Vergil. Aeneid. John Dryden. trans.

  1. Meanwhile Aeneas, now well launched away,
  2. steered forth with all the fleet to open sea,
  3. on his unswerving course, and ploughed the waves,
  4. sped by a driving gale; but when his eyes
  5. looked back on Carthage, they beheld the glare
  6. of hapless Dido's fire. Not yet was known
  7. what kindled the wild flames; but that the pang
  8. of outraged love is cruel, and what the heart
  9. of desperate woman dares, they knew too well,
  10. and sad foreboding shook each Trojan soul.
  11. Soon in mid-sea, beyond all chart of shore,
  12. when only seas and skies were round their way,
  13. full in the zenith loomed a purple cloud,
  14. storm-laden, dark as night, and every wave
  15. grew black and angry; from his Iofty seat
  16. the helmsman Palinurus cried, “Alas!
  17. What means this host of storms encircling heaven?
  18. What, Neptune, wilt thou now?” He, having said,
  19. bade reef and tighten, bend to stronger stroke,
  20. and slant sail to the wind; then spake again:
  21. “High-souled Aeneas, not if Jove the King
  22. gave happy omen, would I have good hope
  23. of making Italy through yonder sky.
  24. Athwart our course from clouded evening-star
  25. rebellious winds run shifting, and the air
  26. into a cloud-wrack rolls. Against such foes
  27. too weak our strife and strain! Since now the hand
  28. of Fortune triumphs, let us where she calls
  29. obedient go. For near us, I believe,
  30. lies Eryx' faithful and fraternal shore:
  31. here are Sicilian havens, if my mind
  32. of yon familiar stars have knowledge true.”
  33. then good Aeneas: “For a friendly wind
  34. long have I sued, and watched thee vainly strive.
  35. Shift sail! What happier land for me and mine,
  36. or for our storm-beat ships what safer shore,
  37. than where Dardanian Acestes reigns;
  38. the land whose faithful bosom cherishes
  39. Anchises' ashes?” Heedful of his word,
  40. they landward steer, while favoring zephyrs fill
  41. the spreading sail. On currents swift and strong
  42. the fleet is wafted, and with thankful soul
  43. they moor on Sicily's familiar strand.
  1. From a far hill-top having seen with joy
  2. the entering ships, and knowing them for friends,
  3. good King Acestes ran to bid them hail.
  4. Garbed in rough pelt of Libyan bear was he,
  5. and javelins he bore, in sylvan guise:
  6. for him the river-god Crimisus sired
  7. of Trojan wife. Remembering in his heart
  8. his ancient blood, he greeted with glad words
  9. the wanderers returned; bade welcome to
  10. his rude abundance, and with friendly gifts
  11. their weariness consoled. The morrow morn,
  12. soon as the new beams of a golden day
  13. had banished every star, Aeneas called
  14. a council of his followers on the shore,
  15. and from a fair green hillock gave this word:
  16. “Proud sons of Dardanus, whose lofty line
  17. none but the gods began! This day fulfils
  18. the annual cycle of revolving time,
  19. since the dear relics of my god-like sire
  20. to earth we gave, and with dark offerings due
  21. built altars sorrowful. If now I err not,
  22. this is my day—ye gods have willed it so! —
  23. for mourning and for praise. Should it befall
  24. me exiled in Gaetulia's wilderness,
  25. or sailing some Greek sea, or at the walls
  26. of dire Mycenae, still would I renew
  27. unfailing vows, and make solemnity
  28. with thankful rites, and worshipful array,
  29. at altars rich with gifts. But, lo, we come,
  30. beyond all hope, where lie the very bones
  31. of my great sire. Nor did it come to pass
  32. without divine intent and heavenly power,
  33. that on these hospitable shores we stand.
  34. Up, then! For we will make a festal day,
  35. imploring lucky winds! O, may his spirit
  36. grant me to build my city, where his shrines
  37. forever shall receive perpetual vows
  38. made in his name! This prince of Trojan line,
  39. Acestes, upon every ship bestows
  40. a pair of oxen. To our offerings call
  41. the powers that bless the altars and the fires
  42. of our ancestral hearth; and join with these
  43. the gods of good Acestes. Presently,
  44. when the ninth dawn shall bring its beam benign
  45. to mortal men, and show the radiant world,
  46. or all my Teucrian people I ordain
  47. a holiday of games; the flying ships
  48. shall first contend; then swiftest runners try
  49. a foot-race; after that the champions bold
  50. who step forth for a cast of javelins,
  51. or boast the soaring arrow; or fear not
  52. the boxing-bout, with gauntlet of thick thongs.
  53. This summons is for all; let all have hope
  54. to earn some noble palm! And from this hour
  55. speak but well-boding words, and bind your brows
  56. with garlands green.” So saying, he twined a wreath
  57. of his own mother's myrtle-tree, to shade
  58. his sacred brow; the hero Helymus,
  59. and King Acestes for his tresses gray,
  60. like coronals took on; Ascanius
  61. and all the warrior youth like emblems wore.
  62. Then in th' attendant throng conspicuous,
  63. with thousands at his side, the hero moved
  64. from place of council to his father's tomb.
  65. There on the ground he poured libation due,
  66. two beakers of good wine, of sweet milk two,
  67. two of the victim's blood—and scattered flowers
  68. of saddest purple stain, while thus he prayed:
  69. “Hail, hallowed sire! And hail, ye ashes dear
  70. of him I vainly saved! O soul and shade
  71. of my blest father! Heaven to us denied
  72. to find together that predestined land
  73. of Italy, or our Ausonian stream
  74. of Tiber—ah! but where?” He scarce had said,
  75. when from the central shrine a gliding snake,
  76. coiled seven-fold in seven spirals wide,
  77. twined round the tomb and trailed innocuous o'er
  78. the very altars; his smooth back was flecked
  79. with green and azure, and his changeful scales
  80. gleamed golden, as the cloud-born rainbow flings
  81. its thousand colors from th' opposing sun.
  82. Aeneas breathless watched the serpent wind
  83. among the bowls and cups of polished rim,
  84. tasting the sacred feast; where, having fed,
  85. back to the tomb all harmless it withdrew.
  86. Then with new zeal his sacrifice he brings
  87. in honor of his sire; for he must deem
  88. that serpent the kind genius of the place,
  89. or of his very father's present shade
  90. some creature ministrant. Two lambs he slew,
  91. the wonted way, two swine, and, sable-hued,
  92. the yoke of bulls; from shallow bowl he poured
  93. libation of the grape, and called aloud
  94. on great Anchises' spirit, and his shade,
  95. from Acheron set free. Then all the throng,
  96. each from his separate store, heap up the shrines
  97. with victims slain; some range in order fair
  98. the brazen cauldrons; or along the grass,
  99. scattered at ease, hold o'er the embers bright
  100. the spitted flesh and roast it in the flames.
