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The Online 
Medieval and Classical Library

(aka "The Civil War")

The Battle

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #16b

     Ne'er to the summons of the Eternal laws
     More slowly Titan rose, (1) nor drave his steeds,
     Forced by the sky revolving, (2) up the heaven,
     With gloomier presage; wishing to endure
     The pangs of ravished light, and dark eclipse;
     And drew the mists up, not to feed his flames, (3)
     But lest his light upon Thessalian earth
     Might fall undimmed.

                              Pompeius on that morn,
     To him the latest day of happy life,
10   In troubled sleep an empty dream conceived.
     For in the watches of the night he heard
     Innumerable Romans shout his name
     Within his theatre; the benches vied
     To raise his fame and place him with the gods;
     As once in youth, when victory was won
     O'er conquered tribes where swift Iberus flows, (4)
     And where Sertorius' armies fought and fled,
     The west subdued, with no less majesty
     Than if the purple toga graced the car,
20   He sat triumphant in his pure white gown
     A Roman knight, and heard the Senate's cheer.
     Perhaps, as ills drew near, his anxious soul,
     Shunning the future wooed the happy past;
     Or, as is wont, prophetic slumber showed
     That which was not to be, by doubtful forms
     Misleading; or as envious Fate forbade
     Return to Italy, this glimpse of Rome
     Kind Fortune gave.  Break not his latest sleep,
     Ye sentinels; let not the trumpet call
30   Strike on his ear: for on the morrow's night
     Shapes of the battle lost, of death and war
     Shall crowd his rest with terrors.  Whence shalt thou
     The poor man's happiness of sleep regain?
     Happy if even in dreams thy Rome could see
     Once more her captain!  Would the gods had given
     To thee and to thy country one day yet
     To reap the latest fruit of such a love:
     Though sure of fate to come!  Thou marchest on
     As though by heaven ordained in Rome to die;
40   She, conscious ever of her prayers for thee
     Heard by the gods, deemed not the fates decreed
     Such evil destiny, that she should lose
     The last sad solace of her Magnus' tomb.
     Then young and old had blent their tears for thee,
     And child unbidden; women torn their hair
     And struck their bosoms as for Brutus dead.
     But now no public woe shall greet thy death
     As erst thy praise was heard: but men shall grieve
     In silent sorrow, though the victor's voice
50   Amid the clash of arms proclaims thy fall;
     Though incense smoke before the Thunderer's shrine,
     And shouts of welcome bid great Caesar hail.

     The stars had fled before the growing morn,
     When eager voices (as the fates drew on
     The world to ruin) round Pompeius' tent
     Demand the battle signal.  What!  by those
     So soon to perish, shall the sign be asked,
     Their own, their country's doom?  Ah!  fatal rage
     That hastens on the hour; no other sun
60   Upon this living host shall rise again.
     "Pompeius fears!" they cry.  "He's slow to act;
     Too 'kind to Caesar; and he fondly rules
     A world of subject peoples; but with peace
     Such rule were ended."  Eastern kings no less,
     And peoples, eager for their distant homes,
     Already murmured at the lengthy war.

     Thus hath it pleased the gods, when woe impends
     On guilty men, to make them seem its cause.
     We court disaster, crave the fatal sword.
70   Of Magnus' camp Pharsalia was the prayer;
     For Tullius, of all the sons of Rome
     Chief orator, beneath whose civil rule
     Fierce Catiline at the peace-compelling axe
     Trembled and fled, arose, to Magnus' ear
     Bearing the voice of all.  To him was war
     Grown hateful, and he longed once more to hear
     The Senate's plaudits; and with eloquent lips
     He lent persuasion to the weaker cause.
     "Fortune, Pompeius, for her gifts to thee
80   Asks this one boon, that thou should'st use her now.
     Here at thy feet thy leading captains lie;
     And here thy monarchs, and a suppliant world
     Entreats thee prostrate for thy kinsman's fall.
     So long shall Caesar plunge the world in war?
     Swift was thy tread when these proud nations fell;
     How deep their shame, and justly, should delay
     Now mar thy conquests!  Where thy trust in Fate,
     Thy fervour where?  Ingrate!  Dost dread the gods,
     Or think they favour not the Senate's cause?
90   Thy troops unbidden shall the standards seize
     And conquer; thou in shame be forced to win.
     If at the Senate's orders and for us
     The war is waged, then give to us the right
     To choose the battle-field.  Why dost thou keep
     From Caesar's throat the swords of all the world?
     The weapon quivers in the eager hand:
     Scarce one awaits the signal.  Strike at once,
     Or without thee the trumpets sound the fray.
     Art thou the Senate's comrade or her lord?
100  We wait your answer."

                              But Pompeius groaned;
     His mind was adverse, but he felt the fates
     Opposed his wish, and knew the hand divine.
     "Since all desire it, and the fates prevail,
     So let it be; your leader now no more,
     I share the labours of the battle-field.
     Let Fortune roll the nations of the earth
     In one red ruin; myriads of mankind
     See their last sun to-day.  Yet, Rome, I swear,
     This day of blood was forced upon thy son.
110  Without a wound, the prizes of the war
     Might have been thine, and he who broke the peace
     In peace forgotten.  Whence this lust for crime?
     Shall bloodless victories in civil war
     Be shunned, not sought?  We've ravished from our foe
     All boundless seas, and land; his starving troops
     Have snatched earth's crop half-grown, in vain attempt
     Their hunger to appease; they prayed for death,
     Sought for the sword-thrust, and within our ranks
     Were fain to mix their life-blood with your own.
120  Much of the war is done: the conscript youth
     Whose heart beats high, who burns to join the fray
     (Though men fight hard in terror of defeat),
     The shock of onset need no longer fear.
     Bravest is he who promptly meets the ill
     When fate commands it and the moment comes,
     Yet brooks delay, in prudence; and shall we,
     Our happy state enjoying, risk it all?
     Trust to the sword the fortunes of the world?
     Not victory, but battle, ye demand.
130  Do thou, O Fortune, of the Roman state
     Who mad'st Pompeius guardian, from his hands
     Take back the charge grown weightier, and thyself
     Commit its safety to the chance of war.
     Nor blame nor glory shall be mine to-day.
     Thy prayers unjustly, Caesar, have prevailed:
     We fight!  What wickedness, what woes on men,
     Destruction on what realms this dawn shall bring!
     Crimson with Roman blood yon stream shall run.
     Would that (without the ruin of our cause)
140  The first fell bolt hurled on this cursed day
     Might strike me lifeless!  Else, this battle brings
     A name of pity or a name of hate.
     The loser bears the burden of defeat;
     The victor wins, but conquest is a crime."
     Thus to the soldiers, burning for the fray,
     He yields, forbidding, and throws down the reins.
     So may a sailor give the winds control
     Upon his barque, which, driven by the seas,
     Bears him an idle burden.  Now the camp
150  Hums with impatience, and the brave man's heart
     With beats tumultuous throbs against his breast;
     And all the host had standing in their looks (5)
     The paleness of the death that was to come.
     On that day's fight 'twas manifest that Rome
     And all the future destinies of man
     Hung trembling; and by weightier dread possessed,
     They knew not danger.  Who would fear for self
     Should ocean rise and whelm the mountain tops,
     And sun and sky descend upon the earth
160  In universal chaos?  Every mind
     Is bent upon Pompeius, and on Rome.
     They trust no sword until its deadly point
     Glows on the sharpening stone; no lance will serve
     Till straightened for the fray; each bow is strung
     Anew, and arrows chosen for their work
     Fill all the quivers; horsemen try the curb
     And fit the bridle rein and whet the spur.
     If toils divine with human may compare,
     'Twas thus, when Phlegra bore the giant crew, (6)
170  In Etna's furnace glowed the sword of Mars,
     Neptunus' trident felt the flame once more;
     And great Apollo after Python slain
     Sharpened his darts afresh: on Pallas' shield
     Was spread anew the dread Medusa's hair;
     And broad Sicilia trembled at the blows
     Of Vulcan forging thunderbolts for Jove.

