The clanging fire-bells shook the air,
The maddened crowd roared like the sea
And hurled its human waves ‘gainst me —
Then through the smoke a face gleamed fair
A moment brief — and then the crash
As chariot wheels together dash;
Mad horses rear and plunge and scream —
It all comes back, an old, old dream,
The brutal shout that shakes the walls
As in the dust my chariot falls,
The yellow cloud of strangling dust
And I ‘neath broken chariot thrust,
The cruel faces from the tiers —
Then through it all a face appears,
With pity sweet and white with fears,
There in the box where Cæsar sneers!


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