The Aeneid of Virgil - Translated into English Verse by E. Fairfax Taylor
by Virgil
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LXXXVIII. There, the slain patriot, and the spotless sage, And pious poets, worthy of the God; There he, whose arts improved a rugged age, And those who, labouring for their country's good, Lived long-remembered,—all, in eager mood, Crowned with white fillets, round the Sibyl pressed; Chiefly Musaeus; in the midst he stood, With ample shoulders towering o'er the rest, When thus the listening crowd the prophetess addressed:

LXXXIX. "Tell, happy souls; and thou, great poet, tell Where—in what place—Anchises doth abide, For whom we came and crossed the streams of Hell." Briefly the venerable chief replied: "Fixt home hath no one; by the streamlet's side, Or in dark groves, or dewy meads we stray, Where living waters through the pastures glide. Mount, if ye list, and I will point the way, Yon summit, and beneath the shining fields survey."

XC. Thus on he leads them, till they leave the height, Rejoicing.—In a valley far away The sire Anchises scanned, with fond delight, The prisoned souls, who waited for the day. Their shape, their mien his studious eyes survey; Their fates and fortunes he reviews with pride, And counts his future offspring in array. Now, when his son advancing he espied, Aloud, with tearful eyes and outspread hands, he cried:

XCI. "Art thou, then, come at last? Has filial love, Thrice welcome, braved the perils of the way? O joy! do I behold thee? hear thee move Sweet converse as of old? 'Tis come, the day I longed and looked for, pondering the delay, And counting every moment, nor in vain. How tost with perils do I greet thee? yea, What wanderings thine on every land and main! What dangers did I dread from Libya's tempting reign!"

XCII. "Father, 'twas thy sad image," he replied, "Oft-haunting, drove me to this distant place. Our navy floats on the Tyrrhenian tide. Give me thy hand, nor shun a son's embrace." So spake the son, and o'er his cheeks apace Rolled down soft tears, of sadness and delight. Thrice he essayed the phantom to embrace; Thrice, vainly clasped, it melted from his sight, Swift as the winged wind, or vision of the night.

XCIII. Meanwhile he views, deep-bosomed in a dale, A grove, and brakes that rustle in the breeze, And Lethe, gliding through the peaceful vale. Peoples and tribes, all hovering round, he sees, Unnumbered, as in summer heat the bees Hum round the flowerets of the field, to drain The fair, white lilies of their sweets; so these Swarm numberless, and ever and again The gibbering ghosts disperse, and murmur o'er the plain.

XCIV. Awe-struck, AEneas would the cause enquire: What streams are yonder? what the crowd so great, That filled the river's margin? Then the Sire Anchises answered: "They are souls, that wait For other bodies, promised them by Fate. Now, by the banks of Lethe here below, They lose the memory of their former state, And from the silent waters, as they flow, Drink the oblivious draught, and all their cares forego.

XCV. "Long have I wished to show thee, face to face, Italia's sons, that thou might'st joy with me To hail the new-found country of our race." "Oh father!" said AEneas, "can it be, That souls sublime, so happy and so free, Can yearn for fleshly tenements again? So madly long they for the light?" Then he: "Learn, son, and listen, nor in doubt remain." And thus in ordered speech the mystery made plain:

XCVI. "First, Heaven and Earth and Ocean's liquid plains, The Moon's bright globe and planets of the pole, One mind, infused through every part, sustains; One universal, animating soul Quickens, unites and mingles with the whole. Hence man proceeds, and beasts, and birds of air, And monsters that in marble ocean roll; And fiery energy divine they share, Save what corruption clogs, and earthly limbs impair.

XCVII. "Hence Fear and Sorrow, hence Desire and Mirth; Nor can the soul, in darkness and in chains, Assert the skies, and claim celestial birth. Nay, after death, the traces it retains Of fleshly grossness, and corporeal stains, Since much must needs by long concretion grow Inherent. Therefore are they racked with pains, And schooled in all the discipline of woe; Each pays for ancient sin with punishment below.

XCVIII. "Some hang before the viewless winds to bleach; Some purge in fire or flood the deep decay And taint of wickedness. We suffer each Our ghostly penance; thence, the few who may, Seek the bright meadows of Elysian day, Till long, long years, when our allotted time Hath run its orbit, wear the stains away, And leave the aetherial sense, and spark sublime, Cleansed from the dross of earth, and cankering rust of crime.

XCIX. "These, when a thousand rolling years are o'er, Called by the God, to Lethe's waves repair; There, reft of memory, to yearn once more For mortal bodies and the upper air." So spake Anchises, and the priestess fair Leads, with his son, the murmuring shades among, Where thickest crowd the multitude, and there They mount a hillock, and survey the throng, And scan the pale procession, as it winds along.

C. "Come, now, and hearken to the Dardan's fame, What noble grandsons shall Italia grace, Proud spirits, heirs of our illustrious name, And learn the fates and future of thy race. See yon fair youth, now leaning—mark his face— Upon a pointless spear, by lot decreed To stand the nearest to the light in place, He first shall rise, of mixt Italian breed, Silvius, an Alban name, the youngest of thy seed.

CI. "Him, latest offspring of thy days' decline, Thy spouse Lavinia in the woods shall rear, The kingly parent of a kingly line, The lords of Alba Longa. Procas, dear To Trojans, Capys, Numitor are here, And he, whose surname shall revive thine own. Silvius AEneas, like his great compeer Alike for piety and arms well known, If e'er, by Fate's decree, he mount the Alban throne.

CII. "What youths! what strength! what promise of renown! Behold the wreaths of civic oak they wear. First founders these of many a glorious town, Nomentum, Gabii and Fidenae fair; They on the mountain pinnacles shall rear Collatia's fortress, and Pometii found, The camp of Inuus, which foemen fear, Bola and Cora, names to be renowned, Albeit inglorious now, for nameless is the ground.

CIII. "See Romulus, beside his grandsire's shade, Offspring of Mars and Ilia, and the line Of old Assaracus. See there displayed, The double crest upon his helm, the sign, Stamped by his sire, to mark his birth divine. Henceforth, beneath his auspices, shall rise That Rome, whose glories through the world shall shine; Far as wide earth's remotest boundary lies, Her empire shall extend her genius to the skies.

CIV. "Seven hills her single rampart shall embrace, Seven citadels her girdling wall contain, Thrice blest, beyond all cities, in a race Of heroes, destined to adorn her reign. So, with a hundred grandsons in her train, Thrice blest, the Mother of the Gods, whose shrine Is Berecynthus, rides the Phrygian plain, Tower-crowned, the queen of an immortal line, All habitants of heaven, and all of seed divine.

CV. "See now thy Romans; thither bend thine eyes, And Caesar and Iulus' race behold, Waiting their destined advent to the skies. This, this is he—long promised, oft foretold— Augustus Caesar. He the Age of Gold, God-born himself, in Latium shall restore, And rule the land, that Saturn ruled of old, And spread afar his empire and his power To Garamantian tribes, and India's distant shore.

CVI. "Beyond the planets his dominions lie, Beyond the solar circuit of the year, Where Atlas bears the starry-spangled sky. E'en now the realms of Caspia shuddering hear His coming, made by oracles too clear. E'en now Maeotia trembles at his tread, And Nile's seven mouths are troubled, as in fear She shrinks reluctant to the deep, such dread Hath seized the wondering world, so far his fame hath spread.

CVII. "So much of earth not Hercules of yore O'erpassed, though he the brass-hoofed hind laid low, And forth from Erymanthus drove the boar, And startled Lerna's forest with his bow; Nor he, the Wine-God, who in conquering show, With vine-wreathed reins, and tigers to his car, Rides down from Nysa to the plains below. And doubt we then to celebrate so far Our prowess, and shall fear Ausonian fields debar?

CVIII. "But see, who, crowned with olive wreath, doth bring The sacred vessels? By his long, grey hair And grizzled beard I know the Roman King, Whom Fate from lowly Cures calls to bear The mighty burden of an empire's care, In peace the fabric of our laws to frame. Now, Tullus comes, new triumphs to prepare, And wake the folk to arm from idlesse fame, And Ancus courts e'en now the popular acclaim.

CIX. "Would'st thou behold the Tarquins? Yonder stands Great Brutus, the Avenger, proud to tear The people's fasces from the tyrant's hands. First Consul, he the dreaded axe shall bear, The patriot-father, who for freedom fair Shall call his own rebellious sons to bleed. O noble soul, but hapless! Howso'er Succeeding ages shall record the deed. 'Tis country's love prevails, and glory's quenchless greed.

CX. "Lo, there the Drusi and the Decii stand, And stern Torquatus with his axe, and lo! Camilius brings in triumph to his land The Roman standards, rescued from the foe. See, too, yon pair, well-matched in equal show Of radiant arms, and, while obscured in night, Firm knit in friendly fellowship; but oh! How dire the feud, what hosts shall arm for fight, What streams of carnage flow, if e'er they reach the light!

CXI. "Here from Monoecus and the Alps descends The father; there, with Easterns in array, The daughter's husband. O my sons! be friends; Cease from the strife; forbear the unnatural fray, Nor turn Rome's prowess to her own decay; And thou, the foremost of our blood, be first To fling the arms of civic strife away, And cease for lawless victories to thirst, Thou of Olympian birth, and sheath the sword, accurst.

CXII. "See who from Corinth doth his march pursue, Decked with the spoils of many a Grecian foe. His car shall climb the Capitol. See, too, The man who lofty Argos shall o'erthrow, And lay the walls of Agamemnon low, And great AEacides himself destroy, Sprung from Achilles, to requite the woe Wrought on old Ilion, and avenge with joy Minerva's outraged fane, and slaughtered sires of Troy.

CXIII. "Shalt thou, great Cato, unextolled remain? Cossus? the Gracchi? or the Scipios, ye Twin thunderbolts of battle, and the bane Of Libya? Who would fail to tell of thee, Fabricius, potent in thy poverty? Or thee, Serranus, scattering the seed? O spare my breath, ye Fabii; thou art he Called Maximus, their Greatest thou indeed, Sole saviour, whose delay averts the hour of need.

CXIV. "Others, no doubt, from breathing bronze shall draw More softness, and a living face devise From marble, plead their causes at the law More deftly, trace the motions of the skies With learned rod, and tell the stars that rise. Thou, Roman, rule, and o'er the world proclaim The ways of peace. Be these thy victories, To spare the vanquished and the proud to tame. These are imperial arts, and worthy of thy name."

