Tyrannus (c.1573)

Subtler in its suggestion than 'Classicum' (d2_MelA_023), this poem alludes to the figure of the assassin Brutus in antiquity. The use of the word 'acer' to describe the 'heart' or emotional and inner power of Brutus is ambiguous, meaning both 'stern' in quality but also 'sharp', referring perhaps to the weapons of both Lucius Brutus, who reputedly overthrew Tarquinius Superbus to found the Roman Republic in 509 BC, and Iunius Brutus, the assassin of Julius Caesar and last defender of the dying Republic. Metre: elegiac couplets.

Link to an image of this page  [p112]


Tarquinei de stirpe truces cum terra tyrannos
tot ferat, acri unus pectore Brutus ubi est?

Link to an image of this page  [p112]

The tyrant

Since the land bears so many savage tyrants from the race of Tarquin, where is there one Brutus with an ardent spirit?