She said: and thro' the gloomy shades they pass'd, And chose the middle path. Arriv'd at last, The prince with living water sprinkled o'er His limbs and body; then approach'd the door, Possess'd the porch, and on the front above He fix'd the fatal bough requir'd by Pluto's love. These holy rites perform'd, they took their way Where long extended plains of pleasure lay: The verdant fields with those of heav'n may vie, With ether vested, and a purple sky; The blissful seats of happy souls below. Stars of their own, and their own suns, they know; Their airy limbs in sports they exercise, And on the green contend the wrestler's prize. Some in heroic verse divinely sing; Others in artful measures led the ring. The Thracian bard, surrounded by the rest, There stands conspicuous in his flowing vest; His flying fingers, and harmonious quill, Strikes sev'n distinguish'd notes, and sev'n at once they fill. Here found they Tsucer's old heroic race, Born better times and happier years to grace. Assaracus and Ilus here enjoy Perpetual fame, with him who founded Troy. The chief beheld their chariots from afar, Their shining arms, and coursers train'd to war: Their lances fix'd in earth, their steeds around, Free from their harness, graze the flow'ry ground. The love of horses which they had, alive, And care of chariots, after death survive. Some cheerful souls were feasting on the plain; Some did the song, and some the choir maintain, Beneath a laurel shade, where mighty Po Mounts up to woods above, and hides his head below. Here patriots live, who, for their country's good, In fighting fields, were prodigal of blood: Priests of unblemish'd lives here make abode, And poets worthy their inspiring god; And searching wits, of more mechanic parts, Who grac'd their age with new-invented arts: Those who to worth their bounty did extend, And those who knew that bounty to commend. The heads of these with holy fillets bound, And all their temples were with garlands crown'd.
To these the Sibyl thus her speech address'd, And first to him surrounded by the rest (Tow'ring his height, and ample was his breast): "Say, happy souls, divine Musaeus, say, Where lives Anchises, and where lies our way To find the hero, for whose only sake We sought the dark abodes, and cross'd the bitter lake?" To this the sacred poet thus replied: "In no fix'd place the happy souls reside. In groves we live, and lie on mossy beds, By crystal streams, that murmur thro' the meads: But pass yon easy hill, and thence descend; The path conducts you to your journey's end." This said, he led them up the mountain's brow, And shews them all the shining fields below. They wind the hill, and thro' the blissful meadows go.
But old Anchises, in a flow'ry vale, Review'd his muster'd race, and took the tale: Those happy spirits, which, ordain'd by fate, For future beings and new bodies wait- With studious thought observ'd th' illustrious throng, In nature's order as they pass'd along: Their names, their fates, their conduct, and their care, In peaceful senates and successful war. He, when Aeneas on the plain appears, Meets him with open arms, and falling tears. "Welcome," he said, "the gods' undoubted race! O long expected to my dear embrace! Once more 't is giv'n me to behold your face! The love and pious duty which you pay Have pass'd the perils of so hard a way. 'T is true, computing times, I now believ'd The happy day approach'd; nor are my hopes deceiv'd. What length of lands, what oceans have you pass'd; What storms sustain'd, and on what shores been cast? How have I fear'd your fate! but fear'd it most, When love assail'd you, on the Libyan coast." To this, the filial duty thus replies: "Your sacred ghost before my sleeping eyes Appear'd, and often urg'd this painful enterprise. After long tossing on the Tyrrhene sea, My navy rides at anchor in the bay. But reach your hand, O parent shade, nor shun The dear embraces of your longing son!" He said; and falling tears his face bedew: Then thrice around his neck his arms he threw; And thrice the flitting shadow slipp'd away, Like winds, or empty dreams that fly the day.
Now, in a secret vale, the Trojan sees A sep'rate grove, thro' which a gentle breeze Plays with a passing breath, and whispers thro' the trees; And, just before the confines of the wood, The gliding Lethe leads her silent flood. About the boughs an airy nation flew, Thick as the humming bees, that hunt the golden dew; In summer's heat on tops of lilies feed, And creep within their bells, to suck the balmy seed: The winged army roams the fields around; The rivers and the rocks remurmur to the sound. Aeneas wond'ring stood, then ask'd the cause Which to the stream the crowding people draws. Then thus the sire: "The souls that throng the flood Are those to whom, by fate, are other bodies ow'd: In Lethe's lake they long oblivion taste, Of future life secure, forgetful of the past. Long has my soul desir'd this time and place, To set before your sight your glorious race, That this presaging joy may fire your mind To seek the shores by destiny design'd."- "O father, can it be, that souls sublime Return to visit our terrestrial clime, And that the gen'rous mind, releas'd by death, Can covet lazy limbs and mortal breath?"
