by Anne Bradstreet
After some dayes of rest, my restless heart
To finish what's begun, new thoughts impart,
And maugre all resolves, my fancy wrought
This fourth to th'other three, now might be brought:
Shortness of time and inability,
Will force me to a confus'd brevity.
Yet in this Chaos, one shall easily spy
The vast Limbs of a mighty Monarchy,
What e're is found amiss take in good part,
As faults proceeding from my head, not heart.
Stout Romulus, Romes founder, and first King,
Whom vestal Rhea to the world did bring;
His Father was not Mars as some devis'd,
But Æmulus in Armour all disguiz'd:
Thus he deceiv'd his Neece, she might not know
The double injury he then did do.
Where sheperds once had Coats & sheep their folds
Where Swains & rustick Peasants kept their holds,
A City fair did Romulus erect,
The Mistress of the World, in each respect,
His brother Rhemus there by him was slain,
For leaping o're the wall with some disdain.
The stones at first was cemented with blood,
And bloody hath it prov'd, since first it stood.
This City built and Sacrifices done,
A Form of Government, he next begun;
A hundred Senators he likewise chose,
And with the style of Patres, honoured those,
His City to replenish, men he wants,
Great priviledges then to all he grants;
That will within those strong built walls reside,
And this new gentle Government abide.
Of wives there was so great a scarcity,
They to their neighbours sue for a supply;
But all disdain Alliance, then to make,
So Romulus was forc'd this course to take:
Great shews he makes at Tilt and Turnament,
To see these sports, the Sabins all are bent.
Their daughters by the Romans then were caught,
Then to recover them a Field was fought;
But in the end, to final peace they come,
And Sabins as one people dwelt in Rome.
The Romans now more potent 'gin to grow,
And Fedinates they wholly overthrow.
But Romulus then comes unto his end.
Some feigning to the Gods he did ascend:
Others the seven and thirtyeth of his reign,
Affirm, that by the Senate he was slain.
Numa Pompilius next chose they King,
Held for his piety some sacred thing,
To Janus he that famous Temple built:
Kept shut in peace, set ope when blood was spilt;
Religious Rites and Customes instituted,
And Priests and Flamines likewise he deputed,
Their Augurs strange, their gestures and attire,
And vestal maids to keep the holy fire.
The Nymph Ægeria this to him told,
So to delude the people he was bold:
Forty three years he rul'd with general praise,
Accounted for a God in after dayes.
Tullius Hostilius was third Roman King,
Who Martial discipline in use did bring;
War with the antient Albans he did wage,
This strife to end six brothers did ingage.
Three call'd Horatii on the Romans side,
And Curiatii three Albans provide:
The Romans conquer, th'other yield the day,
Yet in their Compact, after false they play.
The Romans sore incens'd, their General slay,
And from old Alba fetch the wealth away;
Of Latin Kings this was long since the Seat,
But now demolished, to make Rome great.
Thirty two years did Tullus reign, then dye,
Left Rome in wealth, and power still growing high.
Next Ancus Martius sits upon the Throne,
Nephew unto Pompilius dead and gone;
Rome he inlarg'd, new built again the wall,
Much stronger, and more beautiful withal;
A stately Bridge he over Tyber made,
Of Boats and Oars no more they need the aid.
Fair Ostia he built this Town, it stood
Close by the mouth of famous Tyber floud,
Twenty four years time of his Royal race,
Then unto death unwillingly gives place.
Tarquin a Greek at Corinth born and bred,
Who from his Country for Sedition fled.
Is entertain'd at Rome, and in short time,
By wealth and favour doth to honour climbe;
He after Martius death the Kingdome had,
A hundred Senators he more did add.
Wars with the Latins he again renews,
And Nations twelve of Tuscany subdues,
To such rude triumphs as young Rome then had,
Some State and splendor did this Priscus add:
Thirty eight years (this stronger born) did reign,
And after all, by Ancus Sons was slain.
Next Servius Tullius gets into the Throne,
Ascends not up By merits of his own,
But by the favour and the special grace
Of Tanquil late Queen, obtains the place.
He ranks the people into each degree,
As wealth had made them of ability;
A general Muster takes, which by account,
To eighty thousand Souls then did amount.
Forty four years did Servius Tullius reign,
And then by Tarquin Priscus Son was slain.
Tarquinius Superbus the last King of the Romans
Tarquin the proud, from manners called so,
Sat on the Throne, when he had slain his Foe.
Sextus his Son did most unworthily,
Lucretia force, mirrour of Chastity:
She loathed so the fact, she loath'd her life,
And shed her guiltless blood with guilty knife
Her Husband sore incens'd to quit this wrong,
With Junius Brutus rose, and being strong,
The Tarquins they from Rome by force expel,
In banishment perpetual to dwell;
The Government they change, a new one bring,
And people swear ne'r to accept of King.