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16. Then far to North Æbutius,
The Master of the Knights, Gave Tubero of Norba
To feed the Porcian kites. Next under those red horse-hoofs
Flaccus of Setia lay; Better had he been pruning
Among his elms that day.
And tossed his golden crest,
Through the thick battle pressed.
So fiercely on the shield,
Wellnigh rolled on the field.
With a good aim and true,
And pierced him through and through; And brave Æbutius Elva
Fell swooning to the ground: But a thick wall of bucklers
Encompassed him around.
Bare him some little space;
And bathed his brow and face;
His swimming eyes to light,
Great deeds of arms were wrought; There Aulus the Dictator,
And there Valerius fought.
A bloody passage cleared
He saw the long white beard.
Upon proud Tarquin's head.
He fell as fall the dead.
With eyes like coals of fire;
And hath bestrode his sire.
Fast down to earth they spring; And hand to hand they fight on foot
Around the ancient king. First Titus gave tall Cæso
A death wound in the face; Tall Cæso was the bravest man
Of the brave Fabian race: Aulus slew Rex of Gabii,
The priest of Juno's shrine: Valerius smote down Julius,
Of Roine's great Julian line;
High on the Velian hill,
Followed proud Tarquin still.
A corpse was Julius laid:
And at Valerius made.
Valerius struck at Titus,
And lopped off half his crest;
A span deep in the breast.
Valerius reeled and fell.
That loves the people well!
And with one rush they bore The struggling Romans backward
Three lances' length and more:
And laid him on a shield,
Around Valerius dead;
And Aulus by the head.
“See how the rebels fly!” “Romans, stand firm !" quoth Aulus,
“And win this fight or die ! They must not give Valerius
To raven and to kite;
And aye upheld the right:
In the front rank he fell. Now play the men for the good house That loves the people well!"
The roar of battle rose,
When a strong northwind blows.
Rocked furiously the fray, Till none could see Valerius,
And none wist where he lay. For shivered arms and ensigns
Were heaped there in a mound, And corpses stiff, and dying men
That writhed and gnawed the grounl; And wounded horses kicking,
And snorting purple foam : Right well did such a couch befit A Consular of Rome.
20. But north looked the Dictator;
North looked he long and hard ; And spake to Caius Cossus,
The Captain of his Guard: “Caius, of all the Romans
Thou hast the keenest sight; Say, what through yonder storm of dust Comes from the Latian right?"
21. Then answered Caius Cossus:
"I see an evil sight; The banner of proud Tusculum
Comes from the Latian right,
And far before the rest
I see the purple vest;
I see the golden helmet
That shines far off like ilame; 80 ever rides Mamilius,
Prince of the Latian name.”
22. "Now, hearken, Caius Cossus ;
Spring on thy horse's back; Ride as the wolves of Apennine
Were all upon thy track! Haste to our southward battle,
And never draw thy rein Until thou find Herminius,
And bid him come amain."
23. So Aulus spake, and turned him
Again to that fierce strife; And Caius Cossus mounted,
And rode for death and life.
The helmets of the dead,
Splashed him from heel to head.
Where fought the Roman host Against the banners of the marsh
And banners of the coast. Like corn before the sickle
The stou: Lavinians fell, Beneath the edge of the true sword
That kept the bridge so well.
“Herminius! I have sought thee
Through many a bloody day.
Shall never more go home.
While met in mortal fray The Roman and the Tusculan,
The horses black and gray. Herminius smote Mamilius
Through breastplate and through breass, And fast flowed out the purple blood
Over the purple vest. Mamilius smote Herminius
Through headpiece and through head, And side by side those chiefs of pride
Together fell down dead.
In a great lake of gore;
The dark-gray charger fled; He burst through ranks of fighting men,
He sprang o'er heaps of dead. His bridle far out-streaming,
His flanks all blood and foam, He sought the southern mountains,
The mountains of his home. The pass was steep and rugged,
The wolves they howled and whmed; But he ran like a whirlwind up the pass,
And he left the wolves behind. Through many a startled hamlet
Thundered his flying feet: He rushed through the gate of Tusculum,
He rushed up the long white street;
And paused not from his race
In the stately market-place.
A pale and trembling crowd,
Brake forth, and wailing loud :
For their great prince's fall :
And went to man the wall.
24. "Herminius! Aulus greets thee;
He bids thee come with speed To help our central battle,
For sore is there our need: There wars the youngest Tarquin,
And there the Crest of Flame, The Tusculan Mamilius,
Prince of the Latian name.
In front of our array,
Alune upholds the day.”
25. Herminius beat his bosom,
But never a word he spake: He clapped his hands on Auster's mane;
He gave the reins a shake. Away, away went Auster
Like an arrow from the bow; Black Auster was the fleetest steed
From Aufidus to Po.
