Aeneid

Virgil

Vergil. Aeneid. John Dryden. trans.

  1. When Turnus marks how much the Latins quail
  2. in adverse war, how on himself they call
  3. to keep his pledge, and with indignant eyes
  4. gaze all his way, fierce rage implacable
  5. swells his high heart. As when on Libyan plain
  6. a lion, gashed along his tawny breast
  7. by the huntsman's grievous thrust, awakens him
  8. unto his last grim fight, and gloriously
  9. shaking the great thews of his maned neck,
  10. shrinks not, but crushes the despoiler's spear
  11. with blood-sprent, roaring mouth,—not less than so
  12. burns the wild soul of Turnus and his ire.
  13. Thus to the King he spoke with stormful brow:
  14. “The war lags not for Turnus' sake. No cause
  15. constrains the Teucrian cowards and their King
  16. to eat their words and what they pledged refuse.
  17. On his own terms I come. Bring forward, sire,
  18. the sacrifice, and seal the pact I swear:
  19. either to deepest hell this hand shall fling
  20. yon Trojan runaway—the Latins all
  21. may sit at ease and see!—and my sole sword
  22. efface the general shame; or let him claim
  23. the conquest, and Lavinia be his bride.”
  1. To him Latinus with unruffled mind
  2. thus made reply: “O youth surpassing brave!
  3. The more thy sanguinary valor burns
  4. beyond its wont, the more with toilsome care
  5. I ponder with just fear what chance may fall,
  6. weighing it well. Thy father Daunus' throne,
  7. and many a city by thy sword subdued,
  8. are still thy own. Latinus also boasts
  9. much golden treasure and a liberal hand.
  10. Other unwedded maids of noble stem
  11. in Latium and Laurentine land are found.
  12. Permit me, then, to tell thee without guile
  13. things hard to utter; let them deeply fill
  14. thy listening soul. My sacred duty 'twas
  15. to plight my daughter's hand to nonesoe'er
  16. of all her earlier wooers—so declared
  17. the gods and oracles; but overcome
  18. by love of thee, by thy dear, kindred blood,
  19. and by the sad eyes of my mournful Queen,
  20. I shattered every bond; I snatched away
  21. the plighted maiden from her destined lord,
  22. and took up impious arms. What evil case
  23. upon that deed ensued, what hapless wars,
  24. thou knowest, since thyself dost chiefly bear
  25. the cruel burden. In wide-ranging fight
  26. twice-conquered, our own city scarce upholds
  27. the hope of Italy. Yon Tiber's wave
  28. still runs warm with my people's blood; the plains
  29. far round us glisten with their bleaching bones.
  30. Why tell it o'er and o'er? What maddening dream
  31. perverts my mind? If after Turnus slain
  32. I must for friendship of the Trojan sue,
  33. were it not better to suspend the fray
  34. while Turnus lives? For what will be the word
  35. of thy Rutulian kindred—yea, of all
  36. Italia, if to death I give thee o'er—
  37. (Which Heaven avert!) because thou fain wouldst win
  38. my daughter and be sworn my friend and son?
  39. Bethink thee what a dubious work is war;
  40. have pity on thy father's reverend years,
  41. who even now thy absence daily mourns
  42. in Ardea, his native land and thine.”
  43. But to this pleading Turnus' frenzied soul
  44. yields not at all, but rather blazes forth
  45. more wildly, and his fever fiercer burns
  46. beneath the healer's hand. In answer he,
  47. soon as his passion gathered voice, began:
  48. “This keen solicitude for love of me,
  49. I pray, good sire, for love of me put by!
  50. And let me traffic in the just exchange
  51. of death for glory. This right hand, O King,
  52. can scatter shafts not few, nor do I wield
  53. untempered steel. Whene'er I make a wound
  54. blood follows. For my foeman when we meet
  55. will find no goddess-mother near, with hand
  56. to hide him in her woman's skirt of cloud,
  57. herself in dim, deluding shade concealed.”
  1. But now the Queen, whose whole heart shrank in fear
  2. from these new terms of duel, wept aloud,
  3. and like one dying clasped her fiery son:
  4. “O Turnus, by these tears-if in thy heart
  5. thou honorest Amata still—O thou
  6. who art of our distressful, dark old age
  7. the only hope and peace, the kingly name
  8. and glory of Latinus rests in thee;
  9. thou art the mighty prop whereon is stayed
  10. our falling house. One favor I implore:
  11. give o'er this fight with Trojans. In such strife
  12. thy destined doom is destined to be mine
  13. by the same fatal stroke. For in that hour
  14. this hated life shall cease, nor will I look
  15. with slave's eyes on Aeneas as my son.”
  16. Lavinia heard her mother's voice, and tears
  17. o'erflowed her scarlet cheek, where blushes spread
  18. like flame along her warm, young face and brow:
  19. as when the Indian ivory must wear
  20. ensanguined crimson stain, or lilies pale
  21. mingled with roses seem to blush, such hues
  22. her virgin features bore; and love's desire
  23. disturbed his breast, as, gazing on the maid,
  24. his martial passion fiercer flamed; whereon
  25. in brief speech he addressed the Queen: “No tears!
