O wounds that scarce have ceased to run!
O brother’s blood! O iron time!
What horror have we left undone?
Has conscience shrunk from aught of crime?
What shrine has rapine held in awe?
What altar spared? O haste and beat
The blunted steel we yet may draw
On Arab and on Massagete!
Et THURE, et FIDIBUS.
Bid the lyre and cittern play;
Enkindle incense, shed the victim’s gore;
Heaven has watch’d o’er Numida,
And brings him safe from far Hispania’s shore.
Now, returning, he bestows
On each, dear comrade all the love he can;
But to Lamia most he owes,
By whose sweet side he grew from boy to man.
Note we in our calendar
This festal day with whitest mark from Crete:
Let it flow, the old wine-jar,
And ply to Salian time your restless feet.
Damalis tosses off her wine,
But Bassus sure must prove her match to-night.
Give us roses all to twine,
And parsley green, and lilies deathly white.
Every melting eye will rest
On Damalis’ lovely face; but none may part
Damalis from our new-found guest;
She clings, and clings, like ivy, round his heart.
Nunc est BIBENDUM.
Now drink we deep, now
A measure; now before each shrine
With Salian feasts the table spread;
The time invites us, comrades mine.
’Twas shame to broach, before to-day,
The Caecuban, while Egypt’s dame
Threaten’d our power in dust to lay
And wrap the Capitol in flame,
Girt with her foul emasculate throng,
By Fortune’s sweet new wine befool’d,
In hope’s ungovern’d weakness strong
To hope for all; but soon she cool’d,
To see one ship from burning ’scape;
Great Caesar taught her dizzy brain,
Made mad by Mareotic grape,
To feel the sobering truth of pain,
And gave her chase from Italy,
As after doves fierce falcons speed,
As hunters ’neath Haemonia’s sky
Chase the tired hare, so might he lead
The fiend enchain’d; she sought to die
More nobly, nor with woman’s dread
Quail’d at the steel, nor timorously
In her fleet ships to covert fled.
Amid her ruin’d halls she stood
Unblench’d, and fearless to the end
Grasp’d the fell snakes, that all her blood
Might with the cold black venom blend,
Death’s purpose flushing in her face;
Nor to our ships the glory gave,
That she, no vulgar dame, should grace
A triumph, crownless, and a slave.