     Yet Fortune failed not, as they sought the field,
     In various presage of the ills to come;
     All heaven opposed their march: portentous fire
180  In columns filled the plain, and torches blazed:
     And thirsty whirlwinds mixed with meteor bolts
     Smote on them as they strode, whose sulphurous flames
     Perplexed the vision.  Crests were struck from helms;
     The melted sword-blade flowed upon the hilt:
     The spear ran liquid, and the hurtful steel
     Smoked with a sulphur that had come from heaven.
     Nay, more, the standards, hid by swarms of bees
     Innumerable, weighed the bearer down,
     Scarce lifted from the earth; bedewed with tears;
190  No more of Rome the standards, (7) or her state.
     And from the altar fled the frantic bull
     To fields afar; nor was a victim found
     To grace the sacrifice of coming doom.

     But thou, Caesar, to what gods of ill
     Didst thou appeal?  What furies didst thou call,
     What powers of madness and what Stygian Kings
     Whelmed in th' abyss of hell?  Didst favour gain
     By sacrifice in this thine impious war?
     Strange sights were seen; or caused by hands divine
200  Or due to fearful fancy.  Haemus' top
     Plunged headlong in the valley, Pindus met
     With high Olympus, while at Ossa's feet
     Red ran Baebeis, (8) and Pharsalia's field
     Gave warlike voices forth in depth of night.
     Now darkness came upon their wondering gaze,
     Now daylight pale and wan, their helmets wreathed
     In pallid mist; the spirits of their sires
     Hovered in air, and shades of kindred dead
     Passed flitting through the gloom.  Yet to the host
210  Conscious of guilty prayers which sought to shed
     The blood of sires and brothers, earth and air
     Distraught, and horrors seething in their hearts
     Gave happy omen of the end to come.

     Was't strange that peoples whom their latest day
     Of happy life awaited (if their minds
     Foreknew the doom) should tremble with affright?
     Romans who dwelt by far Araxes' stream,
     And Tyrian Gades, (9) in whatever clime,
     'Neath every sky, struck by mysterious dread
220  Were plunged in sorrow -- yet rebuked the tear,
     For yet they knew not of the fatal day.
     Thus on Euganean hills (10) where sulphurous fumes
     Disclose the rise of Aponus (11) from earth,
     And where Timavus broadens in the meads,
     An augur spake: "This day the fight is fought,
     The arms of Caesar and Pompeius meet
     To end the impious conflict."  Or he saw
     The bolts of Jupiter, predicting ill;
     Or else the sky discordant o'er the space
230  Of heaven, from pole to pole; or else perchance
     The sun was sad and misty in the height
     And told the battle by his wasted beams.
     By Nature's fiat that Thessalian day
     Passed not as others; if the gifted sense
     Of reading portents had been given to all,
     All men had known Pharsalia.  Gods of heaven!
     How do ye mark the great ones of the earth!
     The world gives tokens of their weal or woe;
     The sky records their fates: in distant climes
240  To future races shall their tale be told,
     Or by the fame alone of mighty deeds
     Had in remembrance, or by this my care
     Borne through the centuries: and men shall read
     In hope and fear the story of the war
     And breathless pray, as though it were to come,
     For that long since accomplished; and for thee
     Thus far, Pompeius, shall that prayer be given.

     Reflected from their arms, th' opposing sun
     Filled all the slope with radiance as they marched
250  In ordered ranks to that ill-fated fight,
     And stood arranged for battle.  On the left
     Thou, Lentulus, had'st charge; two legions there,
     The fourth, and bravest of them all, the first:
     While on the right, Domitius, ever stanch,
     Though fates be adverse, stood: in middle line
     The hardy soldiers from Cilician lands,
     In Scipio's care; their chief in Libyan days,
     To-day their comrade.  By Enipeus' pools
     And by the rivulets, the mountain troops
260  Of Cappadocia, and loose of rein
     Thy squadrons, Pontus: on the firmer ground
     Galatia's tetrarchs and the greater kings;
     And all the purple-robed, the slaves of Rome.
     Numidian hordes were there from Afric shores,
     There Creta's host and Ituraeans found
     Full space to wing their arrows; there the tribes
     From brave Iberia clashed their shields, and there
     Gaul stood arrayed against her ancient foe.
     Let all the nations be the victor's prize,
270  None grace in future a triumphal car;
     This fight demands the slaughter of a world.

