Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lays of Ancient Rome - 8

Horatius at the Bridge
by Thomas B. Macaulay


And droves of mules and asses
        Laden with skins of wine,
And endless flocks of goats and sheep,
        And endless herds of kine,
And endless trains of wagons
        That creaked beneath the weight
Of corn-sacks and of household goods,
        Choked every roaring gate.


Now, from the rock Tarpeian,
        Could the wan burghers spy
The line of blazing villages
        Red in the midnight sky.
The Fathers of the City,
        They sat all night and day,
For every hour some horseman come
        With tidings of dismay.

Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from the great Arab book Thousand and One Nights.

More About This Book

This poem celebrates one of the great heroic legends of history. Horatius saves Rome from the Etruscan invaders in 642 BC. Scottish poet Macaulay published this in 1842.

Illustration: Horatio at the Bridge from the first edition.

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