  26. No evil omen, mother, I implore!
  27. Make me no sad farewells, as I depart
  28. to the grim war-god's game! Can Turnus' hand
  29. delay death's necessary coming? Go,
  30. Idmon, my herald, to the Phrygian King,
  31. and tell him this—a word not framed to please:
  32. soon as Aurora from her crimson car
  33. flushes to-morrow's sky, let him no more
  34. against the Rutule lead the Teucrian line;
  35. let Teucrian swords and Rutule take repose,
  36. while with our own spilt blood we twain will make
  37. an end of war; on yonder mortal field
  38. let each man woo Lavinia for his bride.”
  1. So saying, he hied him to his lordly halls,
  2. summoned his steeds, and with pleased eye surveyed
  3. their action proud: them Orithyia, bride
  4. of Boreas, to Sire Pilumnus gave,
  5. which in their whiteness did surpass the snow
  6. in speed the wind. The nimble charioteers
  7. stood by and smote with hollowed hand and palm
  8. the sounding chests, or combed the necks and manes.
  9. But he upon his kingly shoulders clasped
  10. his corselet, thick o'erlaid with blazoned gold
  11. and silvery orichalch; he fitted him
  12. with falchion, shield, and helm of purple plume,
  13. that falchion which the Lord of Fire had made
  14. for Daunus, tempering in the Stygian wave
  15. when white it glowed; next grasped he the good spear
  16. which leaned its weight against a column tall
  17. in the mid-court, Auruncan Actor's spoil,
  18. and waved it wide in air with mighty cry:
  19. “O spear, that ne'er did fail me when I called,
  20. the hour is come! Once mighty Actor's hand,
  21. but now the hand of Turnus is thy lord.
  22. Grant me to strike that carcase to the ground,
  23. and with strong hand the corselet rip and rend
  24. from off that Phrygian eunuch: let the dust
  25. befoul those tresses, tricked to curl so fine
  26. with singeing steel and sleeked with odorous oil.”
  27. Such frenzy goads him: his impassioned brow
  28. is all on flame, the wild eyes flash with fire.
  29. Thus, bellowing loud before the fearful fray,
  30. some huge bull proves the fury of his horns,
  31. pushing against a tree-trunk; his swift thrusts
  32. would tear the winds in pieces; while his hoofs
  33. toss up the turf and sand, rehearsing war.
  1. That self-same day with aspect terrible
  2. Aeneas girt him in the wondrous arms
  3. his mother gave; made sharp his martial steel,
  4. and roused his heart to ire; though glad was he
  5. to seal such truce and end the general war.
  6. Then he spoke comfort to his friends; and soothed
  7. Iulus' fear, unfolding Heaven's intent;
  8. but on Latinus bade his heralds lay
  9. unyielding terms and laws of peace impose.
  1. Soon as the breaking dawn its glory threw
  2. along the hills, and from the sea's profound
  3. leaped forth the horses of the sun-god's car,
  4. from lifted nostrils breathing light and fire,
  5. then Teucrian and Rutulian measured out
  6. a place for duel, underneath the walls
  7. of the proud city. In the midst were set
  8. altars of turf and hearth-stones burning bright
  9. in honor of their common gods. Some brought
  10. pure waters and the hallowed flame, their thighs
  11. in priestly skirt arrayed, and reverend brows
  12. with vervain bound. Th' Ausonians, spear in hand,
  13. out from the city's crowded portals moved
  14. in ordered column: next the Trojans all,
  15. with Tuscan host in various martial guise,
  16. equipped with arms of steel, as if they heard
  17. stern summons to the fight. Their captains, too,
  18. emerging from the multitude, in pride
  19. of gold and purple, hurried to and fro:
  20. Mnestheus of royal stem, Asilas brave;
  21. and Neptune's offspring, tamer of the steed,
  22. Messapus. Either host, at signal given,
  23. to its own ground retiring, fixed in earth
  24. the long shafts of the spears and stacked the shields.
  25. Then eagerly to tower and rampart fly
  26. the women, the infirm old men, the throng
  27. of the unarmed, and sit them there at gaze,
  28. or on the columned gates expectant stand.
  1. But Juno, peering from that summit proud
  2. which is to-day the Alban (though that time
  3. nor name nor fame the hallowed mountain knew),
  4. surveyed the plain below and fair array
  5. of Trojan and Laurentine, by the walls
  6. of King Latinus. Whereupon straightway
  7. with Turnus' sister she began converse,
  8. goddess with goddess; for that nymph divine
  9. o'er Alba's calm lakes and loud rivers reigns;
  10. Jove, the high monarch of th' ethereal sky,
  11. gave her such glory when he stole away
  12. her virgin zone. “O nymph“, she said, “who art
  13. the pride of flowing streams, and much beloved
  14. of our own heart! thou knowest thou alone
  15. hast been my favorite of those Latin maids
  16. that to proud Jove's unthankful bed have climbed;
  17. and willingly I found thee place and share
  18. in our Olympian realm. So blame not me,
  19. but hear, Juturna, what sore grief is thine:
  20. while chance and destiny conceded aught
  21. of strength to Latium's cause, I shielded well
  22. both Turnus and thy city's wall; but now
  23. I see our youthful champion make his war
  24. with fates adverse. The Parcae's day of doom
  25. implacably impends. My eyes refuse
  26. to Iook upon such fight, such fatal league.