     Caesar that day to send his troops for spoil
     Had left his tent, when on the further hill
     Behold!  his foe descending to the plain.
     The moment asked for by a thousand prayers
     Is come, which puts his fortune on the risk
     Of imminent war, to win or lose it all.
     For burning with desire of kingly power
     His eager soul ill brooked the small delay
280  This civil war compelled: each instant lost
     Robbed from his due!  But when at length he knew
     The last great conflict come, the fight supreme,
     Whose prize the leadership of all the world:
     And felt the ruin nodding to its fall:
     Swiftest to strike, yet for a little space
     His rage for battle failed; the spirit bold
     To pledge itself the issue, wavered now:
     For Magnus' fortunes gave no room for hope,
     Though Caesar's none for fear.  Deep in his soul
290  Such doubt was hidden, as with mien and speech
     That augured victory, thus the chief began:
     "Ye conquerors of a world, my hope in all,
     Prayed for so oft, the dawn of fight is come.
     No more entreat the gods: with sword in hand
     Seize on our fates; and Caesar in your deeds
     This day is great or little.  This the day
     For which I hold since Rubicon was passed
     Your promise given: for this we flew to arms: (12)
     For this deferred the triumphs we had won,
300  And which the foe refused: this gives you back
     Your homes and kindred, and the peaceful farm,
     Your prize for years of service in the field.
     And by the fates' command this day shall prove
     Whose quarrel juster: for defeat is guilt
     To him on whom it falls.  If in my cause
     With fire and sword ye did your country wrong,
     Strike for acquittal!  Should another judge
     This war, not Caesar, none were blameless found.
     Not for my sake this battle, but for you,
310  To give you, soldiers, liberty and law
     'Gainst all the world.  Wishful myself for life
     Apart from public cares, and for the gown
     That robes the private citizen, I refuse
     To yield from office till the law allows
     Your right in all things.  On my shoulders rest
     All blame; all power be yours.  Nor deep the blood
     Between yourselves and conquest.  Grecian schools
     Of exercise and wrestling (13) send us here
     Their chosen darlings to await your swords;
320  And scarcely armed for war, a dissonant crowd
     Barbaric, that will start to hear our trump,
     Nay, their own clamour.  Not in civil strife
     Your blows shall fall -- the battle of to-day
     Sweeps from the earth the enemies of Rome.
     Dash through these cowards and their vaunted kings:
     One stroke of sword and all the world is yours.
     Make plain to all men that the crowds who decked
     Pompeius' hundred pageants scarce were fit
     For one poor triumph.  Shall Armenia care
330  Who leads her masters, or barbarians shed
     One drop of blood to make Pompeius chief
     O'er our Italia?  Rome, 'tis Rome they hate
     And all her children; yet they hate the most
     Those whom they know.  My fate is in the hands
     Of you, mine own true soldiers, proved in all
     The wars we fought in Gallia.  When the sword
     Of each of you shall strike, I know the hand:
     The javelin's flight to me betrays the arm
     That launched it hurtling: and to-day once more
340  I see the faces stern, the threatening eyes,
     Unfailing proofs of victory to come.
     E'en now the battle rushes on my sight;
     Kings trodden down and scattered senators
     Fill all th' ensanguined plain, and peoples float
     Unnumbered on the crimson tide of death.
     Enough of words -- I but delay the fates;
     And you who burn to dash into the fray,
     Forgive the pause.  I tremble with the hopes (14)
     Thus finding utterance.  I ne'er have seen
350  The mighty gods so near; this little field
     Alone dividing us; their hands are full
     Of my predestined honours: for 'tis I
     Who when this war is done shall have the power
     O'er all that peoples, all that kings enjoy
     To shower it where I will.  But has the pole
     Been moved, or in its nightly course some star
     Turned backwards, that such mighty deeds should pass
     Here on Thessalian earth?  To-day we reap
     Of all our wars the harvest or the doom.
360  Think of the cross that threats us, and the chain,
     Limbs hacked asunder, Caesar's head displayed
     Upon the rostra; and that narrow field
     Piled up with slaughter: for this hostile chief
     Is savage Sulla's pupil.  'Tis for you,
     If conquered, that I grieve: my lot apart
     Is cast long since.  This sword, should one of you
     Turn from the battle ere the foe be fled,
     Shall rob the life of Caesar.  O ye gods,
     Drawn down from heaven by the throes of Rome,
370  May he be conqueror who shall not draw
     Against the vanquished an inhuman sword,
     Nor count it as a crime if men of Rome
     Preferred another's standard to his own.
     Pompeius' sword drank deep Italian blood
     When cabined in yon space the brave man's arm
     No more found room to strike.  But you, I pray,
     Touch not the foe who turns him from the fight,
     A fellow citizen, a foe no more.
     But while the gleaming weapons threaten still,
380  Let no fond memories unnerve the arm, (15)
     No pious thought of father or of kin;
     But full in face of brother or of sire,
     Drive home the blade.  Unless the slain be known
     Your foes account his slaughter as a crime;
     Spare not our camp, but lay the rampart low
     And fill the fosse with ruin; not a man
     But holds his post within the ranks to-day.
     And yonder tents, deserted by the foe,
     Shall give us shelter when the rout is done."

390  Scarce had he paused; they snatch the hasty meal,
     And seize their armour and with swift acclaim
     Welcome the chief's predictions of the day,
     Tread low their camp when rushing to the fight;
     And take their post: nor word nor order given,
     In fate they put their trust.  Nor, had'st thou placed
     All Caesars there, all striving for the throne
     Of Rome their city, had their serried ranks
     With speedier tread dashed down upon the foe.

     But when Pompeius saw the hostile troops
400  Move forth in order and demand the fight,
     And knew the gods' approval of the day,
     He stood astonied, while a deadly chill
     Struck to his heart -- omen itself of woe,
     That such a chief should at the call to arms,
     Thus dread the issue: but with fear repressed,
     Borne on his noble steed along the line
     Of all his forces, thus he spake: "The day
     Your bravery demands, that final end
     Of civil war ye asked for, is at hand.
410  Put forth your strength, your all; the sword to-day
     Does its last work.  One crowded hour is charged
     With nations' destinies.  Whoe'er of you
     Longs for his land and home, his wife and child,
     Seek them with sword.  Here in mid battle-field,
     The gods place all at stake.  Our better right
     Bids us expect their favour; they shall dip
     Your brands in Caesar's blood, and thus shall give
     Another sanction to the laws of Rome,
     Our cause of battle.  If for him were meant
420  An empire o'er the world, had they not put
     An end to Magnus' life?  That I am chief
     Of all these mingled peoples and of Rome
     Disproves an angry heaven.  See here combined
     All means of victory.  Noble men have sought
     Unasked the risks of war.  Our soldiers boast
     Ancestral statues.  If to us were given
     A Curius, if Camillus were returned,
     Or patriot Decius to devote his life,
     Here would they take their stand.  From furthest east
430  All nations gathered, cities as the sand
     Unnumbered, give their aid: a world complete
     Serves 'neath our standards.  North and south and all
     Who have their being 'neath the starry vault,
     Here meet in arms conjoined: And shall we not
     Crush with our closing wings this paltry foe?
     Few shall find room to strike; the rest with voice
     Must be content to aid: for Caesar's ranks
     Suffice not for us.  Think from Rome's high walls
     The matrons watch you with their hair unbound;
440  Think that the Senate hoar, too old for arms,
     With snowy locks outspread; and Rome herself,
     The world's high mistress, fearing now, alas!
     A despot -- all exhort you to the fight.
     Think that the people that is and that shall be
     Joins in the prayer -- in freedom to be born,
     In freedom die, their wish.  If 'mid these vows
     Be still found place for mine, with wife and child,
     So far as Imperator may, I bend
     Before you suppliant -- unless this fight
450  Be won, behold me exile, your disgrace,
     My kinsman's scorn.  From this, 'tis yours to save.
     Then save!  Nor in the latest stage of life,
     Let Magnus be a slave."

