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M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 1, line 33 (search)
's coming, nor the gods with ease
Gain thrones in heaven; and if the Thunderer
Prevailed not till the giants' war was done,
We plain no more, ye gods! for such a boon
All wickedness be welcome and all crime;
Thronged with our dead be dire Pharsalia's fields,
Be Punic ghosts avenged by Roman blood;
Add, Caesar, to these ills the Mutin toils;
Perusia's dearth; on Munda's final field
The shock of battle joined; let Leucas' Cape
Shatter the routed navies; servile hands
Unsheath the sword on fiery Etna's slopes:
Still Rome is gainer by the civil war.
Thou, Caesar, art her prize. When thou shalt choose,
Thy watch relieved, to seek at length the stars,
All heaven rejoicing; and shalt hold a throne,
Or else elect to govern Phoebus' car
And light a subject world that shall not dread
To owe her brightness to a different Sun;
All shall concede thy right: do what thou wilt,
Select thy Godhead, and the central clime
Whence thou shalt rule the world with power divine.
And yet the Northern or the Sou
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 1, line 523 (search)
Of night, came forth at noontide, and the moon
Whose orb complete gave back her brother's rays,
Hid by the shade of earth, grew pale and wan.
The sun himself, when poised in mid career,
Shrouded his burning car in blackest gloom
And plunged the world in darkness, so that men
Despaired of day-like as he veiled his light
From that fell banquetCompare Ben Jonson's ' Catiline,' I. 1:
Lecca. The day goes back,
Or else my senses.
Cirius. As at Atreus' feast. which Mycenae saw.
The jaws of Etna were agape with flame
That rose not heavenwards, but headlong fell
In smoking stream upon th' Italian flank.
Then black Charybdis, from her boundless depth,
Threw up a gory sea. In piteous tones
Howled the wild dogs; the Vestal fire was snatched
From off the altar; and the flame that crowned
The Latin festival was split in twain,
As on the Theban pyre,When the Theban brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, were being burned on the same pyre, the flame shot up in two separate tongues, indicating tha
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 5, line 71 (search)
Divine, omnipotent? bear the touch of man,
And at his bidding deigns to lift the veil?
Perchance he sings the fates; perchance his song,
Once sung, is fate. Haply some part of Jove
Sent here to rule the earth with mystic power,
Balanced upon the void immense of air,
Sounds through the caves, and in its flight returns
To that high home of thunder whence it came.
Caught in a virgin's breast, this deity
Strikes on the human spirit: then a voice
Sounds from her breast, as when the lofty peak
Of Etna boils, forced by compelling flames,
Or as Typheus on Campania's shore
Frets 'neath the pile of huge Inarime.The modern isle of Ischia, off the Bay of Naples.
Though free to all that ask, denied to none,
No human passion lurks within the voice
That heralds forth the god; no whispered vow,
No evil prayer prevails; none favour gain:
Of things unchangeable the song divine;
Yet loves the just. When men have left their homes
To seek another, it has turned their steps
Aright, as with the Tyrians;The
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 6, line 1 (search)
e, nor pile of straw,
Brought from full barns in place of living grass,
Relieved their craving; shook their panting flanks,
And as they wheeled Death struck his victim down.
Then foul contagion filled the murky air
Whose poisonous weight pressed on them in a cloud
Pestiferous; as in Nesis' isle An island in the Bay of Puteoli. the breath
Of Styx rolls upwards from the mist-clad rocks;
Or that fell vapour which the caves exhale
From Typhon Typhon, the hundred-headed giant, was buried under Mount Etna. raging in the depths below.
Then died the soldiers, for the streams they drank
Held yet more poison than the air: the skin
Was dark and rigid, and the fiery plague
Made hard their vitals, and with pitiless tooth
Gnawed at their wasted features, while their eyes
Started from out their sockets, and the head
Drooped from sheer weariness. So the disease
Grew swifter in its strides till scarce was room,
'Twixt life and death, for sickness, and the pest
Slew as it struck its victim, and the de
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 6, line 263 (search)
y, he withdrew his men
Within a narrower wall.
Now past the trench
Were Caesar's companies, when from the hills
Pompeius hurled his host upon their ranks
Shut in, and hampered. Not so much o'erwhelmed
As Caesar's soldiers is the hind who dwells
On Etna's slopes, when blows the southern wind,
And all the mountain pours its cauldrons forth
Upon the vale; and huge Enceladus This giant, like Typhon, was buried under Mount Etna.
Writhing beneath his load spouts o'er the plains
A blazing torrent. BlinMount Etna.
Writhing beneath his load spouts o'er the plains
A blazing torrent. Blinded by the dust,
Encircled, vanquished, ere the fight, they fled
In cloud of terror on their rearward foe,
So rushing on their fates. Thus had the war
Shed its last drop of blood and peace ensued,
But Magnus suffered not, and held his troops
Back from the battle.
Thou, O Rome, hadst been
Free, happy, mistress of thy laws and rights
Were Sulla here. Now shalt thou ever grieve
That in his crowning crime, to have met in fight
A pious kinsman, Caesar's vantage lay.
Oh tragic destiny! Nor Munda's fig
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 7, line 87 (search)
rsal chaos? Every mind
Is bent upon Pompeius, and on Rome.
They trust no sword until its deadly point
Glows on the sharpening stone; no lance will serve
Till straightened for the fray; each bow is strung
Anew, and arrows chosen for their work
Fill all the quivers; horsemen try the curb
And fit the bridle rein and whet the spur.
If toils divine with human may compare,
'Twas thus, when Phlegra bore the giant crew,See Book IV., 668. 'Pallene' (line 175) is to be understood as meaning Phlegra.
In Etna's furnace glowed the sword of Mars,
Neptunus' trident felt the flame once more;
And great Apollo after Python slain
Sharpened his darts afresh: on Pallas' shield
Was spread anew the dread Medusa's hair;
And for the battle in Pallene's fields
The Cyclops forged new thunderbolts for Jove.
Yet Fortune failed not, as they sought the field,
In various presage of the ills to come;
All heaven opposed their march: portentous fire
In columns filled the plain, and torches blazed:
And thirsty whirlwinds
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 10, line 434 (search)
ar, in the town
Placing no trust, within the palace courts
Lay in ignoble hiding place, the gates
Close barred : nor all the kingly rooms possessed,
But in the narrowest portion of the space
He drew his band together. There in arms
They stood, with dread and fury in their souls.
He feared attack, indignant at his fear.
Thus will a noble beast in little cage
Imprisoned, fume, and break upon the bars
His teeth in frenzied wrath; nor more would rage
The flames of Vulcan in Sicilian depths
Should Etna's top be closed. He who but now
By Haemus' mount against Pompeius chief,
Italia's leaders and the Senate line,
His cause forbidding hope, looked at the fates
He knew were hostile, with unfaltering gaze,
Now fears before the crime of hireling slaves,
And in mid palace trembles at the blow:
He whom nor Scythian nor Alaun had dared
To violate, nor the Moor who aims the dart
Upon his victim slain, to prove his skill.
The Roman world but now did not suffice
To hold him, nor the realms from furthes