CXV. He paused; and while they pondered in amaze, "Behold," he cried "Marcellus, see him stride, Proud of the spoils that tell a nation's praise. See how he towers, with all a conqueror's pride. His arm shall stem the tumult and the tide Of foreign hordes, and save the land from stain. 'Tis he shall crush the rebel Gaul, and ride Through Punic ranks, and in Quirinus' fane Hang up the thrice-won spoils, in triumph for the slain."

CXVI. Then thus AEneas spoke, for, passing by, He saw a comely youth, in bright array Of glittering arms; yet downcast was his eye, Joyless and damp his face; "O father, say, Who companies the hero on his way? His son? or scion of his stock renowned? What peerless excellence his looks display! What stir, what whispers in the crowd around! But gloomy Night's sad shades his youthful brows surround."

CXVII. Weeping, the Sire: "Seek not, my son, to weigh Thy children's mighty sorrow. Him shall Fate Just show to earth, but suffer not to stay. Too potent Heaven had deemed the Roman state, Were gifts like this as permanent as great. Ah! what laments, what groanings of the brave Shall fill the field of Mars! What funeral state Shall Tiber see, as past the recent grave Slowly and sad he winds his melancholy wave!

CXVIII. "No Trojan youth of such illustrious worth Shall raise the hopes of Latin sires so high. Ne'er shall the land of Romulus henceforth Look on a fosterling with prouder eye. O filial love! O faith of days gone by! O hand unconquered! None had hoped to bide Unscathed his onset, nor his arm defy, When, foot to foot, the murderous sword he plied, Or dug with iron heel his foaming charger's side.

CXIX. "Ah! child of tears! can'st thou again be free And burst Fate's cruel bondage, Rome shall know Her own Marcellus, reappeared in thee. Go, fill your hands with lilies; let me strow The purple blossoms where he lies below. These gifts, at least, in sorrow will I lay, To grace my kinsman's spirit, thus—but oh! Alas, how vainly!—to the thankless clay These unavailing dues, these empty offerings pay."

CXX. Twain are the gates of Sleep; one framed, 'tis said, Of horn, which easy exit doth invite For real shades to issue from the dead. One with the gleam of polished ivory bright, Whence only lying visions leave the night. Through this Anchises, talking by the way, Sends forth the son and Sibyl to the light. Back hastes AEneas to his friends, and they Straight to Caieta steer, and anchor in her bay.



Passing Caieta and Circeii, AEneas sails up the Tiber (1-45). Virgil pauses to enumerate the old rulers of Latium and to describe the state of the country at the coming of AEneas. Latinus is King. Oracles have foretold that by marriage with an alien his only daughter is to become the mother of an imperial line. Fresh signs and wonders enforce the prophecy (46-126). The Trojans eat their tables (127-171). An embassage is sent to the Latin capital, and after conference Latinus offers peace to the Trojans and to AEneas his daughter's hand (172-342). Juno, the evil genius of Troy, again intervenes and summons to her aid the demon Alecto (341-410), who excites first Amata then Turnus against the proposed peace, and finally (411-576) provokes a pitched battle between Trojans and Latins (577-648). Alecto is scornfully dismissed by Juno, who causes war to be formally declared (649-747). The war-fever in Italy. Catalogue of the leaders and nations that gather to destroy AEneas, chief among them being Turnus and Camilla (748-981).

I. Thou too, Caieta, dying, to our shore, AEneas' nurse, hast given a deathless fame, E'en now thine honour guards it, as of yore, Still doth thy tomb in great Hesperia frame Glory—if that be glory—for thy name. Here good AEneas paid his dues aright, And raised a mound, and now, as evening came, Sails forth; the faint winds whisper to the night; Clear shines the Moon, and tips the trembling waves with light.

II. They skirt the coast, where Circe, maiden bright, The Sun's rich daughter, wakes with melodies The groves that none may enter. There each night, As nimbly through the slender warp she plies The whistling shuttle, through her chambers rise The flames of odorous cedar. Thence the roar Of lions, raging at their chains, the cries Of bears close-caged, and many a bristly boar, The yells of monstrous wolves at midnight fill the shore.

III. All these with potent herbs the cruel queen Had stripped of man's similitude, to wear A brutal figure, and a bestial mien. But kindly Neptune, with protecting care, And loth to see the pious Trojans bear A doom so vile, such prodigies as these, Lest, borne perchance into the bay, they near The baneful shore, fills out with favouring breeze The sails, and speeds their flight across the boiling seas.

IV. Now blushed the deep beneath the dawning ray, And in her rosy chariot borne on high, Aurora, bright with saffron, brought the day. Down drop the winds, the Zephyrs cease to sigh, And not a breath is stirring in the sky, And not a ripple on the marble seas, As heavily the toiling oars they ply. When near him from the deep AEneas sees A mighty grove outspread, a forest thick with trees.

V. And in the midst of that delightful grove Fair-flowing Tiber, eddying swift and strong, Breaks to the main. Around them and above, Gay-plumaged fowl, that to the stream belong, And love the channel and the banks to throng, Now skim the flood, now fly from bough to bough, And charm the air with their melodious song. Shoreward AEneas bids them turn the prow, And up the shady stream with joyous hearts they row.

VI. Say, Erato, how Latium fared of yore, What deeds were wrought, what rulers lived and died, When strangers landed on Ausonia's shore, And trace the rising of the war's dark tide. Fierce feuds I sing—O Goddess, be my guide,— Tyrrhenian hosts, the battle's armed array, Proud kings who fought and perished in their pride, And all Hesperia gathered to the fray, A larger theme unfolds, and loftier is the lay.

VII. Long had Latinus ruled the peaceful state. A nymph, Marica, of Laurentian breed, Bore him to Faunus, who, as tales relate, Derived through Picus his Saturnian seed. No son was left Latinus to succeed, His boy had died ere manhood; one alone Remained, a daughter, so the Fates decreed, To mind his palace and to heir his throne Ripe now for marriage rites, to nuptial age full-grown.

VIII. Full many a prince from Latium far and wide, And all Ausonia had essayed in vain To win the fair Lavinia for his bride. Her suitor now, the comeliest of the train, Was Turnus, sprung from an illustrious strain. Fair seemed his suit, for kindly was the maid, And dearly the queen loved him, and was fain His hopes to further, but the Fates gainsayed, And boding signs from Heaven the purposed match delayed.

IX. Deep in the inmost palace, long rever'd, There stood an ancient laurel. 'Twas the same That sire Latinus, when the walls he reared, Found there, and vowed to Phoebus, and the name "Laurentines" thence his settlers taught to claim. Here suddenly—behold a wondrous thing!— Borne with loud buzzing through the air, down came A swarm of bees. Around the top they cling, And from a leafy branch in linked clusters swing.

X. "Behold, from yon same quarter," cried a seer, "A stranger! see their swarming hosts conspire To lord it o'er Laurentum; see them near." He spake, but lo! while, standing by her sire, The chaste Lavinia feeds the sacred fire, The flames, O horror! on her locks lay hold: Her beauteous head-dress and her rich attire, Her hair, her coronal of gems and gold Blaze, and the crackling flames her regal robe enfold.

XI. Wrapt, so it seemed, in clouds of smoke, but bright With yellow flames, through all the house she fled, Scattering a shower of sparkles. Sore affright And wonder seized them, as the seer with dread Explained the vision; 'twas a sign, he said, That bright and glorious in the rolls of Fate Her fame should flourish and her name be spread, But dark should lour the fortunes of the state, Whelmed in a mighty war and sunk in evil strait.

XII. Forth hastes Latinus, by these sights distressed, To Faunus' oracle, his sire renowned, And seeks the grove, beneath Albunea's crest, And sacred spring, which, echoing from the ground, Leaps up and flings its sulphurous fumes around. Here, craving counsel when in doubtful plight, Italians and OEnotria's tribes are found. Here, when the priest, his offerings paid aright, On skins of slaughtered beasts, in stillness of the night,

XIII. Lies down to sleep, in visions he beholds Weird shapes, and many a wondrous voice doth hear, And, borne in spirit to Avernus, holds Deep converse there with Acheron. 'Twas here Latinus sought for answer from the seer. A hundred ewes, obedient to the rite, He slew, then rested, with expectant ear, Stretched on their fleeces, when, at noon of night, Straight from the grove's deep gloom forth pealed a voice of might:

XIV. "Seek not, my son, a Latin lord. Beware The purposed bridal. Lo! a foreign guest Is coming, born to raise thee as thine heir, And sons of sons shall see their power confessed From sea to sea, from farthest East to West." These words, in stillness of the night's noon-tide, Latinus hears, nor locks them in his breast. Ausonia's towns have heard them far and wide, Or ere by Tiber's banks the Dardan fleet doth ride.

XV. Stretched on the grass beneath a tall tree lie Troy's chief and captains and Iulus fair, And wheaten platters for their meal supply ('Twas Jove's command), the wilding fruits to bear. When lack of food has forced them now to tear The tiny cakes, and tooth and hand with zest The fateful circles desecrate, nor spare The sacred squares upon the rounds impressed, "What! eating boards as well?" Iulus cries in jest.

XVI. 'Twas all; the sally, as we heard it, sealed Our toils. AEneas caught it, as it flew, And hushed them, marvelling at the sign revealed. "Hail! land," he cries, "long destined for our due. Hail, household deities, to Troy still true! Here lies our home. Thus, thus, I mind the hour, Anchises brought Fate's hidden things to view: 'My son, when famine on an unknown shore Shall make thee, failing food, the very boards devour,

XVII. "'Then, worn and wearied, look to find a home, And build thy walls, and bank them with a mound.' This was that famine; this the last to come Of all our woes, the woful term to bound. Come then, at daybreak search the land around (Each from the harbour separate let us fare) And see what folk, and where their town, be found, Now pour to Jove libations, and with prayer Invoke Anchises' shade, and back the wine-cups bear."

XVIII. So saying, his brows he garlands, and with prayer Invokes the Genius whom the place doth own, And Earth, first Goddess, and the Nymphs who there Inhabit, and the rivers yet unknown, Night and the stars that glitter in her zone He calls to aid him, and Idaean Jove, And Phrygia's Mother on her heavenly throne, And last, his parent deities to move, Invokes his sire below and mother queen above.

XIX. Thrice Jove omnipotent from Heaven's blue height Thunders aloud, and flashes in the skies A cloud ablaze with rays of golden light. 'Tis come—so Rumour through the Trojans flies— The day to bid their promised walls arise. Cheered by the mighty omen and the sign, They spread the feast, and each with other vies To range the goblets and to wreath the wine, And gladdening hearts rejoice to greet the day divine.

