Vergil. Aeneid. John Dryden. trans.

  1. One more immortal name thy death bequeathed,
  2. Nurse of Aeneas, to Italian shores,
  3. Caieta; there thy honor hath a home;
  4. Thy bones a name: and on Hesperia's breast
  5. Their proper glory.When Aeneas now
  6. The tribute of sepulchral vows had paid
  7. Beside the funeral mound, and o'er the seas
  8. Stillness had fallen, he flung forth his sails,
  9. And leaving port pursued his destined way.
  10. Freshly the night-winds breathe; the cloudless moon
  11. Outpours upon his path unstinted beam,
  12. And with far-trembling glory smites the sea.
  13. Close to the lands of Circe soon they fare,
  14. Where the Sun's golden daughter in far groves
  15. Sounds forth her ceaseless song; her lofty hall
  16. Is fragrant every night with flaring brands
  17. Of cedar, giving light the while she weaves
  18. With shrill-voiced shuttle at her linens fine.
  19. From hence are heard the loud lament and wrath
  20. Of lions, rebels to their linked chains
  21. And roaring all night long; great bristly boars
  22. And herded bears, in pinfold closely kept,
  23. Rage horribly, and monster-wolves make moan;
  24. Whom the dread goddess with foul juices strong
  25. From forms of men drove forth, and bade to wear
  26. the mouths and maws of beasts in Circe's thrall.
  27. But lest the sacred Trojans should endure
  28. such prodigy of doom, or anchor there
  29. on that destroying shore, kind Neptune filled
  30. their sails with winds of power, and sped them on
  31. in safety past the perils of that sea.
  1. Now morning flushed the wave, and saffron-garbed
  2. Aurora from her rose-red chariot beamed
  3. in highest heaven; the sea-winds ceased to stir;
  4. a sudden calm possessed the air, and tides
  5. of marble smoothness met the laboring oar.
  6. Then, gazing from the deep, Aeneas saw
  7. a stretch of groves, whence Tiber's smiling stream,
  8. its tumbling current rich with yellow sands,
  9. burst seaward forth: around it and above
  10. shore-haunting birds of varied voice and plume
  11. flattered the sky with song, and, circling far
  12. o'er river-bed and grove, took joyful wing.
  13. Thither to landward now his ships he steered,
  14. and sailed, high-hearted, up the shadowy stream.
  1. Hail, Erato! while olden kings and thrones
  2. and all their sequent story I unfold!
  3. How Latium's honor stood, when alien ships
  4. brought war to Italy, and from what cause
  5. the primal conflict sprang, O goddess, breathe
  6. upon thy bard in song. Dread wars I tell,
  7. array of battle, and high-hearted kings
  8. thrust forth to perish, when Etruria's host
  9. and all Hesperia gathered to the fray.
  10. Events of grander march impel my song,
  11. and loftier task I try. Latinus, then
  12. an aged king, held long-accepted sway
  13. o'er tranquil vales and towns. He was the son
  14. of Faunus, so the legend tells, who wed
  15. the nymph Marica of Laurentian stem.
  16. Picus was Faunus' father, whence the line
  17. to Saturn's Ioins ascends. O heavenly sire,
  18. from thee the stem began! But Fate had given
  19. to King Latinus' body no heirs male:
  20. for taken in the dawning of his day
  21. his only son had been; and now his home
  22. and spacious palace one sole daughter kept,
  23. who was grown ripe to wed and of full age
  24. to take a husband. Many suitors tried
  25. from all Ausonia and Latium's bounds;
  26. but comeliest in all their princely throng
  27. came Turnus, of a line of mighty sires.
  28. Him the queen mother chiefly loved, and yearned
  29. to call him soon her son. But omens dire
  30. and menaces from Heaven withstood her will.
  31. A laurel-tree grew in the royal close,
  32. of sacred leaf and venerated age,
  33. which, when he builded there his wall and tower,
  34. Father Latinus found, and hallowed it
  35. to Phoebus' grace and power, wherefrom the name
  36. Laurentian, which his realm and people bear.
  37. Unto this tree-top, wonderful to tell,
  38. came hosts of bees, with audible acclaim
  39. voyaging the stream of air, and seized a place
  40. on the proud, pointing crest, where the swift swarm,
  41. with interlacement of close-clinging feet,
  42. swung from the leafy bough. “Behold, there comes,”
  43. the prophet cried, “a husband from afar!
  44. To the same region by the self-same path
  45. behold an arm'd host taking lordly sway
  46. upon our city's crown!” Soon after this,
  47. when, coming to the shrine with torches pure,
  48. Lavinia kindled at her father's side
  49. the sacrifice, swift seemed the flame to burn
  50. along her flowing hair—O sight of woe!
  51. Over her broidered snood it sparkling flew,
  52. lighting her queenly tresses and her crown
  53. of jewels rare: then, wrapt in flaming cloud,
  54. from hall to hall the fire-god's gift she flung.
  55. This omen dread and wonder terrible
  56. was rumored far: for prophet-voices told
  57. bright honors on the virgin's head to fall
  58. by Fate's decree, but on her people, war.
  1. The King, sore troubled by these portents, sought
  2. oracular wisdom of his sacred sire,
  3. Faunus, the fate-revealer, where the groves
  4. stretch under high Albunea, and her stream
  5. roars from its haunted well, exhaling through
  6. vast, gloomful woods its pestilential air.
