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M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 1, line 33 (search)
We pray thee, choose not; but in rays direct
Vouchsafe thy radiance to thy city Rome.
Press thou on either side, the universe
Should lose its equipoise: take thou the midst,
And weight the scales, and let that part of heaven
Where Caesar sits be evermore serene
And smile upon us with unclouded blue.
Then may all men lay down their arms, and peace
Through all the nations reign, and shut the gates
That close the temple of the God of War.
Be thou my help, to me e'en now divine!
Let Delphi's steep her own Apollo guard,
And Nysa keep her Bacchus, uninvoked.
Rome is my subject and my muse art thou!
First of such deeds I purpose to unfold
The causes task immense what drove to arms
A maddened nation and from all the world
Struck peace away.
By envious fate's decrees
Abide not long the mightiest lords of earth;
Too great the burden, great shall be the fall.
Thus Rome o'ergrew her strength. So when that hour,
The last in all the centuries, shall sound
The world's disruption, all thi
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 5, line 71 (search)
d to found colonies. and raised
The hearts of men to war, as prove the waves
Of Salamis:See Herodotus, Book VII., 140-143. The reference is to the answer given by the oracle to the Athenians that their wooden walls would keep them safe; which Themistocles interpreted as meaning their fleet. when earth refused her fruits
Or plague has filled the air, this voice benign
Has given fresh hope and pointed to the end.
No gift from heaven's high gods so great as this
Our centuries have lost, since Delphi's shrine
Has silent stood, and kings forbade the godsCicero, on the contrary, suggests that the reason why the oracles ceased was this, that men became less credulous. ('De Div.,' ii., 57.) Lecky, 'History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne,' vol. i., p. 368.
To speak the future, fearing for their fates.
Nor does the priestess sorrow that the voice
Is heard no longer; and the silent fane
To her is happiness; for whatever breast
Contains the deity, its shattered frame