  1. Arrived the wished-for day; through cloudless sky
  2. the coursers of the Sun's bright-beaming car
  3. bore upward the ninth morn. The neighboring folk
  4. thronged eager to the shore; some hoped to see
  5. Aeneas and his warriors, others fain
  6. would their own prowess prove in bout and game.
  7. Conspicuous lie the rewards, ranged in sight
  8. in the mid-circus; wreaths of laurel green,
  9. the honored tripod, coronals of palm
  10. for conquerors' brows, accoutrements of war,
  11. rare robes of purple stain, and generous weight
  12. of silver and of gold. The trumpet's call
  13. proclaimed from lofty mound the opening games.
  1. First, side by side, with sturdy, rival oars,
  2. four noble galleys, pride of all the fleet,
  3. come forward to contend. The straining crew
  4. of Mnestheus bring his speedy Pristis on, —
  5. Mnestheus in Italy erelong the sire
  6. of Memmius' noble line. Brave Gyas guides
  7. his vast Chimaera, a colossal craft,
  8. a floating city, by a triple row
  9. of Dardan sailors manned, whose banks of oars
  10. in triple order rise. Sergestus, he
  11. of whom the Sergian house shall after spring,
  12. rides in his mighty Centaur. Next in line,
  13. on sky-blue Scylla proud Cloanthus rides —
  14. whence thy great stem, Cluentius of Rome!
  1. Fronting the surf-beat shore, far out at sea
  2. rises a rock, which under swollen waves
  3. lies buffeted unseen, when wintry storms
  4. mantle the stars; but when the deep is calm,
  5. lifts silently above the sleeping wave
  6. its level field,—a place where haunt and play
  7. flocks of the sea-birds, Iovers of the sun.
  8. Here was the goal; and here Aeneas set
  9. a green-leaved flex-tree, to be a mark
  10. for every captain's eye, from whence to veer
  11. the courses of their ships in sweeping curves
  12. and speed them home. Now places in the line
  13. are given by lot. Upon the lofty sterns
  14. the captains ride, in beautiful array
  15. of Tyriao purple and far-flaming gold;
  16. the crews are poplar-crowned, the shoulders bare
  17. rubbed well with glittering oil; their straining arms
  18. make long reach to the oar, as on the thwarts
  19. they sit attentive, listening for the call
  20. of the loud trumpet; while with pride and fear
  21. their hot hearts throb, impassioned for renown.
  22. Soon pealed the signal clear; from all the line
  23. instant the galleys bounded, and the air
  24. rang to the rowers, shouting, while their arms
  25. pulled every inch and flung the waves in foam;
  26. deep cut the rival strokes; the surface fair
  27. yawned wide beneath their blades and cleaving keels.
  28. Not swifter scour the chariots o'er the plain,
  29. sped headlong from the line behind their teams
  30. of mated coursers, while each driver shakes
  31. loose, rippling reins above his plunging pairs,
  32. and o'er the lash leans far. With loud applause
  33. vociferous and many an urgent cheer
  34. the woodlands rang, and all the concave shores
  35. back from the mountains took the Trojan cry
  36. in answering song. Forth-flying from his peers,
  37. while all the crowd acclaims, sped Gyas' keel
  38. along the outmost wave. Cloanthus next
  39. pushed hard upon, with stronger stroke of oars
  40. but heavier ship. At equal pace behind
  41. the Pristis and the Centaur fiercely strive
  42. for the third place. Now Pristis seems to lead,
  43. now mightier Centaur past her flies, then both
  44. ride on together, prow with prow, and cleave
  45. long lines of foaming furrow with swift keels.
  46. Soon near the rock they drew, and either ship
  47. was making goal,—when Gyas, in the lead,
  48. and winner of the half-course, Ioudly hailed
  49. menoetes, the ship's pilot: “Why so far
  50. to starboard, we? Keep her head round this way!
  51. Hug shore! Let every oar-blade almost graze
  52. that reef to larboard! Let the others take
  53. the deep-sea course outside!” But while he spoke,
  54. Menoetes, dreading unknown rocks below,
  55. veered off to open sea. “Why steer so wide?
  56. Round to the rock, Menoetes!” Gyas roared, —
  57. again in vain, for looking back he saw
  58. cloanthus hard astern, and ever nearer,
  59. who, in a trice, betwixt the booming reef
  60. and Gyas' galley, lightly forward thrust
  61. the beak of Scylla to the inside course,
  62. and, quickly taking lead, flew past the goal
  63. to the smooth seas beyond. Then wrathful grief
  64. flamed in the warrior's heart, nor was his cheek
  65. unwet with tears; and, reckless utterly
  66. of his own honor and his comrades, lives,
  67. he hurled poor, slack Menoetes from the poop
  68. headlong upon the waters, while himself,
  69. pilot and master both, the helm assuming,
  70. urged on his crew, and landward took his way.
  71. But now, with heavy limbs that hardly won
  72. his rescue from the deep, engulfing wave,
  73. up the rude rock graybeard Menoetes climbed
  74. with garment dripping wet, and there dropped down
  75. upon the cliff's dry top. With laughter loud
  76. the Trojan crews had watched him plunging, swimming,
  77. and now to see his drink of bitter brine
  78. spewed on the ground, the sailors laughed again.
  1. But Mnestheus and Sergestus, coming last,
  2. have joyful hope enkindled in each heart
  3. to pass the laggard Gyas. In the lead
  4. Sergestus' ship shoots forth; and to the rock
  5. runs boldly nigh; but not his whole long keel
  6. may pass his rival; the projecting beak
  7. is followed fast by Pristis' emulous prow.
  8. Then, striding straight amidships through his crew,
  9. thus Mnestheus urged them on: “O Hector's friends!
  10. Whom in the dying hours of Troy I chose
  11. for followers! Now stand ye to your best!
  12. Put forth the thews of valor that ye showed
  13. in the Gaetulian Syrtes, or that sea
  14. Ionian, or where the waves race by
  15. the Malean promontory! Mnestheus now
  16. hopes not to be the first, nor do I strive
  17. for victory. O Father Neptune, give
  18. that garland where thou wilt! But O, the shame
  19. if we are last! Endure it not, my men!
  20. The infamy refuse!” So, bending low,
  21. they enter the home-stretch. Beneath their stroke
  22. the brass-decked galley throbs, and under her
  23. the sea-floor drops away. On, on they fly!
  24. Parched are the panting lips, and sweat in streams
  25. pours down their giant sides; but lucky chance
  26. brought the proud heroes what their honor craved.