  7. Here all Oenotria's tribes ask oracles
  8. in dark and doubtful days: here, when the priest
  9. has brought his gifts, and in the night so still,
  10. couched on spread fleeces of the offered flock,
  11. awaiting slumber lies, then wondrously
  12. a host of flitting shapes he sees, and hears
  13. voices that come and go: with gods he holds
  14. high converse, or in deep Avernian gloom
  15. parleys with Acheron. Thither drew near
  16. Father Latinus, seeking truth divine.
  17. Obedient to the olden rite, he slew
  18. a hundred fleecy sheep, and pillowed lay
  19. upon their outstretched skins. Straightway a voice
  20. out of the lofty forest met his prayer.
  21. “Seek not in wedlock with a Latin lord
  22. to join thy daughter, O my son and seed!
  23. Beware this purposed marriage! There shall come
  24. sons from afar, whose blood shall bear our name
  25. starward; the children of their mighty loins,
  26. as far as eve and morn enfold the seas,
  27. shall see a subject world beneath their feet
  28. submissive lie.” This admonition given
  29. Latinus hid not. But on restless wing
  30. rumor had spread it, when the men of Troy
  31. along the river-bank of mounded green
  32. their fleet made fast.Aeneas and his chiefs,
  33. with fair Iulus, under spreading boughs
  34. of one great tree made resting-place, and set
  35. the banquet on. Thin loaves of altar-bread
  36. along the sward to bear their meats were laid
  37. (such was the will of Jove), and wilding fruits
  38. rose heaping high, with Ceres' gift below.
  39. Soon, all things else devoured, their hunger turned
  40. to taste the scanty bread, which they attacked
  41. with tooth and nail audacious, and consumed
  42. both round and square of that predestined leaven.
  43. “Look, how we eat our tables even!” cried
  44. Iulus, in a jest. Such was the word
  45. which bade their burdens fall. From his boy's lip
  46. the father caught this utterance of Fate,
  47. silent with wonder at the ways of Heaven;
  48. then swift he spoke: “Hail! O my destined shore,
  49. protecting deities of Ilium, hail!
  50. Here is our home, our country here! This day
  51. I publish the mysterious prophecy
  52. by Sire Anchises given: ‘My son,’ said he,
  53. ‘When hunger in strange lands shall bid devour
  54. the tables of thy banquet gone, then hope
  55. for home, though weary, and take thought to build
  56. a dwelling and a battlement.’ Behold!
  57. This was our fated hunger! This last proof
  58. will end our evil days. Up, then! For now
  59. by morning's joyful beam we will explore
  60. what men, what cities, in this region be,
  61. and, leaving ship, our several errands ply.
  62. Your gift to Jove outpour! Make thankful prayer
  63. unto Anchises' shade! To this our feast
  64. bring back the flowing wine!” Thereat he bound
  65. his forehead with green garland, calling loud
  66. upon the Genius of that place, and Earth,
  67. eldest of names divine; the Nymphs he called,
  68. and river-gods unknown; his voice invoked
  69. the night, the omen-stars through night that roll.
  70. Jove, Ida's child, and Phrygia's fertile Queen:
  71. he called his mother from Olympian skies,
  72. and sire from Erebus. Lo, o'er his head
  73. three times unclouded Jove omnipotent
  74. in thunder spoke, and, with effulgent ray
  75. from his ethereal tract outreaching far,
  76. shook visibly the golden-gleaming air.
  77. Swift, through the concourse of the Trojans, spread
  78. news of the day at hand when they should build
  79. their destined walls. So, with rejoicing heart
  80. at such vast omen, they set forth a feast
  81. with zealous emulation, ranging well
  82. the wine-cups fair with many a garland crowned.
  1. Soon as the morrow with the lamp of dawn
  2. looked o'er the world, they took their separate ways,
  3. exploring shore and towns; here spread the pools
  4. and fountain of Numicius; here they see
  5. the river Tiber, where bold Latins dwell.
  6. Anchises' son chose out from his brave band
  7. a hundred envoys, bidding them depart
  8. to the King's sacred city, each enwreathed
  9. with Pallas' silver leaf; and gifts they bear
  10. to plead for peace and friendship at his throne.
  11. While on this errand their swift steps are sped,
  12. Aeneas, by a shallow moat and small,
  13. his future city shows, breaks ground, and girds
  14. with mound and breastwork like a camp of war
  15. the Trojans' first abode. Soon, making way
  16. to where the Latin citadel uprose,
  17. the envoys scanned the battlements, and paused
  18. beneath its wall. Outside the city gates
  19. fair youths and striplings in life's early bloom
  20. course with swift steeds, or steer through dusty cloud
  21. the whirling chariot, or stretch stout bows,
  22. or hurl the seasoned javelin, or strive
  23. in boxing-bout and foot-race: one of these
  24. made haste on horseback to the aged King,
  25. with tidings of a stranger company
  26. in foreign garb approaching. The good King
  27. bade call them to his house, and took his seat
  28. in mid-court on his high, ancestral throne.
  1. Large and majestical the castle rose:
  2. a hundred columns lifted it in air
  3. upon the city's crown—the royal keep
  4. of Picus of Laurentum; round it lay
  5. deep, gloomy woods by olden worship blest.
  6. Here kings took sceptre and the fasces proud
  7. with omens fair; the selfsame sacred place
  8. was senate-house and temple; here was found
  9. a hall for hallowed feasting, where a ram
  10. was offered up, and at long banquet-boards
  11. the nation's fathers sat in due array.
