The RUBICON MIRE Terror of the Soul
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Other IRA Army Council members have similarly chosen to distance themselves from the IRA armed struggle and its fighters by totally denying membership and leadership of the IRA, and in doing so they have sold out the many young men and women who did gory deeds for them and served very long prison sentences which they are not in a position to deny. Why have these IRA leaders denied membership and control of the IRA when so many young men and women volunteers toed the IRA line of not recognising British and Irish courts and took their long prison sentences and served them and never denied IRA deeds and membership?
Not alone have Army Council members denied IRA membership and activities, but also at local level suddenly a cast of IRA volunteers who formerly did not recognise the courts that sentenced them began legal cases in those courts to void their convictions and gain compensation from the British legal system. Suddenly, a two-tier IRA was created — the IRA who denied ever shooting or bombing anybody or knowing anything about these actions and who could not conceive of ever serving long prison sentences, versus the rest — the IRA volunteers, young men and women who definitely did shoot and bomb and serve long prison sentences for the cause.
What an outcome to the great Armed Struggle! The leaders dumping any connection to it as they nestled in high places and the cannon fodder bottom-feeder volunteers saddled with prison sentences and convictions for the rest of their lives. Nobody knew who planted the Claudy bombs or why. Nobody knew who shot Jean McConville or Jeffrey Agate of Du Pont in Derry, or who shot any female census collector, alleged informers or lied to their mothers or who chained Pasty Gillespie to a bomb on the Buncrana Road in Derry and pressed a button to blow him and five soldiers to smithereens.
Nobody knows where the remains of the tortured and executed Captain Robert Nairac are so that he can be granted a Catholic burial. Such sudden onset of amnesia or shame in the higher leadership! Can the former minister of education truly have wished to convince young people that he was proud of a series of actions so horrible that even now the IRA cannot find any volunteers or leaders to admit to having done them?
Bloody Friday, La Mon, Kingsmills, Enniskillen, Birmingham, Warrington, the endless list of shames including the long and forgotten list of children killed by bombs and bullets. Suddenly the IRA is bereft of leaders willing to step forward to take responsibility for their commanded actions.
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Is it gross shame or fear of minimal post Good Friday Agreement prosecution or both? But the real question is how the wider community has come to support a version of the IRA that has been such a lying, dishonourable organisation whose former leaders have been caught in such absurd and embarrassing denials. One legacy of Martin and the IRA is that the moral compass of the Northern republican community in particular has been so damaged by 30 years of IRA armed struggle, horror and lies that its former ability to call a lie a lie and an injustice an injustice has been degraded.
The Northern republican community condones these grand lies because it has been conditioned to do so. It is necessary to tell young people in all of Ireland that it is truly impossible to be proud of the activities of the IRA, or of the activities of loyalist paramilitaries, just as it is impossible to be proud of British paratroopers or undercover servicemen killing civilians on any occasion. But his enemies said that he had caused the scarcity in order to get the power.
Pompeius, then sole Consul, had surrounded the tribunal with soldiers, who at one time charged the crowd.
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Milo was sent into exile at Massilia. Circius was a violent wind from about the same quarter, but peculiar to the district. Orestes on his return from his expiatory wanderings brought her image to Greece, and the Greeks identified her with their Artemis. Compare Book VI. Dean Merivale remarks chapter li. But the passage seems also to betray a lingering suspicion that the doctrine may in some shape be true, however horrible were the rites and sacrifices. See the passage at the beginning of Book IX. But all was vague and uncertain, and he appears to have viewed the Druidical transmigration rather with doubt and unbelief, as a possible form of future or recurring life, than with scorn as an absurdity.
See the note to Merivale, chapter xxvi. Book i The Crossing of the Rubicon Introduction, lines Whence, citizens, this rage, this boundless lust To sate barbarians with the blood of Rome? Could ye not have spoiled, To deck your trophies, haughty Babylon? Why wage campaigns that send no laurels home? What lands, what oceans might have been the prize Of all the blood thus shed in civil strife! Then, Rome, upon thyself With all the world beneath thee, if thou must, Wage this nefarious war, but not till then. Now view the houses with half-ruined walls Throughout Italian cities; stone from stone Has slipped and lies at length; within the home No guard is found, and in the ancient streets so 30 Scarce seen the passer by.
The fields in vain, Rugged with brambles and unploughed for years, Ask for the hand of man; for man is not.
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Thou, Caesar, art her prize. Press thou on either side, the universe Should lose its equipoise: take thou the midst, And weight the scales, and let that part of heaven Where Caesar sits, be evermore serene And smile upon us with unclouded blue. Then may all men lay down their arms, and peace Through all the nations reign, and shut the gates 70 That close the temple of the God of War.