  27. For while Sergestus furiously drove
  28. his ship's beak toward the rock, and kept inside
  29. the scanty passage, by his evil star
  30. he grounded on the jutting reef; the cliffs
  31. rang with the blow, and his entangled oars
  32. grated along the jagged granite, while
  33. the prow hung wrecked and helpless. With loud cry
  34. upsprang the sailors, while the ship stood still,
  35. and pushed off with long poles and pointed iron,
  36. or snatched the smashed oars from the whirling tide.
  37. Mnestheus exults; and, roused to keener strife
  38. by happy fortune, with a quicker stroke
  39. of each bright rank of oars, and with the breeze
  40. his prayer implored, skims o'er the obedient wave
  41. and sweeps the level main. Not otherwise
  42. a startled dove, emerging o'er the fields
  43. from secret cavern in the crannied hill
  44. where her safe house and pretty nestlings lie,
  45. soars from her nest, with whirring wings—but soon
  46. through the still sky she takes her path of air
  47. on pinions motionless. So Pristis sped
  48. with Mnestheus, cleaving her last stretch of sea,
  49. by her own impulse wafted. She outstripped
  50. Sergestus first; for he upon the reef
  51. fought with the breakers, desperately shouting
  52. for help, for help in vain, with broken oars
  53. contriving to move on. Then Mnestheus ran
  54. past Gyas, in Chimaera's ponderous hulk,
  55. of pilot now bereft; at last remains
  56. Cloanthus his sole peer, whom he pursues
  57. with a supreme endeavor. From the shore
  58. burst echoing cheers that spur him to the chase,
  59. and wild applause makes all the welkin ring.
  60. The leaders now with eager souls would scorn
  61. to Iose their glory, and faint-hearted fail
  62. to grasp a prize half-won, but fain would buy
  63. honor with life itself; the followers too
  64. are flushed with proud success, and feel them strong
  65. because their strength is proven. Both ships now
  66. with indistinguishable prows had sped
  67. to share one prize,—but with uplifted hands
  68. spread o'er the sea, Cloanthus, suppliant,
  69. called on the gods to bless his votive prayer:
  70. “Ye gods who rule the waves, whose waters be
  71. my pathway now; for you on yonder strand
  72. a white bull at the altar shall be slain
  73. in grateful tribute for a granted vow;
  74. and o'er the salt waves I will scatter far
  75. the entrails, and outpour the flowing wine.”
  76. He spoke; and from the caverns under sea
  77. Phorcus and virgin Panopea heard,
  78. and all the sea-nymphs' choir; while with strong hand
  79. the kindly God of Havens rose and thrust
  80. the gliding ship along, that swifter flew
  81. than south wind, or an arrow from the string,
  82. and soon made land in haven safe and sure.
  1. Aeneas then, assembling all to hear,
  2. by a far-sounding herald's voice proclaimed
  3. Cloanthus victor, and arrayed his brows
  4. with the green laurel-garland; to the crews
  5. three bulls, at choice, were given, and plenteous wine
  6. and talent-weight of silver; to the chiefs
  7. illustrious gifts beside; the victor had
  8. a gold-embroidered mantle with wide band
  9. of undulant Meliboean purple rare,
  10. where, pictured in the woof, young Ganymede
  11. through Ida's forest chased the light-foot deer
  12. with javelin; all flushed and panting he.
  13. But lo! Jove's thunder-bearing eagle fell,
  14. and his strong talons snatched from Ida far
  15. the royal boy, whose aged servitors
  16. reached helpless hands to heaven; his faithful hound
  17. bayed fiercely at the air. To him whose worth
  18. the second place had won, Aeneas gave
  19. a smooth-linked golden corselet, triple-chained,
  20. of which his own victorious hand despoiled
  21. Demoleos, by the swift, embattled stream
  22. of Simois, under Troy,—and bade it be
  23. a glory and defence on valor's field;
  24. scarce might the straining shoulders of two slaves,
  25. Phegeus and Sagaris, the load endure,
  26. yet oft Demoleos in this armor dressed
  27. charged down full speed on routed hosts of Troy.
  28. The third gift was two cauldrons of wrought brass,
  29. and bowls of beaten silver, cunningly
  30. embossed with sculpture fair. Bearing such gifts,
  31. th' exultant victors onward moved, each brow
  32. bound with a purple fillet. But behold!
  33. Sergestus, from the grim rock just dragged off
  34. by cunning toil, one halting rank of oars
  35. left of his many lost, comes crawling in
  36. with vanquished ship, a mockery to all.
  37. As when a serpent, on the highway caught,
  38. some brazen wheel has crushed, or traveller
  39. with heavy-smiting blow left half alive
  40. and mangled by a stone; in vain he moves
  41. in writhing flight; a part is lifted high
  42. with hissing throat and angry, glittering eyes;
  43. but by the wounded part a captive still
  44. he knots him fold on fold: with such a track
  45. the maimed ship labored slow; but by her sails
  46. she still made way, and with full canvas on
  47. arrived at land. Aeneas then bestowed
  48. a boon upon Sergestus, as was meet
  49. for reward of the ship in safety brought
  50. with all its men; a fair slave was the prize,
  51. the Cretan Pholoe, well taught to weave,
  52. and twin boy-babes upon her breast she bore.
  1. Then good Aeneas, the ship-contest o'er,
  2. turned to a wide green valley, circled round
  3. with clasp of wood-clad hills, wherein was made
  4. an amphitheatre; entering with a throng
  5. of followers, the hero took his seat
  6. in mid-arena on a lofty mound.
  7. For the fleet foot-race, now, his summons flies, —
  8. he offers gifts, and shows the rewards due.
  9. The mingling youth of Troy and Sicily
  10. hastened from far. Among the foremost came
  11. the comrades Nisus and Euryalus,
  12. Euryalus for beauty's bloom renowned,
  13. Nisus for loyal love; close-following these
  14. Diores strode, a prince of Priam's line;
  15. then Salius and Patron, who were bred
  16. in Acarnania and Arcady;
  17. then two Sicilian warriors, Helymus
  18. and Panopes, both sylvan bred and born,
  19. comrades of King Acestes; after these
  20. the multitude whom Fame forgets to tell.
  21. Aeneas, so surrounded, thus spake forth:
  22. “Hear what I purpose, and with joy receive!
  23. of all your company, not one departs
  24. with empty hand. The Cretan javelins
  25. bright-tipped with burnished steel, and battle-axe
  26. adorned with graven silver, these shall be
  27. the meed of all. The three first at the goal
  28. shall bind their foreheads with fair olive green,
  29. and win the rewards due. The first shall lead,
  30. victorious, yon rich-bridled steed away;
  31. this Amazonian quiver, the next prize,
  32. well-stocked with Thracian arrows; round it goes
  33. a baldrick broad and golden,—in its clasp
  34. a lustrous gem. The third man goes away
  35. taking this helmet from the Argive spoil.”