  27. If for thy brother's life thou couldst be bold
  28. to venture some swift blow, go, strike it now!
  29. 'T is fit and fair! Some issue fortunate
  30. may tread on sorrow's heel.” She scarce had said,
  31. when rained the quick tears from Juturna's eyes.
  32. Three times and yet again her desperate hand
  33. smote on her comely breast. But Juno cried,
  34. “No tears to-day! But haste thee, haste and find
  35. what way, if way there be, from clutch of death
  36. to tear thy brother free; arouse the war;
  37. their plighted peace destroy. I grant thee leave
  38. such boldness to essay.” With this command
  39. she left the nymph dismayed and grieving sore.
  1. Meanwhile the kings ride forth: Latinus first,
  2. looming tall-statured from his four-horse car;
  3. twelve rays of gold encircle his bright brow,
  4. sign of the sun-god, his progenitor;
  5. next Turnus, driving snow-white steeds, is seen,—
  6. two bread-tipped javelins in his hand he bears;
  7. Aeneas, of Rome's blood the source and sire,
  8. with star-bright shield and panoply divine,
  9. far-shining comes; Ascanius by his side—
  10. of Roman greatness the next hope is he.
  11. To camp they rode, where, garbed in blameless white,
  12. with youngling swine and two-year sheep unshorn,
  13. the priest before the flaming altars drove
  14. his flock and offering: to the rising sun
  15. all eyes are lifted, as with careful hand
  16. the salted meal is scattered, while with knives
  17. they mark each victim's brow, outpouring wine
  18. from shallow bowls, the sacrifice to bless.
  1. Then good Aeneas, his sword drawn, put forth
  2. this votive prayer: “O Sun in heaven; and thou,
  3. Italia, for whom such toils I bear,
  4. be witness of my orison. On thee,
  5. Father omnipotent, I call; on thee,
  6. his Queen Saturnia,—now may she be
  7. more gracious to my prayer! O glorious Mars,
  8. beneath whose godhead and paternity
  9. all wars begin and end, on thee I call;
  10. hail, all ye river-gods and haunted springs;
  11. hail, whatsoever gods have seat of awe
  12. in yonder distant sky, and ye whose power
  13. is in the keeping of the deep, blue sea:
  14. if victory to Ausonian Turnus fall,
  15. then let my vanquished people take its way
  16. unto Evander's city! From these plains
  17. Iulus shall retire—so stands the bond;
  18. nor shall the Trojans with rebellious sword
  19. bring after-trouble on this land and King.
  20. But if on arms of ours success shall shine,
  21. as I doubt not it shall (may gods on high
  22. their will confirm!), I purpose not to chain
  23. Italian captive unto Teucrian lord,
  24. nor seek I kingly power. Let equal laws
  25. unite in federation without end
  26. the two unconquered nations; both shall share
  27. my worshipped gods. Latinus, as my sire,
  28. shall keep his sword, and as my sire receive
  29. inviolable power. The Teucrians
  30. shall build my stronghold, but our citadel
  31. shall bear forevermore Lavinia's name.”
  1. Aeneas thus: then with uplifted eyes
  2. Latinus swore, his right hand raised to heaven:
  3. “I too, Aeneas, take the sacred vow.
  4. By earth and sea and stars in heaven I swear,
  5. by fair Latona's radiant children twain,
  6. and two-browed Janus; by the shadowy powers
  7. of Hades and th' inexorable shrines
  8. of the Infernal King; and may Jove hear,
  9. who by his lightnings hallows what is sworn!
  10. I touch these altars, and my lips invoke
  11. the sacred altar-fires that 'twixt us burn:
  12. we men of Italy will make this peace
  13. inviolate, and its bond forever keep,
  14. let come what will; there is no power can change
  15. my purpose, not if ocean's waves o'erwhelm
  16. the world in billowy deluge and obscure
  17. the bounds of heaven and hell. We shall remain
  18. immutable as my smooth sceptre is“
  19. (By chance a sceptre in his hand he bore),
  20. “which wears no more light leaf or branching shade;
  21. for long since in the grove 't was plucked away
  22. from parent stem, and yielded to sharp steel
  23. its leaves and limbs; erewhile 't was but a tree,
  24. till the wise craftsman with fair sheath of bronze
  25. encircled it and laid it in the hands
  26. of Latium's royal sires.” With words like these
  27. they swore the bond, in the beholding eyes
  28. of gathered princes. Then they slit the throats
  29. of hallowed victims o'er the altar's blaze,
  30. drew forth the quivering vitals, and with flesh
  31. on loaded chargers heaped the sacrifice.