  12. Here ranged ancestral statues roughly hewn
  13. of ancient cedar-wood: King Italus;
  14. Father Sabinus, planter of the vine,
  15. a curving sickle in his sculptured hand;
  16. gray-bearded Saturn; and the double brow
  17. of Janus' head; and other sires and kings
  18. were wardens of the door, with many a chief
  19. wounded in battle for his native land.
  20. Trophies of arms in goodly order hung
  21. along the columns: chariots of war
  22. from foeman taken, axes of round blade,
  23. plumed helmets, bolts and barriers of steel
  24. from city-gates, shields, spears, and beaks of bronze
  25. from captured galleys by the conqueror torn.
  26. Here, wielding his Quirinal augur-staff,
  27. girt in scant shift, and bearing on his left
  28. the sacred oval shield, appeared enthroned
  29. Picus, breaker of horses, whom his bride,
  30. enamoured Circe, smote with golden wand,
  31. and, raining o'er him potent poison-dew,
  32. changed to a bird of pied and dappled wings.
  1. In such a temple of his gods did Sire
  2. Latinus, on hereditary throne,
  3. welcome the Trojans to his halls, and thus
  4. with brow serene gave greeting as they came:
  5. “O sons of Dardanus, think not unknown
  6. your lineage and city! Rumored far
  7. your venturous voyage has been. What seek ye here?
  8. What cause, what quest, has brought your barks and you
  9. o'er the blue waters to Ausonia's hills?
  10. What way uncharted, or wild stress of storm,
  11. or what that sailors suffer in mid-sea,
  12. unto this river bank and haven bore?
  13. Doubt not our welcome! We of Latin land
  14. are Saturn's sons, whose equitable minds,
  15. not chained by statute or compulsion, keep
  16. in freedom what the god's good custom gave.
  17. Now I bethink me our Ausonian seers
  18. have dark, dim lore that 't was this land gave birth
  19. to Dardanus, who after took his way
  20. through Phrygian Ida's towns and Samothrace.
  21. Once out of Tuscan Corythus he fared;
  22. but now in golden house among the stars
  23. he has a throne, and by his altars blest
  24. adds to the number of the gods we praise.”
  1. He spoke; Ilioneus this answer made:
  2. “O King, great heir of Faunus! No dark storm
  3. impelled us o'er the flood thy realm to find.
  4. Nor star deceived, nor strange, bewildering shore
  5. threw out of our true course; but we are come
  6. by our free choice and with deliberate aim
  7. to this thy town, though exiled forth of realms
  8. once mightiest of all the sun-god sees
  9. when moving from his utmost eastern bound.
  10. From Jove our line began; the sons of Troy
  11. boast Jove to be their sire, and our true King
  12. is of Olympian seed. To thine abode
  13. Trojan Aeneas sent us. How there burst
  14. o'er Ida's vales from dread Mycenae's kings
  15. a tempest vast, and by what stroke of doom
  16. all Asia's world with Europe clashed in war,
  17. that lone wight hears whom earth's remotest isle
  18. has banished to the Ocean's rim, or he
  19. whose dwelling is the ample zone that burns
  20. betwixt the changeful sun-god's milder realms,
  21. far severed from the world. We are the men
  22. from war's destroying deluge safely borne
  23. over the waters wide. We only ask
  24. some low-roofed dwelling for our fathers' gods,
  25. some friendly shore, and, what to all is free,
  26. water and air. We bring no evil name
  27. upon thy people; thy renown will be
  28. but wider spread; nor of a deed so fair
  29. can grateful memory die. Ye ne'er will rue
  30. that to Ausonia's breast ye gathered Troy.
  31. I swear thee by the favored destinies
  32. of great Aeneas, by his strength of arm
  33. in friendship or in war, that many a tribe
  34. (O, scorn us not, that, bearing olive green,
  35. with suppliant words we come), that many a throne
  36. has sued us to be friends. But Fate's decree
  37. to this thy realm did guide. Here Dardanus
  38. was born; and with reiterate command
  39. this way Apollo pointed to the stream
  40. of Tiber and Numicius' haunted spring.
  41. Lo, these poor tributes from his greatness gone
  42. Aeneas sends, these relics snatched away
  43. from Ilium burning: with this golden bowl
  44. Anchises poured libation when he prayed;
  45. and these were Priam's splendor, when he gave
  46. laws to his gathered states; this sceptre his,
  47. this diadem revered, and beauteous pall,
  48. handwork of Asia's queens.” So ceased to speak
  49. Ilioneus. But King Latinus gazed
  50. unanswering on the ground, all motionless
  51. save for his musing eyes. The broidered pall
  52. of purple, and the sceptre Priam bore,
  53. moved little on his kingly heart, which now
  54. pondered of giving to the bridal bed
  55. his daughter dear. He argues in his mind
  56. the oracle of Faunus:—might this be
  57. that destined bridegroom from an alien land,
  58. to share his throne, to get a progeny
  59. of glorious valor, which by mighty deeds
  60. should win the world for kingdom? So at last
  61. with joyful brow he spoke: “Now let the gods
  62. our purpose and their own fair promise bless!
