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"To every man upon this earth
Ar i Fathers mixed with Commons Death cometh soon or late.
Seized hatchet, bar, and crow, And how can man die better
And smote upon the planks above,
And loosed the props below.
Meanwhile the Tuscan army, "And for the tender mother
Right glorious to behold, Who dandled him to rest,
Came flashing back the noonday light, And for the wife who nurses
Rank behind rank, like surges bright His baby at her breast,
Of a broad sea of gold. And for the holy maidens
Four hundred trumpets sounded Who feed the eternal flame,
A peal of warlike glee, To save them from false Sextus
As that great host, with measured tread, That wrought the deed of shame?
And spears advanced, and ensigns spread,
Rolled slowly towards the bridge's head, 29.
Where stood the dauntless Three. “ Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul,
36. With all the speed ye may; I, with two more to help me,
The Three stood calm and silent, Will hold the foe in play.
And looked upon the foes, In yon strait path a thousand
And a great shout of laughter May well be stopped by three.
From all the vanguard rose: Now, who will stand on either hand,
And forth threc chiefs came spurring And keep the bridge with me?"
Before that mighty mass;
Toearth they sprang, their swords they drew 30.
And lifted high their shields, and flew Then out spake Spurius Lartius,
To win the narrow pass;
Aunus from green Tifernum,
Lord of the Hill of Vines; Of Titian blood was he:
And Seius, whose eight hundred slaves “I will abide on thy left side,
Sicken in Ilva's mines; And keep the bridge with thee."
And Picus, long to Clusium 31.
Vassal in peace and war, “ Horatius," quoth the Consul,
Who led to fight his Umbrian powers “As thou sayest, so let it be."
From that gray crag where, girt with towers And straight against that great array
The fortress of Nequinum lowers Forth went the dauntless Three.
O'er the pale waves of Nar. For Romans in Rome's quarrel
38. Spared neither land nor gold, Nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life,
Stout Lartius hurled down Aunus In the brave days of old.
Into the stream beneath;
Herminius struck at Seius, 32.
And clove him to the teeth; Then none was for a party ;
At Picus brave Horatius Then all were for the state;
Darted one fiery thrust, Then the great man helped the poor,
And the proud Umbrian's gilded arms And the poor man loved the great:
Clashed in the bloody dust.
39. The Romans were like brothers
Then Ocnus of Falerii In the brave days of old.
Rushed on the Roman Three;
And Lausulus of Urgo 33.
The' rover of the sea; Now Roman is to Roman
And Aruns of Volsinium, More hateful than a foe,
Who slew the great wild boar, And the Tribunes beard the high,
The great wild boar that had his den And the Fathers grind the low.
Amidst the reeds of Cosa's fen, As we wax hot in faction,
And wasted fields and slaughtered nion In battle we wax cold;
Along Albinia's shore.
Herminius smote down Aruns ;
Lartius laid Ocnus low:
Horatius sent a blow.
“Lie there,” he cried, “ fell pirate' Tonke in hand an axe:
No more, aghast and pale,
From Ostia's walls the crowd shail mark And thrice and four times tugged amult, The track of thy destroying bark.
Ere he wrenched out the steel. No more Campania's hinds shall fly
“ And see,” he cried “the welcome, To woods and caverns when they spy
Fair guests, that waits you here! Thy thrice accursed sail.”
What noble Lucumo comes next
To taste our Roman cheer?” 41. But now no sound of laughter
48. Was heard amongst the foes.
But at his haughty challenge A wild and wrathful clamour
A sullen murmur ran, From all the vanguard rose.
Mingled of wrath, and shame, and dread, Six spears' lengths from the entrance
Along that glittering van. Halted that mighty mass,
There lacked not men of prowess, And for a space no man came forth
Nor men of lordly race; To win the narrow pass.
For all Etruria's noblest
Were round the fatal place. 42. But hark! the cry is Astur:
49. And lo! the ranks divide;
But all Etruria's noblest And the great Lord of Luna,
Felt their hearts sink to see Comes with his stately stride.
On the earth the bloody corpses, Upon his ample shoulders
In the path the dauntless Three . Clangs loud the fourfold shield,
And, from the ghastly entrance And in his hand he shakes the brand
Where those bold Romans stond, Which none but he can wield.
All shrank, like boys who unaware, 43.
Ranging the woods to start a hare,
Come to the mouth of the dark lair He smiled on those bold Romans
Where, growling low, a fierce old bear A smile serene and high;
Lies amidst bones and blood.
50. Quoth he, "The she-wolf's litter
Was none who would be foremost Stand savagely at bay:
To lead such dire attack; But will ye dare to follow,
But those behind cried “ Forward !" If Astur clears the way ?"
