« AnteriorContinuar »
sow, struck up a league of peace. Not far from that part of the sculpture rapid chariots had torn Metius limb from limb asunder (but thou, Alban, shouldst have adhered to thy stipulations), and Tullus was dragging the traitor's entrails through the wood; and the bushes, sprinkled with his blood, distilled. Here too Porsenna was commanding the Romans to receive Tarquinius expelled, and invested the city with close siege. The Romans in defence of liberty were rushing on the sword. Him ( Porsenna) you might have seen like one storming with rage, and like one breathing threats, because Cocles had boldly dared to beat down the bridge, and Cloelia, having burst her chains, swam the river. On the summit of the shield Manlius, guaidian of the Tarpeian tower, before the temple stood, and defended the lofty Capitol; and the palace, as newly thatched with Romulean straw, appeared rough. And here a goose in silver, fluttering athwart the gilded galleries, gave warning that the Gauls were just at hand: the Gauls were seen advancing along the thickets, and were now seizing the fort, protected by the darkness and benefit of dusky night. Of gold their tresses were, and of gold their vestments; in streaked mantelets they shine; then their milk-white necks are bound in chains of gold: each in his hand brandishes two Alpine javelins, both having their bodies protected with long bucklers. Here he had embossed the dancing Salii, and the naked priests of Pan, the sacred caps tufted with wool, and the shields that fell from heaven: chaste matrons in soft sedans were conducting the sacred pageants through the city. To these in remoter prospect he likewise adds the Tartarean mansions, Pluto's profound realms, the sufferings of the damned; and thee, Catiline, suspended from a rock that still threatens to fall, and trembling at the grim aspect of the Furies; and the good apart from the wicked, with Cato dispensing laws to them. Amidst these scenes the image
Cato Uticensis ia more likely to be meant, since he agrees to the lime of Catiline here referrccf to.
Aurea; sed fluctu spumabant caerula cano;
Et circum argento clari delphines in orbem
^Equora verrabant caudis, aestumque secabant.
In medio classes aeratas, Actia bella, 675
Cernere erat; totumque instructo Marte videres
Fervere Lcucaten, auroque effulgere fluctus.
Hinc Augustus agens Italos in proelia Caesar,
Cum patribus, populoque, Penatibus, et magnis Dis,
Stans celsa in puppi; geminas cui tempera flammas 680
Laeta vomunt, patriumque aperitur vertice sidus.
■Parte alia Tentis et Dls Agrippa secundis,
Arduus, agmen agens; cui, belli insigne superbum,
Tempora navali fulgent rostrata corona.
Hinc ope barbaricfi variisque Antonius armis 685
Victor, ab Aurorae populis et litore rubro,
^Egyptum, viresque Orientis, et ultima secum
Bactravehit; sequiturque, nefas! ^Egyptia conjux.
Una omnes ruere, ac totum spumare reductis
Convulsum remis rostrisque tridentibus aequor. 690
Alta petunt: pelago credas innare i-evulsas
Cycladas, aut monies concurrere montibus altos;
Tanta mole viri turritis puppibus instant.
Stuppea flamma manu, telisque volatile ferrum
Spargitur: arva novit Neptunia cteie rubescunt. 695
Regina in mediis patrio vocat agmina sistro;
Nee dum etiam geminos a tergo respicit angues.
Omnigenflmque Defim monstra, et latrator Anubis,
Contra Neptunum et Venerem, contraque Minervam,
Tela tenent. Saevit medio in certamine Mavors, 700
Caelatus ferro, tristesque ex aethere Dirae;
Et scissf i gaudens vadit Discordia pallfi,
Quam cum sanguineo sequitur Bellona flagello.
672. Aurea—cncmla cano. The ground or surface of the ocean was in gold, and the first whitening waves in silver. Caerula may mean the waters in general, without any reference to colour.
681. Patrium siaits. The star into which his adoptive father Julius Caesar was supposed to have been changed.
684. Rostrata corona. The reward of valour at sea was a crown set round with representations of the beaks of ships.
fj86. Victor. Who gained a victory over the t'arlhians.
fios. Patrio sistro. This" was a "kind of timbrel used by the Egyptians in the worship of Isis.
