Such amazing literature, once again! Horatius, parts XI-XX by Thomas Babbington Macaulay. I love the excitement and tension in this poem. The story is so amazing; something about it just gives me chills. I want to memorize it :)
XI And now hath every city Sent up her tale of men; The foot are fourscore thousand, The horse are thousands ten. Before the gates of Sutrium Is met the great array. A proud man was Lars Porsena Upon the trysting day. XII For all the Etruscan armies Were ranged beneath his eye, And many a banished Roman, And many a stout ally; And with a mighty following To join the muster came The Tusculan Mamilius, Prince of the Latian name. XIII But by the yellow Tiber Was tumult and affright: From all the spacious champaign To Rome men took their flight. A mile around the city, The throng stopped up the ways; A fearful sight it was to see Through two long nights and days. XIV For aged folks on crutches, And women great with child, And mothers sobbing over babes That clung to them and smiled, And sick men borne in litters High on the necks of slaves, And troops of sun-burned husbandmen With reaping-hooks and staves, XV 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. XVI 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. XVII 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. XVIII I wis, in all the Senate, [wis: know] There was no heart so bold, But sore it ached, and fast it beat, When that ill news was told. Forthwith up rose the Consul, Up rose the Fathers all; In haste they girded up their gowns, And hied them to the wall. XIX They held a council standing, Before the River-Gate; Short time was there, ye well may guess, For musing or debate. Out spake the Consul roundly: 'The bridge must straight go down; For, since Janiculum is lost, Nought else can save the town.' XX Just then a scout came flying, All wild with haste and fear: 'To arms! to arms! Sir Consul: Lars Porsena is here.' On the low hills to westward The Consul fixed his eye, And saw the swarthy storm of dust Rise fast along the sky.