And those before cried " Back!" 44.
And backward now and forward
Wavers the deep array; Then, whirling up his broadsword
And on the tossing sea of steel, With both hands to the height,
To and fro the standards reel; He rushed against Horatius,
And the victorious trumpet-peal
Dies fitfully away.
Well known was he to all the Three, To see the red blood flow.
And they gave him greeting loud. “Now welcome, welcome, Sextus !
Now welcome to thy home! He reeled, and on Herminius
Why dost thou stay, and turn away! He leaned one breathing-space;
Here lies the road to Rome.”
Thrice looked he on the dead. The good sword stood a hand-breadth out And thrice came on in fury, Behind the Tuscan's head.
And thrice turned back in dread;
And, white with fear and hatred, 46.
Scowled at the narrow way And the great Lord of Luna
Where, wallowing in a pool of blood * Fell at that deadly stroke,
The bravest Tuscans lay.
53. Far o'er the crashing forest
Bat meanwhile axe and lever The giant arms lie spread;
Have manfully been plied, And the pale augurs, muttering low,
And now the bridge hangs tottering Gaze on the blasted head.
Above the boiling tide.
"Come back, come back, Horatius *** 47.
Loud cried the Fathers all. o Astur's throat Horatius
“Back, Lartius! back, Herminius! Right firm'y ussed his heel,
Back, ere the rain fall!"
61. But fiercely ran the current,
Swollen high by months of rain: And fast his blood was flowing;
And he was sore in pain, And heavy with his armour,
And spent with changing blows: And oft they thought him sinking,
But still again he rose.
54. Back darted Spurius Lartius;
Herminius darted back: And, as they passed, beneath their feet
They felt the timbers crack. But when they turned their faces,
And on the farther shore Saw brave Horatius stand alone, They would have crossed once more.
Fell every loosened beam,
Lay right athwart the stream:
Rose from the walls of Rome,
When first he feels the rein, The furious river struggled hard,
And tossed his tawny mane;
Rejoicing to be free;
But constant still in mind; Thrice thirty thousand foes before,
And the broad flood behind. "Down with him!” cried false Sextus,
With a smile on his pale face. “Now yield thee,” cried Lars Porsena, “ Now yield thee to our grace.”
58. Round turned he, as not deigning
Those craven ranks to see; Naught spake he to Lars Porsena,
To Sextus naught spake he;! But he saw on Palatinus
The white porch of his home; And he spake to the noble river That rolls by the towers of Rome.
To whom the Romans pray,
Take thou in charge this day!" 80 he spake, and speaking sheathed
The good sword by his side,
Was heard from either bank; But friends and foes in dumb surprise, With parted lips and straining eyes,
Stood gazing where he sank;
They saw his crest appear,
Could scarce forbear to cheer.
Never, I ween, did swimmer,
In such an evii case,
Safe to the landing place:
By the brave heart within,
63. “Curse on him!” quoth false Sextus
« Will not the villain drown? But for this stay, ere close of day
We should have sacked the town!" "Heaven help him !" quoth Lars Purucaz
" And bring him safe to shore; For such a gallant feat of arms Was never seen before."
64. And now he feels the bottom;
Now on dry earth he stands,
To press his gory hands;
And noise of weeping loud,
65. They gave him of the corn-land,
That was of public right, As much as two strong oxen
Could plough from morn till night,
And set it up on high,
· Plain for all folk to see; Horatius in his harness,
Halting upon one knee;
In letters all of gold,
In the brave days of old.
• "Our ladye bare upp her chinne."
Ballad of Childe Water “Never heavier man and horse
Stemmed a midnight torrent's force;
Yet through good heart and our lady's grace, At length he gained the landing-place.
Lay of ahe Last Minstrel, I. 2 z?
69. When the oldest cask is opened,
And the largest lamp is lit, When the chestnuts glow in the embers,
And the kid turns on the spit;
Around the firebrands close;
And the lads are shaping bows;
67. Ard still his name sounds stirring
linto the men of Rome, As the trumpet blast that cries to them
To charge the Volscian home;
For boys with hearts as bold
When the cold north winds blow, And the long howling of the wolves
Is heard amidst the snow; When round the lonely cottage
Rwars joud the tempest's din, And the good logs of Algidus
Roar louder yet within;
THE BATTLE OF THE LAKE REGILLUS.