XX. Soon as the morrow bathed the world once more In dawning light, by separate ways they fare To search the town, the frontiers and the shore. Here is Numicius' fountain, Tiber there, Here dwell the Latins. Then Anchises' heir Choice spokesmen to the monarch's city sends, Five score, their peaceful errand to declare, And royal presents to their charge commends, And bids them claim of right the welcome due to friends.

XXI. At once the heralds hearken and obey, And each and all, with rapid steps, and crowned With Pallas' olive, hasten on their way. Himself with shallow trench marks out the ground, And, camp-like, girds with bastions and a mound The new-formed settlement. Meanwhile the train Of delegates their journey's end have found, And greet with joy, uprising o'er the plain, The Latin towers and homes, and now the walls attain.

XXII. Before the city, boys and youths contend On horseback. Through the whirling dust they steer Their chariots and the practised steeds, or bend The tight-strung bow, or aim the limber spear, Or urge fist-combat or the foot's career. Now to their king a message quick has flown; Tall men and strange, in foreign garb are here. Latinus summons them within: anon, Amidmost of his court he mounts the ancestral throne.

XXIII. Raised on a hundred columns, vast and tall, Above the city reared its reverend head A stately fabric, once the palace-hall Of Picus. Dark woods shrouded, and the dread Of ages filled, the precinct. Here, 'tis said, Kings took the sceptre and the axe of fate, Their senate house this temple; here were spread The tables for the sacred feast, where sate, What time the ram was slain, the elders of the State.

XXIV. In ancient cedar o'er the doors appear The sculptured effigies of sires divine. Grey Saturn, Italus, Sabinus here, Curved hook in hand, the planter of the vine. There two-faced Janus, and, in ordered line, Old kings and patriot chieftains. Captive cars Hang round, and arms upon the doorposts shine, Curved axes, crests of helmets, towngates' bars, Spears, shields and beaks of ships, the trophies of their wars.

XXV. There Picus sat, with his Quirinal wand, Tamer of steeds. The augur's gown he wore, Short, striped and belted; and his lifted hand The sacred buckler on the left upbore. Him Circe, his enamoured bride, of yore, Wild with desire, so ancient legends say, Smote with her golden rod, and sprinkling o'er His limbs her magic poisons, made a jay, And sent to roam the air, with dappled plumage gay.

XXVI. Such is the temple, in whose sacred dome Latinus waits the Teucrians on his throne, And kindly thus accosts them as they come: 'Speak, Dardans,—for the Dardan name ye own; Nor strange your race and city, nor unknown Sail ye the plains of Ocean—tell me now, What seek ye? By the tempest tost, or blown At random, needful of what help and how Came ye to Latin shores the dark-blue deep to plough?

XXVII. "But, whether wandering from your course, or cast By storms—such ills as oft-times on the main O'ertake poor mariners—your ships at last Our stream have entered, and the port attain. Shun not a welcome, nor our cheer disdain. For dear to Saturn, whom our sires adored, Was Latium. Manners, not the laws, constrain To justice. Freely, of our own accord, We mind the golden age, and virtues of our lord.

XXVIII. "Now, I remember, old Auruncans told (Age dims, but memory can the tale retrace) How, born in Latium, Dardanus of old Went forth to northern Samos, styled of Thrace, And reached the towns at Phrygian Ida's base. From Tuscan Corythus in days gone by He went, and now among the stars hath place, Throned in the golden palace of the sky. On earth his altar marks one godhead more on high."

XXIX. He spake: Ilioneus this answer gave: "O King, blest seed of Faunus! Star nor strand Misled us, nor hath stress of storm or wave Forced us to seek the shelter of your land. Freewill hath brought us hither, forethought planned Our flight; for we are outcasts, every one, The toil-worn remnant of an exiled band, Driven from a mighty empire; mightier none In bygone years was known beneath the wandering sun.

XXX. "From Jove we spring; Jove Dardans hail with joy Their parent; he who sends us is our lord AEneas, Jove-born and a prince of Troy. How fierce a tempest from Mycenae poured O'er Ida's fields; how Fate with fire and sword Made Europe clash with Asia, he hath known Whoe'er to Ocean's limits hath explored The utmost earth, or in the central zone Dwells, if a man there be, in torrid climes unknown.

XXXI. "Swept by that deluge o'er the deep, we crave A home for home-gods, shelter on the strand, And man's free privilege of air and wave. We shall not shame the lustre of your land, Nor stint the gratitude kind deeds demand. Grant Troy a refuge, and Ausonians ne'er Shall rue the welcome proffered by your hand. Yea, scorn us not, that thus unsought we bear The lowly suppliant's wreath, and speak the words of prayer.

XXXII. "Full many a people,—let the fates attest Of great AEneas, and his hand of might, Ne'er pledged in vain, our bravest and our best— Full many a tribe, though lowly be our plight, Have sought with ours their fortunes to unite. Fate bade us seek your country and her King. Hither, where Dardanus first saw the light, Apollo back the Dardan race would bring, To Tuscan Tiber's banks and pure Numicius' spring.

XXXIII. "These gifts AEneas to our charge commends, Poor relics saved from Ilion, but a sign Of ancient greatness, and the gifts of friends. See, from this golden goblet at the shrine His sire Anchises poured the sacred wine; Clad in these robes sat Priam, when of old The laws he ministered. These robes are thine, This sceptre, this embroidered vest,—behold, 'Twas wrought by Trojan dames,—this diadem of gold."

XXXIV. Mute sat and motionless, with looks bent down, Latinus; but his restless eyes confessed His musings. Not the sceptre nor the gown Of purple moved him, but his pensive breast Dwelt on his daughter's marriage, till he guessed The meaning of old Faunus. This was he, His destined heir, the bridegroom and the guest, Whose glorious progeny, by Fate's decree, The Latin throne should share, and rule from sea to sea.

XXXV. "Heaven prosper," joyfully he cried, "our deed, And heaven's own augury. Your wish shall stand; I take the gifts. Yours, Trojans, all ye need— The wealth of Troy, the fatness of the land,— Nought shall ye lack from King Latinus' hand. Let but AEneas, if he longs so fain To claim our friendship, and a home demand, Come here, nor fear to greet us. Not in vain 'Twixt monarchs stands the peace, which plighted hands ordain.

XXXVI. "Let now this message to your King be given. 'A child, the daughter of my heart, is mine, Whom neither frequent prodigies from heaven, Nor voices uttered from my father's shrine, Permit with one of Latin birth to join. Strange sons—so Latin oracles conspire— Shall come, whose offspring shall exalt our line. Thy King the bridegroom whom the Fates require I deem, and, if in aught I read the truth, desire.'"

XXXVII. So speaks Latinus, and with kindly care Choice steeds selects. Three hundred of the best Stand in his lofty stables, sleek and fair; And forth in order for each Teucrian guest His servants led them, at their King's behest. Rich housings, wrought in many a purple fold, And broidered rugs adorn them; o'er each breast Hang golden poitrels, glorious to behold. Each champs with foaming mouth a chain of glittering gold.

XXXVIII. A car he orders for the Dardan sire, And twin-yoked coursers of ethereal seed, Whose snorting nostrils breathe the flames of fire. Half-mortal, half-immortal was each steed, The bastard birth of that celestial breed, Which cunning Circe from a mortal mare Raised to her sire the Sun-god. So with speed The mounted Trojans to their prince repair, Pleased with the gifts and words, for peaceful news they bear.

XXXIX. Lo! from Inachian Argos through the skies Jove's consort her avenging flight pursues, And far off, from Pachynus, as she flies O'er Sicily, beholds the Dardan crews And great AEneas, gladdening at the news. The rising settlement, the new-tilled shore, The ships deserted for the land she views, And shaking her imperial brows, and sore With anguish, from her breast these wrathful words doth pour:

XL. "Ah, hateful race! Ah, Phrygian fates abhorred! What, fell they not on the Sigean plain? Must captives be twice captured? Have the sword And flames of Troy avenged me but in vain? Have foes and fire found passage for the slain? Sooth, then, my godhead sleepeth, and that hand Is tired of hate, which whilom o'er the main Dared chase these outcasts and their paths withstand, Where'er the deep sea rolled, far from their native land!

XLI. "Have sea and sky been wielded to destroy, Nor Syrtes yet, nor Scylla's fierce embrace, Nor vast Charybdis whelmed the sons of Troy, Who, safe in Tiber, flout me to the face? Yet Mars from earth, and for a less disgrace Could sweep the Lapithae, and Heaven's great Sire Doomed ancient Calydon and OEneus' race To rue the vengeance of Diana's ire. Did ever crime of theirs the Dardans' meed require?

XLII. "But I, Jove's consort, who have stooped to seek All shifts, all ventures and devices, I Am vanquished by AEneas! If too weak Myself, some other godhead will I try, And Hell shall hear, if Heaven its aid deny. Grant that these Dardans must in Latium reign, That fixt and changeless stands the doom, whereby His bride shall be Lavinia, that in vain Can Juno thwart whate'er the Destinies ordain;

XLIII. "Yet time delayed can make occasion lost, Yet mutual strife each nation may devour, And Kings plight marriage at their peoples' cost. Troy's blood and Latium's, maiden, be thy dower. Bellona lights thee to thy bridal bower. Not only Hecuba—Ah, sweet the joy!— Conceives a firebrand. Born in evil hour, The child of Venus shall her hopes destroy, And, like another Paris, fire a new-born Troy."

XLIV. She spake, and earthward darting, fierce and fell, Calls sad Alecto from her dark retreat Among the Furies in the shades of Hell. Sweet are war's sorrows to her soul, and sweet Are evil deeds, and hatred and deceit. E'en Pluto, e'en her sister-fiends detest The monstrous shape, so many forms complete The grisly horrors of that hateful pest, So many a coal-black snake sprouts from her threatening crest.

XLV. Her Juno finds, and thus new rage inspires: "Grant, virgin daughter of eternal Night, This boon, the labour that thy soul desires. Lest here my fame and honour lose their might, And Troy gain Italy, and craft unite Troy's prince with Latium's heiress. Thou can'st turn Fond hearts to feuds, and brethren arm for fight. Thou know'st, for savage is thy mood and stern, To breed domestic strife and happy homes to burn.

XLVI. "A thousand names, a thousand means hast thou Of mischief. Search thy fertile breast, and break The plighted peace. Breed calumnies, and sow The strife. Let youth desire, demand and take Thy weapons."—Wreathed with many a Gorgon snake, To Latium's court Alecto flew unseen, And by Amata's chamber sate, nor spake; While, musing on her new-come guests, the queen, Wroth for her Turnus, boiled with woman's rage and spleen.

