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And seized black Auster's rein.
Then Aulus sware a fearful oath,

And ran at him amain.
"The furies of thy brother
With me and mine abide,
If one of your accursed house
Upon black Auster ride!"

As on an Alpine watch-tower

From heaven comes down the flame,

Full on the neck of Titus

The blade of Aulus came:

And out the red blood spouted,

In a wide arch and tall,

As spouts a fountain in the court

Of some rich Capuan's hall.

The knees of all the Latines

Were loosened with dismay



When dead, on dead Herminius,

The bravest Tarquin lay.


And Aulus the Dictator

Stroked Auster's raven mane,
With heed he looked unto the girths,

With heed unto the rein.

"Now bear me well, black Auster,

Into yon thick array;

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So answered those strange horsemen,
And each couched low his spear;
And forthwith all the ranks of Rome
Were bold, and of good cheer:

And on the thirty armies

Came wonder and affright,

And Ardea wavered on the left,

And Cora on the right.

"Rome to the charge!" cried Aulus;

"The foe begins to yield!

Charge for the hearth of Vesta!

Charge for the Golden Shield!

Let no man stop to plunder,
But slay, and slay, and slay;
The Gods who live forever
Are on our side to-day."


Then the fierce trumpet-flourish


From earth to heaven arose.


The kites know well the long stern swell

That bids the Romans close.

Then the good sword of Aulus
Was lifted up to slay:

Then, like a crag down Apennine,

Rushed Auster through the fray.

But under those strange horsemen
Still thicker lay the slain;
And after those strange horses

Black Auster toiled in vain.
Behind them Rome's long battle
Came rolling on the foe,
Ensigns dancing wild above,

Blades all in line below.

So comes the Po in flood-time
Upon the Celtic plain:

So comes the squall, blacker than night,

Upon the Adrian main.

Now, by our Sire Quirinus,

It was a goodly sight

To see the thirty standards

Swept down the tide of flight.

So flies the spray of Adria

When the black squall doth blow,
So corn-sheaves in the flood-time
Spin down the whirling Po.

False Sextus to the mountains
Turned first his horse's head;
And fast fled Ferentinum,

And fast Lanuvium fled.

The horsemen of Nomentum

Spurred hard out of the fray;

The footmen of Velitræ

Threw shield and spear away. And underfoot was trampled, Amidst the mud and gore, The banner of proud Tusculum,




That never stooped before:

And down went Flavius Faustus,

Who led his stately ranks


From where the apple blossoms wave

On Anio's echoing banks,

And Tullus of Arpinum,

Chief of the Volscian aids,

And Metius with the long fair curls,

The love of Anxur's maids, And the white head of Vulso, The great Arician seer, And Nepos of Laurentum, The hunter of the deer; And in the back false Sextus

Felt the good Roman steel,

And wriggling in the dust he died,
Like a worm beneath the wheel:

And fliers and pursuers

Were mingled in a mass;

And far away the battle

Went roaring through the pass.


Sempronius Atratinus

Sate in the Eastern Gate, Beside him were three Fathers,

Each in his chair of state;

Fabius, whose nine stout grandsons

That day were in the field,

And Manlius, eldest of the Twelve

Who kept the Golden Shield;

And Sergius, the High Pontiff,

For wisdom far renowned;



In all Etruria's colleges

Was no such Pontiff found. And all around the portal,


And high above the wall,

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