  1. They heard, and took their places. The loud horn
  2. gave signal, and impetuous from the line,
  3. swift as a bursting storm they sped away,
  4. eyes fixed upon the goal. Far in advance
  5. Nisus shot forward, swifter than the winds
  6. or winged thunderbolt; the next in course,
  7. next, but out-rivalled far, was Salius,
  8. and after him a space, Euryalus
  9. came third; him Helymus was hard upon;
  10. and, look! Diores follows, heel on heel,
  11. close at his shoulder—if the race be long
  12. he sure must win, or claim a doubtful prize.
  13. Now at the last stretch, spent and panting, all
  14. pressed to the goal, when in a slime of blood
  15. Nisus, hard fate! slipped down, where late the death
  16. of victims slain had drenched the turf below.
  17. Here the young victor, with his triumph flushed,
  18. lost foothold on the yielding ground, and plunged
  19. face forward in the pool of filth and gore;
  20. but not of dear Euryalus was he
  21. forgetful then, nor heedless of his friend;
  22. but rising from the mire he hurled himself
  23. in Salius' way; so he in equal plight
  24. rolled in the filthy slough. Euryalus
  25. leaped forth, the winner of the race by gift
  26. of his true friend, and flying to the goal
  27. stood first, by many a favoring shout acclaimed.
  28. Next Helymus ran in; and, for the third, last prize,
  29. Diores. But the multitude now heard
  30. the hollowed hill-side ringing with wild wrath
  31. from Salius, clamoring where the chieftains sate
  32. for restitution of his stolen prize,
  33. lost by a cheat. But general favor smiles
  34. upon Euryalus, whose beauteous tears
  35. commend him much, and nobler seems the worth
  36. of valor clothed in youthful shape so fair.
  37. Diores, too, assists the victor's claim,
  38. with loud appeal—he too has won a prize,
  39. and vainly holds his last place, if the first
  40. to Salius fall. Aeneas then replied:
  41. “Your gifts, my gallant youths, remain secure.
  42. None can re-judge the prize. But to console
  43. the misadventure of a blameless friend,
  44. is in my power.” Therewith to Salius
  45. an Afric lion's monstrous pelt he gave,
  46. with ponderous mane, the claws o'erlaid with gold.
  47. But Nisus cried: “If such a gift be found
  48. for less than victory, and men who fall
  49. are worthy so much sorrow, pray, what prize
  50. shall Nisus have? For surely I had won
  51. the proudest of the garlands, if one stroke
  52. of inauspicious fortune had not fallen
  53. on Salius and me.” So saying, he showed
  54. his smeared face and his sorry limbs befouled
  55. with mire and slime. Then laughed the gracious sire,
  56. and bade a shield be brought, the cunning work
  57. of Didymaon, which the Greeks tore down
  58. from Neptune's temple; with this noble gift
  59. he sent the high-born youth upon his way.
  1. The foot-race over and the gifts disbursed,
  2. “Come forth!” he cries, “if any in his heart
  3. have strength and valor, let him now pull on
  4. the gauntlets and uplift his thong-bound arms
  5. in challenge.” For the reward of this fight
  6. a two-fold gift he showed: the victor's meed,
  7. a bullock decked and gilded; but a sword
  8. and glittering helmet to console the fallen.
  9. Straightway, in all his pride of giant strength,
  10. Dares Ioomed up, and wondering murmurs ran
  11. along the gazing crowd; for he alone
  12. was wont to match with Paris, he it was
  13. met Butes, the huge-bodied champion
  14. boasting the name and race of Amycus,
  15. Bythinian-born; him felled he at a blow,
  16. and stretched him dying on the tawny sand.
  17. Such Dares was, who now held high his head,
  18. fierce for the fray, bared both his shoulders broad,
  19. lunged out with left and right, and beat the air.
  20. Who shall his rival be? Of all the throng
  21. not one puts on the gauntlets, or would face
  22. the hero's challenge. Therefore, striding forth,
  23. believing none now dare but yield the palm,
  24. he stood before Aeneas, and straightway
  25. seized with his left hand the bull's golden horn,
  26. and cried, “O goddess-born, if no man dares
  27. to risk him in this fight, how Iong delay?
  28. how Iong beseems it I should stand and wait?
  29. Bid me bear off my prize.” The Trojans all
  30. murmured assent, and bade the due award
  31. of promised gift. But with a brow severe
  32. Acestes to Entellus at his side
  33. addressed upbraiding words, where they reclined
  34. on grassy bank and couch of pleasant green:
  35. “O my Entellus, in the olden days
  36. bravest among the mighty, but in vain!
  37. Endurest thou to see yon reward won
  38. without a blow? Where, prithee, is that god
  39. who taught thee? Are thy tales of Eryx vain?
  40. Does all Sicilia praise thee? Is thy roof
  41. with trophies hung?” The other in reply:
  42. “My jealous honor and good name yield not
  43. to fear. But age, so cold and slow to move,
  44. makes my blood laggard, and my ebbing powers
  45. in all my body are but slack and chill.
  46. O, if I had what yonder ruffian boasts—
  47. my own proud youth once more! I would not ask
  48. the fair bull for a prize, nor to the lists
  49. in search of gifts come forth.” So saying, he threw
  50. into the mid-arena a vast pair
  51. of ponderous gauntlets, which in former days
  52. fierce Eryx for his fights was wont to bind
  53. on hand and arm, with the stiff raw-hide thong.
  54. All marvelled; for a weight of seven bulls' hides
  55. was pieced with lead and iron. Dares stared
  56. astonished, and step after step recoiled;
  57. high-souled Anchises' son, this way and that,
  58. turned o'er the enormous coil of knots and thongs;
  59. then with a deep-drawn breath the veteran spoke:
  60. “O, that thy wondering eyes had seen the arms
  61. of Hercules, and what his gauntlets were!
  62. Would thou hadst seen the conflict terrible
  63. upon this self-same shore! These arms were borne
  64. by Eryx. Look; thy brother's!—spattered yet
  65. with blood, with dashed-out brains! In these he stood
  66. when he matched Hercules. I wore them oft
  67. when in my pride and prime, ere envious age
  68. shed frost upon my brows. But if these arms
  69. be of our Trojan Dares disapproved,
  70. if good Aeneas rules it so, and King
  71. Acestes wills it, let us offer fight
  72. on even terms. Let Eryx' bull's-hide go.
  73. Tremble no more! But strip those gauntlets off —
  74. fetched here from Troy.” So saying, he dropped down
  75. the double-folded mantle from his shoulders,
  76. stripped bare the huge joints, the huge arms and thews,
  77. and towered gigantic in the midmost ring.
