Abbildungen der Seite

The Herald of the Latines
From Gabii came in state:
The Herald of the Latines

Passed through Rome's Eastern Gate:

The Herald of the Latines

Did in our Forum stand; And there he did his office, A sceptre in his hand. vi "Hear, Senators and people

Of the good town of Rome, The Thirty Cities charge you

To bring the Tarquins home: And if ye still be stubborn

To work the Tarquins wrong,
The Thirty Cities warn you,

Look that your walls be strong."
Then spake the Consul Aulus,
He spake a bitter jest:
"Once the jay sent a message
Unto the eagle's nest:-
Now yield thou up thine eyrie
Unto the carrion-kite,

Or come forth valiantly, and face
The jays in deadly fight.-
Forth looked in wrath the eagle;
And carrion-kite and jay,
Soon as they saw his beak and claw,
Fled screaming far away."


The Herald of the Latines
Hath hied him back in state;




The Fathers of the City

Are met in high debate.
Then spake the elder Consul,
An ancient man and wise:
"Now hearken, Conscript Fathers,
To that which I advise.
In seasons of great peril

"Tis good that one bear sway; Then choose we a Dictator,

Whom all men shall obey. Camerium knows how deeply The sword of Aulus bites, And all our city calls him

The man of seventy fights. Then let him be Dictator

For six months and no more, And have a Master of the Knights, And axes twenty-four."


So Aulus was Dictator,

The man of seventy fights; He made Æbutius Elva

His Master of the Knights.
On the third morn thereafter,
At dawning of the day,
Did Aulus and Ebutius

Set forth with their array.
Sempronius Atratinus

Was left in charge at home
With boys, and with grey-headed men,
To keep the walls of Rome.
Hard by the Lake Regillus

Our camp was pitched at night:




Eastward a mile the Latines lay,
Under the Porcian height.
Far over hill and valley
Their mighty host was spread;
And with their thousand watch-fires
The midnight sky was red.


Up rose the golden morning
Over the Porcian height,
The proud Ides of Quintilis

Marked evermore with white.
Not without secret trouble

Our bravest saw the foes;

For girt by threescore thousand spears,
The thirty standards rose.

From every warlike city

That boasts the Latian name, Foredoomed to dogs and vultures,

That gallant army came;
From Setia's purple vineyards,
From Norba's ancient wall,
From the white streets of Tusculum,

The proudest town of all;

From where the Witch's Fortress

O'erhangs the dark-blue seas; From the still glassy lake that sleeps Beneath Aricia's trees--

Those trees in whose dim shadow

The ghastly priest doth reign,
The priest who slew the slayer,
And shall himself be slain;
From the drear banks of Ufens,
Where flights of marsh-fowl play,




And buffaloes lie wallowing

Through the hot summer's day;
From the gigantic watch-towers,
No work of earthly men,
Whence Cora's sentinels o'erlook
The never-ending fen;
From the Laurentian jungle,
The wild hog's reedy home;
From the green steeps whence Anio leaps
In floods of snow-white foam.


Aricia, Cora, Norba,

Velitræ, with the might
Of Setia and of Tusculum
Were marshalled on the right:
The leader was Mamilius,

Prince of the Latian name;
Upon his head a helmet

Of red gold shone like flame: High on a gallant charger

Of dark-grey hue he rode: Over his gilded armour

A vest of purple flowed, Woven in the land of sunrise

By Syria's dark-browed daughters, And by the sails of Carthage brought Far o'er the southern waters.

xii Lavinium and Laurentum

Had on the left their post,
With all the banners of the marsh,
And banners of the coast.




Their leader was false Sextus,
That wrought the deed of shame:
With restless pace and haggard face
To his last field he came.

Men said he saw strange visions
Which none beside might see,
And that strange sounds were in his ears
Which none might hear but he.

A woman fair and stately,

But pale as are the dead,

Oft through the watches of the night
Sat spinning by his bed.

And as she plied the distaff,

In a sweet voice and low, She sang of great old houses,

And fights fought long ago. So spun she, and so sang she,

Until the east was grey,
Then pointed to her bleeding breast,
And shrieked, and fled away.


But in the centre thickest

Were ranged the shields of foes, And from the centre loudest

The cry of battle rose.
There Tiber marched and Pedum
Beneath proud Tarquin's rule
And Ferentinum of the rock,

And Gabii of the pool.
There rode the Volscian succours:
There, in a dark stern ring,
The Roman exiles gathered close
Around the ancient king.





« ZurückWeiter »