  1. But to Rutulian eyes th' approaching joust
  2. seemed all ill-matched; and shifting hopes and fears
  3. disturbed their hearts the closer they surveyed
  4. th' unequal risks: still worse it was to see
  5. how Turnus, silent and with downcast eyes,
  6. dejectedly drew near the place of prayer,
  7. worn, pale, and wasted in his youthful bloom.
  8. The nymph Juturna, with a sister's fear,
  9. noted the growing murmur, and perceived
  10. how all the people's will did shift and change;
  11. she went from rank to rank, feigning the shape
  12. of Camers, scion of illustrious line,
  13. with heritage of valor, and himself
  14. dauntless in war; unceasingly she ran
  15. from rank to rank, spreading with skilful tongue
  16. opinions manifold, and thus she spoke:
  17. “Will ye not blush, Rutulians, so to stake
  18. one life for many heroes? Are we not
  19. their match in might and numbers? O, behold
  20. those Trojan sons of Heaven making league
  21. with exiled Arcady; see Tuscan hordes
  22. storming at Turnus. Yet we scarce could find
  23. one foe apiece, forsooth, if we should dare
  24. fight them with half our warriors. Of a truth
  25. your champion brave shall to those gods ascend
  26. before whose altars his great heart he vows;
  27. and lips of men while yet on earth he stays
  28. will spread his glory far. Ourselves, instead,
  29. must crouch to haughty masters, and resign
  30. this fatherland upon whose fruitful fields
  31. we dwell at ease.” So speaking, she inflamed
  32. the warriors' minds, and through the legions ran
  33. increasing whisper; the Laurentine host
  34. and even Latium wavered. Those who late
  35. prayed but for rest and safety, clamored loud
  36. for arms, desired annulment of the league,
  37. and pitied Turnus' miserable doom.
  38. Whereon Juturna tried a mightier stroke,
  39. a sign from heaven, which more than all beside
  40. confused the Latins and deceived their hearts
  41. with prodigy. For through the flaming skies
  42. Jove's golden eagle swooped, and scattered far
  43. a clamorous tribe of river-haunting birds;
  44. then, swiftly to the waters falling, seized
  45. one noble swan, which with keen, curving claws
  46. he ruthless bore away: th' Italians all
  47. watched eagerly, while the loud-screaming flock
  48. wheeled upward (wondrous sight!), with host of wings
  49. shadowed the sky, and in a legion-cloud
  50. chased through the air the foe; till, overborne
  51. by heavier odds, the eagle from his claws
  52. flung back his victim to the waves, and fled
  53. to the dim, distant heaven. The Rutules then
  54. hailed the good omen with consenting cry,
  55. and grasped the sword and shield. Tolumnius
  56. the augur spake first: “Lo, the sign I sought
  57. with many a prayer! I welcome and obey
  58. the powers divine. Take me for captain, me!
  59. And draw your swords, ye wretches, whom th' assault
  60. of yonder foreign scoundrel puts in fear
  61. like feeble birds, and with his violence
  62. lays waste your shore. He too shall fly away,
  63. spreading his ships' wings on the distant seas.
  64. Close up your ranks—one soul in all our breasts!
  65. Defend in open war your stolen King.”
  66. So saying, he hurled upon th' opposing foe
  67. his javelin, running forward. The strong shaft
  68. of corner whistled shrill, and clove the air
  69. unerring. Instantly vast clamor rose,
  70. and all th' onlookers at the spectacle
  71. leaped up amazed, and every heart beat high.
  72. The spear sped flying to the foeman's line,
  73. where stood nine goodly brethren, pledges all
  74. of one true Tuscan mother to her lord,
  75. Gylippus of Arcadia; it struck full
  76. on one of these at his gold-belted waist,
  77. and where the clasp clung, pierced the rib clean through.
  78. And stretched the fair youth in his glittering arms
  79. full length and lifeless on the yellow sand.
  80. His brothers then, bold band to wrath aroused
  81. by sorrow, seize the sword or snatch the spear
  82. and blindly charge. Opposing them, the host
  83. Laurentine makes advance, and close-arrayed
  84. the Trojans like a torrent pour, enforced
  85. by Tuscans and the gay-accoutred clans
  86. of Arcady. One passion moved in all
  87. to try the judgment of the sword. They tore
  88. the altars down: a very storm of spears
  89. rose angrily to heaven, in iron rain
  90. down-pouring: while the priests bore far away
  91. the sacrificial bowls and sacred fires.
  92. Even Latinus fled; his stricken gods
  93. far from his violated oath he bore.
  1. Some leaped to horse or chariot and rode
  2. with naked swords in air. Messapus, wild
  3. to break the truce, assailed the Tuscan King,
  4. Aulestes, dressed in kingly blazon fair,
  5. with fearful shock of steeds; the Tuscan dropped
  6. helplessly backward, striking as he fell
  7. his head and shoulders on the altar-stone
  8. that lay behind him. But Messapus flew,
  9. infuriate, a javelin in his hand,
  10. and, towering o'er the suppliant, smote him strong
  11. with the great beam-like spear, and loudly cried:
  12. “Down with him! Ah! no common victim he
  13. to give the mighty gods!” Italia's men
  14. despoiled the dead man ere his limbs were cold.