  63. Thou hast, O Trojan, thy desire. Thy gifts
  64. I have not scorned; nor while Latinus reigns
  65. shall ye lack riches in my plenteous land,
  66. not less than Trojan store. But where is he,
  67. Aeneas' self? If he our royal love
  68. so much desire, and have such urgent mind
  69. to be our guest and friend, let him draw near,
  70. nor turn him from well-wishing looks away!
  71. My offering and pledge of peace shall be
  72. to clasp your monarch's hand. Bear back, I pray,
  73. this answer to your King: my dwelling holds
  74. a daughter, whom with husband of her blood
  75. great signs in heaven and from my father's tomb
  76. forbid to wed. A son from alien shores
  77. they prophesy for Latium's heir, whose seed
  78. shall lift our glory to the stars divine.
  79. I am persuaded this is none but he,
  80. that man of destiny; and if my heart
  81. be no false prophet, I desire it so.”
  82. Thus having said, the sire took chosen steeds
  83. from his full herd, whereof, well-groomed and fair,
  84. three hundred stood within his ample pale.
  85. Of these to every Teucrian guest he gave
  86. a courser swift and strong, in purple clad
  87. and broidered housings gay; on every breast
  88. hung chains of gold; in golden robes arrayed,
  89. they champed the red gold curb their teeth between.
  90. For offering to Aeneas, he bade send
  91. a chariot, with chargers twain of seed
  92. ethereal, their nostrils breathing fire:
  93. the famous kind which guileful Circe bred,
  94. cheating her sire, and mixed the sun-god's team
  95. with brood-mares earthly born. The sons of Troy,
  96. such gifts and greetings from Latinus bearing,
  97. rode back in pomp his words of peace to bring.
  1. But lo! from Argos on her voyage of air
  2. rides the dread spouse of Jove. She, sky-enthroned
  3. above the far Sicilian promontory,
  4. pachynus, sees Dardania's rescued fleet,
  5. and all Aeneas' joy. The prospect shows
  6. houses a-building, lands of safe abode,
  7. and the abandoned ships. With bitter grief
  8. she stands at gaze: then with storm-shaken brows,
  9. thus from her heart lets loose the wrathful word:
  10. “O hated race! O Phrygian destinies —
  11. to mine forevermore (unhappy me!)
  12. a scandal and offense! Did no one die
  13. on Troy's embattled plain? Could captured slaves
  14. not be enslaved again? Was Ilium's flame
  15. no warrior's funeral pyre? Did they walk safe
  16. through serried swords and congregated fires?
  17. At last, methought, my godhead might repose,
  18. and my full-fed revenge in slumber lie.
  19. But nay! Though flung forth from their native land,
  20. I o'er the waves, with enmity unstayed,
  21. dared give them chase, and on that exiled few
  22. hurled the whole sea. I smote the sons of Troy
  23. with ocean's power and heaven's. But what availed
  24. Syrtes, or Scylla, or Charybdis' waves?
  25. The Trojans are in Tiber; and abide
  26. within their prayed-for land delectable,
  27. safe from the seas and me! Mars once had power
  28. the monstrous Lapithae to slay; and Jove
  29. to Dian's honor and revenge gave o'er
  30. the land of Calydon. What crime so foul
  31. was wrought by Lapithae or Calydon?
  32. But I, Jove's wife and Queen, who in my woes
  33. have ventured each bold stroke my power could find,
  34. and every shift essayed,—behold me now
  35. outdone by this Aeneas! If so weak
  36. my own prerogative of godhead be,
  37. let me seek strength in war, come whence it will!
  38. If Heaven I may not move, on Hell I call.
  39. To bar him from his Latin throne exceeds
  40. my fated power. So be it! Fate has given
  41. Lavinia for his bride. But long delays
  42. I still can plot, and to the high event
  43. deferment and obstruction. I can smite
  44. the subjects of both kings. Let sire and son
  45. buy with their people's blood this marriage-bond!
  46. Let Teucrian and Rutulian slaughter be
  47. thy virgin dower, and Bellona's blaze
  48. light thee the bridal bed! Not only teemed
  49. the womb of Hecuba with burning brand,
  50. and brought forth nuptial fires; but Venus, too,
  51. such offspring bore, a second Paris, who
  52. to their new Troy shall fatal wedlock bring.”
  1. So saying, with aspect terrible she sped
  2. earthward her way; and called from gloom of hell
  3. Alecto, woeful power, from cloudy throne
  4. among the Furies, where her heart is fed
  5. with horrid wars, wrath, vengeance, treason foul,
  6. and fatal feuds. Her father Pluto loathes
  7. the creature he engendered, and with hate
  8. her hell-born sister-fiends the monster view.
  9. A host of shapes she wears, and many a front
  10. of frowning black brows viper-garlanded.
  11. Juno to her this goading speech addressed:
  12. “O daughter of dark Night, arouse for me
  13. thy wonted powers and our task begin!
  14. Lest now my glory fail, my royal name
  15. be vanquished, while Aeneas and his crew
  16. cheat with a wedlock bond the Latin King
  17. and seize Italia's fields. Thou canst thrust on
  18. two Ioving brothers to draw sword and slay,
  19. and ruin homes with hatred, calling in
  20. the scourge of Furies and avenging fires.
  21. A thousand names thou bearest, and thy ways
  22. of ruin multiply a thousand-fold.
  23. Arouse thy fertile breast! Go, rend in twain
  24. this plighted peace! Breed calumnies and sow
  25. causes of battle, till yon warrior hosts
  26. cry out for swords and leap to gird them on.”
