:
Strong bullocks, fiery colts, attest
Their fathers' worth, nor weakling dove
Is hatch'd in savage eagle's nest.
But care draws forth the power within,
And cultured minds are strong for good:
Let manners fail, the plague of sin
Taints e'en the course of gentle blood.
How great thy debt to Nero's race,
O Rome, let red Metaurus say,
Slain Hasdrubal, and victory's grace
First granted on that glorious day
Which chased the clouds, and show'd the sun,
When Hannibal o'er Italy
Ran, as swift flames o'er pine-woods run,
Or Eurus o'er Sicilia's sea.
Henceforth, by fortune aiding toil,
Rome's prowess grew: her fanes, laid waste
By Punic sacrilege and spoil,
Beheld at length their gods replaced.
Then the false Libyan own'd his doom:—
“Weak deer, the wolves' predestined prey,
Blindly we rush on foes, from whom
'Twere triumph won to steal away.
That race which, strong from Ilion's fires,
Its gods, on Tuscan waters tost,
Its sons, its venerable sires,
Bore to Ausonia's ci