  15. Then Corynaeus snatched a burning brand
  16. out of the altar, and as Ebysus
  17. came toward him for to strike, he hurled the flame
  18. full in his face: the big beard quickly blazed
  19. with smell of singeing; while the warrior bold
  20. strode over him, and seized with firm left hand
  21. his quailing foe's Iong hair; then with one knee
  22. he pushed and strained, compelled him to the `ground—
  23. and struck straight at his heart with naked steel.
  24. The shepherd Alsus in the foremost line
  25. came leaping through the spears; when o'er him towered
  26. huge Podalirius with a flashing sword
  27. in close pursuit; the mighty battle-axe
  28. clove him with swinging stroke from brow to chin,
  29. and spilt along his mail the streaming gore:
  30. so stern repose and iron slumber fell
  31. upon that shepherd's eyes, and sealed their gaze
  32. in endless night. But good Aeneas now
  33. stretched forth his unarmed hand, and all unhelmed
  34. thus Ioudly to his people called: “What means
  35. this frantic stir, this quarrel rashly bold?
  36. Recall your martial rage! The pledge is given
  37. and all its terms agreed. 'T is only I
  38. do lawful battle here. So let me forth,
  39. and tremble not. My own hand shall confirm
  40. the solemn treaty. For these rites consign
  41. Turnus to none but me.” Yet while he spoke,
  42. behold, a winged arrow, hissing loud,
  43. the hero pierced; but what bold hand impelled
  44. its whirling speed, none knew; nor if it were
  45. chance or some power divine that brought this fame
  46. upon Rutulia; for the glorious deed
  47. was covered o'er with silence: none would boast
  48. an arrow guilty of Aeneas' wound.
  49. When Turnus saw Aeneas from the line
  50. retreating, and the captains in dismay,
  51. with sudden hope he burned: he called for steeds,
  52. for arms, and, leaping to his chariot,
  53. rode insolently forth, the reins in hand.
  54. Many strong heroes he dispatched to die,
  55. as on he flew, and many stretched half-dead,
  56. or from his chariot striking, or from far
  57. raining his javelins on the recreant foe.
  58. As Mars, forth-speeding by the wintry stream
  59. of Hebrus, smites his sanguinary shield
  60. and whips the swift steeds to the front of war,
  61. who, flying past the winds of eve and morn,
  62. scour the wide champaign; the bounds of Thrace
  63. beneath their hoof-beats thunder; the dark shapes
  64. of Terror, Wrath, and Treachery move on
  65. in escort of the god: in such grim guise
  66. bold Turnus lashed into the fiercest fray
  67. his streaming steeds, that pitiful to see
  68. trod down the slaughtered foe; each flying hoof
  69. scattered a bloody dew; their path was laid
  70. in mingled blood and sand. To death he flung
  71. Pholus and Sthenelus and Thamyris:
  72. two smitten in close fight and one from far:
  73. also from far he smote with fatal spear
  74. Glaucus and Lades, the Imbrasidae,
  75. whom Imbrasus himself in Lycia bred,
  76. and honored them with arms of equal skill
  77. when grappling with a foe, or o'er the field
  78. speeding a war-horse faster than the wind.
  1. Elsewhere Eumedes through a throng of foes
  2. to battle rode, the high-born Dolon's child,
  3. famous in war, who bore his grandsire's name,
  4. but seemed in might and courage like his sire:
  5. that prince, who reconnoitring crept so near
  6. the Argive camp, he dared to claim for spoil
  7. the chariot of Achilles; but that day
  8. great Diomed for such audacious deed
  9. paid wages otherwise,—and he no more
  10. dreamed to possess the steeds of Peleus' son.
  11. When Turnus recognized in open field
  12. this warrior, though far, he aimed and flung
  13. his javelin through the spacious air; then stayed
  14. his coursers twain, and, leaping from his car,
  15. found the wretch helpless fallen; so planted he
  16. his foot upon his neck, and from his hand
  17. wrested the sword and thrust it glittering
  18. deep in the throat, thus taunting as he slew:
  19. “There's land for thee, thou Trojan! Measure there
  20. th' Hesperian provinces thy sword would find.
  21. Such reward will I give to all who dare
  22. draw steel on me; such cities they shall build.”
  23. To bear him company his spear laid low
  24. Asbutes, Sybaris, Thersilochus,
  25. Chloreus and Dares, and Thymoetes thrown
  26. sheer off the shoulders of his balking steed.
  27. As when from Thrace the north wind thunders down
  28. the vast Aegean, flinging the swift flood
  29. against the shore, and where his blasts assail
  30. the cloudy cohorts vanish out of heaven:
  31. so before Turnus, where his path he clove,
  32. the lines fell back, the wheeling legions fled.