Rome is my subject and my muse art thou! First of such deeds I purpose to unfold The causes — task immense — what drove to arms A maddened nation, and from all the world Struck peace away. On themselves Great powers are dashed: such bounds the gods have placed Upon the prosperous; nor doth Fortune lend To any nations, so that they may strike The sovereign power that rules the earth and sea, The weapons of her envy. Ambition blind, That stirred the leaders so to join their strength In peace that ended ill, their prize the world!
For while the Sea on Earth and Earth on Air Lean for support: while Titan runs his course, And night with day divides an equal sphere, No king shall brook his fellow, nor shall power Endure a rival. Concord, on discord based, brief time endured, Unwelcome to the rivals; and alone Crassus delayed the advent of the war. More in that victory than ye thought was won, Ye sons of Arsaces; your conquered foes Took at your hands the rage of civil strife.
The mighty realm that earth and sea contained, To which all peoples bowed, split by the sword, Could not find space for two 5. For Julia bore, Cut off by fate unpitying 6 , the bond Of that ill-omened marriage, and the pledge Of blood united, to the shades below.
With thee all trust was buried, and the chiefs Could give their courage vent, and rushed to war. Keen and unvanquished 9 , where revenge or hope Might call, resistless would he strike the blow With sword unpitying: every victory won Reaped to the full; the favour of the gods Pressed to the utmost; all that stayed his course Aimed at the summit of power, was thrust aside: Triumph his joy, though ruin marked his track. Such were the hidden motives of the chiefs; But in the public life the seeds of war Their hold had taken, such as are the doom Of potent nations: and when fortune poured Through Roman gates the booty of a world, The curse of luxury, chief bane of states, Fell on her sons.
Farewell the ancient ways! Then covetous usury rose, and interest Was greedier ever as the seasons came; Faith tottered; thousands saw their gain in war. Caesar has crossed the Alps, his mighty soul Great tumults pondering and the coming shock. If by right ye come, My citizens, stay here; these are the bounds; No further dare.
Fortune, lead me on; War is our judge, and in the fates our trust. Now stand the troops within the captured town, Their standards planted; and the trumpet clang Rings forth in harsh alarums, giving note Of impious strife: roused from their sleep the men Rush to the hall and snatch the ancient arms Long hanging through the years of peace; the shield With crumbling frame; dark with the tooth of rust Their swords 10 ; and javelins with blunted point.
Placed as we are beside the Northern bounds And scarce a footstep from the restless Gaul, We fall the first; would that our lot had been Beneath the Eastern sky, or frozen North, To lead a wandering life, rather than keep The gates of Latium. Brennus sacked the town And Hannibal, and all the Teuton hosts. For when the fate of Rome is in the scale By this path war advances. But when the day had broken through the shades Of chilly darkness, lo! For while Rome doubted and the tongues of men Spoke of the chiefs who won them rights of yore, The hostile Senate, in contempt of right, Drove out the Tribunes.
But silenced now Are laws in war: we driven from our homes; Yet is our exile willing; for thine arms Shall make us citizens of Rome again. Strike; for no strength as yet the foe hath gained. Occasion calls, delay shall mar it soon: Like risk, like labour, thou hast known before, But never such reward.
Could Gallia hold Thine armies ten long years ere victory came, That little nook of earth? Spite gnaws the factions; for thy conquests won Scarce shalt thou be unpunished. To the ranks He bids his soldiers; with majestic mien And hand commanding silence as they come. Rome arms her choicest sons; the sturdy oaks Are felled to make a fleet; — what could she more If from the Alps fierce Hannibal were come With all his Punic host? By land and sea Caesar shall fly! Though in adverse war Our best had fallen, and the savage Gaul Were hard upon our track, we would not fly.
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And now, when fortune smiles and kindly gods Beckon us on to glory! We will not fly. Shall Eastern hordes and greedy hirelings keep Their loved Pompeius ever at the helm? Shall chariots of triumph be for him Though youth and law forbad them?
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And what of harvests 13 blighted through the world And ghastly famine made to serve his ends? Stain once the lips with blood, no other meal They shall enjoy. And shall there be no end Of these long years of power and of crime? His latest prize Shall I be, Caesar, I, who would not quit My conquering eagles at his proud command?
Where shall the weary soldier find his rest? What cottage homes their joys, what fields their fruit Shall to our veterans yield? Will Magnus say That pirates only till the fields alight? Unfurl your standards; victory gilds them yet, As through those glorious years. Deny our rights! He that denies them makes our quarrel just. This would-be ruler of subservient Rome We force to quit his grasp; and Heaven shall smile On those who seek to drag the tyrant down. Thus Caesar spake; but doubtful murmurs ran Throughout the listening crowd, this way and that Their wishes urging them; the thoughts of home And household gods and kindred gave them pause: But fear of Caesar and the pride of war Their doubts resolved.
To follow thee fate gives me now the power: The will was mine before.
When Csesar saw them welcome thus the war And Fortune leading on, and favouring fates, He seized the moment, called his troops from Gaul, And breaking up his camp set on for Rome.