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LXXXVI. The third of the same moon whose former course Had all but crown'd him, on the selfsame day Deposed him gently from his throne of force, And laid him with the earth’s preceding clay. 44 And show'd not Fortune thus how fame and sway, And all we deem delightful, and consume Our souls to compass through each arduous way, Are in her eyes less happy than the tomb? Were they but so in man's, how different were his
LXXXVII. And thou, dread statue! yet existent in 35 The austerest form of naked majesty, Thou who beheldest, 'mid the assassins' din, At thy bath'd base the bloody Caesar lie, Folding his robe in dying dignity, An off ring to thine altar from the queen Of gods and men, great Nemesis! did he die, And thou, too, perish, Pompey? have ye been Victors of countless kings, or puppets of a scene?
LXXXVIII. And thou, the thunder-stricken nurse of Rome! 46 She-wolf! wliose brazen - imaged dugs impart The milk of conquest yet within the dome Where, as a monument of antique art, Thou standest:- Mother of the mighty heart, Which the great founder suck'd from thy wild teat, Scorch'd by the Roman Jove's etherial dart, And thy limbs black with lightning-dost thou yet Guard thine immortal cubs, nor thy fond charge
LXXXIX. Thou dost; but all thy fuster-babes are dead The men of iron; and the world hath rear'd Cities from out their sepulchres: men bled In imitation of the things they fear'd, And fought and conquerd, and the same course
steerd, At apish distance; but as yet none have, Nor could, the same supremacy have neard, Save one vain man, who is not in the grave, But, vanquish'd by himself, to his own slaves a
XC. The fool of false dominion and a kind Of bastard Caesar, following him of old With steps unequal; for the Roman's mind Was modell'd in a less terrestrial mould, 47 With passions fiercer, yet a judgment cold, And an immortal instinct which redeem'd The frailties of a heart so soft, yet bold, Alcides with the distaff now he secm'd At Cleopatra's feet, - and now himself he beam'd,
XCI. And came and saw-and conquer'd! But the man Who would have tamed his eagles down to flee, Like a train'd falcon, in the Gallic, van, Which he, in sooth, long led to victory, With a deaf heart which never seem'd to be A listener to itself, was strangely framed; With but one weakest weakness vanity, Coquettish in ambition-still he aim'd At what? can he avouch—or answer what he claim'd?
XCII. And would be all or nothing - nor could wait For the sure grave to level him; few years Had fix'd him with the Caesars in his fate, On whom we tread: For this the conqueror rears The arch of triumph! and for this the tears And blood of earth flow on as they have flow'd, An universal deluge, which appears Without an ark for wretched man's abode, And ebbs but to reflow!-- Renew thy rainbow, God!
XCIII. What from this barren being do we reap? Our senses narrow, and our reason frail, 48 Life short, and truth a gem which loves the deep, And all things weigh'd in custom's falsest scale; Opinion an omnipotence, - whose veil Mantles the earth with darkness, until right And wrong are accidents, and men grow pale Lest their own judgments should become too bright, And their free thoughts be crimes, and earth have too
CXIV. And thus they plod in sluggishi misery, Rotting from sire to son, and age to age, Proud of their trampled nature, and so die, Bcqueathing their hereditary rage To the new race of inborn slaves, who wase War for their chains, and rather than be frec, Blced gladiator-like, and still engage Within the same arena where they see Their fellows fall before, like leaves of the same tree.
XCV. I speak not of men's creeds -- they rest between Man and his Maker -- but of things allow'd, Averr'd, and known, - and daily, hourly seen The yoke that is upon us doubly bow'd, And the intent of tyranny avow'd, The edict of Earth's rulers, who are grown The apes of him who humbled once the proud, And shook them from their slumbers on the throne; Too glorious, were this all his migthy arm had donc.