  33. The warrior's own wild impulse swept him on,
  34. and every wind that o'er his chariot blew
  35. shook out his plume in air. But such advance
  36. so bold, so furious, Phegeus could not brook,
  37. but, fronting the swift chariot's path, he seized
  38. the foam-flecked bridles of its coursers wild,
  39. while from the yoke his body trailed and swung;
  40. the broad lance found his naked side, and tore
  41. his double corselet, pricking lightly through
  42. the outer flesh; but he with lifted shield
  43. still fought his foe and thrust with falchion bare;
  44. but the fierce pace of whirling wheel and pole
  45. flung him down prone, and stretched him on the plain.
  46. Then Turnus, aiming with relentless sword
  47. between the corselet's edge and helmet's rim
  48. struck off his whole head, leaving on the sands
  49. the mutilated corpse. While thus afield
  50. victorious Turnus dealt out death and doom,
  51. Mnestheus, Achates true, and by their side
  52. Ascanius, have carried to the camp
  53. Aeneas, gashed and bleeding, whose long lance
  54. sustained his limping step. With fruitless rage
  55. he struggled with the spear-head's splintered barb,
  56. and bade them help him by the swiftest way
  57. to carve the wound out with a sword, to rip
  58. the clinging weapon forth, and send him back
  59. to meet the battle. Quickly to his side
  60. came Iapyx, dear favorite and friend
  61. of Phoebus, upon whom the god bestowed
  62. his own wise craft and power, Iove-impelled.
  63. The gifts of augury were given, and song,
  64. with arrows of swift wing: he when his sire
  65. was carried forth to die, deferred the doom
  66. for many a day, by herbs of virtue known
  67. to leechcraft; and without reward or praise
  68. his silent art he plied. Aeneas stood,
  69. bitterly grieving, propped upon his spear;
  70. a throng of warriors were near him, and
  71. Iulus, sorrowing. The aged man
  72. gathered his garments up as leeches do,
  73. and with skilled hand and Phoebus' herbs of power
  74. bustled in vain; in vain his surgery
  75. pried at the shaft, and with a forceps strong
  76. seized on the buried barb. But Fortune gave
  77. no remedy, nor did Apollo aid
  78. his votary. So more and more grim fear
  79. stalks o'er the field of war, and nearer hies
  80. the fatal hour; the very heavens are dust;
  81. the horsemen charge, and in the midmost camp
  82. a rain of javelins pours. The dismal cry
  83. of men in fierce fight, and of men who fall
  84. beneath relentless Mars, rends all the air.
  1. Then Venus, by her offspring's guiltless woe
  2. sore moved, did cull from Cretan Ida's crest
  3. some dittany, with downy leaf and stem
  4. and flowers of purple bloom—a simple known
  5. to mountain goats, when to their haunches clings
  6. an arrow gone astray. This Venus brought,
  7. mantling her shape in cloud; and this she steeped
  8. in bowls of glass, infusing secretly
  9. ambrosia's healing essence and sweet drops
  10. of fragrant panacea. Such a balm
  11. aged Iapyx poured upon the wound,
  12. though unaware; and sudden from the flesh
  13. all pain departed and the blood was staunched,
  14. while from the gash the arrow uncompelled
  15. followed the hand and dropped: his wonted strength
  16. flowed freshly through the hero's frame. “Make haste!
  17. Bring forth his arms! Why tarry any more?”
  18. Iapyx shouted, being first to fire
  19. their courage 'gainst the foe. “This thing is done
  20. not of man's knowledge, nor by sovereign skill;
  21. nor has my hand, Aeneas, set thee free.
  22. Some mighty god thy vigor gives again
  23. for mighty deeds.” Aeneas now put on,
  24. all fever for the fight, his golden greaves,
  25. and, brooking not delay, waved wide his spear.
  26. Soon as the corselet and the shield were bound
  27. on back and side, he clasped Ascanius
  28. to his mailed breast, and through his helmet grim
  29. tenderly kissed his son. “My boy", he cried,
  30. “What valor is and patient, genuine toil
  31. learn thou of me; let others guide thy feet
  32. to prosperous fortune. Let this hand and sword
  33. defend thee through the war and lead thee on
  34. to high rewards. Thou also play the man!
  35. And when thy riper vigor soon shall bloom,
  36. forget not in thy heart to ponder well
  37. the story of our line. Heed honor's call,
  38. like Sire Aeneas and Hector thy close kin.”
  1. After such farewell word, he from the gates
  2. in mighty stature strode, and swung on high
  3. his giant spear. With him in serried line
  4. Antheus and Mnestheus moved, and all the host
  5. from the forsaken fortress poured. The plain
  6. was darkened with their dust; the startled earth
  7. shook where their footing fell. From distant hill
  8. Turnus beheld them coming, and the eyes
  9. of all Ausonia saw: a chill of fear
  10. shot through each soldier's marrow; in their van
  11. Juturna knew full well the dreadful sound,
  12. and fled before it, shuddering. But he
  13. hurried his murky cohorts o'er the plain.