  1. Straightway Alecto, through whose body flows
  2. the Gorgon poison, took her viewless way
  3. to Latium and the lofty walls and towers
  4. of the Laurentian King. Crouching she sate
  5. in silence on the threshold of the bower
  6. where Queen Amata in her fevered soul
  7. pondered, with all a woman's wrath and fear,
  8. upon the Trojans and the marriage-suit
  9. of Turnus. From her Stygian hair the fiend
  10. a single serpent flung, which stole its way
  11. to the Queen's very heart, that, frenzy-driven,
  12. she might on her whole house confusion pour.
  13. Betwixt her smooth breast and her robe it wound
  14. unfelt, unseen, and in her wrathful mind
  15. instilled its viper soul. Like golden chain
  16. around her neck it twined, or stretched along
  17. the fillets on her brow, or with her hair
  18. enwrithing coiled; then on from limb to limb
  19. slipped tortuous. Yet though the venom strong
  20. thrilled with its first infection every vein,
  21. and touched her bones with fire, she knew it not,
  22. nor yielded all her soul, but made her plea
  23. in gentle accents such as mothers use;
  24. and many a tear she shed, about her child,
  25. her darling, destined for a Phrygian's bride:
  26. “O father! can we give Lavinia's hand
  27. to Trojan fugitives? why wilt thou show
  28. no mercy on thy daughter, nor thyself;
  29. nor unto me, whom at the first fair wind
  30. that wretch will leave deserted, bearing far
  31. upon his pirate ship my stolen child?
  32. Was it not thus that Phrygian shepherd came
  33. to Lacedaemon, ravishing away
  34. Helen, the child of Leda, whom he bore
  35. to those false Trojan lands? Hast thou forgot
  36. thy plighted word? Where now thy boasted love
  37. of kith and kin, and many a troth-plight given
  38. unto our kinsman Turnus? If we need
  39. an alien son, and Father Faunus' words
  40. irrevocably o'er thy spirit brood,
  41. I tell thee every land not linked with ours
  42. under one sceptre, but distinct and free,
  43. is alien; and 't is thus the gods intend.
  44. Indeed, if Turnus' ancient race be told,
  45. it sprang of Inachus, Acrisius,
  46. and out of mid-Mycenae.” But she sees
  47. her lord Latinus resolute, her words
  48. an effort vain; and through her body spreads
  49. the Fury's deeply venomed viper-sting.
  50. Then, woe-begone, by dark dreams goaded on,
  51. she wanders aimless, fevered and unstrung
  52. along the public ways; as oft one sees
  53. beneath the twisted whips a leaping top
  54. sped in long spirals through a palace-close
  55. by lads at play: obedient to the thong,
  56. it weaves wide circles in the gaping view
  57. of its small masters, who admiring see
  58. the whirling boxwood made a living thing
  59. under their lash. So fast and far she roved
  60. from town to town among the clansmen wild.
  61. Then to the wood she ran, feigning to feel
  62. the madness Bacchus loves; for she essays
  63. a fiercer crime, by fiercer frenzy moved.
  64. Now in the leafy dark of mountain vales
  65. she hides her daughter, ravished thus away
  66. from Trojan bridegroom and the wedding-feast.
  67. “Hail, Bacchus! Thou alone,” she shrieked and raved,
  68. “art worthy such a maid. For thee she bears
  69. the thyrsus with soft ivy-clusters crowned,
  70. and trips ecstatic in thy beauteous choir.
  71. For thee alone my daughter shall unbind
  72. the glory of her virgin hair.” Swift runs
  73. the rumor of her deed; and, frenzy-driven,
  74. the wives of Latium to the forests fly,
  75. enkindled with one rage. They leave behind
  76. their desolated hearths, and let rude winds
  77. o'er neck and tresses blow; their voices fill
  78. the welkin with convulsive shriek and wail;
  79. and, with fresh fawn-skins on their bodies bound,
  80. they brandish vine-clad spears. The Queen herself
  81. lifts high a blazing pine tree, while she sings
  82. a wedding-song for Turnus and her child.
  83. With bloodshot glance and anger wild, she cries:
  84. “Ho! all ye Latin wives, if e'er ye knew
  85. kindness for poor Amata, if ye care
  86. for a wronged mother's woes, O, follow me!
  87. Cast off the matron fillet from your brows,
  88. and revel to our mad, voluptuous song.”
  89. Thus, through the woodland haunt of creatures wild,
  90. Alecto urges on the raging Queen
  91. with Bacchus' cruel goad. But when she deemed
  92. the edge of wrath well whetted, and the house
  93. of wise Latinus of all reason reft,
  94. then soared the black-winged goddess to the walls
  95. of the bold Rutule, to the city built
  96. (So runs the tale) by beauteous Danae
  97. and her Acrisian people, shipwrecked there
  98. by south wind strong. Its name was Ardea
  99. in language of our sires, and that proud name
  100. of Ardea still it wears, though proud no more.
  101. Here Turnus in the gloom of midnight lay
  102. half-sleeping in his regal hall. For him
  103. Alecto her grim fury-guise put by,
  104. and wore an old crone's face, her baleful brow
  105. delved deep with wrinkled age, her hoary hair
  106. in sacred fillet bound, and garlanded
  107. with leaf of olive: Calybe she seemed,
  108. an aged servitress ot Juno's shrine,
  109. and in this seeming thus the prince addressed:—
  110. “O Turnus, wilt thou tamely see thy toil
  111. lavished in vain? and thy true throne consigned
  112. to Trojan wanderers? The King repels
  113. thy noble wooing and thy war-won dower.