XLVII. At her the goddess from her dark locks threw A snake, and lodged the monster in her breast, To make her fury all the house undo. In glides, impalpable, the maddening pest Between the dainty bosom and the vest, Breathing its venom. Like a necklace thin It hung, all golden, like a wreath, caressed Her temples, like a ribbon, wove within Her hair its slippery coils, and wandered o'er her skin.

XLVIII. So, while the taint, first stealing through her frame, Slipped in, with slimy venom, and the pest Thrilled every sense, and wrapped her bones in flame, Nor yet her soul had caught it, or confessed The fiery fever that consumed her breast; Soft, like a mother, and with tears, she cried, Grieved for her child, and pondering with unrest The Phrygian match, "Ah, woe the day betide, If Teucrian exiles win Lavinia for a bride!

XLIX. "Hast thou no pity for thy child, nor thee, O father! nor her mother, left forlorn, When, with the rising North-wind, o'er the sea Yon faithless pirate hath the maiden borne? Not so, forsooth, did Lacedaemon mourn Robbed Helen, when the Phrygian shepherd planned Her capture. Is thy sacred faith forsworn? Where is thy old affection? Where that hand So oft to Turnus pledged, thy kinsman of the land?

L. "If Latins for Lavinia needs must find A foreign mate; if so the Fates constrain, And Faunus' words weigh heavy on thy mind, All lands, that yield not to the Latin reign, I count as foreign; so the Gods speak plain; And foreign then is Turnus, if we trace The first beginning of his princely strain. Greeks were his grandsires; Argos was the place Where old Acrisius ruled, where dwelt th' Inachian race."

LI. So pleading, and so weeping, she essayed To move the king; but when her prayers were vain, Nor tears Latinus from his purpose stayed, And now the viper with its deadly bane Crept to her inmost parts, and through each vein The maddening poison to her heartstrings stole, Then, scared by monstrous phantoms of the brain, Poor queen! she raved, and maddening past control, Ran through the crowded streets in impotence of soul.

LII. Like as a whip-top by the lash is sent In widening orbs to spin, when lads among The empty courtyards urge their merriment; And, scourged in circling courses by the thong It wheels and eddies, while the beardless throng Bend over, lost in ignorant surprise, And marvel, as the boxwood whirls along, Stirred by each stroke; so fast Amata flies From street to street, while crowds look on with lowering eyes.

LIII. Nay, simulating Bacchus, now she dares To feign new orgies, and her crime complete. Swift with her daughter to the woods she fares, And hides her on the mountains, fain to cheat The Trojans, and the purposed rites defeat. "Hail, thou alone art worthy of the fair! Evoe, Bacchus! for thy name is sweet. For thee she grows her dedicated hair, For thee she leads the dance, the ivied wand doth bear."

LIV. The matrons then—so fast the rumour flew,— Fired like the Queen, and frenzied with despair, Rush forth, and leave their ancient homes for new, And to the breezes give their necks and hair. These with their tremulous wailings fill the air, And, girt about with fawn-skins, bear along The vine-branch javelins, and Amata there, Herself ablaze with fury, o'er the throng A blazing pine-torch waves, and chants the nuptial song

LV. Of Turnus and Lavinia. Fiercely roll Her blood-shot eyes, and, frowning, suddenly She pours the frantic passions of her soul. "Ho! Latin mothers all, where'er ye be, Here, if ye love me, if a mother's plea Deserve your pity, let your hair be seen Loosed from the fillets, and be mad, like me." So through the woods, the wild-beasts' lairs between, With Bacchanalian goads Alecto drives the Queen.

LVI. When now thus fairly was the work begun, The barbs of anger planted, pleased to view Latinus' purpose and his house undone, On dusky wings the Goddess soared, and through The liquid air to neighbouring Ardea flew, The bold Rutulian's city, built of yore By Danae, thither when the South-wind blew Her and her followers. Ardea's name it bore, And Ardea's name still lives, though fortune smiles no more.

LVII. There in his palace, locked in sleep's embrace, Lay Turnus. Straight Alecto, versed in snares, Doffs the fiend's figure and her frowning face. The likeness of a withered crone she wears, With wrinkled forehead and with hoary hairs. Her fillet and her olive crown proclaim The priestess. Changed in semblance, she appears Like Calybe, great Juno's sacred dame; Thus to the youth she comes, and hails him by his name.

LVIII. "Fie! Turnus, fie! wilt thou behold unstirred Such labours wasted, and thy hopes belied? Thy sceptre to a Dardan guest transferred? See, now, to thee Latinus hath denied Thy blood-bought dowry, and thy promised bride, And seeks a stranger for his throne. Away To thankless perils, while thy friends deride! Go, strew the Tuscans, scatter their array, Till Latins, saved once more, their plighted word betray.

LIX. "This mandate great Saturnia bade me bear, Thou sleeping. Up, then! greet the welcome hour; Arm, arm the youth, and from the towngates fare! These Phrygian vessels with the flames devour, Moored yonder in fair Tiber. 'Tis the power Of Heaven that bids thee. Let Latinus, too, If false and faithless he withhold the dower, And grudge thy marriage, learn the deed to rue, And taste at length and try what Turnus armed can do."

LX. Then he in scorn: "Yea, Tiber's waves beset With foreign ships—I know it; wherefore feign For me such terrors? Juno guards me yet. Good mother, dotage wears thee, and thy brain Is rusty; age hath troubled thee in vain, And, 'midst the feuds of monarchs, mocks with fright A priestess. Go; 'tis thine to guard the fane And sacred statues; these be thy delight; Leave peace and war to men, whose business is to fight."

LXI. Therewith in fire Alecto's wrath outbroke, A sudden tremor through his limbs ran fast, His stony eyeballs stiffened as he spoke. So hissed the Fury with her snakes, so vast Her shape appeared, so fierce the look she cast, As back she thrust him with her flaming eyes, Fain to say more, but faltering and aghast. Two serpents from her Gorgon locks uprise; Shrill sounds her scorpion lash, as, foaming, thus she cries:

LXII. "Behold me, worn with dotage! me, whom age Hath rusted, and, while monarchs fight, would scare With empty fears! Behold me in my rage! I come, the Furies' minister; see there, War, death and havoc in these hands I bear." Full at his breast a firebrand, as she spoke, Black with thick smoke, but bright with lurid glare, The Fiend outflung. In terror he awoke, And o'er his bones and limbs a clammy sweat outbroke.

LXIII. "Arms, arms!" he yells, and searches for his sword In couch and chamber, maddening at the core With war's fierce passion, and the lust abhorred Of slaughter, and with bitter wrath yet more. As when a wood-fire crackles with fierce roar, Heaped round a caldron, and the simmering stream Foams, fumes, and bubbles, and at last boils o'er, And upward shoots the mingled smoke and steam; So Turnus boils with wrath, so dire his rage doth seem.

LXIV. Choice youths he sends, to let Latinus know The peace was torn, then musters his array To guard Italia and expel the foe. Let Trojans league with Latins as they may, Himself can match them, and he comes to slay. So saying, his vows he renders. Ardour fires The fierce Rutulians, and each hails the fray; And one his youth, and one his grace admires, And one his valorous deeds, and one his kingly sires.

LXV. So Turnus the Rutulians stirred to war. Meanwhile the Fury to the Trojans bent Her flight; with wily eye she marked afar, With snares and steeds upon the chase intent, Iulus. On his hounds at once she sent A sudden madness, and fierce rage awoke To chase the stag, as with the well-known scent She lured their nostrils.—Thus the feud outbroke; So small a cause of strife could rustic hearts provoke.

LXVI. Broad-antlered, beauteous was the stag, which erst The sons of Tyrrheus (Tyrrheus kept whilere The royal herd and pastures), fostering nursed, Snatched from the dam. Their sister, Silvia fair, Oft wreathed his horns, and oft with tender care She washed him, and his shaggy coat would comb. So tamed, and trained his master's board to share, The gentle favourite in the woods would roam; Each night, how late soe'er, he sought the well-known home.

LXVII. Him the fierce hounds now startle far astray, As down the stream he floats, or, crouching low, Rests on the green bank from the noontide ray. Athirst for praise, Ascanius bends his bow; Loud whirs the arrow, for Fate aims the blow, And cleaves his flank and belly. Homeward flies The wounded creature, moaning in his woe. Blood-stained, with piteous and imploring eyes, Like one who sues for life, he fills the house with cries.

LXVIII. Smiting the breast, poor Silvia calls for aid. Forth rush the churls, scarce waiting her demand, Roused by the Fury in the wood's still shade. One grasps a club, another wields a brand; Rage makes a weapon of what comes to hand. Forth from his work ran Tyrrheus, who an oak Was cleaving with the wedge, and cheered the band. His hand still grasped the hatchet for the stroke, And bitter wrath he breathed, and fierce the words he spoke.

LXIX. The Fury snatched the moment; forth she flew, And, perching on the cabin-roof, looked round, And from the curved horn of the shepherds blew A blast of Tartarus, that shook the ground, And made the forests and the groves rebound The infernal echoes. Trivia's lakes afar, And Velia's fountains heard the dreadful sound; The white waves heard it of the sulphurous Nar, And mothers clasped their babes, and trembled at the war.

LXX. Swift at the summons, as the trumpet brayed, The sturdy shepherds arm them for the fray. Swift pour the Trojans from their camp, to aid Ascanius. Lo! 'tis battle's stern array, No village brawl, where churls dispute the day With charred oak-staves and cudgels. Broadswords clash With broadswords, and War's harvest far away Stands, bristling black with iron, as they dash Together, and drawn swords in doubtful conflict flash.

LXXI. And brazen arms shoot many a blinding ray, Smit by the sun, as clouds that fill the sky, Disparting, show the splendours of the fray. As when a light wind o'er the sea doth fly, And the wave whitens as the breeze goes by, And by degrees the bosom of the deep Heaves up and swells, till higher and more high The billows rise, and, gathering in a heap, From Ocean's caves mount up, and storm the ethereal steep.

LXXII. First falls the son of Tyrrheus, stretched in death, Young Almo. In his throat the deadly bane Stuck fast, and choked the humid pass of breath, And clipped the thin-spun life. There, too, is slain Grey-haired Galaesus, parleying but in vain. More righteous none, though many around lie killed, None wealthier did Ausonia's realm contain. Five herds, five bleating flocks, his pastures filled, And with a hundred ploughs his fruitful lands he tilled.

