BETA

ODE 5.

Jove’s power the thunder-peal proclaims :1
Britain’s and Parthia’s hated names,2
Inscribed ’ mid Cæsar’s victories,3
Exalt the hero to the skies.4
And has thy soldier, Crassus, wived5
With barbarous consort, meanly lived ?6
Beneath a Median standard ranged7
(O senate shamed ! O manners changed ! )8
Mail’d in a foreign sire’s array,9
Has the stern Marsian’s brow grown gray10
Vesta, race, robe, and rites forgot,11
As if great Rome, dread Jove were not ?12
This, patriot Regulus foreknew ;13
And spurn’d, to home and honour true,14
The terms whose chronicled disgrace15
Would paralyse each rising race16
If they, who bore to live in chains,17
Lived not unwept.  “ In Punic fanes18
Rome’s captive banner hung (he cried)19
These eyes have witness’d ; from a side20
Gash’d by no wound the sword resign’d,21
And Roman arms base fetters bind ;22
Carthage unbolted, and her field23
(Erst our rich spoil) securely till’d.24
Hope ye more brave a ransom’d race ?25
Ye couple damage with disgrace.26
Alas ! once tinctured for the boom,27
Ne’er will the fleece its snow resume ;28
Nor valour, sullied by a stain,29
Shake off its taint, and glow again.30
If stag released will brave the fight,31
Then count upon that soldier’s might,32
Who once has bow’d to treacherous foe :33
Then trust he’ll strike heroic blow,34
Who once has felt the hostile cord,35
And quiver’d at a Punic sword.36
Of life’s true guardian reckless, he37
Sought in base peace security.38
O mighty Carthage, rear’d to fame39
On ruin of the Roman name ! ?40
And thus, his wife’s caress declined,41
And round his knees his infants twined42
Pushing away, in sternest mood43
(His eyes unraised) the warrior stood :44
Till he the wavering senate bent45
With counsel beyond precedent,46
And ’ mid his weeping friends’ dismay,47
Illustrious exile! hied away.48
Though well, alas ! he knew what woes49
Were meant him by his Savage foes :50
Through kin, through crowds before him cast,51
With foot as firm the hero past,52
As if composed each petty broil53
Of humble friends, from civil toil54
He turn’d to some Venafran dome,55
Or sought Tarentum’s distant home !56