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Lays of Ancient Rome

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The poems themselves are fun, in an old-fashioned bumptious way. They aren’t first-rate poetry, but they are first-rate second-rate poetry, and that’s good enough for me. (“The Raven,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” and “The Highwayman” are all excellent examples of my idea of first-rate second-rate verse.) Late 6th century B.C. A plain before Rome. Enter LARS PORSENA, MAMILIUS, SEXTUS, their various VASSALS and RETAINERS, the ENTIRE TUSCAN ARMY and DR and SCOTT EVIL] The Battle of Lake Regillus - The Romans take arms against the powerful Latine league headed by the expelled Tarquin nobles. The fighting is desperate and bloody: the event is decided only after the arrival upon the battlefield of the twin gods Castor and Pollux.

The same story of Romulus and Remus is just a story which says that they founded on this day Rome. Read what a famous English historian wrote in his “Lays of Ancient Rome”, a collection of narrative poems, or lays: Thomas Babington Macaulay. Four of these recount heroic episodes from early Roman history with strong dramatic and tragic themes, giving the collection its name. The Lays were composed by Macaulay in his thirties, during his spare time while he was the "legal member" of the Governor-General of India's Supreme Council from 1834 to 1838. These poems of courage and patriotism became popular at the height of the British Empire, around the time Victoria was proclaimed "Empress of India," but Macaulay wrote them much earlier, long before he won his fame as an historian, in the years immediately before Victoria was crowned a queen.LARS PORSENA: Their captain, Horatio, has come out to meet us with two of his stout followers. They challenge us to trial by single combat. Horatius' speech is included at the Chushul war memorial at Rezang La in memory of the 13th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army. The phrase "how can man die better" was used by Benjamin Pogrund as the title of his biography of anti-apartheid activist Robert Sobukwe.

The Roman ballads are preceded by brief introductions, discussing the legends from a scholarly perspective. Macaulay explains that his intention was to write poems resembling those that might have been sung in ancient times.The Lays were first published by Longman in 1842, at the beginning of the Victorian Era. They became immensely popular, and were a regular subject of recitation, then a common pastime. The Lays were standard reading in British public schools for more than a century. Here follows what he says about this legend:He reeled, and on Herminius / He leaned one breathing-space; / Then, like a wild cat mad with wounds, / Sprang right at Astur's face. / Through teeth, and skull, and helmet / So fierce a thrust he sped, / The good sword stood a hand-breadth out / Behind the Tuscan's head."

It is certain, therefore, that the great Latin writers of the Augustan age did not possess those materials, without which a trustworthy account of the infancy of the republic could not possibly be framed. Those writers own, indeed, that the chronicles to which they had access were filled with battles that were never fought, and Consuls that were never inaugurated; and we have abundant proof that, in these chronicles, events of the greatest importance, such as the issue of the war with Porsena and the issue of the war with Brennus, were grossly misrepresented.


Richard Corliss (19 April 2013). "Tom Cruise in Oblivion: Drones and Clones on Planet Earth". Time . Retrieved 31 August 2013. Informs as it fascinates, Macaulay's Lays is altogether my favorite work of poetry. The words are evocative like no other poet I've read - Macauley manages to spin together action, suspense, gore, horror, and melodrama. Horatius at the Bridge is the highlight of the whole book, although the others are enjoyable too (Capys the least of the bunch): Regillus takes Horatius's Iliadic tone and expands it into a larger epic, Virginia brings to mind a short stage melodrama, and Capys is mostly a historical footnote to bring everything together. My two favorite stanzas (How can a man choose?!) are from Horatius and Regillus, respectively: The Roman ballads are preceded by brief introductions, discussing the legends from a scholarly perspective. Macaulay explains that his intention was to write poems resembling those that might have been sung in ancient times.

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