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.
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. https://1890s.ca/YBV5_garnett_sword/