Friday, October 08, 2004

Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant! 
How swiftly Ceasar had surmounted the icy Alps
and in his mind conceived immense upheavals,
coming war. When he reached the water of the little Rubicon,
clearly to the leader through the murky night
appeared a mighty image of his country in distress,
grief in her face, her white hair streaming from her tower-crowned head.
With tresses torn and shoulders bare, she stood
before him and sighing, said: 'Where further do you march?
Where do you take my standards, warriors?
If lawfully you come, if as citizens, this far only is allowed.'

Then trembling struck the leader's limbs.
His hair grew stiff and weakness checked his progress,
holding his feet at the rivers edge. At last he speaks.
'Oh thunderer, surveying great Rome's walls
from the Tarpeian rock, oh Phyygian house
of gods of Iulus clan and mysteries of Quirinus
who was carried off to heavens. Oh, Jupiter of Latium,
seated in lofty Alba and hearths of Vesta.
Oh Rome equal to the highest deity, favor my plans.
Not with impious weapons do I persue you.
Here am I, Ceasar, conqueror of land and sea
Your own soldier everywhere now, too, if I am permitted.
The man who makes me your enemy, it is he will be the guilty one.'
Then he broke the barriers of war
and through the swollen river swiftly took his standards.
When Ceasar crossed the flood and reached the opposite bank
from Hesperia's forbidden fields, he took his stand and said:
'Here, I abandoned peace and desecrated law.
Fortune, it is you I follow. Farewell to treaties.
From now on, war is our judge.'

Hail Caesar. We who are about to die salute you.

(Not sure exactly what the origin is, or if it's a composite. I lifted it from the movie "Gods and Generals."

The only good writing in it was by someone other than the screenwriter.

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