26. Right glad were all the Romans
Who, in that hour of dread, Against great odds bare up the war
Around Valerius dead, When from the south the cheering
Rose with a mighty swell," Herminius comes, Herminius, Who kept the bridge so well!"
27. Mamilius spied Herminius,
And dashed across the way. VOL. IV.--76
But, like a graven image,
Black Auster kept his place, And ever wistfully he looked
Into his master's face. The raven-mane that daily,
With pats and fond caresses,
And twined in even tresses,
From her own gay attire,
In carnage and in mire.
And seized black Auster's rein,
And Ardea wavered on the left,
And Cora on the right. “Rome to the charge !” cried Aulus ;
“The foe begins to yield! Charge for the hearth of Vesta!
Charge for the Golden Shield! Let no man stop to plunder,
But slay, and slay, and slay : The gods who live forever
Are on our side to-day.”
"The furies of thy brother
With me and mine abide,
Upon black Auster ride !"
From heaven comes down the flame, Full on the neck of Titus
The blade of Aulus came:
In a wide arch and tall,
Of some rich Capuan's hall.
Were loosened with dismay When dead, on dead Herminius, The bravest Tarquin lay.
31. And Aulus the Dictator
Stroked Auster's raven mane, With heed he looked unto the girths,
With heed unto the rein.
Into yon thick array;
Tighter black Auster's band, When he was aware of a princely pair
That rode at his right hand. So like they were, no mortal
Might one from other know: White as snow their armour was:
Their steeds were white as snow. Never on earthly anvil
Did such rare armour gleam; And never did such gallant steeds Drink of an earthly stream.
33. And all who saw them trembled,
And pale grew every cheek ; And Aulus the Dictator
Scarce gathered voice to speak.
What city is your home?
In many lands we dwell: Well Samothracia knows us :
Cyrene knows us well. Our house in gay Tarentum
Is hung each morn with flowers : High o'er the masts of Syracuse
Our marble portal towers :
Is our dear native home;
35. Ho answered those strange horsemen,
And each couched low his spear; And forth with all the ranks of Rome
Were bold, and of good cheer: And on the thirty armies
Came wonder and affright,
Then the fierce trumpet-flourish
From earth to heaven arose, The kites know well the long stern swel
That bids the Romans close.
Was lifted up to slay :
Rushed Auster through the fray.
Still thicker lay the slain ; And after those strange horses
Black Auster toiled in vain. Behind them Rome's long battle
Came rolling on the foe,
Blades all in line below.
Upon the Celtic plain:
Upon the Adrian main.
It was a goodly sight
Swept down the tide of flight
When the black squall doth blow; So corn-sheaves in the flood-time
Spin down the whirling Po. False Sextus to the mountains
Turned first his horse's head: And fast fled Ferentinum,
And fast Circeium fled. The horsemen of Nomentum
Spurred hard out of the fray; The footmen of Velitræ
Threw shield and spear away.
Amidst the mud and gore,
That never stooped before:
Who led his stately ranks
On Anio's echoing banks,
Chief of the Volscian aids,
The love of Anxur's maids,
The great Arician seer And Nepos of Laurentuin,
The hunter of the deer;
Felt the good Roman steel,
Like a worm beneath the wheel :
Were mingled in a mass;
And far away the battle
Went roaring through the pass.
37. Sempronius Atratinus
Sate in the Eastern Gate.
Each in his chair of state;
That day were in the field,
Who keep the Golden Shield;
For wisdom far renowned; In all Etruria's colleges
Was no such Pontiff found. And all around the portal,
And high above the wall,
But sad and silent all;
That might not bear the mail,
And maids with faces pale. Since the first gleam of daylight,
Sempronius had not ceased To listen for the rushing
Of horse-hoofs from the east. The mist of eve was rising,
The sun was hastening down, When he was aware of a princely pair
Fast pricking towards the town.
Saw twins so like before;
Their steeds were red with gore.
And none who saw their bearing
Durst ask their name or race. On rode they to the Forum,
While laurel-boughs and flowers, From housetops and from windows,
Fell on their crests in showers.
They vaulted down amain,
That springs by Vesta's fane.
And rode to Vesta's door; Then, like a blast, away they passed, And no man saw them more.
40. And all the people trembled,
And pale grew every cheek; And Sergius the High Pontiff
Alone found voice to speak: “ The Gods who live forever
Have fought for Rome to-day! These be the Great Twin Brethren
To whom the Dorians pray.
Who, in thu hour of fight,
In harness on his right.
Through billows and through gales If once the Great Twin Brethren
Sit shining on the sails.
In Vesta's holy well,
I know, but may not tell.
Build we a stately dome Unto the Great Twin Brethren
Who fought so well for Rome. And when the months returning
Bring back this day of fight, The proud Ides of Quintilis,
Marked evermore with white,
Let all the people throng,
With music and with song;
Be hung with garlands all,
To Mars without the wall:
With joyous trumpet-sound, Each mounted on his war-horse,
And each with olive crowned; And pass in solemn order
Before the sacred dome, Where dwell the Great Twin Brethren
Who fought so well for Rome.”