LXXIII. Thus while the conflict wavered on the plain, The Fury, pleased her triumph to survey, Her pledge fulfilled,—War crimsoned with the stain Of gore, and grim Death busy with his prey,— Swift from Hesperia wings her airy way, And proudly speaks to Juno: "See, 'tis done; The discord perfect in the dolorous fray, And War with all its miseries begun. Now bid, forsooth, the foes plight friendship and be one.

LXXIV. "Steeped are thy Trojans in Ausonian gore. Yet speak, and more will I perform, if so Thy purpose holds. Along the neighbouring shore Each town shall hear the rumour of the foe, Each breast with frenzy for the strife shall glow, Till all bring aid, and fruitful is the land In deeds of blood."—Then Juno: "Nay, not so; Enough of fraud and terror. Firmly stand The causes of the feud; they battle hand to hand,

LXXV. "And fresh blood stains the weapons chance supplied. Such joy the bridal to Latinus bear, And Venus' wondrous offspring, and his bride. But thou—for scarce Olympus' king would bear Thy lawless roving in ethereal air,— Give place; myself will guide the rest aright." Saturnia spoke; Alecto then and there Her wings, that hiss with serpents, spreads for flight, And to Cocytus dives, and leaves the realms of light.

LXXVI. In mid Italia lies a vale renowned, Amsanctus. Dark woods down the mountain grow This side and that; a torrent with the sound Of thunder roars among the rocks below. There, black as night, an awful cave they show, The gorge of Dis. Dread Acheron from beneath Bursts in a whirlpool, with its waves of woe, And jaws that gape with pestilential death. There plunged the hateful Fiend, and earth and air took breath.

LXXVII. Nor less, meanwhile, Saturnia hastes to crown The war's mad tumult. Home the shepherds bore Their dead from out the battle to the town. Young Almo, and Galaesus, fouled with gore. All bid Latinus witness, and implore The gods, and while the blood-cry calls for flame And slaughter, Turnus swells the wild uproar. What! he an outcast? Shall the Trojans claim The realm, and bastards dare the Latin race to shame?

LXXVIII. Then they, whose mothers through the pathless vales And forests, fired with Bacchic frenzy, ply Their orgies—so Amata's name prevails— Come forth, and, gathering from far and nigh, Weary the War-god with their clamorous cry, Till, thwarting Heaven's high purpose, each and all Omens at once and oracles defy, And swarm around Latinus in his hall, War now is all their wish, "to arms" the general call.

LXXIX. Firm stands the monarch as a sea-girt rock, A sea-girt rock against the roaring main, Which, spite of barking billows and the shock Of Ocean, doth its own huge mass sustain. The foaming crags around it chafe in vain, And back it flings the seaweed from its side. Too weak at length their madness to restrain, For things move on as Juno's whims decide, Oft to the gods, and oft to empty air he cried.

LXXX. "Ah me! the tempest hurries us along. Fate grinds us sore. Poor Latins! ye must sate, Your blood must pay, the forfeit for your wrong. Thee, Turnus, thee the avenging fiends await, Thou, too, the gods shalt weary, but too late. My rest is won, and in the port I ride; Happy in all, had not an envious fate Denied a happy ending." Thus he cried, And to his chamber fled, and flung the crown aside.

LXXXI. A custom in Hesperian Latium reigned, Which Alban cities kept with sacred care, And Rome, the world's great mistress, hath retained. Thus still they wake the War-god, whensoe'er For Arabs or Hyrcanians they prepare, Or Getic tribes the tearful woes of war, Or push to Ind their distant arms, or dare To track the footsteps of the Morning star, And claim their standards back from Parthia's hosts afar.

LXXXII. Twain are the Gates of War, to dreadful Mars With awe kept sacred and religious pride. A hundred brazen bolts and iron bars Shut fast the doors, and Janus stands beside. Here, when the senators on war decide, The Consul, decked in his Quirinal pall And Gabine cincture, flings the portals wide, And cries to arms; the warriors, one and all, With blare of brazen horns make answer to the call.

LXXXIII. 'Twas thus that now Latinus they require To dare AEneas' followers to the fray, And ope the portals. But the good old Sire Shrank from the touch, and, shuddering with dismay, Shunned the foul office, and abjured the day. Then, downward darting from the skies afar, Heaven's empress with her right hand wrenched away The lingering bars. The grating hinges jar, As back Saturnia thrusts the iron gates of War.

LXXXIV. Then woke Ausonia from her sleep. Forth swarm Footmen and horsemen, and in wild career Whirl up the dust. "Arm," cry the warriors, "arm!" With unctuous lard their polished shields they smear, And whet the axe, and scour the rusty spear. Their banners wave, their trumpets sound the fight. Five towns their anvils for the war uprear, Crustumium, Tibur, glorying in her might, Ardea, Atina strong, Antemnae's tower-girt height.

LXXXV. Lithe twigs of osier in their shields they weave, And shape the casque, and in the mould prepare The brazen breastplate and the silver greave. Scorned lie the spade, the sickle and the share, Their fathers' falchions to the forge they bear. Now peals the clarion; through the host hath spread The watch-word. Helmets from the walls they tear, And yoke the steeds. In triple gold arrayed, Each grasps the burnished shield, and girds the trusty blade.

LXXXVI. Now open Helicon; awake the strain, Ye Muses. Aid me, that the tale be told, What kings were roused, what armies filled the plain, What battles blazed, what men of valiant mould Graced fair Italia in those days of old. Aid ye, for ye are goddesses, and clear Can ye remember, and the tale unfold. But faint and feeble is the voice we hear, A slender breath of Fame, that falters on the ear.

LXXXVII. First came with armed men from Etruria's coast Mezentius, scorner of the Gods. Next came His son, young Lausus, comeliest of the host, Save Turnus—Lausus, who the steed could tame, And quell wild beasts and track the woodland game. A hundred warriors from Agylla's town He leads—ah vainly! though he died with fame. Proud had he been and worthy to have known A nobler sire's commands, a nobler sire to own.

LXXXVIII. With conquering steeds triumphant o'er the mead, His chariot, crowned with palm-leaves, proudly wheeled The comely Aventinus, glorious seed Of glorious Hercules; the blazoned shield His father's Hydra and her snakes revealed. Him, when of old, the monstrous Geryon slain, The lord of Tiryns, victor of the field, Reached in his wanderings the Laurentian plain, And bathed in Tiber's stream the captured herds of Spain,

LXXXIX. The priestess Rhea, in the secret shade Of wooded Aventine, brought forth to light, A god commingling with a mortal maid. With pikes and poles his followers join the fight, Their swords are sharp, their Sabine spears are bright. Himself afoot, a lion's bristling hide With sharp teeth set in rows of glittering white, Swings o'er his forehead, as with eager stride, Clad in his father's cloak, he seeks the monarch's side.

XC. Twin brothers came from Tibur—such the name Tiburtus gave it—one Catillus hight, And one fierce Coras, each of Argive fame, Each in the van, where deadliest raves the fight. As when two cloud-born Centaurs in their might From some tall mountain with swift strides descend, Steep Homole, or Othrys' snow-capt height; The thickets yield, trees crash, and branches bend, As with resistless force the trampled woods they rend.

XCI. Nor lacked Praeneste's founder, Vulcan's child, Found on the hearthstone—if the tale be true,— Brave Caeculus, the Shepherds' monarch styled. Forth from Praeneste swarmed the rustic crew, From Juno's Gabium to the fight they flew, From ice-cold Anio, swoln with wintry rain, From Hernic rocks, which mountain streams bedew, From fat Anagnia's pastures, from the plain Where Amasenus rolls majestic to the main.

XCII. With diverse arms they hasten to the war; Not all can boast the clashing of the shield, Not all the thunder of the rattling car. These sling their leaden bullets o'er the field, Those in each hand the deadly javelin wield. With caps of fur their rugged brows are dight, The tawny covering from the dark wolf peeled; Bare is the left foot, as they march to fight, And, rough with raw bull's-hide, a sandal guards the right.

XCIII. Next came Messapus, tamer of the steed, Great Neptune's son. Fire nor the steel's sharp stroke Could lay him lifeless, so the Fates decreed. Grasping his sword, a laggard race he woke, Disused to war, and tardy to provoke. Behind him throng Fescennia's ranks to fight, Men from Flavinia, and Faliscum's folk, And those whom fair Capena's groves delight, Ciminius' mount and lake, and steep Soracte's height.

XCIV. With measured tramp, their monarch's praise they sing, Like snowy swans, the liquid clouds among, Which homeward from their feeding ply the wing, When o'er Cayster's marish, loud and long, The echoes float of their melodious song. None, sure, such countless multitudes would deem The mail-clad warriors of an armed throng: Nay, rather, like a dusky cloud they seem Of sea-fowl, landward driven with many a hoarse-voiced scream.

XCV. Lo, Clausus next; a mighty host he led, Himself a host. From Sabine sires he came, And Latium thence the Claudian house o'erspread, When Romans first with Sabines dared to claim Coequal lordship and a share of fame. With Amiternus came Eretum's band; From fair Velinus' dewy fields they came, From olive-crowned Mutusca, from the land Where proud Nomentum's towers the fruitful plains command.

XCVI. From the rough crags of Tetrica came down Her hosts; they came from tall Severus' flank, From Foruli and fam'd Casperia's town, Wash'd by Himella's waves, and those who drank Of Fabaris, or dwelt on Tiber's bank. Those, too, whom Nursia sendeth from the snows, And Horta's sons, in many an ordered rank, And tribes of Latin origin, and those Between whose parted fields th' ill-omened Allia flows.

XCVII. As roll the billows on the Libyan deep, When fierce Orion in the wintry main Sinks, dark with tempests, and the waves upleap; As, parched with suns of summer, stands the grain On Hermus' fields, or Lycia's golden plain; So countless swarm the multitudes around Bold Clausus, and the wide air rings again With echoes, as their clashing shields resound, And with the tramp of feet they shake the trembling ground.

XCVIII. There Agamemnon's kinsman yokes his steeds, Halaesus. Trojans were his foes, his friend Was Turnus. Lo, a thousand tribes he leads; Those who on Massic hills the vineyards tend, Those whom Auruncans from their mountains send. From Sidicinum and her neighbouring plain, From Cales, from Volturnus' shoals they wend. From steep Saticulum the sturdy swain, Fierce for the fray, comes down and joins the Oscan train.

