If yet he lives, and draws this vital air, Nor we, his friends, of safety shall despair; Nor you, great queen, these offices repent, Which he will equal, and perhaps augment.
In vain he thus attempts her mind to move With tears, and pray’rs, and late-repenting love.
The coast, so long desir’d (nor doubt th’ event), Thy troops shall reach, but, having reach’d, repent.
With late repentance now they would retrieve The bodies they forsook, and wish to live; Their pains and poverty desire to bear, To view the light of heav’n, and breathe the vital air: But fate forbids; the Stygian floods oppose, And with circling streams the captive souls inclose.
Then ev’n the city troops, and Latians, tir’d With tedious war, seem with new souls inspir’d: Their champion’s fate with pity they lament, And of the league, so lately sworn, repent.
This day the Latian tow’rs, that mate the sky, Shall level with the plain in ashes lie: The people shall be slaves, unless in time They kneel for pardon, and repent their crime.
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Prisoners who show repentance are more likely to be released on parole.