  78. Anchises' son then gave two equal pairs
  79. of gauntlets, and accoutred with like arms
  80. both champions. Each lifted him full height
  81. on tiptoe; each with mien unterrified
  82. held both fists high in air, and drew his head
  83. far back from blows assailing. Then they joined
  84. in struggle hand to hand, and made the fray
  85. each moment fiercer. One was light of foot
  86. and on his youth relied; the other strong
  87. in bulk of every limb, but tottering
  88. on sluggish knees, while all his body shook
  89. with labor of his breath. Without avail
  90. they rained their blows, and on each hollow side,
  91. each sounding chest, the swift, reverberate strokes
  92. fell without pause; around their ears and brows
  93. came blow on blow, and with relentless shocks
  94. the smitten jaws cracked loud. Entellus stands
  95. unshaken, and, the self-same posture keeping,
  96. only by body-movement or quick eye
  97. parries attack. Dares (like one in siege
  98. against a mountain-citadel, who now will drive
  99. with ram and engine at the craggy wall,
  100. now wait in full-armed watch beneath its towers)
  101. tries manifold approach, most craftily
  102. invests each point of vantage, and renews
  103. his unsuccessful, ever various war.
  104. Then, rising to the stroke, Entellus poised
  105. aloft his ponderous right; but, quick of eye,
  106. the other the descending wrath foresaw
  107. and nimbly slipped away; Entellus so
  108. wasted his stroke on air, and, self-o'erthrown,
  109. dropped prone to earth his monstrous length along,
  110. as when on Erymanth or Ida falls
  111. a hollowed pine from giant roots uptorn.
  112. Alike the Teucrian and Trinacrian throng
  113. shout wildly; while Acestes, pitying, hastes
  114. to lift his gray companion. But, unchecked,
  115. undaunted by his fall, the champion brave
  116. rushed fiercer to the fight, his strength now roused
  117. by rage, while shame and courage confident
  118. kindle his soul; impetuous he drives
  119. Dares full speed all round the ring, with blows
  120. redoubled right and left. No stop or stay
  121. gives he, but like a storm of rattling hail
  122. upon a house-top, so from each huge hand
  123. the champion's strokes on dizzy Dares fall.
  1. Then Sire Aeneas willed to make a stay
  2. to so much rage, nor let Entellus' soul
  3. flame beyond bound, but bade the battle pause,
  4. and, rescuing weary Dares, thus he spoke
  5. in soothing words: “Ill-starred! What mad attempt
  6. is in thy mind? Will not thy heart confess
  7. thy strength surpassed, and auspices averse?
  8. Submit, for Heaven decrees!” With such wise words
  9. he sundered the fell strife. But trusty friends
  10. bore Dares off: his spent limbs helpless trailed,
  11. his head he could not lift, and from his lips
  12. came blood and broken teeth. So to the ship
  13. they bore him, taking, at Aeneas' word,
  14. the helmet and the sword—but left behind
  15. Entellus' prize of victory, the bull.
  16. He, then, elate and glorying, spoke forth:
  17. “See, goddess-born, and all ye Teucrians, see,
  18. what strength was mine in youth, and from what death
  19. ye have clelivered Dares.” Saying so,
  20. he turned him full front to the bull, who stood
  21. for reward of the fight, and, drawing back
  22. his right hand, poising the dread gauntlet high,
  23. swung sheer between the horns and crushed the skull;
  24. a trembling, lifeless creature, to the ground
  25. the bull dropped forward dead. Above the fallen
  26. Entellus cried aloud, “This victim due
  27. I give thee, Eryx, more acceptable
  28. than Dares' death to thy benignant shade.
  29. For this last victory and joyful day,
  30. my gauntlets and my art I leave with thee.”
  1. Forthwith Aeneas summons all who will
  2. to contest of swift arrows, and displays
  3. reward and prize. With mighty hand he rears
  4. a mast within th' arena, from the ship
  5. of good Sergestus taken; and thereto
  6. a fluttering dove by winding cord is bound
  7. for target of their shafts. Soon to the match
  8. the rival bowmen came and cast the lots
  9. into a brazen helmet. First came forth
  10. Hippocoon's number, son of Hyrtacus,
  11. by cheers applauded; Mnestheus was the next,
  12. late victor in the ship-race, Mnestheus crowned
  13. with olive-garland; next Eurytion,
  14. brother of thee, O bowman most renowned,
  15. Pandarus, breaker of the truce, who hurled
  16. his shaft upon the Achaeans, at the word
  17. the goddess gave. Acestes' Iot and name
  18. came from the helmet last, whose royal hand
  19. the deeds of youth dared even yet to try.
  20. Each then with strong arm bends his pliant bow,
  21. each from the quiver plucks a chosen shaft.
  22. First, with loud arrow whizzing from the string,
  23. the young Hippocoon with skyward aim
  24. cuts through the yielding air; and lo! his barb
  25. pierces the very wood, and makes the mast
  26. tremble; while with a fluttering, frighted wing
  27. the bird tugs hard,—and plaudits fill the sky.
  28. Boldly rose Mnestheus, and with bow full-drawn
  29. aimed both his eye and shaft aloft; but he
  30. failing, unhappy man, to bring his barb
  31. up to the dove herself, just cut the cord
  32. and broke the hempen bond, whereby her feet
  33. were captive to the tree: she, taking flight,
  34. clove through the shadowing clouds her path of air.
  35. But swiftly—for upon his waiting bow
  36. he held a shaft in rest—Eurytion
  37. invoked his brother's shade, and, marking well
  38. the dove, whose happy pinions fluttered free
  39. in vacant sky, pierced her, hard by a cloud;
  40. lifeless she fell, and left in light of heaven
  41. her spark of life, as, floating down, she bore
  42. the arrow back to earth. Acestes now
  43. remained, last rival, though the victor's palm
  44. to him was Iost; yet did the aged sire,
  45. to show his prowess and resounding bow,
  46. hurl forth one shaft in air; then suddenly
  47. all eyes beheld such wonder as portends
  48. events to be (but when fulfilment came,
  49. too late the fearful seers its warning sung):
  50. for, soaring through the stream of cloud, his shaft
  51. took fire, tracing its bright path in flame,
  52. then vanished on the wind,—as oft a star
  53. will fall unfastened from the firmament,
  54. while far behind its blazing tresses flow.
  55. Awe-struck both Trojan and Trinacrian stood,
  56. calling upon the gods. Nor came the sign
  57. in vain to great Aeneas. But his arms
  58. folded the blest Acestes to his heart,
  59. and, Ioading him with noble gifts, he cried:
  60. “Receive them, sire! The great Olympian King
  61. some peerless honor to thy name decrees
  62. by such an omen given. I offer thee
  63. this bowl with figures graven, which my sire,
  64. good gray Anchises, for proud gift received
  65. of Thracian Cisseus, for their friendship's pledge
  66. and memory evermore.” Thereon he crowned
  67. his brows with garland of the laurel green,
  68. and named Acestes victor over all.