Tax following poem is supposed to have | Porsena nothing seems to be borrowed from ceen produced ninety years after the lay of foreign sources. The villany of Sexlus, the Horatius. Some persons mentioned in the lay suicide of his victim, the revolution, the death of Horatius make their appearance again, and of the sons of Brutus, the defence of the bridge, some appellations and epithets used in the lay Mucius burning his hand,* Clelia swimming of Horatius have been purposely repeated; for, through Tiber, seem to be all strictly Roman. in an age of ballad-poetry, it scarcely ever But when we have done with the Tuscan war, fails to happen, that certain phrases come to and enter upon the war with the Latines, we be appropriated to certain men and things, are again struck by the Greek air of the story. and are regularly applied to those men and The Battle of the Lake Regillus is in all rethings by every minstrel. Thus we find both spects a Homeric battle, except that the comin the Homeric poems and in Hesiod, Bin 'Hgs- batants ride astride on their horses, instead of κληείη, περικλύτος 'Αμφγυήες, διάκτορος 'Aργειρόντης, driving chariots. The mass of fighting men is ITTÁTUAGS Oln, 'Exims (vexdüróucio. Thus, too, in hardly mentioned. The leaders single each our own national songs, Douglas is almost other out, and engage hand to hand. The great always the doughty Douglas: England is object of the warriors on both sides is, as in merry England: all the gold is red; and all the Iliad, to obtain possession of the spoils and the ladies are gay.
bodies of the slain; and several circumstances The principal distinction between the lay of are related which forcibly remind us of the Horatius and the lay of the Lake Regillus is, great slaughter round the corpses of Sarpedon that the former is meant to be purely Roman, and Patroclus. while the latter, though national in its general But there is one circumstance which de spirit, has a slight tincture of Greek learning serves especial notice. Both the war of Troy and of Greek superstition. The story of the and the war of Regillus were caused by the Tarquins, as it has come down to us, appears licentious passions of young princes, who were to have been compiled from the works of seve- therefore peculiarly bound not to be sparing of ral popular poets; and one, at least, of those their own persons in the day of battle. Now poets appears to have visited the Greek colo- the conduct of Sextus at Regillus, as described nies in Italy, if not Greece itsell, and to have by Livy, so exactly resembles that of Paris, as had some acquaintance with the works of Ho- described at the beginning of the third book of mer and Herodotus. Many of the most strik- the Iliad, that it is difficult to believe the re. ing adventures of the house of Tarquin, till semblance accidental. Paris appears before Lucretia makes her appearance, have a Greek the Trojan ranks, defying the bravest Greek to character. The Tarquins themselves are re- encounter him: presented as Corinthian nobles of the great house of the Bacchiadæ, driven from their
Τρωσίν μεν προμάχιζεν 'Αλέξανδρος θεοειδής, ,
...'Αργείων προκαλίζετο πάντας αρίστους, country by the tyranny of that Cypselus, the tale of whose strange escape Herodotus has re
αντίβιον μαχέσασθαι εν αινη δηϊοτήτι. . lated with incomparable simplicity and liveli- Livy introduces Sextus in a similar manner: ness.* Livy and Dionysius tell us that, when "Ferocem juvenem Tarquinium, ostentantem Tarquin the Proud was asked what was the se in primâ exsulum acie." Menelaus rushes best mode of governing a conquered city, he to meet Paris. A Roman noble, eager for replied only by beating down with his staff all vengeance, spurs his horse. towards Sextus. the tallest poppies in his garden. This is ex. Both the guilty princes are instantly terror. actly what Herodotus, in the passage to which stricken: reference has already been made, relates of the counsel given to Periander, the son of Cypse
Τον δ' ώς oύν ένόησεν Αλέξανδρος θεοειδής, lus. The stratagem by which the town of
εν προμάχοισι φανέντα, κατεπλήγη φίλον ήτορ, Gabii is brought under the power of the Tar
άψ δ' έτάρων είς έθνος εχάζετο κήρ αλεείνων.. quins is, again, obviously copied from Herodo- «Tarquinius,” says Livy, “retro in agmer tas. The embassy of the young, Tarquins to suorum infenso cessit hosti." If this be a the oracle at Delphi is just such a story as fortuitous coincidence, it is one of the most es. would be told by a poet whose head was full traordinary in literature. of the Greek mythology; and the ambiguous
In the following poem, therefore, images answer returned by Apollo is in the exact and incidents have been borrowed, not merely style of the prophecies which, according to He- without scruple, but on principle, from the in rodotus, lured Cræsus to destruction. Then the character of the narrative changes. From
comparable battle-pieces of Homer. the first mention of Lucretia to the retreat of
• M. de Pouilly attempted, a hundred and twenty
years ago, to prove that the story of Mucius was of Herodotus, v. 92. Livy, I. 34. Dionysing, iii. 46. Greek origin; but he was signally confuted by the Abbe Livy, 1. 54. Dionysius, iv. 56.
Ballier. See the Mémoires de P Académie des Inserip. Herodotus, iii. 151. Livy, i. 53.
tions, vi. 27. 66.