                              Then burned their souls
     At these his words, indignant at the thought,
     And Rome rose up within them, and to die
     Was welcome.

                    Thus alike with hearts aflame
     Moved either host to battle, one in fear
     And one in hope of empire.  These hands shall do
     Such work as not the rolling centuries
460  Not all mankind though free from sword and war
     Shall e'er make good.  Nations that were to live
     This fight shall crush, and peoples pre-ordained
     To make the history of the coming world
     Shall come not to the birth.  The Latin names
     Shall sound as fables in the ears of men,
     And ruins loaded with the dust of years
     Shall hardly mark her cities.  Alba's hill,
     Home of our gods, no human foot shall tread,
     Save of some Senator at the ancient feast
470  By Numa's orders founded -- he compelled
     Serves his high office. (16)  Void and desolate
     Are Veii, Cora and Laurentum's hold;
     Yet not the tooth of envious time destroyed
     These storied monuments -- 'twas civil war
     That rased their citadels.  Where now hath fled
     The teeming life that once Italia knew?
     Not all the earth can furnish her with men:
     Untenanted her dwellings and her fields:
     Slaves till her soil: one city holds us all:
480  Crumbling to ruin, the ancestral roof
     Finds none on whom to fall; and Rome herself,
     Void of her citizens, draws within her gates
     The dregs of all the world.  That none might wage
     A civil war again, thus deeply drank
     Pharsalia's fight the life-blood of her sons.
     Dark in the calendar of Rome for aye,
     The days when Allia and Cannae fell:
     And shall Pharsalus' morn, darkest of all,
     Stand on the page unmarked?  Alas, the fates!
490  Not plague nor pestilence nor famine's rage,
     Not cities given to the flames, nor towns
     Trembling at shock of earthquake shall weigh down
     Such heroes lost, when Fortune's ruthless hand
     Lops at one blow the gift of centuries,
     Leaders and men embattled.  How great art thou,
     Rome, in thy fall!  Stretched to the widest bounds
     War upon war laid nations at thy feet
     Till flaming Titan nigh to either pole
     Beheld thine empire; and the furthest east
500  Was almost thine, till day and night and sky
     For thee revolved, and all the stars could see
     Throughout their course was Roman.  But the fates
     In one dread day of slaughter and despair
     Turned back the centuries and spoke thy doom.
     And now the Indian fears the axe no more
     Once emblem of thy power, now no more
     The girded Consul curbs the Getan horde,
     Or in Sarmatian furrows guides the share: (17)
     Still Parthia boasts her triumphs unavenged:
510  Foul is the public life; and Freedom, fled
     To furthest Earth beyond the Tigris' stream,
     And Rhine's broad river, wandering at her will
     'Mid Teuton hordes and Scythian, though by sword
     Sought, yet returns not.  Would that from the day
     When Romulus, aided by the vulture's flight,
     Ill-omened, raised within that hateful grove
     Rome's earliest walls, down to the crimsoned field
     In dire Thessalia fought, she ne'er had known
     Italia's peoples!  Did the Bruti strike
520  In vain for liberty?  Why laws and rights
     Sanctioned by all the annals designate
     With consular titles?  Happier far the Medes
     And blest Arabia, and the Eastern lands
     Held by a kindlier fate in despot rule!
     That nation serves the worst which serves with shame.
     No guardian gods watch over us from heaven:
     Jove (18) is no king; let ages whirl along
     In blind confusion: from his throne supreme
     Shall he behold such carnage and restrain
530  His thunderbolts?  On Mimas shall he hurl
     His fires, on Rhodope and Oeta's woods
     Unmeriting such chastisement, and leave
     This life to Cassius' hand?  On Argos fell
     At grim Thyestes' feast (19) untimely night
     By him thus hastened; shall Thessalia's land
     Receive full daylight, wielding kindred swords
     In fathers' hands and brothers'?  Careless of men
     Are all the gods.  Yet for this day of doom
     Such vengeance have we reaped as deities
540  May give to mortals; for these wars shall raise
     Our parted Caesars to the gods; and Rome
     Shall deck their effigies with thunderbolts,
     And stars and rays, and in the very fanes
     Swear by the shades of men.

                                   With swift advance
     They seize the space that yet delays the fates
     Till short the span dividing.  Then they gaze
     For one short moment where may fall the spear,
     What hand may deal their death, what monstrous task
     Soon shall be theirs; and all in arms they see,
550  In reach of stroke, their brothers and their sires
     With front opposing; yet to yield their ground
     It pleased them not.  But all the host was dumb
     With horror; cold upon each loving heart,
     Awe-struck, the life-blood pressed; and all men held
     With arms outstretched their javelins for a time,
     Poised yet unthrown.  Now may th' avenging gods
     Allot thee, Crastinus, (20) not such a death
     As all men else do suffer!  In the tomb
     May'st thou have feeling and remembrance still!
560  For thine the hand that first flung forth the dart,
     Which stained with Roman blood Thessalia's earth.
     Madman!  To speed thy lance when Caesar's self
     Still held his hand!  Then from the clarions broke
     The strident summons, and the trumpets blared
     Responsive signal.  Upward to the vault
     The sound re-echoes where nor clouds may reach
     Nor thunder penetrate; and Haemus' slopes (21)
     Reverberate to Pelion the din;
     Pindus re-echoes; Oeta's lofty rocks
570  Groan, and Pangaean cliffs, till at their rage
     Borne back from all the earth they shook for fear.