  14. As when a tempest from the riven sky
  15. drives landward o'er mid-ocean, and from far
  16. the hearts of husbandmen, foreboding woe,
  17. quake ruefully,—for this will come and rend
  18. their trees asunder, kill the harvests all,
  19. and sow destruction broadcast; in its path
  20. fly roaring winds, swift heralds of the storm:
  21. such dire approach the Trojan chieftain showed
  22. before his gathered foes. In close array
  23. they wedge their ranks about him. With a sword
  24. Thymbraeus cuts huge-limbed Osiris down;
  25. Mnestheus, Arcetius; from Epulo
  26. Achates shears the head; from Ufens, Gyas;
  27. Tolumnius the augur falls, the same
  28. who flung the first spear to the foeman's line.
  29. Uprose to heaven the cries. In panic now
  30. the Rutules in retreating clouds of dust
  31. scattered across the plain. Aeneas scorned
  32. either the recreant or resisting foe
  33. to slaughter, or the men who shoot from far:
  34. for through the war-cloud he but seeks the arms
  35. of Turnus, and to single combat calls.
  1. The warrior-maid Juturna, seeing this,
  2. distraught with terror, strikes down from his place
  3. Metiscus, Turnus' charioteer, who dropped
  4. forward among the reins and off the pole.
  5. Him leaving on the field, her own hand grasped
  6. the loosely waving reins, while she took on
  7. Metiscus' shape, his voice, and blazoned arms.
  8. As when through some rich master's spacious halls
  9. speeds the black swallow on her lightsome wing,
  10. exploring the high roof, or harvesting
  11. some scanty morsel for her twittering brood,
  12. round empty corridors or garden-pools
  13. noisily flitting: so Juturna roams
  14. among the hostile ranks, and wings her way
  15. behind the swift steeds of the whirling car.
  16. At divers points she lets the people see
  17. her brother's glory, but not yet allows
  18. the final tug of war; her pathless flight
  19. keeps far away. Aeneas too must take
  20. a course circuitous, and follows close
  21. his foeman's track; Ioud o'er the scattered lines
  22. he shouts his challenge. But whene'er his eyes
  23. discern the foe, and fain he would confront
  24. the flying-footed steeds, Juturna veers
  25. the chariot round and flies. What can he do?
  26. Aeneas' wrath storms vainly to and fro,
  27. and wavering purposes his heart divide.
  28. Against him lightly leaped Messapus forth,
  29. bearing two pliant javelins tipped with steel;
  30. and, whirling one in air, he aimed it well,
  31. with stroke unfailing. Great Aeneas paused
  32. in cover of his shield and crouched low down
  33. upon his haunches. But the driven spear
  34. battered his helmet's peak and plucked away
  35. the margin of his plume. Then burst his rage:
  36. his cunning foes had forced him; so at last,
  37. while steeds and chariot in the distance fly,
  38. he plunged him in the fray, and called on Jove
  39. the altars of that broken oath to see.
  40. Now by the war-god's favor he began
  41. grim, never-pitying slaughter, and flung free
  42. the bridle of his rage.
  1. What voice divine
  2. such horror can make known? What song declare
  3. the bloodshed manifold, the princes slain,
  4. or flying o'er the field from Turnus' blade,
  5. or from the Trojan King? Did Jove ordain
  6. so vast a shock of arms should interpose
  7. 'twixt nations destined to perpetual bond?
  8. Aeneas met the Rutule Sucro—thus
  9. staying the Trojan charge—and with swift blow
  10. struck at him sidewise, where the way of death
  11. is quickest, cleaving ribs and rounded side
  12. with reeking sword. Turnus met Amycus,
  13. unhorsed him, though himself afoot, and slew
  14. Diores, his fair brother (one was pierced
  15. fronting the spear, the other felled to earth
  16. by strike of sword), and both their severed heads
  17. he hung all dripping to his chariot's rim.
  18. But Talon, Tanais, and Cethegus brave,
  19. three in one onset, unto death went down
  20. at great Aeneas' hand; and he dispatched
  21. ill-starred Onites of Echion's line,
  22. fair Peridia's child. Then Turnus slew
  23. two Lycian brothers unto Phoebus dear,
  24. and young Menoetes, an Arcadian,
  25. who hated war (though vainly) when he plied
  26. his native fisher-craft in Lerna's streams,
  27. where from his mean abode he ne'er went forth
  28. to wait at great men's doors, but with his sire
  29. reaped the scant harvest of a rented glebe.
  30. as from two sides two conflagrations sweep
  31. dry woodlands or full copse of crackling bay,
  32. or as, swift-leaping from the mountain-vales,
  33. two flooded, foaming rivers seaward roar,
  34. each on its path of death, not less uproused,
  35. speed Turnus and Aeneas o'er the field;
  36. now storms their martial rage; now fiercely swells
  37. either indomitable heart; and now
  38. each hero's full strength to the slaughter moves.
  1. Behold Murranus, boasting his high birth
  2. from far-descended sires of storied name,
  3. the line of Latium's kings! Aeneas now
  4. with mountain-boulder lays him low in dust,
  5. smitten with whirlwind of the monster stone;
  6. and o'er him fallen under yoke and rein
  7. roll his own chariot wheels, while with swift tread
  8. the mad hoofs of his horses stamp him down,
  9. not knowing him their lord. But Turnus found
  10. proud Hyllus fronting him with frantic rage,
  11. and at his golden helmet launched the shaft
  12. that pierced it; in his cloven brain it clung.
