Marius amidst the Ruins of Carthage

Winthrop Mackworth Praed

Carthage, I love thee! thou hast run—    
  As I—a warlike race;    
And now thy glory’s radiant sun    
  Hath veiled in clouds his face:    
Thy days of pride—as mine—depart;            
Thy gods desert thee, and thou art    
  A thing as nobly base    
As he whose sullen footstep falls    
  To-night around thy crumbling walls.    
And Rome hath heaped her woes and pains            
  Alike on me and thee;    
And thou dost sit in servile chains,—    
  But mine they shall not be!    
Though fiercely o’er this aged head    
The wrath of angry Jove is shed,            
  Marius shall still be free,—    
Free in the pride that scorns his foe,    
And bares the head to meet the blow.    
I wear not yet thy slavery’s vest,    
  As desolate I roam;            
And though the sword were at my breast,    
  The torches in my home,    
Still,—still, for orison and vow,    
I ’d fling them back my curse—as now;    
  I scorn, I hate thee,—Rome!            
My voice is weak to word and threat,    
My arm is strong to battle yet!


Gaius Marius (157 BC-86 BC) was exiled to Carthage in North Africa at one stage in his illustrious career, which saw him command Roman legions and be elected Consul of Rome seven times.

Main Location:

Carthage Ancient Ruins, La Goulette Road, 7016, Tunisia

The painting by John Vanderlyn which inspired Praed's poem: Caius Marius Amid the Ruins of Carthage