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M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 2, line 526 (search)
ts. Here of old
Fled Cretan settlers when the dusky sail Theseus, on returning from his successful exploit in Crete, hoisted by mistake black sails instead of white, thus spreading false intelligence of disaster.
Spread the false message of the hero dead;
Here, where Hesperia, curving as a bow,
Draws back her coast, a little tongue of land
Shuts in with bending horns the sounding main.
Yet insecure the spot, unsafe in storm,
Were it not sheltered by an isle on which
The Adriatic billows dash and fall,
And tempests lose their strength: on either hand
A craggy cliff opposing breaks the gale
That beats upon them, while the ships within
Held by their trembling cables ride secure.
Hence to the mariner the boundless deep
Lies open, whether for Corcyra's port
He shapes his sails, or for Illyria's shore,
And Epidamnus facing to the main
Ionian. Here, when raging in his might
Fierce Adria whelms in foam Calabria's coast,
When clouds tempestuous veil Ceraunus' height,
The sailor finds a haven.
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 5, line 476 (search)
with labouring boat
'To reach the shore ere yet the nearest land
'May be too distant.'
But great Caesar's trust
Was in himself, to make all dangers yield.
And thus he answered: ' Scorn the threatening sea,
Spread out thy canvas to the raging wind;
If for thy pilot thou refusest heaven,
'Me in its stead receive. Alone in thee
One cause of terror just-thou dost not know
'Thy comrade, ne'er deserted by the gods,
'Whom fortune blesses e'en without a prayer.
'Break through the middle storm and trust in me.
'The burden of this fight falls not on us
But on the sky and ocean; and our bark
Shall swim the billows safe in him it bears.
Nor shall the wind rage long: the boat itself
Shall calm the waters. Flee the nearest shore,
Steer for the ocean with unswerving hand:
Then in the deep, when to our ship and us
No other port is given, believe thou hast
'Calabria's harbours. And dost thou not know
'The purpose of such havoc? Fortune seeks
'In all this tumult of the sea and sky
A boon for Caesar.'