  13. Nor could thy sword, O Cretheus, save thee then
  14. from Turnus, though of bravest Greeks the peer;
  15. nor did Cupencus' gods their priest defend
  16. against Aeneas, but his breast he gave
  17. unto the hostile blade; his brazen shield
  18. delayed no whit his miserable doom.
  19. Thee also, Aeolus, Laurentum saw
  20. spread thy huge body dying on the ground;
  21. yea, dying, thou whom Greeks in serried arms
  22. subdued not, nor Achilles' hand that hurled
  23. the throne of Priam down: here didst thou touch
  24. thy goal of death; one stately house was thine
  25. on Ida's mountain, at Lyrnessus, one;
  26. Laurentum's hallowed earth was but thy grave.
  27. Now the whole host contends; all Latium meets
  28. all Ilium; Mnestheus and Serestus bold;
  29. Messapus, the steed-breaker, and high-soured
  30. Asilas; Tuscans in a phalanx proud;
  31. Arcadian riders of Evander's train:
  32. each warrior lifts him to his height supreme
  33. of might and skill; no sloth nor lingering now,
  34. but in one far-spread conflict all contend.
  1. His goddess-mother in Aeneas' mind
  2. now stirred the purpose to make sudden way
  3. against the city-wall, in swift advance
  4. of all his line, confounding Latium so
  5. with slaughter and surprise. His roving glance,
  6. seeking for Turnus through the scattered lines
  7. this way and that, beholds in distant view
  8. the city yet unscathed and calmly free
  9. from the wide-raging fight. Then on his soul
  10. rushed the swift vision of a mightier war.
  11. Mnestheus, Sergestus, and Serestus brave,
  12. his chosen chiefs, he summons to his side,
  13. and stands upon a hillock, whither throng
  14. the Teucrian legions, each man holding fast
  15. his shield and spear. He, towering high,
  16. thus from the rampart to his people calls:
  17. “Perform my bidding swiftly: Jove's own hand
  18. sustains our power. Be ye not slack, because
  19. the thing I do is sudden. For this day
  20. I will pluck out th' offending root of war,—
  21. yon city where Latinus reigns. Unless
  22. it bear our yoke and heed a conqueror's will,
  23. will lay low in dust its blazing towers.
  24. Must I wait Turnus' pleasure, till he deign
  25. to meet my stroke, and have a mind once more,
  26. though vanquished, to show fight? My countrymen,
  27. see yonder stronghold of their impious war!
  28. Bring flames; avenge the broken oath with fire!”
  29. Scarce had he said, when with consenting souls,
  30. they speed them to the walls in dense array,
  31. forming a wedge. Ladders now leap in air,
  32. and sudden-blazing fires. In various war
  33. some troops run charging at the city-gates,
  34. and slay the guards; some fling the whirling spear
  35. and darken heaven with arrows. In their van,
  36. his right hand lifted to the wails and towers,
  37. Aeneas, calling on the gods to hear,
  38. loudly upbraids Latinus that once more
  39. conflict is thrust upon him; that once more
  40. Italians are his foes and violate
  41. their second pledge of peace. So blazes forth
  42. dissension 'twixt the frighted citizens:
  43. some would give o'er the city and fling wide
  44. its portals to the Trojan, or drag forth
  45. the King himself to parley; others fly
  46. to arms, and at the rampart make a stand.
  47. 'T is thus some shepherd from a caverned crag
  48. stirs up the nested bees with plenteous fume
  49. of bitter smoke; they, posting to and fro,
  50. fly desperate round the waxen citadel,
  51. and whet their buzzing fury; through their halls
  52. the stench and blackness rolls; within the caves
  53. noise and confusion ring; the fatal cloud
  54. pours forth incessant on the vacant air.
  1. But now a new adversity befell
  2. the weary Latins, which with common woe
  3. shook the whole city to its heart. The Queen,
  4. when at her hearth she saw the close assault
  5. of enemies, the walls beset, and fire
  6. spreading from roof to roof, but no defence
  7. from the Rutulian arms, nor front of war
  8. with Turnus leading,—she, poor soul, believed
  9. her youthful champion in the conflict slain;
  10. and, mad with sudden sorrow, shrieked aloud
  11. against herself, the guilty chief and cause
  12. of all this ill; and, babbling her wild woe
  13. in endless words, she rent her purple pall,
  14. and with her own hand from the rafter swung
  15. a noose for her foul death. The tidings dire
  16. among the moaning wives of Latium spread,
  17. and young Lavinia's frantic fingers tore
  18. her rose-red cheek and hyacinthine hair.
  19. Then all her company of women shrieked
  20. in anguish, and the wailing echoed far
  21. along the royal seat; from whence the tale
  22. of sorrow through the peopled city flew;
  23. hearts sank; Latinus rent his robes, appalled
  24. to see his consort's doom, his falling throne;
  25. and heaped foul dust upon his hoary hair.