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M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 4, line 715 (search)
to live; and, as a brave man should,
He rushed upon the heap, and fighting fell.
In vain with turbid speech hast thou profaned
The pulpit of the forum; waved in vain
From that proud Reading 'arce,' not 'arte.' The word 'signifer' seems to favour the reading I have preferred; and Dean Merivale, Hosius, and Francken adopt it. citadel the tribune flag:
And armed the people, and the Senate's rights
Betraying, hast compelled this impious war
Betwixt the rival kinsmen. Low thou liest
Before Pharsalus' fight, and from thine eyes
Is hid the war. 'Tis thus to suffering Rome,
For arms seditious and for civil strife
Ye mighty make atonement with your blood.
Happy were Rome and all her sons indeed,
Did but the gods as rigidly protect
As they avenge, her violated laws!
There Curio lies; untombed his noble corpse,
Torn by the vultures of the Libyan wastes.
Yet shall we, since such merit, though unsung,
Lives by its own imperishable fame,
Give thee thy meed of praise. Rome never bore
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 6, line 263 (search)
There too Olympus, at whose foot who dwells
Nor fears the north nor sees the shining bear.
Between these mountains hemmed, in ancient time
The fields were marsh, for Tempe's pass not yet
Was cleft, to give an exit to the streams
That filled the plain: but when Alcides' hand
Smote Ossa from Olympus at a blow,See Book VIII., line 1.
And Nereus wondered at the sudden flood
Of waters to the main, then on the shore
(Would it had slept for ever 'neath the deep)
Seaborn Achilles' home Pharsalus rose;
And Phylace Protesilaus, from this place, first landed at Troy. whence sailed that ship of old
Whose keel first touched upon the beach of Troy;
And Dorion mournful for the Muses' ire
On Thamyris Thamyris challenged the Muses to a musical contest, and being vanquished, was by them deprived of sight. vanquished: Trachis; Melibe
Strong in the shafts The arrows given to Philoctetes by Hercules as a reward for kindling his funeral pyre. of Hercules, the price
Of that most awful torch;
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 7, line 337 (search)
once Italia knew?
Not all the earth can furnish her with men:
Untenanted her dwellings and her fields:
Slaves till her soil: one city holds us all:
Crumbling to ruin, the ancestral roof
Finds none on whom to fall; and Rome herself,
Void of her citizens, draws within her gates
The dregs of all the world. That none might wage
A civil war again, thus deeply drank
Pharsalia's fight the life-blood of her sons.
Dark in the calendar of Rome for aye,
The days when Allia and Cannae fell:
And shall Pharsalus' morn, darkest of all,
Stand on the page unmarked? Alas, the fates!
Not plague nor pestilence nor famine's rage,
Not cities given to the flames, nor towns
Trembling at shock of earthquake shall weigh down
Such heroes lost, when Fortune's ruthless hand
Lops at one blow the gift of centuries,
Leaders and men embattled. How great art thou,
Rome, in thy fall! Stretched to the widest bounds
War upon war laid nations at thy feet
Till flaming Titan nigh to either pole
Beheld thine empire; and the
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 7, line 557 (search)
harmed the quivering spear;
That it transfixed to earth. Here from the veins
Spouted the life-blood, till the foeman's arms
Were crimsoned. One his brother slew, nor dared
To spoil the corse, till severed from the neck
He flung the head afar. Another dashed
Full in his father's teeth the fatal sword,
By murderous frenzy striving to disprove
His kinship with the slain. Yet for each death
We find no separate dirge, nor weep for men
When peoples fell. Thus, Rome, thy doom was wrought
At dread Pharsalus. Not, as in other fields,
By soldiers slain, or captains; here were swept
Whole nations to the death; Assyria here,
Achaia, Pontus; and the blood of Rome
Gushing in torrents forth, forbade the rest
To stagnate on the plain. Nor life was reft,
Nor safety only then; but reeled the world
And all her manifold peoples at the blow
In that day's battle dealt; nor only then
Felt, but in all the times that were to come.
Those swords gave servitude to every age
That shall be slavish; by our sires wa
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 8, line 1 (search)
Which brought him triumph in the Sullan days,
His conquering navy and the Pontic war,
Made heavier now the burden of defeat,
And crushed his pondering soul. So length of days
Drags down the haughty spirit, and life prolonged
When power has fled. Unless when honour fails
Comes end of life, and timely death forestalls
Ensuing woe, the glory of past years
Is present shame. Who'd venture on the sea
Of favouring fortune but for death at need?
Hard by Peneus' flood he reached the main
Now with Pharsalus' slaughter blushing red:
And borne in sloop, to shallows of a stream
Scarce equal, dared the deep: Liburnia's lord,
Lord of Cilicia, at whose countless oars
Yet Leucas' inlets and Corcyra shook,
Crept to the shelter of a tiny bark.
For thou didst beckon him to Lesbos' shores,
Thou, partner of the sorrows of thy lord,
Cornelia! Sadder far thy life apart
Than wert thou present in Thessalia's fields.
Racked is thy heart with presages of ill;
Pharsalia fills thy dreams and when the shades
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 8, line 536 (search)
t, anxious, waiting for the end:
Not that they feared the murder which befell,
But lest their leader might with humble prayer
Kneel to the king he made.
As Magnus passed,
A Roman soldier from the Pharian boat,
Septimius, salutes him. Gods of heaven!
There stood he, minion to a barbarous king,
Nor bearing still the javelin of Rome;
But vile in all his arms; giant in form
Fierce, brutal, thirsting as a beast may thirst
For carnage. Didst thou, Fortune, for the sake
Of nations, spare to dread Pharsalus field
This savage monster's blows? Or dost thou place
Throughout the world, for thy mysterious ends,
Some ministering swords for civil war?
Thus, to the shame of victors and of gods,
This story shall be told in days to come:
A Roman swordsman, once within thy ranks,
Slave to the orders of a puny prince,
Severed Pompeius' neck. And what shall be
Septimius' fame hereafter? By what name
This deed be called, if Brutus wrought a crime?
Now came the end, the latest hour of all:
Rapt to the boa