  114. He summons him a son of alien stem
  115. to take his kingdom. Rouse thee now, and front,
  116. scorned and without reward, these perilous days.
  117. Tread down that Tuscan host! Protect the peace
  118. of Latium from its foe! Such is the word
  119. which, while in night and slumber thou wert laid,
  120. Saturnia's godhead, visibly revealed,
  121. bade me declare. Up, therefore, and array
  122. thy warriors in arms! Swift sallying forth
  123. from thy strong city-gates, on to the fray
  124. exultant go! Assail the Phrygian chiefs
  125. who tent them by thy beauteous river's marge,
  126. and burn their painted galleys! 't is the will
  127. of gods above that speaks. Yea, even the King
  128. Latinus, if he will not heed thy plea,
  129. or hear thy wooing, shall be taught too late
  130. what Turnus is in panoply of war.”
  1. In mocking answer to the prophetess
  2. the warrior thus replied: “That stranger fleet
  3. in Tiber moored, not, as thy folly prates,
  4. of me unnoted lies. Vex me no more
  5. with thy fantastic terror. Juno's power
  6. is watchful of my cause. 'T is mere old age,
  7. gone to decay and dotage, fills thy breast
  8. with vain foreboding, and, while kings contend,
  9. scares and deceives thy visionary eye.
  10. Guard thou in yonder temple's holy shade
  11. the images divine! Of peace and war
  12. let men and warriors the burden bear!”
  1. So kindled he Alecto's wrath to flame;
  2. and even as he spoke a shudder thrilled
  3. the warrior's body, and his eyeballs stood
  4. stonily staring at the hydra hair
  5. which hissed and writhed above the grisly head
  6. of the large-looming fiend. With eyes of fire
  7. horribly rolling, she repelled him far,
  8. while he but faltered speechless. She upraised
  9. two coiling snakes out of her tresses, cracked
  10. the lashes of her scourge, and wrathfully,
  11. with raving lips replied: “Look well on me,
  12. gone to decay and dotage of old age!
  13. And mocked with foolish fear while kings contend!
  14. Wilt hearken now! Behold me, hither flown
  15. from where my sister-furies dwell! My hands
  16. bring bloody death and war.” She spoke, and hurled
  17. her firebrand at the hero, thrusting deep
  18. beneath his heart her darkly smouldering flame.
  19. Then horror broke his sleep, and fearful sweat
  20. dripped from his every limb. He shrieked aloud
  21. for arms; and seized the ready arms that lay
  22. around his couch and hall. Then o'er his soul
  23. the lust of battle and wild curse of war
  24. broke forth in angry power, as when the flames
  25. of faggots round the bubbling cauldron sing,
  26. and up the waters leap; the close-kept flood
  27. brims over, streaming, foaming, breaking bound,
  28. and flings thick clouds in air. He, summoning
  29. his chieftains, bade them on Latinus move,
  30. break peace, take arms, and, over Italy
  31. their shields extending, to thrust forth her foe:
  32. himself for Teucrian with Latin joined
  33. was more than match. He called upon the gods
  34. in witness of his vows: while, nothing loth,
  35. Rutulia's warriors rushed into array;
  36. some by his youth and noble beauty moved,
  37. some by his kingly sires and fame in arms.
  1. While Turnus stirred Rutulia's valiant souls,
  2. Alecto on her Stygian pinions sped
  3. to where the Teucrians lay. She scanned the ground
  4. with eager guile, where by the river's marge
  5. fair-browed Iulus with his nets and snares
  6. rode fiercely to the chase. Then o'er his hounds
  7. that hell-born virgin breathed a sudden rage,
  8. and filled each cunning nostril with the scent
  9. of stags, till forth in wild pursuit they flew.
  10. Here all the woe began, and here awoke
  11. in rustic souls the swift-enkindling war.
  12. For a fair stag, tall-antlered, stolen away
  13. even from its mother's milk, had long been kept
  14. by Tyrrhus and his sons—the shepherd he
  15. of all the royal flocks, and forester
  16. of a wide region round. With fondest care
  17. their sister Silvia entwined its horns
  18. with soft, fresh garlands, tamed it to run close,
  19. and combed the creature, or would bring to bathe
  20. at a clear, crystal spring. It knew the hands
  21. of all its gentle masters, and would feed
  22. from their own dish; or wandering through the wood,
  23. come back unguided to their friendly door,
  24. though deep the evening shade. Iulus' dogs
  25. now roused this wanderer in their ravening chase,
  26. as, drifted down-stream far from home it lay,
  27. on a green bank a-cooling. From bent bow
  28. Ascanius, eager for a hunter's praise,
  29. let go his shaft; nor did Alecto fail
  30. his aim to guide: but, whistling through the air,
  31. the light-winged reed pierced deep in flank and side.
  32. Swift to its cover fled the wounded thing,
  33. and crept loud-moaning to its wonted stall,
  34. where, like a blood-stained suppliant, it seemed
  35. to fill that shepherd's house with plaintive prayer.
  36. Then Silvia the sister, smiting oft
  37. on breast and arm, made cry for help, and called
  38. the sturdy rustics forth in gathering throng.
