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30. But, like a graven image,

Black Auster kept his place, And ever wistfully he looked

Into his master's face. The raven-mane that daily,

With pats and fond caresses, The young Herminia washed and combed,

And twined in even tresses,
And decked with coloured ribands

From her own gay attire,
Hung sadly o'er her father's corpse

In carnage and in mire.
Forth with a shout

sprang Titus, And seized Black Auster's rein, Then Aulus sware a fearful oath,

And ran at him amain. " The furies of thy brother

With me and mine abide, If one of your accursed house

Upon Black Auster ride!” As on an Alpine watch-tower

From Heaven comes down the flame, Full on the neck of Titus

The blade of Aulus came:
And out the red-blood spouted,

In a wide arch and tall,
As spouts a fountain in the court

of some rich Capuan's hall. The knees of all the Latines

Were loosened with dismay When dead, on dead Herminius, The bravest Tarquin lay.

31. And Aulus the Dictator

Stroked Auster's raven mane, With heed he looked unto the girths,

With heed unto the rein. " Now bear me well, Black Auster, Into yon


array; And thou and I will have revenge

For thy good lord this day."

32. So spake he; and was buckling

Tighter Black Auster's band, When he was aware of a princely pair

That rode at his right hand. So like they were, no mortal

Might one from other know: White as snow their armour was:

Their steeds were white as snow. Never on earthly anvil

Did such rare armour gleam; And never did such gallant steeds Drink of an earthly stream.

33. And all who saw them trembled,

And pale grew every cheek; And Aulus the Dictator

Scarce gathered voice to speak.
“Say by what name men call you?

What city is your home?
And wherefore ride ye in such guise
Before the ranks of Rome ?"

“ By many names men call us ;

In many lands we dwell: Well Samothracia knows us :

Cyrene knows us well. Our house in gay Tarentum

Is hung each morn with flowers : High o'er the masts of Syracuse

Our marble portal towers :
But by the proud Eurotas

Is our dear native home;
And for the right we come to fight
Before the ranks of Rome.”

35. So answered those strange horsemen,

And each couched low his spear; And forthwith all the ranks of Rome

Were bold, and of good cheer:

And on the thirty armies

Came wonder and affright, And Ardea wavered on the left,

And Cora on the right. “Rome to the charge !” cried Aulus;

“ The foe begins to yield ! Charge for the hearth of Vesta !

Charge for the Golden Shield !
Let no man stop to plunder,

But slay, and slay, and slay :
The gods who live for ever
Are on our side to-day.”

Then the fierce trumpet-flourish

From earth to heaven arose, The kites know well the long stern swell

That bids the Romans close.
Then the good sword of Aulus

Was lifted up to slay :
Then, like a crag down Apennine,

Rushed Auster through the fray.
But under those strange horsemen

Still thicker lay the slain; And after those strange horses

- Black Auster toiled in vain. Behind them Rome's long battle

Came rolling on the foe,
Ensigns dancing wild above,

Blades all in line below.
So comes the Po in flood-time

Upon the Celtic plain :
So comes the squall, blacker than night,

Upon the Adrian main.
Now, by our Sire Quirinus,

It was a goodly sight
To see the thirty standards

Swept down the tide of flight.
So flies the spray of Adria

When the black squall doth blow; So corn sheaves in the flood-time

Spin down the whirling Po.

False Sextus to the mountains

Turned first his horse's head : And fast fled Ferentinum,

And fast Circeium fled. The horsemen of Nomentum

Spurred hard out of the fray; The footmen of Velitræ

Threw shield and spear away. And underfoot was trampled,

Amidst the mud and gore, The banner of proud Tusculum,

That never stooped before : And down went Flavius Faustus,

Who led his stately ranks From where the apple blossoms wave

On Anio's echoing banks, And Tullus of Arpinum,

Chief of the Volscian aids, And Metius with the long fair curls,

The love of Auxur's maids, And the white head of Vulso,

The great Arician seer, And Nepos of Laurentum,

The hunter of the deer;
And in the back false Sextus

Felt the good Roman steel,
And wriggling in the dust he died,

Like a worm beneath the wheel : And fliers and pursuers

Were mingled in a mass;
And far away the battle
Went roaring through the pass.

37. Sempronius Atratinus

Sate in the Eastern Gate. Beside him were three Fathers,

Each in his chair of state; Fabius, whose nine stout grandsons

That day were in the field,
And Manlius, eldest of the Twelve

Who keep the Golden Shield;

And Sergius, the High Pontiff

For wisdom far renowned;
In all Etruria's colleges

Was no such Pontiff found.
And all around the portal,

And high above the wall,
Stood a great throng of people,

But sad and silent all;
Young lads, and stooping elders

That might not bear the mail,
Matrons with lips that quivered,

And maids with faces pale.
Since the first gleam of daylight,

Sempronius had not ceased
To listen for the rushing

Of horse-hoofs om the east.
The mist of eve was rising,

The sun was hastening down,
When he was aware of a princely pair

Fast pricking towards the town.
So like they were, man never

Saw twins so like before ;
Red with gore their armour was,
Their steeds were red with gore.

“Hail to the great Asylum !

Hail to the hill-tops seven !
Hail to the fire that burns for aye,

And the shield that fell from heaven !
This day, by Lake Regillus,

Under the Porcian height,
All in the lands of Tusculum

Was fought a glorious fight.
To-morrow your Dictator

Shall bring in triumph home
The spoils of thirty cities

To deck the shrines of Rome!”


Then burst from that great concourse

A shout that shook the towers, VOL. IV.-28

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