XCIX. Light barbs they fling, from pliant thongs of hide, A leathern target o'er the left is strung, And short, curved daggers the close fight decide. Nor, OEbalus, those gallant hosts among, Shalt thou go nameless, and thy praise unsung, Thou, from old Telon, as the tale hath feigned, And beauteous Sebethis, the wood-nymph, sprung, O'er Teleboan Caprea when he reigned; But Caprea's narrow realm proud OEbalus disdained.

C. Far stretched his rule; Sarrastians owned his sway, And they, whose lands the Sarnian waters drain, And they, who till Celenna's fields, and they Whom Batulum and Rufrae's walls contain, And where through apple-orchards o'er the plain Shines fair Abella. Deftly can they wield Their native arms; the Teuton's lance they strain; Bark helmets guard them, from the cork-tree peeled, And brazen are their swords, and brazen every shield.

CI. From Nersa's hills, by prosperous arms renowned, Comes Ufens, with his AEquians, in array. Rude huntsmen these; in arms the stubborn ground They till, themselves as stubborn. Day by day They snatch fresh plunder, and they live by prey. There, too, brave Umbro, of Marruvian fame, Sent by his king Archippus, joins the fray. Around his helmet, for in arms he came, The auspicious olive's leaves the sacred priest proclaim.

CII. The rank-breath'd Hydra and the viper's rage With hand and voice he lulled asleep; his art Their bite could heal, their fury could assuage. Alas! no medicine can heal the smart Wrought by the griding of the Dardan dart. Nor Massic herbs, nor slumberous charms avail To cure the wound, that rankles in his heart. Ah, hapless! thee Anguitia's bowering vale, Thee Fucinus' clear waves and liquid lakes bewail!

CIII. Next came to war Hippolytus' fair child, The comely Virbius, whom Aricia bore Amid Egeria's grove, where rich and mild Stands Dian's altar on the meadowy shore. For when (Fame tells) Hippolytus of yore Was slain, the victim of a stepdame's spite, And, torn by frightened horses, quenched with gore His father's wrath, famed Paeon's herbs of might And Dian's fostering love restored him to the light.

CIV. Wroth then was Jove, that one of mortal clay Should rise by mortal healing from the grave, And change the nether darkness for the day, And him, whose leechcraft thus availed to save, Hurled with his lightning to the Stygian wave. But kind Diana, in her pitying love, Concealed her darling in a secret cave, And fair Egeria nursed him in her grove, Far from the view of men, and wrath of mighty Jove.

CV. There, changed in name to Virbius, but to fame Unknown, through life in Latin woods he strayed. Thenceforth, in memory of the deed of shame, No horn-hoof'd steeds are suffered to invade Chaste Trivia's temple or her sacred glade, Since, scared by Ocean's monsters, from his car They dashed him by the deep. Yet, undismayed, His son, young Virbius, o'er the plains afar The fleet-horsed chariot drives, and hastens to the war.

CVI. High in the forefront towered with stately frame Turnus himself. His three-plumed helmet bore A dragon fierce, that breathed AEtnean flame. The bloodier waxed the battle, so the more Its fierceness blazed, the louder was its roar. Behold, the heifer on his shield, the sign Of Io's fate; there Argus ever o'er The virgin watches, and the stream doth shine, Poured from the pictured urn of Inachus divine.

CVII. Next come the shielded footmen in a cloud, Auruncan bands, Sicanians famed of yore, Argives, Rutulians, and Sacranians proud. Their painted shields the brave Labicians bore; From Tibur's glades, from blest Numicia's shore, From Circe's mount, from where great Jove presides O'er Anxur, from Feronia's grove they pour, From Satura's dark pool, where Ufens glides Cold through the deepening vales, and mingles with the tides.

CVIII. Last came Camilla, with the Volscian bands, Fierce horsemen, each in glittering arms bedight, A warrior-virgin; ne'er her tender hands Had plied the distaff; war was her delight, Her joy to race the whirlwind and to fight. Swift as the breeze, she skimmed the golden grain, Nor bent the tapering wheatstalks in her flight, So swift, the billows of the heaving main Touched not her flying fleet, she scoured the watery plain.

CIX. Forth from each field and homestead, hurrying, throng, With wonder, men and matrons, young and old, And greet the maiden as she moves along. Entranced with greedy rapture, they behold Her royal scarf, in many a purple fold, Float o'er her shining shoulders, and her hair Bound in a coronal of clasping gold, Her Lycian quiver, and her pastoral spear Of myrtle, tipt with steel, and her, the maid, how fair!



Mustering of Italians, and embassage to Diomedes (1-18). Tiber in a dream heartens AEneas and directs him to Evander for succour. AEneas sacrifices the white sow and her litter to Juno, and reaches Evander's city Pallanteum—the site of Rome (19-117). AEneas and Evander meet and feast together. The story of Cacus and the praises of Hercules are told and sung. Evander shows his city to AEneas (118-432). Venus asks and obtains from Vulcan divine armour for her son (433-531). At daybreak Evander promises AEneas further succour. Their colloquy is interrupted by a sign from heaven (532-630). Despatches are sent to Ascanius and prayers for aid to the Tuscans. AEneas, his men and Evander's son Pallas are sent forth by Evander with prayers for their success (631-720). Venus brings to AEneas the armour wrought by Vulcan (721-738). Virgil describes the shield, on which are depicted, not only the trials and triumphs of Rome's early kings and champions, but the final conflict also at Actium between East and West and the world-wide empire of Augustus (739-846).

I. When Turnus from Laurentum's tower afar Signalled the strife, and bade the war-horns bray, And stirred the mettled steeds, and woke the war, Hearts leaped at once; all Latium swore that day The oath of battle, burning for the fray. Messapus, Ufens, and Mezentius vain, Who scorned the Gods, ride foremost. Far away They scour the fields; the shepherd and the swain Rush to the war, and bare of ploughmen lies the plain.

II. To Diomed posts Venulus, to crave His aid, and tell how Teucrians hold the land; AEneas with his gods hath crossed the wave, And claims the throne his vaunted Fates demand. How many a tribe hath joined the Dardan's band, How spreads his fame through Latium. What the foe May purpose next, what conquest he hath planned, Should friendly fortune speed the coming blow, Better than Latium's king AEtolia's lord must know.

III. So Latium fares. AEneas, tost with tides Of thought, for well he marked the growing fight, This way and that his eager mind divides, Reflects, revolves and ponders on his plight. As waters in a brazen urn flash bright, Smit by the sunbeam or the moon's pale rays, And round the chamber flits the trembling light, And darts aloft, and on the ceiling plays, So many a varying mood his anxious mind displays.

IV. 'Twas night; the tired world rested. Far and nigh All slept, the cattle and the fowls of air. Stretched on a bank, beneath the cold, clear sky, Lay good AEneas, fain at length to share Late slumber, troubled by the war with care. When, 'twixt the poplars, where the fair stream flows, With azure mantle, and with sedge-crowned hair, The aged Genius of the place uprose, And, standing by, thus spake, and comforted his woes:

V. "Blest seed of Heaven! who from the foemen's hand Our Troy dost bring, and to an endless date Preservest Pergama; whom Latium's land Hath looked for, and Laurentum's fields await, Here, doubt not, are thy homegods, here hath Fate Thy home decreed. Let not war's terrors seem To daunt thee. Heaven is weary of its hate; Its storms are spent. Distrust not, nor esteem These words of idle worth, the coinage of a dream.

VI. "Hard by, beneath yon oak-trees, thou shalt see A huge, white swine, and, clustering around Her teats, are thirty young ones, white as she. There shall thy labour with repose be crown'd, Thy city set. There Alba's walls renowned, When twice ten times hath rolled the circling year, Called Alba Longa, shall Ascanius found. Sure stands the word; and now attend and hear, How best through present straits a prosperous course to steer.

VII. "Arcadians here, a race of old renown, From Pallas sprung, with king Evander came, And on the hill-side built a chosen town, Called Pallanteum, from their founder's name. Year after year they ply the war's rude game With Latins. Go, and win them to thy side, Bid them as fellows to thy camp, and frame A league. Myself along the banks will guide, And teach thy labouring oars to mount the opposing tide.

VIII. "Rise, Goddess-born, and, when the stars decline, Pray first to Juno, and on bended knee Subdue her wrath with supplication. Mine Shall be the victor's homage; I am he, Heaven's favoured stream, whose brimming waves ye see, Borne in full flood these flowery banks between, Chafe the fat soil and cleave the fruitful lea, Blue Tiber. Here my dwelling shall be seen, Fairest of lofty towns, the world's majestic queen."

IX. So saying, the Stream-god dived beneath the flood, And sought the deep. Slumber at once and night Forsook AEneas; he arose, and stood, And eastward gazing at the dawning light, Scooped up the stream, obedient to the rite, And prayed, "O nymphs, Laurentian nymphs, whence spring All rivers; father Tiber, blest and bright, Receive AEneas as your own, and bring Peace to his toil-worn heart, and shield the Dardan king.

X. "What pool soever holds thy source, where'er The soil, from whence thou leapest to the day In loveliness, these grateful hands shall bear Due gifts, these lips shall hallow thee for aye, Horned river, whom Hesperian streams obey, Whose pity cheers; be with us, I entreat, Confirm thy purpose, and thy power display." He spake, and chose two biremes from the fleet, Equipped with oars, and rigged with crews and arms complete.

XI. Lo! now a portent, wondrous to be seen. Stretched at full length along the bank, they view The fateful swine, conspicuous on the green, White, with her litter of the self-same hue. Her good AEneas, as an offering due, To Juno, mightiest of all powers divine, Yea, e'en to thee, dread Juno, caught and slew, And lit the altars and outpoured the wine, And left the dam and brood together at the shrine.

XII. All night the Tiber stayed his swelling flood, And with hushed wave, recoiling from the main, Calm as some pool or quiet lake, he stood And smoothed his waters like a liquid plain, That not an oar should either strive or strain. Thus on they go; smooth glides the bark of pine, Borne with glad shouts; and ever and again The woods and waters wonder, as the line Of painted keels goes by, with arms of glittering shine.

XIII. All night and day outwearying, they steer Up the long reaches, through the groves, that lie With green trees shadowing the tranquil mere. Now flamed the sun in the meridian high, When walls afar and citadel they spy, And scattered roofs. Where now the power of Rome Hath made her stately structures mate the sky, Then poor and lowly stood Evander's home. Thither their prows are turned, and to the town they come.

XIV. That day, Arcadia's monarch, in a grove Before the town, a solemn feast had planned To Hercules and all the gods above. His son, young Pallas, and a youthful band, And humble senators around him stand, Each offering incense, and the warm, fresh blood Still smokes upon the shrines, when, hard at hand, They see the tall ships, through the shadowy wood, Glide up with silent oars along the sacred flood.