  39. These now (for in the silent forest couched
  40. the cruel Fury) swift to battle flew.
  41. One brandished a charred stake, another swung
  42. a knotted cudgel, as rude anger shapes
  43. its weapon of whate'er the searching eye
  44. first haps to fall on. Tyrrhus roused his clans,
  45. just when by chance he split with blows of wedge
  46. an oak in four; and, panting giant breath,
  47. shouldered his woodman's axe. Alecto then,
  48. prompt to the stroke of mischief, soared aloft
  49. from where she spying sate, to the steep roof
  50. of a tall byre, and from its peak of straw
  51. blew a wild signal on a shepherd's horn,
  52. outflinging her infernal note so far
  53. that all the forest shuddered, and the grove
  54. throbbed to its deepest glen. Cold Trivia's lake
  55. from end to end gave ear, and every wave
  56. of the white stream of Nar, the lonely pools
  57. of still Velinus heard: while at the sound
  58. pale mothers to their breasts their children drew.
  59. Swift to the signal of the dreadful horn,
  60. snatching their weapons rude, the freeborn swains
  61. assembled for the fray; the Trojan bands
  62. poured from their bivouac with instant aid
  63. for young Ascanius. In array of war
  64. both stand confronting. Not mere rustic brawl
  65. with charred oak-staff and cudgel is the fight,
  66. but with the two-edged steel; the naked swords
  67. wave like dark-bladed harvest-field, while far
  68. the brazen arms flash in the smiting sun,
  69. and skyward fling their beam: so some wide sea,
  70. at first but whitened in the rising wind,
  71. swells its slow-rolling mass and ever higher
  72. its billows rears, until the utmost deep
  73. lifts in one surge to heaven. The first to fall
  74. was Almo, eldest-born of Tyrrhus' sons,
  75. whom, striding in the van, a loud-winged shaft
  76. laid low in death; deep in his throat it clung,
  77. and silenced with his blood the dying cry
  78. of his frail life. Around him fell the forms
  79. of many a brave and strong; among them died
  80. gray-haired Galaesus pleading for a truce:
  81. righteous he was, and of Ausonian fields
  82. a prosperous master; five full flocks had he
  83. of bleating sheep, and from his pastures came
  84. five herds of cattle home; his busy churls
  85. turned with a hundred ploughs his fruitful glebe.
  1. While o'er the battle-field thus doubtful swung
  2. the scales of war, the Fury (to her task
  3. now equal proven) having dyed the day
  4. a deep-ensanguined hue, and opened fight
  5. with death and slaughter, made no tarrying
  6. within Hesperia, but skyward soared,
  7. and, Ioud in triumph, insolently thus
  8. to Juno called: “See, at thy will, their strife
  9. full-blown to war and woe! Could even thyself
  10. command them now to truce and amity?
  11. But I, that with Ausonia's blood befoul
  12. their Trojan hands, yet more can do, if thou
  13. shift not thy purpose. For with dire alarms
  14. I will awake the bordering states to war
  15. enkindling in their souls the frenzied lust
  16. the war-god breathes; till from th' horizon round
  17. the reinforcement pours—I scattering seeds
  18. of carnage through the land.” In answer spoke
  19. juno: “Enough of artifice and fear!
  20. Thy provocation works. Now have they joined
  21. in close and deadly combat, and warm blood
  22. those sudden-leaping swords incarnadines,
  23. which chance put in their hands. Such nuptial joys,
  24. such feast of wedlock, let the famous son
  25. of Venus with the King Latinus share!
  26. But yon Olympian Sire and King no more
  27. permits thee freely in our skies to roam.
  28. Go, quit the field! Myself will take control
  29. of hazards and of labors yet to be.”
  30. Thus Saturn's daughter spoke. Alecto then,
  31. unfolding far her hissing, viperous wings,
  32. turned toward her Stygian home, and took farewell
  33. of upper air. Deep in Italia lies
  34. a region mountain-girded, widely famed,
  35. and known in olden songs from land to land:
  36. the valley of Amsanctus; deep, dark shades
  37. enclose it between forest-walls, whereby
  38. through thunderous stony channel serpentines
  39. a roaring fall. Here in a monstrous cave
  40. are breathing-holes of hell, a vast abyss
  41. where Acheron opes wide its noisome jaws:
  42. in this Alecto plunged, concealing so
  43. her execrable godhead, while the air
  44. of earth and heaven felt the curse removed.
  1. Forthwith the sovereign hands of Juno haste
  2. to consummate the war. The shepherds bear
  3. back from the field of battle to the town
  4. the bodies of the slain: young Almo's corse
  5. and gray Galaesus' bleeding head. They call
  6. just gods in heaven to Iook upon their wrong,
  7. and bid Latinus see it. Turnus comes,
  8. and, while the angry mob surveys the slain,
  9. adds fury to the hour. “Shall the land
  10. have Trojan lords? Shall Phrygian marriages
  11. debase our ancient, royal blood—and I
  12. be spurned upon the threshold?” Then drew near
  13. the men whose frenzied women-folk had held
  14. bacchantic orgies in the pathless grove,
  15. awed by Amata's name: these, gathering,
  16. sued loud for war. Yea, all defied the signs
  17. and venerable omens; all withstood
  18. divine decrees, and clamored for revenge,
  19. prompted by evil powers. They besieged
  20. the house of King Latinus, shouting-loud
  21. with emulous rage. But like a sea-girt rock
  22. unmoved he stood; like sea-girt rock when surge
  23. of waters o'er it sweeps, or howling waves
  24. surround; it keeps a ponderous front of power,
  25. though foaming cliffs around it vainly roar;
  26. from its firm base the broken sea-weeds fall.
