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What, are the gods asham'd to lend their aid;
Or are they of this tyrant's pow'r afraid?
Or have the fates reserved him, that he
In future triumphs might a trophy be?
Whate'er 'twas made them thus 'gainst me conspire,
It grieves my soul it had not its desire.
Etruria, see what souls the Romans bear,
Admire the noble acts the Latians dare;
Long after me, that will this fact yet do,
There comes another and another too;
There want not those who hope to say they wore
A laurel dyed in thy crimson gore:
What though thy camp lies free from our alarms,
And spoils our fields with unrevenged harms;
We scorn with baser blood to stain a dart,
O king, that's only levell’d at thy heart:
Our nobler swords will drink the blood of none,
But thy heart-blood, Porsenna, thine alone;
Those who their hands will straight in it embrue,
Walk intermixed with thy armed crew.
Methinks I see at present one thee note,
Who straight will hide his weapon in thy throat;
Hence, therefore, think each hour of thy breath
To be th' assured hour of thy death;
Thou dost with warlike troops our walls surround,
Hoping to lay them level with the ground,
And think'st to famish us, whilst o'er thy head
Hangs a revengeful arm will strike thee dead;
That glorious diadem which now I see
Circles thy brow, was hop'd a spoil by me;
That purple robe invests thy loins shall lie,
Thy blood be tinged in a deeper dye;
That very sceptre which thy hand sustains,
Shall, turn'd a club, dash out thy cursed brains ;
Now rule, now lord and king it, with this fate,
Expecting still the period of thy date.
Methinks I see how, on thy curled brow,
Self-rend'ring Vengeance sits enthron'd, and how
Thy thoughts already tear me; yet I feel
No horror, nor my frighted body reel,
No trembling in my joints; know, king, I can
Both do and suffer 'bove the reach of man:
In free born souls pale terror never stood
In competition with their country's good;
Those souls, in whom aspiring fame her sphere
Hath plac'd, neglect the precipice of fear;
This sacred altar, these pure fires, shall be
Witnesses of our undaunted constancy;
This hand, to Roman freedom so unjust,
Shall for its penance be consum'd to dust;
Nor is it cruel, but most right its doom,
Since liberty it could not yield to Rome *
Jolin Dapcer's Poems,
EFFECTED BETWEEN THE TWO BROTHERS, BRENN
AND BELINE, AT THE INTERCESSION OF THEIR MOTHER, CONUVENNA.
I DARE to name ye sons, because I am your`mother, yet
I doubt to term you brothers that do brotherhood forget.
These prodigies, their wrothful shields, forbodden foe to foe,
Do ill beseem allied hands, even yours
O, how seem Oedipus his sons in you again to strive?
How seem these swords in me (aye me) Jocasta to revive?
I would Dunwallo lived, or ere death, had lost again
His monarchy, sufficing fewer, but now too small for twain.
Then either would you, as did he, employ your wounds else-
where, Or, for the smallness of your power, agree at least for fear. But pride of rich and roomsome thrones, that wingeth now
your darts, It will (I would not as I fear) work sorrow to your I
hearts. My sons, sweet sons, attend my words, your mother's words
attend, And for I am your mother, do conclude I am your
friend : I cannot counsel, but entreat, nor yet I can entreat But as a woman, and the same whose blood was once your
meat: Hence had ye milk (she bar'd her paps) these arms did hug
These filed hands did wipe, did wrap, did rock, and lay ye
These lips did kiss, or eyes did weep, if that ye were unqu’et
Then ply I did, with song, or sighs, with dance, with tongue
For these kind causes, dear my sons, disarm yourselves: if
not, Then for these bitter tears that now your mother's cheeks
Oft urge I son's and mother's names, names not to be forgot.
Send hence these soldiers: ye, my sons, and none but ye
When none should rather be as one, if nature had her right.
What comfort, Beline? shall I speed? sweet Brenn, shall I
prevail ? Say yea, sweet youths, ah yea, say yea: or if I needs must
fail, Say no: and then will I begin your battle with my bail, Then, then some stranger, not my sons, shall close me in the
earth When we by armour oversoon shall meet, I fear, in death.' This said, with gushing tears eftsoons she plies the one and
other, Till both did show themselves at length sons worthy such a
mother; And with those hands, those alter'd hands, that lately threat
ned blows, They did embrace: becoming thus continual friends of foes.
Albion's England, by W. Warner,
B. III. Chap. xvi.