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  Cory Swainston

Published on: 12/7/2004
The Oath of the Horatii

Bow down proud brothers. Hear your noble fate.
O ye who live to best a worthy foe,
Horatii, warriors skilled of hoi polloi,
We ye beseech, defend our city's gate
lest we be forced to enter nuisance war.
Take ye these arms and smite the loathsome fiends
from neighbor Alba whom our ruler deems
an enemy worth conquering henceforth,
then watch your brothers fall while masses cheer
and slay the man betrothed to sister's love.
Ye hooded birds who cling to falc'ners glove,
ye wretched dogs in serfdom to the spear,
shed blood to spread the callous cause of kings;
let Venus weep while haughty Pluto sings.

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