Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs,
To re-salute his country with his tears,--
Tears of true joy for his return to Rome.--
Thou great defender of this Capitol,
Stand gracious to the rites that we intend!--
Romans, of five and twenty valiant sons,
Half of the number that King Priam had,
Behold the poor remains, alive and dead!
These that survive let Rome reward with love;
These that I bring unto their latest home,
With burial amongst their ancestors;
Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword.
Titus, unkind, and careless of thine own,
Why suffer'st thou thy sons, unburied yet,
To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?--
Make way to lay them by their brethren.--
[The tomb is opened.]
There greet in silence, as the dead are wont,
And sleep in peace, slain in your country's wars!
O sacred receptacle of my joys,
Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
How many sons of mine hast thou in store,
That thou wilt never render to me more!
Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,