  69. Nor could Eurytion, noble youth, think ill
  70. of honor which his own surpassed, though he,
  71. he only, pierced the bird in upper air.
  72. Next gift was his whose arrow cut the cord;
  73. last, his whose light shaft clove the lofty pine.
  1. Father Aeneas now, not making end
  2. of game and contest, summoned to his side
  3. Epytides, the mentor and true friend
  4. of young Iulus, and this bidding gave
  5. to his obedient ear: “Arise and go
  6. where my Ascanius has lined his troop
  7. of youthful cavalry, and trained the steeds
  8. to tread in ranks of war. Bid him lead forth
  9. the squadron in our sire Anchises' name,
  10. and wear a hero's arms!” So saying, he bade
  11. the course be cleared, and from the whole wide field
  12. th' insurging, curious multitude withdrew.
  13. In rode the boys, to meet their parents' eyes,
  14. in even lines, a glittering cavalry;
  15. while all Trinacria and the host from Troy
  16. made loud applause. On each bright brow
  17. a well-trimmed wreath the flowing tresses bound;
  18. two javelins of corner tipped with steel
  19. each bore for arms; some from the shoulder slung
  20. a polished quiver; to each bosom fell
  21. a pliant necklace of fine, twisted gold.
  22. Three bands of horsemen ride, three captains proud
  23. prance here and there, assiduous in command,
  24. each of his twelve, who shine in parted lines
  25. which lesser captains lead. One cohort proud
  26. follows a little Priam's royal name —
  27. one day, Polites, thy illustrious race
  28. through him prolonged, shall greater glory bring
  29. to Italy. A dappled Thracian steed
  30. with snow-white spots and fore-feet white as snow
  31. bears him along, its white face lifted high.
  32. Next Atys rode, young Atys, sire to be
  33. of th' Atian house in Rome, a boy most dear
  34. unto the boy Iulus; last in line,
  35. and fairest of the throng, Iulus came,
  36. astride a steed from Sidon, the fond gift
  37. of beauteous Dido and her pledge of love.
  38. Close followed him the youthful chivalry
  39. of King Acestes on Trinacrian steeds.
  1. The Trojans, with exultant, Ioud acclaim,
  2. receive the shy-faced boys, and joyfully
  3. trace in the features of the sons their sires.
  4. After, with smiling eyes, the horsemen proud
  5. have greeted each his kin in all the throng,
  6. Epytides th' appointed signal calls,
  7. and cracks his lash; in even lines they move,
  8. then, Ioosely sundering in triple band,
  9. wheel at a word and thrust their lances forth
  10. in hostile ranks; or on the ample field
  11. retreat or charge, in figure intricate
  12. of circling troop with troop, and swift parade
  13. of simulated war; now from the field
  14. they flee with backs defenceless to the foe;
  15. then rally, lance in rest—or, mingling all,
  16. make common front, one legion strong and fair.
  17. As once in Crete, the lofty mountain-isle,
  18. that-fabled labyrinthine gallery
  19. wound on through lightless walls, with thousand paths
  20. which baffled every clue, and led astray
  21. in unreturning mazes dark and blind:
  22. so did the sons of Troy their courses weave
  23. in mimic flights and battles fought for play,
  24. like dolphins tumbling in the liquid waves,
  25. along the Afric or Carpathian seas.
  26. This game and mode of march Ascanius,
  27. when Alba Longa's bastions proudly rose,
  28. taught to the Latin people of the prime;
  29. and as the princely Trojan and his train
  30. were wont to do, so Alba to her sons
  31. the custom gave; so glorious Rome at last
  32. the heritage accepted and revered;
  33. and still we know them for the “Trojan Band,”
  34. and call the lads a “Troy.” Such was the end
  35. of game and contest at Anchises' grave.
  1. Then fortune veered and different aspect wore.
  2. For 'ere the sacred funeral games are done,
  3. Saturnian Juno from high heaven sent down
  4. the light-winged Iris to the ships of Troy,
  5. giving her flight good wind—still full of schemes
  6. and hungering to avenge her ancient wrong.
  7. Unseen of mortal eye, the virgin took
  8. her pathway on the thousand-colored bow,
  9. and o'er its gliding passage earthward flew.
  10. She scanned the vast assemblage; then her gaze
  11. turned shoreward, where along the idle bay
  12. the Trojan galleys quite unpeopled rode.
  13. But far removed, upon a lonely shore,
  14. a throng of Trojan dames bewailed aloud
  15. their lost Anchises, and with tears surveyed
  16. the mighty deep. “O weary waste of seas!
  17. What vast, untravelled floods beyond us roll!”
  18. So cried they with one voice, and prayed the gods
  19. for an abiding city; every heart
  20. loathed utterly the long, laborious sea.
  21. Then in their midst alighted, not unskilled
  22. in working woe, the goddess; though she wore
  23. nor garb nor form divine, but made herself
  24. one Beroe, Doryclus' aged wife,
  25. who in her happier days had lineage fair
  26. and sons of noble name; in such disguise
  27. she called the Trojan dames:“O ye ill-starred,
  28. that were not seized and slain by Grecian foes
  29. under your native walls! O tribe accursed,
  30. what death is Fate preparing? Since Troy fell
  31. the seventh summer flies, while still we rove
  32. o'er cruel rocks and seas, from star to star,
  33. from alien land to land, as evermore
  34. we chase, storm-tossed, that fleeting Italy
  35. across the waters wide. Behold this land
  36. of Eryx, of Acestes, friend and kin;
  37. what hinders them to raise a rampart here
  38. and build a town? O city of our sires!
  39. O venerated gods from haughty foes
  40. rescued in vain! Will nevermore a wall
  41. rise in the name of Troy? Shall I not see
  42. a Xanthus or a Simois, the streams
  43. to Hector dear? Come now! I lead the way.
  44. Let us go touch their baneful ships with fire!
  45. I saw Cassandra in a dream. Her shade,
  46. prophetic ever, gave me firebrands,
  47. and cried, ‘Find Ilium so! The home for thee
  48. is where thou art.’ Behold, the hour is ripe
  49. for our great act! No longer now delay
  50. to heed the heavenly omen. Yonder stand
  51. four altars unto Neptune. 'T is the god,
  52. the god himself, gives courage for the deed,
  53. and swift-enkindling fire.” So having said,
  54. she seized a dreadful brand; then, lifting high,
  55. waved it all flaming, and with furious arm
  56. hurled it from far. The Ilian matrons gazed,
  57. bewildered and appalled. But one, of all
  58. the eldest, Pyrgo, venerated nurse
  59. of Priam's numerous sons, exclaimed, “Nay, nay!