Hail to the hill-tops seven!
And the shield that fell from heaven! This day, by Lake Regillus,
Under the Porcian height, All in the lands of Tusculum
Was fought a glorious fight. To-morrow your Dictator
Shall bring in triumph home The spoils of thirty cities
To deck the shrines of Rome !"
39. Then burst from that great concourse
A shout that shook the towers,
Crying, “The day is ours!”
A COLLECTION consisting exclusively of war-of the Patrician money-lenders. Children often songs would give an imperfect, or rather an became slaves in consequence of the misfor erroneous notion of the spirit of the old Latin tunes of their parents. The debtor was impriballads. The Patricians, during about a cen- soned, not in a public jail under the care of tury and a half after the expulsion of the impartial public functionaries, but in a private kings, held all the high military commands. A workhouse belonging to the creditor. FrightPlebeian, even though, like Lucius Siccius, he ful stories were told respecting these dungeons. were distinguished by his valour and know. It was said that torture and brutaļ violation ledge of war, could serve only in subordinate were common; that tight stocks, heavy chains, posts. A minstrel, therefore, who wished to scanty measures of food, were used to punish celebrate the early triumphs of his country, wretches guilty of nothing but poverty; and could hardly takz any but Patricians for his that brave soldiers, whose breasts were coheroes. The warriors who are mentioned in vered with honourable scars, were often markthe two preceding lays, Horatius, Lartius, Her-ed still more deeply on the back by the scourges minius, Aulus Posthumius, Æbutius Elva, Sem- of high-born usurers. pronius Atratinus, Valerius Poplicola, were all The Plebeians were, however, not wholly members of the dominant order; and a poet without constitutional rights. From an early who was singing their praises, whatever his period they had been admitted to some share own political opinions might be, would natu- of political power. They were enrolled in the rally abstain from insulting the class to which centuries, and were allowed a share, considerthey belonged, and from reflecting on the sys- able though not proportioned to their numerical tem which had placed such men at the head of strength, in the disposal of those high dignities the legions of the commonwealth.
from which they were themselves excluded. But there was a class of compositions in Thus their position bore some resemblance to which the great families were by no means so that of the Irish Catholics during the interval courteously treated. No parts of early Roman between the year 1792 and the year 1829. The history are richer with poetical colouring than Plebeians had also the privilege of annually those which relate to the long contest between appointing officers, named Tribunes, who had the privileged houses and the commonalty. no active share in the government of the ComThe population of Rome was, from a very early monwealth, but who, by degrees, acquired a period, divided into hereditary castes, which, power which made them formidable even to the indeed, readily united to repel foreign enemies, ablest and most resolute Consuls and Dicta. but which regarded each other, during many tors. The person of the Tribune was inviola years, with bitter animosity. Between those ble; and, though he could directly effect little, castes there was a barrier hardly less strong he could obstruct every thing. than that which, at Venice, parted the mem- During more than a century after the institubers of the Great Council from their country- tion of the Tribuneship, the Commons strugmen. In some respects indeed, the line which gled manfully for the removal of grievances separated an Icilius or a Duilius from a Post- under which they laboured; and, in spite of humius or a Fabius was even more deeply many checks and reverses, succeeded in marked than that which separated the rower wringing concession after concession from the of a gondola from a Contarini or a Morosini. stubborn aristocracy. At length, in the year At Venice the distinction was merely civil. At of the city 378, both parties mustered their Rome it was both civil and religious. Among whole strength for their last and most desperate the grievances under which the Plebeians suf- conflict. The popular and active Tribune, fered three were felt as peculiarly severe. Caius Licinius, proposed the three memorable They were excluded from the highest magis- laws which are called by his name, and which tracies; they were excluded from all share in were intended to redress the three great evils the public lands; and they were ground down of which the Plebeians complained. He was to the dust by partial and barbarous legislation supported, with eminent ability and firmness, touching pecuniary contracts. The ruling by his colleague, Lucius Sextius. The strug. class in Rome was a moneyed class; and it gle appears to have been the fiercest that ever made and administered the laws with a view in any community terminated without an apsolely to its own interest. Thus the relation peal to arms. If such a contest had raged in between lender and borrower was mixed up any Greek city, the streets would have run with the relation between sovereign and sub. with blood. But, even in the paroxysms of ject. The great men held a large portion of the faction, the Roman retained his gravity, his community in dependence by means of ad- respect for law, and his tenderness for the lives vances at enormous usury. The law of debt, of his fellow-citizens. Year after year Licinius framed by creditors, and for the protection of and Sextius were re-elected Tribunes. Year cruditors, was the most horrible that has ever after year, if the narrative which has come been known among men. The liberty, and down to us is to be trusted, they continued to et on the life, of the insolvent were at the mercy exert, to the full extent, their power of stopping