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HORACE: CHORUS AT THE END OF ACT 3, by                    
First Line: These are th' effects of war, and these
Last Line: Their woes have made them equal still.

THESE are th' effects of war, and these
The Sacrifices are to peace;
Peace, that once broken in her right
Nothing but blood can reunite:
War's handmaid Fury prompts her on,
To blood and devastation;
Nor ceases till whole Countries lie,
O'erwhelmed in one calamity,
Or though the sacrifice for all
Should in one single person fall;
Yet in whatever falls amiss,
The public still a loser is.
And as a radiant gem out-vies
Masses of metal in her prize:
One hero's loss, more loss includes,
Than vile plebeian multitudes.
A bloody combat here we see
Fought for an empty Sovereignty,
When they lie weltring on the sand
Who were the fittest to command.
Thus man himself still undermines,
And blind destroys his own designs,
For the victorious here may boast
An Empire when the ruler's lost.
Who now with better title may,
Rome's battles, or her sceptre sway,
Than they who her brave champions were?
Princes then truly Princes are,
When with a parent's Love they stake
Their persons for their People's sake.
Oh Rome! Oh Alba! what desire
First set your noble breasts on fire!
Or what offence engag'd your steel,
The blood of your Allies to spill!
'Tis vicious envy that has made
You thus each other's wounds invade;
Envy the soul's most foul disease,
That pines at others' happiness,
Has made you thus each other hate,
Because you both were fortunate.
Thus human glories do procure
The dangers which they should secure;
Bare reputation will suffice
To make a thousand enemies;
And virtue the more bright she shines,
Serves but to light men's dark designs,
To give their malice aim, and guide
The poison'd dart into her side;
'Tis emulation animates
The fury, and the spleen of States;
And till that emulation cease
The world will never be at peace.
The combat now is overblown,
But the event not truly known.
The scene will soon unto your eye
Open the tragic history.
When they who may the conquest boast,
When they consider what it cost,
Shall find the triumph they have got,
So empty and so dearly bought,
That though success have serv'd their will,
Their woes have made them equal still.

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