     Unnumbered darts they hurl, with prayers diverse;
     Some hope to wound: others, in secret, yearn
     For hands still innocent.  Chance rules supreme,
     And wayward Fortune upon whom she wills
     Makes fall the guilt.  Yet for the hatred bred
     By civil war suffices spear nor lance,
     Urged on their flight afar: the hand must grip
     The sword and drive it to the foeman's heart.
580  But while Pompeius' ranks, shield wedged to shield,
     Were ranged in dense array, and scarce had space
     To draw the blade, came rushing at the charge
     Full on the central column Caesar's host,
     Mad for the battle.  Man nor arms could stay
     The crash of onset, and the furious sword
     Clove through the stubborn panoply to the flesh,
     There only stayed.  One army struck -- their foes
     Struck not in answer; Magnus' swords were cold,
     But Caesar's reeked with slaughter and with guilt.
590  Nor Fortune lingered, but decreed the doom
     Which swept the ruins of a world away.

     Soon as withdrawn from all the spacious plain,
     Pompeius' horse was ranged upon the flanks;
     Passed through the outer files, the lighter armed
     Of all the nations joined the central strife,
     With divers weapons armed, but all for blood
     Of Rome athirst: then blazing torches flew,
     Arrows and stones. and ponderous balls of lead
     Molten by speed of passage through the air.
600  There Ituraean archers and the Mede
     Winged forth their countless shafts till all the sky
     Grew dark with missiles hurled; and from the night
     Brooding above, Death struck his victims down,
     Guiltless such blow, while all the crime was heaped
     Upon the Roman spear.  In line oblique
     Behind the standards Caesar in reserve
     Had placed some companies of foot, in fear
     The foremost ranks might waver.  These at his word,
     No trumpet sounding, break upon the ranks
610  Of Magnus' horsemen where they rode at large
     Flanking the battle.  They, unshamed of fear
     And careless of the fray, when first a steed
     Pierced through by javelin spurned with sounding hoof
     The temples of his rider, turned the rein,
     And through their comrades spurring from the field
     In panic, proved that not with warring Rome
     Barbarians may grapple.  Then arose
     Immeasurable carnage: here the sword,
     There stood the victim, and the victor's arm
620  Wearied of slaughter.  Oh, that to thy plains,
     Pharsalia, might suffice the crimson stream
     From hosts barbarian, nor other blood
     Pollute thy fountains' sources!  these alone
     Shall clothe thy pastures with the bones of men!
     Or if thy fields must run with Roman blood
     Then spare the nations who in times to come
     Must be her peoples!

                              Now the terror spread
     Through all the army, and the favouring fates
     Decreed for Caesar's triumph: and the war
630  Ceased in the wider plain, though still ablaze
     Where stood the chosen of Pompeius' force,
     Upholding yet the fight.  Not here allies
     Begged from some distant king to wield the sword:
     Here were the Roman sons, the sires of Rome,
     Here the last frenzy and the last despair:
     Here, Caesar, was thy crime: and here shall stay
     My Muse repelled: no poesy of mine
     Shall tell the horrors of the final strife,
     Nor for the coming ages paint the deeds
640  Which civil war permits.  Be all obscured
     In deepest darkness!  Spare the useless tear
     And vain lament, and let the deeds that fell
     In that last fight of Rome remain unsung.

     But Caesar adding fury to the breasts
     Already flaming with the rage of war,
     That each might bear his portion of the guilt
     Which stained the host, unflinching through the ranks
     Passed at his will.  He looked upon the brands,
     These reddened only at the point, and those
650  Streaming with blood and gory, to the hilt:
     He marks the hand which trembling grasped the sword,
     Or held it idle, and the cheek that grew
     Pale at the blow, and that which at his words
     Glowed with the joy of battle: midst the dead
     He treads the plain and on each gaping wound
     Presses his hand to keep the life within.
     Thus Caesar passed: and where his footsteps fell
     As when Bellona shakes her crimson lash,
     Or Mavors scourges on the Thracian mares (22)
660  When shunning the dread face on Pallas' shield,
     He drives his chariot, there arose a night
     Dark with huge slaughter and with crime, and groans
     As of a voice immense, and sound of alms
     As fell the wearer, and of sword on sword
     Crashed into fragments.  With a ready hand
     Caesar supplies the weapon and bids strike
     Full at the visage; and with lance reversed
     Urges the flagging ranks and stirs the fight.
     Where flows the nation's blood, where beats the heart,
670  Knowing, he bids them spare the common herd,
     But seek the senators -- thus Rome he strikes,
     Thus the last hold of Freedom.  In the fray,
     Then fell the nobles with their mighty names
     Of ancient prowess; there Metellus' sons,
     Corvini, Lepidi, Torquati too,
     Not once nor twice the conquerors of kings,
     First of all men, Pompeius' name except,
     Lay dead upon the field.

                              But, Brutus, where,
     Where was thy sword? (23)  "Veiled by a common helm
680  Unknown thou wanderest.  Thy country's pride,
     Hope of the Senate, thou (for none besides);
     Thou latest scion of that race of pride,
     Whose fearless deeds the centuries record,
     Tempt not the battle, nor provoke the doom!
     Awaits thee on Philippi's fated field
     Thy Thessaly.  Not here shalt thou prevail
     'Gainst Caesar's life.  Not yet hath he surpassed
     The height of power and deserved a death
     Noble at Brutus' hands -- then let him live,
690  Thy fated victim!

                         There upon the field
     Lay all the honour of Rome; no common stream
     Mixed with the purple tide.  And yet of all
     Who noble fell, one only now I sing,
     Thee, brave Domitius. (24)  Whene'er the day
     Was adverse to the fortunes of thy chief
     Thine was the arm which vainly stayed the fight.
     Vanquished so oft by Caesar, now 'twas thine
     Yet free to perish.  By a thousand wounds
     Came welcome death, nor had thy conqueror power
700  Again to pardon.  Caesar stood and saw
     The dark blood welling forth and death at hand,
     And thus in words of scorn: "And dost thou lie,
     Domitius, there?  And did Pompeius name
     Thee his successor, thee?  Why leavest thou then
     His standards helpless?"  But the parting life
     Still faintly throbbed within Domitius' breast,
     Thus finding utterance: "Yet thou hast not won
     Thy hateful prize, for doubtful are the fates;
     Nor thou the master, Caesar; free as yet,
710  With great Pompeius for my leader still,
     Warring no more, I seek the silent shades,
     Yet with this hope in death, that thou subdued
     To Magnus and to me in grievous guise
     May'st pay atonement."  So he spake: no more;
     Then closed his eyes in death.

