Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
February 5
Death of Cato
By Joseph Addison (1672–1719)
          Marcus Porcius Cato was a Roman patriot and Stoic philosopher. He sided with Pompey against Cæsar on the outbreak of the civil war in the year 49 and after the battle of Pharsalia he committed suicide on Feb. 5, 46 B.C., having learned of Cæsar’s victory at Thapsus.

CÆSAR’S arms have thrown down all distinction;
Whoe’er is brave and virtuous is a Roman—
I’m sick to death—O when shall I get loose
From this vain world, th’ abode of guilt and sorrow!
—And yet methinks a beam of light breaks in        5
On my departing soul. Alas I fear
I’ve been too hasty. O ye powers that search
The heart of man, and weigh his inmost thoughts,
If I have done amiss, impute not!—
The best may err, but you are good.        10

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