XV. Scared by the sudden sight, all quickly rise And quit the board. But Pallas, bold of cheer, Bids them not break the worship. Forth he flies To meet the strangers, as their ships appear, His right hand brandishing a glittering spear. "Gallants," he hails them from a mound afar, "What drove you hither by strange ways to steer? Say whither wending? who and what ye are? Your kin, and where your home? And bring ye peace or war?"

XVI. Then sire AEneas from the stern outheld A branch of olive, and bespake him fair: "Troy's sons ye see, by Latin pride expelled. 'Gainst Latin enemies these arms we bear. We seek Evander. Go, the news declare: Choice Dardan chiefs his friendship come to claim. His aid we ask for, and his arms would share." He ceased, and wonder and amazement came On Pallas, struck with awe to hear the mighty name.

XVII. "Whoe'er thou art, hail, stranger," he replied, "Step forth, and to my father tell thy quest, And take the welcome that true hearts provide." Forth as he leaped, the Dardan's hand he pressed, And, pressing, held it, and embraced his guest. So from the river through the grove they fare, And reach the place, where, feasting with the rest, They find Evander. Him with speeches fair AEneas hails, and hastes his errand to declare.

XVIII. "O best of Greeks, whom thus with olive bough Hath Fortune willed me to entreat; yet so I shunned thee not, albeit Arcadian thou, A Danaan leader, in whose veins doth flow The blood of Atreus, and my country's foe. My conscious worth, our ties of ancestry, Thy fame, which rumour through the world doth blow, And Heaven's own oracles, by Fate's decree, My willing steps have led, and link my heart, to thee.

XIX. "Troy's founder, Dardanus, to the Teucrians came, Child of Electra, so the Greeks declare. Huge Atlas was Electra's sire, the same Whose shoulders still the starry skies upbear. Your sire is Mercury, whom Maia fair On chill Cyllene's summit bore of old; And Maia's sire, if aught of truth we hear, Was Atlas, he who doth the spheres uphold. Thus from a single stock the double stems unfold.

XX. "Trusting to this, no embassy I sent, No arts employed, thy purpose to explore. Myself, my proper person, I present, And stand a humble suppliant at thy door. Thy foes are ours, the Daunian race, and sore They grind us. If they drive us hence, they say, Their conquering arms shall stretch from shore to shore. Plight we our troth; strong arms are ours to-day, Stout hearts, and manhood proved in many a hard essay."

XXI. He ceased. Long while Evander marked with joy His face and eyes, and scanned through and through, Then spake: "O bravest of the sons of Troy! What joy to greet thee; thine the voice, the hue, The face of great Anchises, whom I knew. Well I remember, how, in days forepast, Old Priam came to Salamis, to view His sister's realms, Hesione's, and passed To far Arcadia, chilled with many a Northern blast.

XXII. "Scarce o'er my cheeks the callow down had crept, With wondering awe I viewed the Trojan train, And gazed at Priam. But Anchises stepped The tallest. Boyish ardour made me fain To greet the hero, and his hand to strain. I ventured, and to Pheneus brought my guest. A Lycian case of arrows, bridles twain, All golden—Pallas holds them,—and a vest And scarf of broidered gold his parting thanks expressed.

XXIII. "Take then the hand thou seekest; be it thine, The plighted pact; and when to-morrow's ray Shall chase the shadows, and the dawn shall shine, Aid will I give you, and due stores purvey, And send you hence rejoicing on your way. Meanwhile, since Heaven forbids us to postpone These yearly rites, and we are friends, be gay And share with us the banquet. Sit ye down,— Behold, the boards are spread,—and make the feast your own."

XXIV. He spake, and back, at his command, they bring The food and wine. The chiefs, in order meet, Along the grass he ranges, and their king Leads to his throne; of maple was the seat; A lion's hide lay bristling at his feet. Youths and the altar's minister bring wine, And heap the bread, and serve the roasted meat. On lustral entrails and the bull's whole chine, Couched round the Trojan king, the Trojan warriors dine.

XXV. Then, when at last desire of food had ceased, Thus spake Evander: "Lo, this solemn show, This sacred altar, and this ordered feast, No idle witchwork are they. Well we know The ancient gods. Saved from a fearful foe, Each year the deed we celebrate. See there Yon nodding crag; behold the rocks below, Tost in huge ruin, and the lonely lair, Scooped from the mountain's side, how wild the waste and bare!

XXVI. "There yawned the cavern, in the rock's dark womb, Wherein the monster Cacus dwelt of yore, Half-human. Never sunlight pierced the gloom; But day by day the rank earth reeked with gore, And human faces, nailed above the door, Hung, foul and ghastly. From the loins he came Of Vulcan, and his huge mouth evermore Spewed forth a torrent of Vulcanian flame; Proudly he stalked the earth, and shook the world's fair frame.

XXVII. "But time, in answer to our prayers, one day Brought aid,—a God to help us in our need. Flushed with the death of Geryon, came this way Alcides, glorying in the victor's meed, And hither drove his mighty bulls to feed. These, pasturing in the valley, from his lair Fierce Cacus saw, and, scorning in his greed To leave undone what crime or craft could dare, Four beauteous heifers stole, four oxen sleek and fair.

XXVIII. "Then, lest their footprints should the track declare, Back by their tails he dragged the captured kine, With hoofs reversed, and shut them in his lair, And whoso sought the cavern found no sign. But when at last Amphitryon's son divine, His feasted herds, preparing to remove, Called from their pastures, and in long-drawn line, With plaintive lowing, the departing drove Trooped from the echoing hills, and clamours filled the grove,

XXIX. "One of the heifers from the cave again Lowed back, in answer to the sound, and broke The hopes of Cacus, and his theft was plain. Black choler in Alcides' breast awoke. Grasping his arms and club of knotted oak, Straight to the sky-capt Aventine he hies, And scales the steep. Then, not till then, our folk Saw Cacus tremble. To the cave he flies, Wing'd like the wind with fear, and terror in his eyes.

XXX. "Scarce in, the rock he loosened with a blow, Slung high in iron by his father's care, And with the barrier blocked the door; when lo, With heart aflame, great Hercules was there, And searched each way for access to his lair, Grinding his teeth. Thrice round the mount he threw His vengeful eyes, thrice strove from earth to tear The stone, and storm the threshold, thrice withdrew, And in the vale sat down, and nursed his wrath anew.

XXXI. "Sharp-pointed, sheer above the dungeon, stood A crag, fit home for evil birds to light. This, where it frowned to leftward o'er the flood, Alcides shook, and, heaving from the right, Tore from its roots, and headlong down the height Impelled it. With the impulse and the fall Heaven thunders; back the river in affright Shrinks to its source. Bank leaps from bank, and all The mountain, yawning, shows the monster's cave and hall.

XXXII. "Stript of their roof, the dark abodes far back Lie open to their inmost; e'en as though Earth, rent asunder with convulsive wrack, And opening to the centre, gaped to show Hell's regions, and the gloomy realms of woe, Abhorr'd of gods, and bare to mortals lay The vast abyss, while in the gulf below The pallid spectres, huddling in dismay, Looked up with dazzled eyes, at influx of the day.

XXXIII. "Caught in his den, the startled monster strove, With uncouth bellowing, to elude the light. With darts Alcides plies him from above, Huge trunks and millstones seizing for the fight, Hard pressed at length, and desperate for flight, Black smoke he vomits, wondrous to be told, That shrouds the cavern, and obscures the sight, And, denser than the night, around his hold Thick darkness, mixt with fire, and smothering fumes are rolled.

XXXIV. "Scorn filled Alcides, and his wrath outbroke, And through the fire, indignant, with a bound He dashes, where thickest rolled the cloud of smoke, And in black vapours all the cave was drowned. Here, vomiting his idle flames, he found Huge Cacus in the darkness. Like a thread He twists him—chokes him—pins him to the ground, The strangled eyeballs starting from his head; Blood leaves the blackened throat, the giant form lies dead.

XXXV. "Then suddenly, as back the doors are torn, The gloomy den stands open, and the prey, The stolen oxen, and the spoils forsworn, Are bared to heaven, and by the heels straightway He drags the grisly carcase to the day. All, thronging round, with hungry gaze admire The monster. Lost in wonder and dismay They mark the eyes, late terrible with ire, The face, the bristly breast, the jaw's extinguished fire.

XXXVI. "Henceforth they solemnise this day divine, Their glad posterity from year to year, Potitius first, and the Pinarian line, Preserve the praise of Hercules; and here This altar named 'the Greatest' did they rear. (Greatest 'twill be for ever). Come then, all, And give such worth due honour. Wreathe your hair, And pass the wine-bowl merrily, and call Each on our common God, the guardian of us all."

XXXVII. He spake; the God's own poplar, fleckt with white, Hung, twining o'er his brows. His right hand bore The sacred bowl. All, gladdening, hail the rite, And pour libations, and the Gods adore. 'Twas evening, and the Western star once more Sloped towards Olympus. Forth Potitius came, Leading the priests, girt roughly, as of yore, With skins of beasts, and bearing high the flame. Fresh, dainty gifts they bring, the second course to frame.

XXXVIII. Next came the Salians, dancing as they sung Around the blazing altars. Poplar crowned Their brows; a double chorus, old and young, Chant forth the glories and the deeds renowned Of Hercules; how, potent to confound His stepdame's hate, he crushed the serpents twain; What towns in war he levelled to the ground, Troy and OEchalia; how with infinite pain Eurystheus' tasks he sped, and Juno's fates were vain:

XXXIX. "Oh thou, unconquered, whose resistless hand Smote the twin giants of the cloud-born crew, Pholus, Hylaeus; and the Cretan land Freed from its monster; and in Nemea slew The lion! Styx hath trembled at thy view, And Cerberus, when, smeared with gore, he lay On bones half-mumbled in his darksome mew. Thee not Typhoeus, when in armed array He towered erect, could daunt, nor grisly shapes dismay.

XL. "Prompt was thy wit, when, powerless to prevail, Around thee twined, the beast of Lerna's fen Hissed with the legion of its heads. O hail, True son of Jove, the praise of mortal men, And Heaven's new glory. Hither turn thy ken, And cheer thy votaries." So with heart and will They chant his praise, nor less the monster's den, And Cacus, breathing flames. The loud notes fill The sacred grove around, and echo to the hill.