                                   'Twere shame to shed,
     When thus a world was perishing, the tear
     Meet for each fate, or sing the wound that reft
     Each life away.  Through forehead and through throat
     The pitiless weapon clove its deadly path,
720  Or forced the entrails forth: one fell to earth
     Prone at the stroke; one stood though shorn of limb;
     Glanced from this breast unharmed the quivering spear;
     That it transfixed to earth.  Here from the veins
     Spouted the life-blood, till the foeman's arms
     Were crimsoned.  One his brother slew, nor dared
     To spoil the corse, till severed from the neck
     He flung the head afar.  Another dashed
     Full in his father's teeth the fatal sword,
     By murderous frenzy striving to disprove
730  His kinship with the slain.  Yet for each death
     We find no separate dirge, nor weep for men
     When peoples fell.  Thus, Rome, thy doom was wrought
     At dread Pharsalus.  Not, as in other fields,
     By soldiers slain, or captains; here were swept
     Whole nations to the death; Assyria here,
     Achaia, Pontus; and the blood of Rome
     Gushing in torrents forth, forbade the rest
     To stagnate on the plain.  Nor life was reft,
     Nor safety only then; but reeled the world
740  And all her manifold peoples at the blow
     In that day's battle dealt; nor only then
     Felt, but in all the times that were to come.
     Those swords gave servitude to every age
     That shall be slavish; by our sires was shaped
     For us our destiny, the despot yoke.
     Yet have we trembled not, nor feared to bare
     Our throats to slaughter, nor to face the foe:
     We bear the penalty for others' shame.
     Such be our doom; yet, Fortune, sharing not
750  In that last battle, 'twas our right to strike
     One blow for freedom ere we served our lord.

     Now saw Pompeius, grieving, that the gods
     Had left his side, and knew the fates of Rome
     Passed from his governance; yet all the blood
     That filled the field scarce brought him to confess
     His fortunes fled.  A little hill he sought
     Whence to descry the battle raging still
     Upon the plain, which when he nearer stood
     The warring ranks concealed.  Thence did the chief
760  Gaze on unnumbered swords that flashed in air
     And sought his ruin; and the tide of blood
     In which his host had perished.  Yet not as those
     Who, prostrate fallen, would drag nations down
     To share their evil fate, Pompeius did.
     Still were the gods thought worthy of his prayers
     To give him solace, in that after him
     Might live his Romans.  "Spare, ye gods," he said,
     "Nor lay whole peoples low; my fall attained,
     The world and Rome may stand. And if ye need
770  More bloodshed, here on me, my wife, and sons
     Wreak out your vengeance -- pledges to the fates
     Such have we given.  Too little for the war
     Is our destruction?  Doth the carnage fail,
     The world escaping?  Magnus' fortunes lost,
     Why doom all else beside him?"  Thus he cried,
     And passed amid his standards, and recalled
     His vanquished host that rushed on fate declared.
     Not for his sake such carnage should be wrought.
     So thought Pompeius; nor the foeman's sword
780  He feared, nor death; but lest upon his fall
     To quit their chief his soldiers might refuse,
     And o'er his prostrate corpse a world in arms
     Might find its ruin: or perchance he wished
     From Caesar's eager eyes to veil his death.
     In vain, unhappy!  for the fates decree
     He shall behold, shorn from the bleeding trunk,
     Again thy visage.  And thou, too, his spouse,
     Beloved Cornelia, didst cause his flight;
     Thy longed-for features; yet he shall not die
790  When thou art present. (25)

                              Then upon his steed,
     Though fearing not the weapons at his back,
     Pompeius fled, his mighty soul prepared
     To meet his destinies.  No groan nor tear,
     But solemn grief as for the fates of Rome,
     Was in his visage, and with mien unchanged
     He saw Pharsalia's woes, above the frowns
     Or smiles of Fortune; in triumphant days
     And in his fall, her master.  The burden laid
     Of thine impending fate, thou partest free
800  To muse upon the happy days of yore.
     Hope now has fled; but in the fleeting past
     How wast thou great!  Seek thou the wars no more,
     And call the gods to witness that for thee
     Henceforth dies no man.  In the fights to come
     On Afric's mournful shore, by Pharos' stream
     And fateful Munda; in the final scene
     Of dire Pharsalia's battle, not thy name
     Doth stir the war and urge the foeman's arm,
     But those great rivals biding with us yet,
810  Caesar and Liberty; and not for thee
     But for itself the dying Senate fought,
     When thou had'st fled the combat.

                                        Find'st thou not
     Some solace thus in parting from the fight
     Nor seeing all the horrors of its close?
     Look back upon the dead that load the plain,
     The rivers turbid with a crimson stream;
     Then pity thou thy victor.  How shall he
     Enter the city, who on such a field
     Finds happiness?  Trust thou in Fortune yet,
820  Her favourite ever; and whate'er, alone
     In lands unknown, an exile, be thy lot,
     Whate'er thy sufferings 'neath the Pharian king,
     'Twere worse to conquer.  Then forbid the tear,
     Cease, sounds of woe, and lamentation cease,
     And let the world adore thee in defeat,
     As in thy triumphs.  With unfaltering gaze,
     Look on the suppliant kings, thy subjects still;
     Search out the realms and cities which they hold,
     Thy gift, Pompeius; and a fitting place
830  Choose for thy death.

                              First witness of thy fall,
     And of thy noble bearing in defeat,
     Larissa.  Weeping, yet with gifts of price
     Fit for a victor, from her teeming gates
     Poured forth her citizens, their homes and fanes
     Flung open; wishing it had been their lot
     With thee to share disaster.  Of thy name
     Still much survives, unto thy former self
     Alone inferior, still could'st thou to arms
     All nations call and challenge fate again.
840  But thus he spake: "To cities nor to men
     Avails the conquered aught; then pledge your faith
     To him who has the victory."  Caesar trod
     Pharsalia's slaughter, while his daughter's spouse
     Thus gave him kingdoms; but Pompeius fled
     'Mid sobs and groans and blaming of the gods
     For this their fierce commandment; and he fled
     Full of the fruits and knowledge of the love
     The peoples bore him, which he knew not his
     In times of happiness.

