Are not you mov’d, when all the sway of earth
Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,
I have seen tempests when the scolding winds
Have riv’d the knotty oaks, and I have seen
Th’ ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam,
To be exalted with the threat’ning clouds;
But never till tonight, never till now,
Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
Either there is a civil strife in heaven,
Or else the world, too saucy with the gods,
Incenses them to send destruction.
A common slave—you know him well by sight—
Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn
Like twenty torches join’d; and yet his hand,
Not sensible of fire, remain’d unscorch’d.
Besides—I ha’ not since put up my sword—
Against the Capitol I met a lion,
Who glaz’d upon me, and went surly by,
Without annoying me. And there were drawn
Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,
Transformed with their fear, who swore they saw
Men, all in fire, walk up and down the streets.
And yesterday the bird of night did sit
Even at noon—day upon the market-place,
Howting and shrieking. When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say,
“These are their reasons, they are natural”;
For I believe they are portentous things
Unto the climate that they point upon.