Menu Close


The Sword of Cæsar Borgia

By Richard Garnett

“Aut Cæsar aut nihil “

WELL hath the graver traced thee, sword of mine !
    Here Cæsar by the Rubicon’s slow deeps
    Ponders ; here resolute to empire leaps,
And far and near the smitten waters shine.

The vanquished train’s interminable line
    Wends at his wheels up Capitolian steeps ;
    And round the interlacing legend creeps,
Cæsar or nothing ! saith Duke Valentine

And did I bare thee to the sun, my blade,
    Fired at the flash all Italy should thrill,
    And many a city quake and province bow.
Yet is a drop within this vial stayed
    That should the might of marching armies still,
    And stainless sheathe ten thousand such as thou.

MLA citation:

Garnett, Richard. “The Sword of Cæsar Borgia.” The Yellow Book, vol. 5, April 1895, p. 258. Yellow Book Digital Edition, edited by Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2010-2014. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.