                              When Italian blood
850  Flowed deep enough upon the fatal field,
     Caesar bade halt, and gave their lives to those
     Whose death had been no gain.  But that their camp
     Might not recall the foe, nor calm of night
     Banish their fears, he bids his cohorts dash,
     While Fortune glowed and terror filled the plain,
     Straight on the ramparts of the conquered foe.
     Light was the task to urge them to the spoil;
     "Soldiers," he said, "the victory is ours,
     Full and triumphant: there doth lie the prize
860  Which you have won, not Caesar; at your feet
     Behold the booty of the hostile camp.
     Snatched from Hesperian nations ruddy gold,
     And all the riches of the Orient world,
     Are piled within the tents.  The wealth of kings
     And of Pompeius here awaits its lords.
     Haste, soldiers, and outstrip the flying foe;
     E'en now the vanquished of Pharsalia's field
     Anticipate your spoils."  No more he said,
     But drave them, blind with frenzy for the gold,
870  To spurn the bodies of their fallen sires,
     And trample chiefs in dashing on their prey.
     What rampart had restrained them as they rushed
     To seize the prize for wickedness and war
     And learn the price of guilt?  And though they found
     In ponderous masses heaped for need of war
     The trophies of a world, yet were their minds
     Unsatisfied, that asked for all.  Whate'er
     Iberian mines or Tagus bring to day,
     Or Arimaspians from golden sands
880  May gather, had they seized; still had they thought
     Their guilt too cheaply sold.  When pledged to them
     Was the Tarpeian rock, for victory won,
     And all the spoils of Rome, by Caesar's word,
     Shall camps suffice them?

                                   Then plebeian limbs
     On senators' turf took rest, on kingly couch
     The meanest soldier; and the murderer lay
     Where yesternight his brother or his sire.
     In raving dreams within their waking brains
     Yet raged the battle, and the guilty hand
890  Still wrought its deeds of blood, and restless sought
     The absent sword-hilt.  Thou had'st said that groans
     Issued from all the plain, that parted souls
     Had breathed a life into the guilty soil,
     That earthly darkness teemed with gibbering ghosts
     And Stygian terrors.  Victory foully won
     Thus claimed its punishment.  The slumbering sense
     Already heard the hiss of vengeful flames
     As from the depths of Acheron.  One saw
     Deep in the trances of the night his sire
900  And one his brother slain.  But all the dead
     In long array were visioned to the eyes
     Of Caesar dreaming.  Not in other guise
     Orestes saw the Furies ere he fled
     To purge his sin within the Scythian bounds;
     Nor in more fierce convulsions raged the soul
     Of Pentheus raving; nor Agave's (26) mind
     When she had known her son.  Before his gaze
     Flashed all the javelins which Pharsalia saw,
     Or that avenging day when drew their blades
910  The Roman senators; and on his couch,
     Infernal monsters from the depths of hell
     Scourged him in slumber.  Thus his guilty mind
     Brought retribution.  Ere his rival died
     The terrors that enfold the Stygian stream
     And black Avernus, and the ghostly slain
     Broke on his sleep.

                         Yet when the golden sun
     Unveiled the butchery of Pharsalia's field (27)
     He shrank not from its horror, nor withdrew
     His feasting gaze.  There rolled the streams in flood
920  With crimson carnage; there a seething heap
     Rose shrouding all the plain, now in decay
     Slow settling down; there numbered he the host
     Of Magnus slain; and for the morn's repast
     That spot he chose whence he might watch the dead,
     And feast his eyes upon Emathia's field
     Concealed by corpses; of the bloody sight
     Insatiate, he forbad the funeral pyre,
     And cast Emathia in the face of heaven.
     Nor by the Punic victor was he taught,
930  Who at the close of Cannae's fatal fight
     Laid in the earth the Roman consul dead,
     To find fit burial for his fallen foes;
     For these were all his countrymen, nor yet
     His ire by blood appeased.  Yet ask we not
     For separate pyres or sepulchres apart
     Wherein to lay the ashes of the fallen:
     Burn in one holocaust the nations slain;
     Or should it please thy soul to torture more
     Thy kinsman, pile on high from Oeta's slopes
940  And Pindus' top the woods: thus shall he see
     While fugitive on the deep the blaze that marks
     Thessalia.  Yet by this idle rage
     Nought dost thou profit; for these corporal frames
     Bearing innate from birth the certain germs
     Of dissolution, whether by decay
     Or fire consumed, shall fall into the lap
     Of all-embracing nature.  Thus if now
     Thou should'st deny the pyre, still in that flame
     When all shall crumble, (28) earth and rolling seas
950  And stars commingled with the bones of men,
     These too shall perish.  Where thy soul shall go
     These shall companion thee; no higher flight
     In airy realms is thine, nor smoother couch
     Beneath the Stygian darkness; for the dead
     No fortune favours, and our Mother Earth
     All that is born from her receives again,
     And he whose bones no tomb or urn protects
     Yet sleeps beneath the canopy of heaven.
     And thou, proud conqueror, who would'st deny
960  The rites of burial to thousands slain,
     Why flee thy field of triumph?  Why desert
     This reeking plain?  Drink, Caesar, of the streams,
     Drink if thou can'st, and should it be thy wish
     Breathe the Thessalian air; but from thy grasp
     The earth is ravished, and th' unburied host,
     Routing their victor, hold Pharsalia's field.

     Then to the ghastly harvest of the war
     Came all the beasts of earth whose facile sense
     Of odour tracks the bodies of the slain.
970  Sped from his northern home the Thracian wolf;
     Bears left their dens and lions from afar
     Scenting the carnage; dogs obscene and foul
     Their homes deserted: all the air was full
     Of gathering fowl, who in their flight had long
     Pursued the armies.  Cranes (29) who yearly change
     The frosts of Thracia for the banks of Nile,
     This year delayed their voyage.  As ne'er before
     The air grew dark with vultures' hovering wings,
     Innumerable, for every grove and wood
980  Sent forth its denizens; on every tree
     Dripped from their crimsoned beaks a gory dew.
     Oft on the conquerors and their impious arms
     Or purple rain of blood, or mouldering flesh
     Fell from the lofty heaven; or limbs of men
     From weary talons dropped.  Yet even so
     The peoples passed not all into the maw
     Of ravening beast or fowl; the inmost flesh
     Scarce did they touch, nor limbs -- thus lay the dead
     Scorned by the spoiler; and the Roman host
990  By sun and length of days, and rain from heaven,
     At length was mingled with Emathia's plain.