  60. This is no Beroe, my noble dames.
  61. Doryclus knew her not. Behold and see
  62. her heavenly beauty and her radiant eyes!
  63. What voice of music and majestic mien,
  64. what movement like a god! Myself am come
  65. from Beroe sick, and left her grieving sore
  66. that she, she only, had no gift to bring
  67. of mournful honor to Anchises' shade.”
  68. She spoke. The women with ill-boding eyes
  69. looked on the ships. Their doubting hearts were torn
  70. 'twixt tearful passion for the beauteous isle
  71. their feet then trod, and that prophetic call
  72. of Fate to lands unknown. Then on wide wings
  73. soared Iris into heaven, and through the clouds
  74. clove a vast arch of light. With wonder dazed,
  75. the women in a shrieking frenzy rose,
  76. took embers from the hearth-stones, stole the fires
  77. upon the altars—faggots, branches, brands —
  78. and rained them on the ships. The god of fire,
  79. through thwarts and oars and bows of painted fir,
  80. ran in unbridled flame. Swift to the tomb
  81. of Sire Anchises, to the circus-seats,
  82. the messenger Eumelus flew, to bring
  83. news of the ships on fire; soon every eye
  84. the clouds of smoke and hovering flame could see.
  85. Ascanius, who had led with smiling brow
  86. his troops of horse, accoutred as he was,
  87. rode hot-haste to the turmoil of the camp,
  88. nor could his guards restrain . “What madness now?
  89. What is it ye would do?” he cried. “Alas!
  90. Ill-fated women! Not our enemies,
  91. nor the dread bulwarks of the Greek ye burn,
  92. but all ye have to hope for. Look at me,
  93. your own Ascanius!” His helmet then
  94. into their midst he flung, which he had worn
  95. for pageantry of war. Aeneas, too,
  96. with Trojan bands sped thither. But far off,
  97. the women, panic-scattered on the shore,
  98. fled many ways, and deep in caverned crags
  99. or shadowed forests hid them, for they Ioathed
  100. their deed and life itself; their thoughts were changed;
  101. they knew their kin and husbands, and their hearts
  102. from Juno were set free. But none the less
  103. the burning and indomitable flames
  104. raged without stay; beneath the ships' smeared sides
  105. the hempen fuel puffed a lingering smoke,
  106. as, through the whole bulk creeping, the slow fire
  107. devoured its way; and little it availed
  108. that strong men fought the fire with stream on stream.
  109. Then good Aeneas from his shoulder rent
  110. his garment, and with lifted hands implored
  111. the help of Heaven. “O Jove omnipotent!
  112. If thou not yet thy wrath implacable
  113. on every Trojan pourest, if thou still
  114. hast pity, as of old, for what men bear,
  115. O, grant my fleet deliverance from this flame!
  116. From uttermost destruction, Father, save
  117. our desperate Trojan cause! Or even now —
  118. last cruelty! thy fatal thunders throw.
  119. If this be my just meed, let thy dread arm
  120. confound us all.” But scarce the prayer is said,
  121. when with a bursting deluge a dark storm
  122. falls, marvellous to see; while hills and plains
  123. with thunder shake, and to each rim of heaven
  124. spreads swollen cloud-rack, black with copious rain
  125. and multitudinous gales. The full flood pours
  126. on every ship, and all the smouldering beams
  127. are drenched, until the smoke and flames expire
  128. and (though four ships be lost) the burning fleet
  129. rides rescued from its doom. But smitten sore
  130. by this mischance, Aeneas doubtfully
  131. weighs in his heart its mighty load of cares,
  132. and ponders if indeed he may abide
  133. in Sicily, not heeding prophet-songs,
  134. or seek Italian shores. Thereon uprose
  135. Nautes, an aged sire, to whom alone
  136. Tritonian Pallas of her wisdom gave
  137. and made his skill renowned; he had the power
  138. to show celestial anger's warning signs,
  139. or tell Fate's fixed decree. The gifted man
  140. thus to Aeneas comfortably spoke:
  141. “O goddess-born, we follow here or there,
  142. as Fate compels or stays. But come what may,
  143. he triumphs over Fortune, who can bear
  144. whate'er she brings. Behold, Acestes draws
  145. from Dardanus his origin divine!
  146. Make him thy willing friend, to share with thee
  147. thy purpose and thy counsel. Leave with him
  148. the crews of the lost ships, and all whose hearts
  149. repine at thy high task and great emprise:
  150. the spent old men, the women ocean-weary,
  151. whate'er is feeble found, or faint of heart
  152. in danger's hour,—set that apart, and give
  153. such weary ones within this friendly isle
  154. a city called Acesta,—if he will.”
  1. Much moved Aeneas was by this wise word
  2. of his gray friend, though still his anxious soul
  3. was vexed by doubt and care. But when dark night
  4. had brought her chariot to the middle sky,
  5. the sacred shade of Sire Anchises seemed,
  6. from heaven descending, thus to speak aloud:
  7. “My son, than life more dear, when life was mine!
  8. O son, upon whose heart the Trojan doom
  9. has weighed so Iong! Beside thy couch I stand,
  10. at pleasure of great Jove, whose hand dispelled
  11. the mad fire from thy ships; and now he looks
  12. from heaven with pitying brow. I bid thee heed
  13. the noble counsels aged Nautes gave.
  14. Only with warriors of dauntless breast
  15. to Italy repair; of hardy breed,
  16. of wild, rough life, thy Latin foes will be.
  17. But first the shores of Pluto and the Shades
  18. thy feet must tread, and through the deep abyss
  19. of dark Avernus come to me, thy sire:
  20. for I inhabit not the guilty gloom
  21. of Tartarus, but bright Elysian day,
  22. where all the just their sweet assemblies hold.
  23. Hither the virgin Sibyl, if thou give
  24. full offerings of the blood of sable kine,
  25. shall lead thee down; and visions I will show
  26. of cities proud and nations sprung from thee.
  27. Farewell, for dewy Night has wheeled her way
  28. far past her middle course; the panting steeds
  29. of orient Morn breathe pitiless upon me.”
  30. He spoke, and passed, like fleeting clouds of smoke,
  31. to empty air. “O, whither haste away?”
  32. Aeneas cried. “Whom dost thou fly? What god
  33. from my fond yearning and embrace removes?”
  34. Then on the altar of the gods of Troy
  35. he woke the smouldering embers, at the shrine
  36. of venerable Vesta, worshipping
  37. with hallowed bread and incense burning free.
  1. Straightway he calls assembly of his friends, —
  2. Acestes first in honor,—and makes known
  3. Jove's will, the counsel of his cherished sire,
  4. and his own fresh resolve. With prompt assent
  5. they hear his word, nor does Acestes fail
  6. the task to share. They people the new town
  7. with women; and leave every wight behind
  8. who wills it—souls not thirsting for high praise.
