Ambassadors from Cæsar Address Cato.

Noblest of Romans, we come to save1
The pride of Rome from a timeless grave :2
Hear the greeting which Cesar sends3
Cæsar counts Cato among his friends.’ ”4
Bear back to Cæesar Cato’s reply5
Cato’s friends are the friends of liberty.”6
Cæsar offers thee power, high station, and sway7
Power that all next to Cæesar’s himself shall obey.”8
No power of value to Cato can be,9
Save the power of keeping his country free.”10
Cæsar offers thee wealth—riches we’ll bring11
That shall rival the stores of the Lydian king.”12
Freedom is of a price too high13
For all the wealth of Crœsus to buy.”14
Cæsar offers thee pleasure—the west and east15
Shall be traversed for beauty thy view to feast.”16
No beauty can equal in Cato’s eye17
The loveliness of liberty.”18
A grander offer of favour we bring ;19
Some subject kingdom shall call thee king.’20
In Cato’s eyes, the freeman’s grave21
Is grander far than the throne of a slave.”22
Ask aught in the power of Cæesar to give :23
There’s nought he’ll refuse if Cato will live.”24
Go, bear this answer to Cæsar home25
The boon Cato asks is—the Freedom of Rome.”26