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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Africa: Vol. XXIV. 1876–79.

Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia: Alexandria

Cæsar in Tears

By Charlotte Fiske Bates (1838–1916)

  • Cæsar, pursuing Pompey, had reached the shore of Alexandria, when Achillas met him, bearing his murdered rival’s head covered with a veil. Cæsar turned away his face and wept.

  • PHARSALIA’S victor nearing Egypt’s shore,

    By rapid journeys over land and sea,

    Pursues his mighty rival. Where is he

    Whom Cæsar feared a little while before?

    In headless ruin! Pompey is no more.

    But in the dead what terrors there may be!

    That veiléd horror Cæsar’s self would flee

    Which, for a welcome, base Achillas bore.

    The form of gallant Pompey fronts him not;

    How dreader yet that gory head of his,

    Once dear, so dear to Julia’s faithful love!

    Julia, in Cæsar’s heart all unforgot.

    Oh, well may thought of all that was, that is,

    To strongest tears the mighty Cæsar move!