  9. Themselves re-bench their ships, rebuild, and fit
  10. with rope and oar the flame-swept galleys all;
  11. a band not large, but warriors bold and true.
  12. Aeneas, guiding with his hand a plough,
  13. marks out the city's ground, gives separate lands
  14. by lot, and bids within this space appear
  15. a second Troy. Trojan Acestes takes
  16. the kingly power, and with benignant joy
  17. appoints a forum, and decrees just laws
  18. before a gathered senate. Then they raise
  19. on that star-circled Erycinian hill,
  20. the temple to Idalian Venus dear;
  21. and at Anchises' sepulchre ordain
  22. a priesthood and wide groves of hallowed shade.
  1. Now the nine days of funeral pomp are done,
  2. and every altar has had honors due
  3. from all the folk. Now tranquil-breathing winds
  4. have levelled the great deep, while brisk and free,
  5. a favoring Auster bids them launch away.
  6. But sound of many a wailing voice is heard
  7. along the winding shore; for ere they go,
  8. in fond embraces for a night and day
  9. they linger still. The women—aye, and men! —
  10. who hated yesterday the ocean's face
  11. and loathed its name, now clamor to set sail
  12. and bear all want and woe to exiles known.
  13. But good Aeneas with benignant words
  14. their sorrow soothes, and, not without a tear,
  15. consigns them to Acestes' kindred care.
  16. Then bids he sacrifice to Eryx' shade
  17. three bulls, and to the wind-gods and the storm
  18. a lamb, then loose the ships in order due.
  19. He, with a garland of shorn olive, stood
  20. holding aloft the sacrificial bowl
  21. from his own vessel's prow, and scattered far
  22. the sacred entrails o'er the bitter wave,
  23. with gift of flowing wine. Swift at the stern
  24. a fair wind rose and thrust them; while the crews
  25. with rival strokes swept o'er the spreading sea.
  1. Venus, the while, disturbed with grief and care,
  2. to Neptune thus her sorrowing heart outpoured:
  3. “Stern Juno's wrath and breast implacable
  4. compel me, Neptune, to abase my pride
  5. in lowly supplication. Lapse of days,
  6. nor prayers, nor virtues her hard heart subdue,
  7. nor Jove's command; nor will she rest or yield
  8. at Fate's decree. Her execrable grudge
  9. is still unfed, although she did consume
  10. the Trojan city, Phrygia's midmost throne,
  11. and though she has accomplished stroke on stroke
  12. of retribution. But she now pursues
  13. the remnant—aye! the ashes and bare bones
  14. of perished Ilium; though the cause and spring
  15. of wrath so great none but herself can tell.
  16. Wert thou not witness on the Libyan wave
  17. what storm she stirred, immingling sea and sky,
  18. and with Aeolian whirlwinds made her war, —
  19. in vain and insolent invasion, sire,
  20. of thine own realm and power? Behold, but now,
  21. goading to evil deeds the Trojan dames,
  22. she basely burned his ships; he in strange lands
  23. must leave the crews of his Iost fleet behind.
  24. O, I entreat thee, let the remnant sail
  25. in safety o'er thy sea, and end their way
  26. in Tiber's holy stream;—if this my prayer
  27. be lawful, and that city's rampart proud
  28. be still what Fate intends.”Then Saturn's son,
  29. the ruler of the seas profound, replied:
  30. “Queen of Cythera, it is meet for thee
  31. to trust my waves from which thyself art sprung.
  32. Have I not proved a friend, and oft restrained
  33. the anger and wild wrath of seas and skies?
  34. On land, let Simois and Xanthus tell
  35. if I have loved Aeneas! On that day
  36. Achilles drove the shuddering hosts of Troy
  37. in panic to the walls, and hurled to death
  38. innumerable foes, until the streams
  39. were choked with dead, and Xanthus scarce could find
  40. his wonted path to sea; that self-same day,
  41. aeneas, spent, and with no help of Heaven,
  42. met Peleus' dreadful son:—who else but I
  43. in cloudy mantle bore him safe afar?
  44. Though 't was my will to cast down utterly
  45. the walls of perjured Troy, which my own hands
  46. had built beside the sea. And even to-day
  47. my favor changes not. Dispel thy fear!
  48. Safe, even as thou prayest, he shall ride
  49. to Cumae's haven, where Avernus lies.
  50. One only sinks beneath th' engulfing seas, —
  51. one life in lieu of many.” Having soothed
  52. and cheered her heart divine, the worshipped sire
  53. flung o'er his mated steeds a yoke of gold,
  54. bridled the wild, white mouths, and with strong hand
  55. shook out long, Ioosened reins. His azure car
  56. skimmed light and free along the crested waves;
  57. before his path the rolling billows all
  58. were calm and still, and each o'er-swollen flood
  59. sank 'neath his sounding wheel; while from the skies
  60. the storm-clouds fled away. Behind him trailed
  61. a various company; vast bulk of whales,
  62. the hoary band of Glaucus, Ino's son,
  63. Palaemon and the nimble Tritons all,
  64. the troop of Phorcus; and to leftward ranged
  65. Thalia, Thetis, and fair Alelite,
  66. with virgin Panopea, and the nymphs
  67. Nesaea, Spio and Cymodoce.
  1. Now in Aeneas' ever-burdened breast
  2. the voice of hope revived. He bade make haste
  3. to raise the masts, spread canvas on the spars;
  4. all hands hauled at the sheets, and left or right
  5. shook out the loosened sails, or twirled in place
  6. the horn-tipped yards. Before a favoring wind
  7. the fleet sped on. The line in close array
  8. was led by Palinurus, in whose course
  9. all ships were bid to follow. Soon the car
  10. of dewy Night drew near the turning-point
  11. of her celestial round. The oarsmen all
  12. yielded their limbs to rest, and prone had fallen
  13. on the hard thwarts, in deep, unpillowed slumber.
  14. Then from the high stars on light-moving wings,
  15. the God of Sleep found passage through the dark
  16. and clove the gloom,—to bring upon thy head,
  17. O Palinurus, an ill-boding sleep,
  18. though blameless thou. Upon thy ship the god
  19. in guise of Phorbas stood, thus whispering:
  20. “Look, Palinurus, how the flowing tides
  21. lift on thy fleet unsteered, and changeless winds
  22. behind thee breathe! 'T is now a happy hour
  23. take thy rest. Lay down the weary head.
  24. Steal tired eyes from toiling. I will do
  25. thine office for thee, just a little space.”
  26. But Palinurus, lifting scarce his eyes,
  27. thus answered him: “Have I not known the face
  28. of yonder placid seas and tranquil waves?
  29. Put faith in such a monster? Could I trust —
  30. I, oft by ocean's treacherous calm betrayed —
  31. my lord Aeneas to false winds and skies?”