     Ill-starred Thessalia!  By what hateful crime
     Didst thou offend that thus on thee alone
     Was laid such carnage?  By what length of years
     Shalt thou be cleansed from the curse of war?
     When shall the harvest of thy fields arise
     Free from their purple stain?  And when the share
     Cease to upturn the slaughtered hosts of Rome?
     First shall the battle onset sound again,
1000 Again shall flow upon thy fated earth
     A crimson torrent.  Thus may be o'erthrown
     Our sires' memorials; those erected last,
     Or those which pierced by ancient roots have spread
     Through broken stones their sacred urns abroad.
     Thus shall the ploughman of Haemonia gaze
     On more abundant ashes, and the rake
     Pass o'er more frequent bones.  Wert, Thracia, thou.
     Our only battlefield, no sailor's hand
     Upon thy shore should make his cable fast;
1010 No spade should turn, the husbandman should flee
     Thy fields, the resting-place of Roman dead;
     No lowing kine should graze, nor shepherd dare
     To leave his fleecy charge to browse at will
     On fields made fertile by our mouldering dust;
     All bare and unexplored thy soil should lie,
     As past man's footsteps, parched by cruel suns,
     Or palled by snows unmelting!  But, ye gods,
     Give us to hate the lands which bear the guilt;
     Let not all earth be cursed, though not all
1020 Be blameless found.

                         'Twas thus that Munda's fight
     And blood of Mutina, and Leucas' cape,
     And sad Pachynus, (30) made Philippi pure.

(1)       "It is, methinks, a morning full of fate!
          It riseth slowly, as her sullen car
          Had all the weight of sleep and death hung at it!"
          And her sick head is bound about with clouds
          As if she threatened night ere noon of day."
               -- Ben Jonson, "Catiline", i., 1.
(2)  See Book VI., 577.
(3)  As to the sun finding fuel in the clouds, see Book I., line
(4)  Pompeius triumphed first in 81 B.C. for his victories in
     Sicily and Africa, at the age of twenty-four.  Sulla at
     first objected, but finally yielded and said, "Let him
     triumph then in God's name."  The triumph for the defeat of
     Sertorius was not till 71 B.C., in which year Pompeius was
     elected Consul along with Crassus. (Compare Book IX., 709.)
(5)  These two lines are taken from Ben Jonson's "Catiline", act
     v., scene 6.
(6)  The volcanic district of Campania, scene of the fabled
     battle of the giants.  (See Book IV., 666.)
(7)  Henceforth to be the standards of the Emperor.
(8)  A lake at the foot of Mount Ossa.  Pindus, Ossa, Olympus,
     and, above all, Haemus (the Balkans) were at a long distance
     from Pharsalia.  Comp. Book VI., 677.
(9)  Gades (Cadiz) is stated to have been founded by the
     Phoenicians about 1000 B.C.
(10) This alludes to the story told by Plutarch ("Caesar", 47)
     that, at Patavium, Caius Cornelius, a man reputed for skill
     in divination, and a friend of Livy the historian, was
     sitting to watch the birds that day.  "And first of all (as
     Livius says) he discovered the time of the battle, and he
     said to those present that the affair was now deciding and
     the men were going into action.  Looking again, and
     observing the signs, he sprang up with enthusiasm and called
     out, `You conquer, Caesar.'"  (Long's translation.)
(11) The Fontes Aponi were warm springs near Padua.  An altar,
     inscribed to Apollo Aponus, was found at Ribchester, and is
     now at St. John's College, Cambridge. (Wright, "Celt, Roman,
     and Saxon", p. 320.)
(12) See Book I., 411, and following lines.
(13) For the contempt here expressed for the Greek gymnastic
     schools, see also Tacitus, "Annals", 14, 21.  It is well
     known that Nero instituted games called Neronia which were
     borrowed from the Greeks; and that many of the Roman
     citizens despised them as foreign and profligate.  Merivale,
     chapter liii., cites this passage.
(14) Thus paraphrased by Dean Stanley:
          "I tremble not with terror, but with hope,
          As the great day reveals its coming scope;
          Never in earlier days, our hearts to cheer,
          Have such bright gifts of Heaven been brought so near,
          Nor ever has been kept the aspiring soul
          By space so narrow from so grand a goal."
     Inaugural address at St. Andrews. 1873, on the "Study of
(15) That such were Caesar's orders is also attested by Appian.
(16) See Book V., 463.
(17) That is, marked out the new colony with a plough-share. 
     This was regarded as a religious ceremony, and therefore
     performed by the Consul with his toga worn in ancient
(18) "Hath Jove no thunder?" -- Ben Jonson, "Catiline", iii., 2.
(19) Compare Book I., line 600.
(20) This act of Crastinus is recorded by Plutarch ("Pompeius",
     71), and by Caesar, "Civil War", Book III., 91.  Caesar
     called him by name and said: "Well, Crastinus, shall we win
     today?"  "We shall win with glory, Caesar," he replied in a
     loud voice, "and to-day you will praise me, living or dead."
     -- Durny, "History of Rome", vol. iii., 312.  He was placed
     in a special tomb after the battle.
(21) See on line 203.
(22) That is, lashes on his team terrified by the Gorgon shield
     in the ranks of the enemy.
(23) Plutarch states that Brutus after the battle escaped and
     made his way to Larissa, whence he wrote to Caesar.  Caesar,
     pleased that he was alive, asked him to come to him; and it
     was on Brutus' opinion that Caesar determined to hurry to
     Egypt as the most probable refuge of Pompeius.  Caesar
     entrusted Brutus with the command of Cisalpine Gaul when he
     was in Africa.
(24) "He perished, after a career of furious partisanship,
     disgraced with cruelty and treachery, on the field of
     Pharsalia" (Merivale, "Hist. Romans under the Empire",
     chapter lii.).  Unless this man had been an ancestor of Nero
     it is impossible to suppose that Lucan would have thus
     singled him out.  But he appears to have been the only
     leader who fell.  (Compare Book II, lines 534-590, for his
     conduct at Corfinium.)
(25) This appears to be the only possible meaning of the text.
     But in truth, although Cornelia was not by her husband's
     side at his murder, she was present at the scene.
(26) See Book VI., 420.
(27) The whole of this passage is foreign to Caesar's character,
     and unfounded in fact.  Pompeians perished on the field, and
     were taken prisoners.  When Caesar passed over the field he
     is recorded to have said in pity, "They would have it so;
     after all my exploits I should have been condemned to death
     had I not thrown myself upon the protection of my soldiers."
     -- Plutarch, "Caesar"; Durny, "History of Rome", vol. iii.,
     p. 311.
(28) Alluding to the general conflagration in which (by the Stoic
     doctrines) all the universe would one day perish.
(29) Wrongly supposed by Lucan to feed on carrion.
(30) Alluding to the naval war waged by Sextus Pompeius after
     Caesar's death.  He took possession of Sicily, and had
     command of the seas, but was ultimately defeated by the
     fleet of Octavius under Agrippa in B.C. 36.  Pachynus was
     the S.E. promontory of the island, but is used in the sense
     of Sicily, for this battle took place on the north coast.