Behold, from out the tree, on rapid wing,
The eagle that attends high-thundering Jove
A serpent bore, whose fangs had wounded her;
And as she flew her cruel talons pierced
Quite through its flesh. The snake, tho' nearly dead,
Kept darting here and there its spotted head;
And, as it writhed, she tore with bloody beak
Its twisted folds. At last, with sated wrath
And grievous wounds avenged, she dropped her prey,
Which, dead and mangled, fell into the sea;
And from the West she sought the shining East.
When Marius, reader of divine decrees,
Observed the bird's auspicious, gliding course,
He recognized the goodly sign foretold
That he in glory would return to Rome;
Then, on the left, Jove's thunder pealed aloud
And thus declared the eagle's omen true.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 This poem, written by Cicero in his early youth, eulogizes Marius, who like Cicero, was born at Arpinum. Cf. Cic. De leg. i. 1.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.