  27. But when authority no whit could change
  28. their counsels blind, and each event fulfilled
  29. dread Juno's will, then with complaining prayer
  30. the aged sire cried loud upon his gods
  31. and on th' unheeding air: “Alas,” said he,
  32. “My doom is shipwreck, and the tempest bears
  33. my bark away! O wretches, your own blood
  34. shall pay the forfeit for your impious crime.
  35. O Turnus! O abominable deed!
  36. Avenging woes pursue thee; to deaf gods
  37. thy late and unavailing prayer shall rise.
  38. Now was my time to rest. But as I come
  39. close to my journey's end, thou spoilest me
  40. of comfort in my death.” With this the King
  41. fled to his house and ceased his realm to guide.
  1. A sacred custom the Hesperian land
  2. of Latium knew, by all the Alban hills
  3. honored unbroken, which wide-ruling Rome
  4. keeps to this day, when to new stroke she stirs
  5. the might of Mars; if on the Danube's wave
  6. resolved to fling the mournful doom of war,
  7. or on the Caspian folk or Arabs wild;
  8. or chase the morning far as India's verge,
  9. ind from the Parthian despot wrest away
  10. our banners Iost. Twin Gates of War there be,
  11. of fearful name, to Mars' fierce godhead vowed:
  12. a hundred brass bars shut them, and the strength
  13. of uncorrupting steel; in sleepless watch
  14. Janus the threshold keeps. 'T is here, what time
  15. the senate's voice is war, the consul grave
  16. in Gabine cincture and Quirinal shift
  17. himself the griding hinges backward moves,
  18. and bids the Romans arm; obedient then
  19. the legionary host makes Ioud acclaim,
  20. and hoarse consent the brazen trumpets blow.
  21. Thus King Latinus on the sons of Troy
  22. was urged to open war, and backward roll
  23. those gates of sorrow: but the aged king
  24. recoiled, refused the loathsome task, and fled
  25. to solitary shades. Then from the skies
  26. the Queen of gods stooped down, and her sole hand
  27. the lingering portal moved; Saturnia
  28. swung on their hinges the barred gates of war.
  29. ausonia from its old tranquillity
  30. bursts forth in flame. Foot-soldiers through the field
  31. run to and fro; and mounted on tall steeds
  32. the cavaliers in clouds of dust whirl by.
  33. All arm in haste. Some oil the glittering shield
  34. or javelin bright, or on the whetstone wear
  35. good axes to an edge, while joyful bands
  36. uplift the standards or the trumpets blow.
  37. Five mighty cities to their anvils bring
  38. new-tempered arms: Atina—martial name —
  39. proud Tibur, Ardea, Crustumium,
  40. and river-walled Antemnae, crowned with towers
  41. strong hollow helmets on their brows they draw
  42. and weave them willow-shields; or melt and mould
  43. corselets of brass or shining silver greaves;
  44. none now for pruning-hook or sacred plough
  45. have love or care: but old, ancestral swords
  46. for hardier tempering to the smith they bring.
  47. Now peals the clarion; through the legions pass
  48. the watchwords: the impatient yeoman takes
  49. his helmet from the idle roof-tree hung;
  50. while to his chariot the master yokes
  51. the mettled war-horse, dons a shining shield
  52. and golden mail, and buckles his good sword.
  1. Virgins of Helicon, renew my song!
  2. Instruct me what proud kings to battle flown
  3. with following legions throng the serried plain.
  4. Tell me what heroes and illustrious arms
  5. Italia's bosom in her dawning day
  6. benignant bore: for your celestial minds,
  7. have memory of the past, but faint and low
  8. steals glory's whisper on a mortal ear.
  1. Foremost in fight, from shores Etrurian came
  2. Mezentius, scornful rebel against Heaven,
  3. his people all in arms; and at his side
  4. Lausus his heir (no fairer youth than he,
  5. save Turnus of Laurentum), Lausus, skilled
  6. o break proud horses and wild beasts to quell;
  7. who from Agylla's citadel in vain
  8. led forth his thousand warriors: worthy he
  9. to serve a nobler sire, and happier far
  10. he had ne'er been born Mezentius' son.
  1. Next after these, conspicuous o'er the plain,
  2. with palm-crowned chariot and victorious steeds,
  3. rode forth well-moulded Aventinus, sprung
  4. from shapely Hercules; upon the shield
  5. his blazon was a hundred snakes, and showed
  6. his father's hydra-cincture serpentine;
  7. him deep in Aventine's most secret grove
  8. the priestess Rhea bore—a mortal maid
  9. clasped in a god's embrace the wondrous day
  10. when, flushed with conquest of huge Geryon,
  11. the lord of Tiryns to Laurentum drove,
  12. and washed in Tiber's wave th' Iberian kine.
  13. His followers brandished pointed pikes and staves,
  14. or smooth Sabellian bodkin tipped with steel;
  15. but he, afoot, swung round him as he strode
  16. a monstrous lion-skin, its bristling mane
  17. and white teeth crowning his ferocious brow:
  18. for garbed as Hercules he sought his King.