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Impatient he provokes the fatal day,
25 Sheltering the city with his timely aid. This place, nor walls, nor trenches deep can boast, The works of labour, and expensive cost. Vain prodigality! and labour vain ! Loft is the layish'd wealth, and lost the fruitless pain! 30 What walls, what towers foe'er they rear sublime, Must yield to wars, or more destructive time; While fences like Dyrrhachium's fortress made, Where nature's hand the sure foundation laid, And with her strength the naked town array'd, Shall stand secure against the warrior's rage,, Nor fear the ruinous decays of age. Guarded, around, by steepy rocks it lies, And all access from land, but one, denies.
No venturous vessel there in safety rides,
Here Cæsar's daring heart vast hopes conceives, 46
SI And runs each distance over with his
eye. Vaft heaps of fod and verdant turf are brought, And stones in deep laborious quarries wrought; Each Grecian dwelling round the work supplies, 55 And sudden ramparts from their ruins rise. With wondrous strength the stable mound they rear, Such as th' impetuous ram can never fear, Nor hostile might o'erturn, nor forceful engine tear. Through hills, resistless, Cæsar plains his way, 60 And makes the rough unequal rocks obey. Here deep, beneath, the gaping trenches lie, There forts advance their airy turrets high. Around vast tracts of land the labours wind, Wide fields and forests in the circle bind, And hold as in a toil the favage kind. Nor ev’n the foe too strictly pent remains, At large he forages upon the plains; The vast inclosure gives free leave around, Oft to decamp, and shift the various ground. 70
Here, from far fountains, streams their channels trace,
80 The labours of the Babylonian queen: Behold this large, this spacious tract of ground! Like that, which Tigris or Orontes bound; Behold this land! that majesty might bring, And form a kingdom for an eastern king; Behold a Latian chief this land inclose,
2 Amidst the tumult of impending foes : He bade the walls arise, and as he bade they rose. But ah! vain pride of power! ah ! fruitless boasti Ev’n these, these mighty labours are all lost! A force like this what barriers could withstand ? Seas must have fled, and yielded to the land; The lovers shores united right have stood, Spite of the Hellespont's opposing flood; While the Ægean and Ionian tide, Might meeting o'er the vanquish d Isthmus ride, And Argive realms from Corinth's walls divide ; This power inight change unwilling nature's face, Unfix each order, and remove each place.
Here, as if clos'd within a lift, the war
1152 And wide his legions on the hills dispread; So, Cæsar, forc'd his numbers to extend, More feebly might each various strength defend. His
camp far o'er the large inclosure reach'd, And guarded lines along the front were stretch'd; 120. Far. as Rome's distance from Aricia's groves, (Aricia which the chaste Diana loves) Far as from Rome old Tiber seeks the sea, Did he not wander in his winding way.
124 While yet no signals for the fight prepare, Unbidden, fome the javelin dart from far, And, skirmishing, provoke the lingering war. But deeper cares the thoughtful chiefs distress, And move, the soldiers ardour to repress.
Pompey, with secret anxious thought, beheld, 130
skies Such do Typhous' steamy caves convey,
145 And breathe blue poisons on the golden day. Thence liquid streams the mingling plague receive, And deadly potions to the thirity give : To man the mischief spreads, the fell disease In fatal draughts does on his entrails seize. Igo A rugged fcurf, all loathsom to be seen, Spreads, like a bark, upon his filken skin; Malignant flames his swelling eye-balls dart, And seem with anguish from their seats to start; Fires o'er his glowing cheeks and visage fray, 155,And mark, in crimson streaks, their burning way; Low droops his head, declining from its height, And nods, and totters with the fatal weight. With winged haste the swift destruction files, And scarce the soldier sickens ere he dics;