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 citied coast;
That race, like oak by axes shorn
On Algidus with d