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Say'st thou I must be cautious, must be silent,
sions Drowsier than theirs, who boast the genuine blood Of our imperial house.
ACERONIA. Did I not wish to check this dangerous passion, I might remind my mistress that her nod Can rouse eight hardy legions, wont to stem With stubborn nerves the tide, and face the
rigour Of bleak Germania's snows. Four, not less brave, That in Armenia quell the Parthian force
Under the warlike Corbulo, by you
of Rome, And the Prætorian camp, have long revered, With custom'd awe, the daughter, sister, wife, And mother of their Cæsars.
Ha! by Juno, It bears a noble semblance. On this base My great revenge shall rise; or say we sound The trump of Liberty; there will not want, Even in the servile senate, ears to own Her spirit-stirring voice; Soranus there, And Cassius; Vetus too, and Thrasea, Minds of the antique cast, rough, stubborn souls, That struggle with the yoke. How shall the spark Unquenchable, that glows within their breasts, Blaze into freedom, when the idle herd (Slaves from the womb, created but to stare, And bellow in the Circus) yet will start, And shake them at the name of liberty, Stung by a senseless word, a vain tradition, As there were magic in it? Wrinkled beldams Teach it their grandchildren, as somewhat rare That anciently appear'd, but when, extends Beyond their chronicle-oh! 'tis a cause To arm the hand of childhood, and rebrace The slacken'd sinews of time-wearied age,
Yes, we may meet, ungrateful boy, we may ! Again the buried genius of old Rome Shall from the dust uprear his reverend head, Roused by the shout of inillions : there before His high tribunal thou and I appear. Let majesty sit on thy awful brow, And lighten from thy eye : around thee call The gilded swarm that wantons in the sunshine Of thy full favour; Seneca be there In gorgeous phrase of labour'd eloquence To dress thy plea, and Burrhus strengthen it With his plain soldier's oath, and honest seeming. Against thee, liberty and Agrippina : The world, the prize; and fair befall the victors,
But soft! why do I waste the fruitless hours In threats unexecuted ? Haste thee, fly These hated walls that seem to mock my shame, And cast me forth in duty to their lord.
'Tis time to go, the sun is high advanced, And, ere mid-day, Nero will come to Baiæ.
My thought aches at him; not the basilisk
Why then stays my sovereign, Where he so soon may
Yes, I will begone, But not to Antium-all shall be confess'd, Whate'er the frivolous tongue of giddy fame Has spread among the crowd; things, that but
whisper'd, Have arch'd the hearer's brow, and rivetted His eyes in fearful extasy: no matter What: so't be strange, and dreadful.-Sorcerics, Assassinations, poisonings—the deeper My guilt, the blacker his ingratitude.
And you, ye manes of ambition's victims, Enshrined Claudius, with the pitied ghosts Of the Syllani, doom'd to early death, (Ye unavailing horrors, fruitless crimes !) Ìf from the realms of night my voice ye hear, In lieu of penitence, and vain remorse, Accept my vengeance. Though by me ye bled, He was the cause. My love, my fears for him, Dried the soft springs of pity in my heart, And froze them up with deadly cruelty. Yet if your injured shades demand my fate, If murder cries for murder, blood for blood, Let me not fall alone; but crush his pride, And sink the traitor in his mother's ruin.
OTHO. Thus far we're safe. Thanks to the rosy queen Of apiorous thefts: and had her wanton son Lent us his wings, we could not have beguiled With more elusive speed the dazzled sight Of wakeful jealousy. Be gay securely: Dispel, my fair, with smiles, the timorous cloud That hangs on thy clear brow. So Helen look'd, So her white neck reciined, so was she borne By the young Trojan to his gilded bark With fond reluctance, yielding modesty, And oft reverted eye, as if she knew not Whether she fear’d, or wish'd to be pursued.
ADDRESSED TO MR. WEST, FROM GENOA,
HORRIDOS tractus, Boreæque linquens