« EelmineJätka »
That Cæsar's life no pity could deserve
From one who kill'd himself, rather than serve.
Had Brutus chose rather himself to slay,
Than any master to obey,
Happy for Rome had been that noble pride ;
The world had then remain’d in peace, and only Brutus
For he, whose soul disdains to own
Subjection to a tyrant's frown,
And his own life would rather end,
Would sure much rather kill himself, than only hurt
To his own fivord in the Philippian field
Brutus indeed at last did yield :
But in those times self-killing was not rare,
And his proceeded only from despair :
He might have chosen elfe to live,
In hopes another Cæsar would forgive;
Then, for the good of Rome, he could once more
Conspire against a life which had spar'd his before.
Our country challenges our utmost care,
And in our thoughts deserves the tenderest share;
Her to a thousand friends we should prefer,
Yet not betray them, though it be for her.'
Hard is his heart, whom no desert can move,
A mistress or a friend to love,
Above whatc'er he does besides enjoy;
But may he, for their fakes, his fire or fons destroy !
For facred justice, or for public good,
Scorn'd be our wealth, our honour, and our blood :
In such a cause, want is a happy state,
Ev'n low disgrace would be a glorious fate;
And death itself, when noble fame survives,
More to be valued than a thousand lives.
But 'tis not surely of fo fair renown
To spill another's blood, as to expose our own :
Of all that's ours we cannot give too much,
But what belongs to friendship, oh! 'tis facrilege to touch.
Can we stand by unmov'd, and see
Our mother robb’d and ravish'd? Can we be
Excus’d, if in her cause we never stir,
Pleas'd with the strength and beauty of the ravilher ?
Thus sings our bard with heat almost divine;
'Tis pity that his thought was not as strong as fine.
Would it more justly did the cafe express,
Or that its beauty and its grace were less.
(Thus a nymph sometimes we see,
Who so charming seems to be,
That, jealous of a soft surprize,
We fcarce durft trust our eager eyes)
Such a fallacious ambush to escape,
It were but vain to plead a willing rape;
A valiant son would be provok'd the more ;
A force we therefore must confess, but acted long before;
A marriage since did intervene,
With all the folemn and the sacred scene;
Loud was the Hymenean song ;
The violated dame * walkd smilingly along,
And in the midst of the most sacred dance,
As if enamour'd of his sight,
Often the cast a kind admiring glance
On the bold struggler for delight;
Who afterwards appear'd fo moderate and cool,
As if for public good alone he so desir’d to rule.
But, oh! that this were all which we can urge
Against a Roman of so great a foul!
And that fair truth permitted us to purge
His fact, of what appears to foul !
Friendship, that sacred and sublimest thing!
The noblest quality, and chiefcft good,
(In this dull
scarce understood) Inspires us with unusual warmth her injur'd rites to sing."
Affift, ye angels! whose immortal bliss,
Though more refin'd, chiefly consists in this. How plainly your bright thoughts to one another shine! Oh! how ye all agree in harmony divine ! The race of mutual love with equal zeal ye run, A course, as far from any end, as when at first begun.
Ye law, and smil'd upon this matchless pair,
Who still betwixt them did so many virtues share,
Some which belong to peace, and some to strife,
Those of a calm, and of an active life,
That all the excellence of human-kind Concurr’d to make of both but one united mind,
Which Friendship did so fast and closely bind, Not the least cement could appear by which their souls
were join'd. That
which holds our mortal frame, Which poor unknowing we a soul and body name,
Seems not a composition more divine,
Or more abstruse, than all that does in friendship shine.
From mighty Cæsar and his boundless grace,
Though Brutus, once at least, his life receiv'd;
Such obligations, though so high believ'd,
Are yet but flight in such a case,
Where friendship fo poflefles all the place,
There is no room for gratitude; since he,
W'ho fo obliges, is more pleas’d than his fav'd friend
Just in the midst of a!l this noble heat,
While their great hearts did both fo kindly beat,
That it amaz’d the lookers-on, And forc'd them to suspect a father and a fon *; (Though here ev'n Nature's self still feem'd to be out
done) From such a friendship unprovok'd to fall
Is horrid, yet I with that fact were all Which does with too much cause Ungrateful Brutus call.
* Cæsar was suspected to have begotten Brutus.
In coolest blood he laid a long design
Against his best and dearest friend;
Did ev’n his foes in zeal exceed,
To fpirit others up to work so black a deed;
Himself the centre where they all did join.
Cæsar, mean time, fearless, and fond of him,
Was as industrious all the while
To give such ample marks of fond esteem,
As made the graves Romans smile
To see with how much ease love can the wise beguile.
He, whom thus Brutus doom'd to bleed,
Did, setting his own race aside,
Nothing less for him provide,
Than in the world's great empire to succeed :
Which we are bound in justice to allow,
Is all-fufficient proof to show,
That Brutus did not strike for his own fake :
And if, alas ! he fail'd, 'twas only by mistake.