of the swelling ocean was widely diffused in gold; but the seas foamed with hoary silver waves, and all around conspicuous in silver the wheeling dolphins swept the seas with their tails, and cut the tide. In the midst were to be seen fleets with brazen prows, the fight of Actium; and you could discern Leucate all in a ferment with the marshalled war, and the billows brightly displayed in gold. On one side is Augustus Caesar conducting the Italians to the engagement, with the senators and people, the domestic gods, and the great guardian deities of empire, standing on the lofty stern; whose graceful auspicious temples dart forth two flames, and on whose crest his father's star is displayed. In another part Agrippa, with winds and gods propitious, sublime appears leading his squadron; whose brows are adorned with a naval crown's refulgent beak. On the other side victorious Mark Antony, with his barbarian supplies and various troops, brings up with him, from the nations of the morning, and the coasts of the Red-Sea, ^Egypt, the strength of the east, and Bactra, the boundary of his empire; and him follows, oh foul disgrace! his ^Egyptian spouse Cleopatra. All are rushing on together, and the ■whole watery plain foams convulsed with the labouring oars and trident-beaks. They make for the deep: you would have imagined, that the Cyclades uptorn were floating on the main, or lofty mountains encountering mountains; with such stupendous force the warriors in their turret-bearing ships urge on the attack. From their hands flaming balls of tow, and from missive engines the winged steel is flung: Neptune's watery fields redden with uncommon slaughter. In the midst the queen (Cleopatra) rouses her squadrons with her country's timbrel; nor as yet regards the two snakes behind her. Her monstrous gods of every farmland barking Anubis, opposed to Neptune, Venus, and.jMiirerva, are wielding their weapons. In the Jnlflst*:of the combat Mars sculptured in iron stonnS; and the grim Furies rage, shooting from the sky -, and fijscorct.with her mantle rent stalks here well pleased, iChom Bellona follows with her Actius h«ec cernens aicum intendebat Apollo
Desuper: omnis eo terrore ./Egyptus, et Indi, 705
Omms Arabs, omnes vertebant terga Sabaei.
Ipsa videbatur ventis regina vocatis
Vela dare, et laxos jam jamque immittere funes.
Illam inter caedes, pallentem morte futurfi,
Fecerat Ignipotens undis et Iapyge ferri: 710
Contra autem magno moerentem corpora Nilum,
Pandentemque sinus, et tota veste vocantem
Cteruleum in gremium latebrosaque flumina victos.
At Caesar, triplici invectus Romana triumpho
Moenia, Dls Italis votum immortale, sacrabat 715
Maxima ;tercentum totam delubra per urbem.
Laeting ludisque viae plausuque fremebant.
Omnibus in templis matrum chorus, omnibus ane.
Ante aras terram caesi stravere juvenci.
Ipse, sedens niveo candentis limine Phoebi, 720
Dona recognoscit populorum, aptatque superbis
Postibus. Incedunt victae longo online gentes,
Quam variae Unguis, habitu tam vestis et armis.
Hie Nomadum genus, et discinctos Mulciber Afros;
Hie Lelegas Carasque, sagittiferosque Gelonos, 725
Finxerat. Euphrates ibat jam mollior undis,
Extremique hominum Monni, Rhenusque bicornis,
Indomitique Dahae, et pontem indignatus Araxes.
Talia, per clypeum Vulcani, dona parentis Miratur; reruroque ignarus imagine gaudet, 730
Attollens humero famamque et fata nepotum.
710. Iapyge. The wind that blows from Apulla, which was anciently called Iapyx, directly eastward, and consequently towards
720.'Nix-eo, etc. The temple of Apollo, which Augustus buill on ihe Palatine mount of bright Parian marble. '724. Mulciber was Vulcan's name, quia omnia mubzeat ignis.
7?fl. Arn.ic*. A lisuMi^Aimenia, that bore down tile bridge Which Alexander tbe^*H|npMkhuilt over it.
bloody scourge. Apollo of Actium, viewing all these objects from above, was bending his bow: with the terror thereof all /Egypt and the Indians, the Arabs aud Sabaeans, all were turning their backs. The queen herself, invoking the winds to aid her flight, seemed to sail, and with eager haste to fling away the loosened cables. Her the god of fire had represented amidst the slaughter, driven along by waves ana winds, pale with the terrors of approaching death; and, opposite, he had sculptured the Kile with his gigantic form in deep distress, expanding his skirts, and, with all his robe displayed, calling his vanquished sorts into his azure bosom and harbouring streams. Caesar again, having in triple triumph entered the gates of Rome, was consecrating through all the city three hundred stately temples, his immortal vow to the Italian gods. The streets rang with joy, and games, and acclamations. In all the temples are choirs of matrons, paying their grateful offerings; and in all the temples altars smoke with incense. Before the altars the sacrificed bullocks cover the ground. A ugustus himself, seated in the snow-white porch of shining Phoebus, reviews the offerings of the people, and in due order hangs them on the stately pillars. In long orderly procession the vanquished nations march, as various in the fashion of their garb and arms, as in their language. Here the all-subduing god had figured the Numidian race, and the Africans loose in their attire; here, the Leleges, the Carians, and Geloni armed with arrows. Euphrates now was seen to flow with gentler streams; the Morini, remotest of the human race, appeared, and the two-horned Rhine, the untamed Daha», and the Araxes, that once disdained to admit a bridge.
Such curious scenes on Vulcan's shield, the present of his parent-godrfess, the hero views with wonder, and though a stranger to the events, yet fejojees in their figure and representation, and on his'sKo'ulder bears aloft the. fame and fortune of his laeei' •• '."