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THE PROPHECY OF CAPYS.
A LAY SUNG AT THE BANQUET IN THE CAPITOL, ON THE DAY WHEN MANIUS CURIUS DENTATUS, A SECOND TIME CONSUL, TRIUMPHED OVER KING PYRRHUS AND THE TARENTINES, IN THE YEAR OF THE CITY CCCCLXXIX.
And every Alban burgher
They were doomed by a bloody king: They were doomed by a lying priest: They were cast on the raging flood:
They were tracked by the raging beast. Raging beast and raging flood
Alike have spared the prey; And to-day the dead are living: The lost are found to-day.
The troubled river knew them,
That bore the fate of Rome.
gave them of her own fierce milk,
Blithe it was to see the twins,
To their old grandsire's hall. Along their path fresh garlands
Are hung from tree to tree: Before them stride the pipers, Piping a note of glee.
On the right goes Romulus,
With arms to the elbows red,
With horse-hair hanging down, A shaggy head, a swarthy head,
Fixed in a ghastly frownThe head of King Amulius
Of the great Sylvian line, Who reigned in Alba Longa, On the throne of Aventine.
On the left side goes Remus,
With wrists and fingers red, And in his hand a boar-spear,
And on the point a headA wrinkled head and aged,
With silver beard and hair,
The head of ancient Camers, Who spake the words of doom: "The children to the Tiber:
The mother to the tomb."
9. Two and two behind the twins
Their trusty comrades go, Four and twenty valiant men, With club, and axe, and bow. On each side every hamlet
Pours forth its joyous crowd,
And maids who shriek to see the heads,
So they marched along the lake;
In the hall-gate sate Capys,
up stood stiff his thin white hair, And his blind eyes flashed fire:
"Hail! foster child of the wond'rous nurse!
Hail! son of the wond'rous sire!
"But thou-what dost thou here In the old man's peaceful hall? What doth the eagle in the coop,
The bison in the stall?
Our corn fills many a garner;
Our vines clasp many a tree;
But these are not for thee.
"For thee no treasure ripens
For thee no ship brings precious bales
Thou shalt not drink from amber;
"Leave gold and myrrh and jewels,
To them who of man's seed are born,
Thou wast not made for lucre,
For pleasure, nor for rest;
Thou, that art sprung from the War-god's loins, And hast tugged at the she-wolf's breast.
15. "From sunrise until sunset
All earth shall hear thy fame: