How swiftly Caesar had
Surmounted the icy Alps,
And in his mind conceived
Immense upheavals; coming war.
When he reached the little Rubicon,
Clearly through the murky night,
Appeared a mighty image
Of his country in distress.
Grief in her face, her white hair streaming
From her tower-crowned head.
With tresses torn and shoulders bare,
She stood before him, and sighing, said:
"Where further do you march?
Where do you take my standards, warriors?
If lawfully you come, if as citizens,
This far only is allowed."
Not with impious weapons
Do I pursue you.
Here am I, Caesar!"
"The man who makes me your enemy,
It is he will be the guilty one!"
Then he broke the barriers of war
And through the swollen river,
Swiftly took his standards.
When Caesar crossed the flood
And reached the opposite bank
From Hesperia's forbidden fields
He took his stand and said:
"Here, I abandoned peace
and desecrated law.
Fortune, it is you I follow.
Farewell to treaties.
From now on, war is our judge!"
--From the Chronicle of Marcus Lucanus ("Pharsalia")