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From lordly Volaterræ,
Where scowls the far-famed hold Piled by the hands of giants
For godlike kings of old ; From seagirt Populonia,
Whose sentinels descry Sardinia's snowy mountain-tops
Fringing the southern sky;
From the proud mart of Pisæ,
Queen of the western waves, Where ride Massilia's triremes
Heavy with fair-haired slares; From where sweet Clanis wanders
Through corn and vines and flowers ; From where Cortona lifts to heaven
Her diadem of towers.
Tall are the oaks whose acorns
Drop in dark Auser's rill; Fat are the stags that champ the boughs
Of the Ciminian bill;
Is to the herdsman dear;
The great Volsinian mere.
Is heard by Auser's rill;
Up the Ciminian hill; Unwatched along Clitumnus
Grazes the milk-white steer ; Unharmed the water fowl may dip
In the Volsinian mere.
The harvests of Arretium,
This year, old men shall reap, This year, young boys in Umbro
Shall plunge the struggling sheep; And in the vats of Luna,
This year, the must sball foam Round the white feet of laughing girls
Whose sires have marched to Rome.
There be thirty chosen prophets,
The wisest of the land, Who alway by Lars Porsena
Both morn and evening stand: Evening and morn the Thirty
Have turned the verses o'er, Traced from the right on linen white
By mighty seers of yore.
And with one voice the Thirty
Have their glad answer given : “Go forth, go forth, Lars Porsena ;
Go forth, beloved of Heaven ;
To Clusium's royal dome;
The golden shields of Rome."
And now hath every city
Sent up her tale of men;
The horse are thousands ten:
Is met the great array.
Upon the trysting day.
Now, from the rock Tarpeian,
Could the wan burghers spy The line of blazing villages
Red in the midnight sky.
They sat all night and day,
With tidings of dismay.
To eastward and to westward
Have spread the Tuscan bands ; Nor house, nor fence, nor dovecote
In Crustumerium stands. Verbenna down to Ostia
Hath wasted all the plain; Astur hath stormed Janiculum,
And the stout guards are slain.
I wis, in all the Senate,
There was no heart so bold,
When that ill news was told,
Up rose the Fathers all ;
And hied them to the wall.
They held a council standing
Before the River-Gate;
For musing or debate.
"The bridge must straight go down; For, since Janiculum is lost,
Nought else can save the town."