XLI. The rites thus ended, to the town they fare. In front, the good Evander, old and grey, Moves 'twixt AEneas and his youthful heir, And oft with various converse, as they stray, Beguiles the lightened labour of the way. Now this, now that the Trojan chief admires, Filled with new pleasure, as his eyes survey Each place in turn. Oft, gladly he enquires The tokens, one by one, and tales of ancient sires.

XLII. Then he, who built the citadel of Rome, Spake thus—the good Evander: "Yonder view The forest; 'twas the Fauns' and Wood-nymphs' home. Their birth from trunks and rugged oaks they drew; No arts they had, nor settled life, nor knew To yoke the ox, or lay up stores, or spare What wealth they gathered; but their wants were few; The branches gave them sustenance, whate'er In toilsome chase they won, composed their scanty fare.

XLIII. "Then first came Saturn from Olympus' height, Flying from Jove, his kingdom barred and banned, He taught the scattered hillsmen to unite, And gave them laws, and bade the name to stand Of Latium, he safe latent in the land. Then tranquilly the happy seasons rolled Year after year, and Peace, with plenteous hand, Smiled on his sceptre. 'Twas the Age of Gold, So well his placid sway the willing folk controlled.

XLIV. "Then waxed the times degenerate, and the stain With stealthy growth gave birth to deeds of shame, The rage of battle, and the lust of gain. Then came Ausonians, then Sicanians came, And oft the land of Saturn changed its name. Strange tyrants came, and ruled Italia's shore, Grim-visaged Thybris, of gigantic frame; His name henceforth the river Tiber bore, And Albula's old name was known, alas! no more.

XLV. "Me, from my country driven forth to roam The utmost deep, perforce the Fates' design And Fortune's power drove hitherward. This home My mother, Nymph Carmentis, warned was mine; A god, Apollo, did these shores assign." So saying, he shows the altar and the gate Long called Carmental, from the Nymph divine, First seer who sang, with faithful voice, how great AEneas' race should rise, and Pallanteum's fate.

XLVI. He shows the grove of Romulus, his famed Asylum; then, beneath the rock's cold crest Lupercal's cave, from Pan Lycaean named; Then, Argiletum's grove, whose shades attest The death of Argus, once the monarch's guest; Tarpeia's rock, the Capitolian height, Now golden—rugged 'twas of old, a nest Of tangled brakes, yet hallowed was the site E'en then, and wood and rock filled the rude hinds with fright.

XLVII. "These wooded steeps," he said, "this sacred grove What godhead haunts, we know not; legends say Arcadians here have seen the form of Jove, And seen his right hand, with resistless sway, Shake the dread AEgis, and the clouds array. See, yon two cities, once renowned by fame, Now ruined walls and crumbling to decay; This Janus built, those walls did Saturn frame; Janiculum was this, that bore Saturnia's name."

XLVIII. So talking, to Evander's lowly seat They journeyed. Herds were lowing on the plain, Where stand the Forum and Carinae's street. "These gates," said he, "did great Alcides deign To pass; this palace did the god contain. Dare thou to quit thee like the god, nor dread To scorn mere wealth, nor humble cheer disdain." So saying, AEneas through the door he led, And skins of Libyan bears on garnered leaves outspread.

XLIX. Night, with dark wings descending, wrapt the world, When Venus, harassed, nor in vain, with fear, To see the menace at Laurentum hurled, To Vulcan, on his golden couch, drew near, Breathing immortal passion: "Husband dear, When Greeks the fated citadel of Troy With fire and sword were ravaging, or ere Her towers had fallen, I sought not to employ Arms, arts or aid of thine, their purpose to destroy.

L. "Ne'er taxed I then thy labours, dearest love, Large as my debt to Priam's sons, and sore My grief for poor AEneas. Now, since Jove Hath brought him here to the Rutulian shore, Thine arms I ask, thy deity implore, A mother for her son. Dread power divine, Whom Thetis, whom Tithonus' spouse of yore Could move with tears, behold, what hosts combine, What towns, with barr'd gates, arm to ruin me and mine."

LI. She spake, and both her snowy arms outflung Around him doubting, and embraced the Sire, And, softly fondling, kissed him as she clung. Through bones and veins her melting charms inspire The well-known heat, and reawake desire. So, riven by the thunder, through the pile Of storm-clouds runs the glittering cleft of fire. Proud of her beauty, with a conscious smile, The Goddess feels her power, and gladdens at the guile.

LII. Then Vulcan, mastered by immortal love, Answers his spouse, "Why, Goddess mine, invent Such far-fetched pleas? Dost thou thy faith remove, And cease to trust in Vulcan? Had thy bent So moved thee then, arms quickly had I lent To aid thy Trojans, and thy wish were gained, Nor envious Fate, nor Jove omnipotent Had crossed my purpose; then had Troy remained, And Priam ten years more the kingly line sustained.

LIII. "E'en now, if war thou seekest to prepare, And thither tends thy purpose, be it sped. Whate'er my craft can promise, whatso'er Is wrought with iron, ivory or lead, Fanned with the blast, or molten in the bed, Thine be it all; forbear a suppliant's quest, Nor wrong thy beauty's potency." He said, And gave the love she longed for; on her breast Outpoured at length he slept, and loosed his limbs with rest.

LIV. 'Twas midnight; sleep had faded from its prime, The hour, when housewives, who a scanty fare Eke out with loom and distaff, rise in time To wake the embers, and the night outwear; Then call their handmaids, by the light to share The task, that keeps the husband's bed from shame, And earns a pittance for the babes. So there, Nor tardier, to his toil the Lord of Flame Springs from his couch of down, the workmen's task to frame.

LV. Hard by AEolian Lipare, before Sicania, looms an island from the deep, With smoking rocks. There AEtna's caverns roar, Hewn by the Cyclop's forges from the steep. There the steel hisses and the sparks upleap, And clanging anvils, smit with dexterous aim, Groan through the cavern, as their strokes they heap, And restless in the furnace pants the flame. 'Twas Vulcan's house, the land even yet bears Vulcan's name.

LVI. Down to this cavern came the Lord of Flame, And found Pyracmon, naked as he strove, Brontes and Steropes. Their hands still frame A thunderbolt unfinished, such as Jove Rains thickly from his armouries above, Tipt with twelve barbs and never known to fail. Part still remain unwrought; three rays they wove Of ruddy fire, three of the Southern gale, Three of the watery cloud, and three of twisted hail.

LVII. They blend the frightful flashes and the peals, Sound, fear, and fury with the flames behind. These forge the War-Gods' chariot and swift wheels, Which stir up cities, and arouse mankind. Here, burnished bright for wrathful Pallas, shined, With serpent scales, and golden links firm bound, Her dreadful AEgis, and the snakes entwined; And on her breast, with severed neck, still frowned Medusa's head, and rolled her dying eyes around.

LVIII. "Cease now," said Vulcan, "and these toils forbear, Cyclops of AEtna; hither turn your heed. Arms for a hero must the forge prepare. Now use your strength and nimble hands; ye need A master's cunning; to your tasks with speed." He spake; each quickly at the word once more Falls to his labour, as the lots decreed. Now flows the copper, now the golden ore; Now melts the deadly steel; the flames resume their roar.

LIX. A mighty shield they fashion, fit to meet Singly all arms of Latium. Layer on layer, Seven folds in circles on its face they beat. These from the windy bellows force the air, These hissing copper for the forge prepare, Dipt in the trough. The cavern floor below Groans with the anvils and the strokes they bear, As strong arms timed heap measured blow on blow, And, turned with griping tongs, the molten mass doth glow.

LX. While on AEolia's coast the Lemnian sire Wrought thus, the fair Dawn, mantling in the skies, Awakes Evander, and the lowly choir Of birds beneath the eaves invites to rise. The Tuscan sandals to his feet he ties, The kirtle dons, the Tegeaean sword Links to his side. A panther's skin supplies His scarf, hung leftward, and his watchful ward, Two dogs, the threshold leave, and 'company their lord.

LXI. So to the chamber of his Dardan guest The good Evander for his promise' sake Full early hastens pondering in his breast The tale he listened to, the words he spake. Nor less AEneas, with the dawn awake, Goes forth. Achates at his side attends, His son, young Pallas, doth Evander take. So meeting, each a willing hand extends, And host and guest sit down, and frankly talk as friends.

LXII. First spake the King: "Great Chief of Trojan fame, Who living, ne'er the Trojan state is lost. Small is our strength for war, though great our name. Here Tiber bounds us, there Rutulians boast To rend our walls, and thunder with their host. But mighty tribes and wealthy realms shall band Their arms with mine. Chance, where unlooked-for most, Points to this succour. By the Fate's command Thou comest; thee the gods have guided to our land.

LXIII. "Not far from here, upon an aged rock, There stands a town, Agylla is its name, Where on Etruscan ridges dwells the stock Of ancient Lydia, men of warlike fame. Long years it flourished, till Mezentius came And ruled it fiercely, with a tyrant's sway. Ah me! why tell the nameless deeds of shame, The savage murders wrought from day to day? May Heaven on him and his those cruelties repay!

LXIV. "Nay more, he joined the living to the dead, Hand linked to hand in torment, face to face. The rank flesh mouldered, and the limbs still bled, Till death, O misery, with lingering pace, Loosed the foul union and the long embrace. Worn out at last with all his crimes abhorred, Around the horrid madman swarmed apace The armed Agyllans. On his roof they poured The firebrands, seized his guards and slew them with the sword.

LXV. "He safely through the carnage slunk away To fields Rutulian, where with sheltering hand Great Turnus shields the tyrant. So to-day, Stirred with just fury, all Etruria's land Springs to the war, prompt vengeance to demand. Thine be these all, for thousands can I boast, AEneas, thine to captain and command. Mark now their shouts; already roars the host, 'Arm, bring the banners forth'; their vessels crowd the coast.

LXVI. "An aged seer thus warns them to refrain, Expounding Fate: 'Choice youths, the flower and show Of ancient warriors of Meonian strain, Whom just resentment arms against the foe, Whose souls with hatred of Mezentius glow, No man of Italy is fit to lead So vast a multitude, the Fates say "No; Seek ye a foreign captain."' Awed, they heed The warning words divine, and camp upon the mead.

LXVII. "Lo, Tarchon sends ambassadors; they bring The crown, and sceptre, and the signs of state, And bid me join the Tuscans as their king. But frosty years have dulled me; life is late, And envious Age forbids an Empire's weight. Fit were my son, but half Italian he, His mother born a Sabine. Thee hath Fate Endowed with years and proper birth; for thee The Gods this throne have willed, and, what they will, decree.

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