Anchises then, in order, thus begun To clear those wonders to his godlike son: "Know, first, that heav'n, and earth's compacted frame, And flowing waters, and the starry flame, And both the radiant lights, one common soul Inspires and feeds, and animates the whole. This active mind, infus'd thro' all the space, Unites and mingles with the mighty mass. Hence men and beasts the breath of life obtain, And birds of air, and monsters of the main. Th' ethereal vigor is in all the same, And every soul is fill'd with equal flame; As much as earthy limbs, and gross allay Of mortal members, subject to decay, Blunt not the beams of heav'n and edge of day. From this coarse mixture of terrestrial parts, Desire and fear by turns possess their hearts, And grief, and joy; nor can the groveling mind, In the dark dungeon of the limbs confin'd, Assert the native skies, or own its heav'nly kind: Nor death itself can wholly wash their stains; But long-contracted filth ev'n in the soul remains. The relics of inveterate vice they wear, And spots of sin obscene in ev'ry face appear. For this are various penances enjoin'd; And some are hung to bleach upon the wind, Some plung'd in waters, others purg'd in fires, Till all the dregs are drain'd, and all the rust expires. All have their manes, and those manes bear: The few, so cleans'd, to these abodes repair, And breathe, in ample fields, the soft Elysian air. Then are they happy, when by length of time The scurf is worn away of each committed crime; No speck is left of their habitual stains, But the pure ether of the soul remains. But, when a thousand rolling years are past, (So long their punishments and penance last,) Whole droves of minds are, by the driving god, Compell'd to drink the deep Lethaean flood, In large forgetful draughts to steep the cares Of their past labors, and their irksome years, That, unrememb'ring of its former pain, The soul may suffer mortal flesh again."
Thus having said, the father spirit leads The priestess and his son thro' swarms of shades, And takes a rising ground, from thence to see The long procession of his progeny. "Survey," pursued the sire, "this airy throng, As, offer'd to thy view, they pass along. These are th' Italian names, which fate will join With ours, and graff upon the Trojan line. Observe the youth who first appears in sight, And holds the nearest station to the light, Already seems to snuff the vital air, And leans just forward, on a shining spear: Silvius is he, thy last-begotten race, But first in order sent, to fill thy place; An Alban name, but mix'd with Dardan blood, Born in the covert of a shady wood: Him fair Lavinia, thy surviving wife, Shall breed in groves, to lead a solitary life. In Alba he shall fix his royal seat, And, born a king, a race of kings beget. Then Procas, honor of the Trojan name, Capys, and Numitor, of endless fame. A second Silvius after these appears; Silvius Aeneas, for thy name he bears; For arms and justice equally renown'd, Who, late restor'd, in Alba shall be crown'd. How great they look! how vig'rously they wield Their weighty lances, and sustain the shield! But they, who crown'd with oaken wreaths appear, Shall Gabian walls and strong Fidena rear; Nomentum, Bola, with Pometia, found; And raise Collatian tow'rs on rocky ground. All these shall then be towns of mighty fame, Tho' now they lie obscure, and lands without a name. See Romulus the great, born to restore The crown that once his injur'd grandsire wore. This prince a priestess of your blood shall bear, And like his sire in arms he shall appear. Two rising crests, his royal head adorn; Born from a god, himself to godhead born: His sire already signs him for the skies, And marks the seat amidst the deities. Auspicious chief! thy race, in times to come, Shall spread the conquests of imperial Rome- Rome, whose ascending tow'rs shall heav'n invade, Involving earth and ocean in her shade; High as the Mother of the Gods in place, And proud, like her, of an immortal race. Then, when in pomp she makes the Phrygian round, With golden turrets on her temples crown'd; A hundred gods her sweeping train supply; Her offspring all, and all command the sky.
"Now fix your sight, and stand intent, to see Your Roman race, and Julian progeny. The mighty Caesar waits his vital hour, Impatient for the world, and grasps his promis'd pow'r. But next behold the youth of form divine, Ceasar himself, exalted in his line; Augustus, promis'd oft, and long foretold, Sent to the realm that Saturn rul'd of old; Born to restore a better age of gold. Afric and India shall his pow'r obey; He shall extend his propagated sway Beyond the solar year, without the starry way, Where Atlas turns the rolling heav'ns around, And his broad shoulders with their lights are crown'd. At his foreseen approach, already quake The Caspian kingdoms and Maeotian lake: Their seers behold the tempest from afar, And threat'ning oracles denounce the war. Nile hears him knocking at his sev'nfold gates, And seeks his hidden spring, and fears his nephew's fates. Nor Hercules more lands or labors knew, Not tho' the brazen-footed hind he slew, Freed Erymanthus from the foaming boar, And dipp'd his arrows in Lernaean gore; Nor Bacchus, turning from his Indian war, By tigers drawn triumphant in his car, From Nisus' top descending on the plains, With curling vines around his purple reins. And doubt we yet thro' dangers to pursue The paths of honor, and a crown in view? But what's the man, who from afar appears? His head with olive crown'd, his hand a censer bears, His hoary beard and holy vestments bring His lost idea back: I know the Roman king. He shall to peaceful Rome new laws ordain, Call'd from his mean abode a scepter to sustain. Him Tullus next in dignity succeeds, An active prince, and prone to martial deeds. He shall his troops for fighting fields prepare, Disus'd to toils, and triumphs of the war. By dint of sword his crown he shall increase, And scour his armor from the rust of peace. Whom Ancus follows, with a fawning air, But vain within, and proudly popular. Next view the Tarquin kings, th' avenging sword Of Brutus, justly drawn, and Rome restor'd. He first renews the rods and ax severe, And gives the consuls royal robes to wear. His sons, who seek the tyrant to sustain, And long for arbitrary lords again, With ignominy scourg'd, in open sight, He dooms to death deserv'd, asserting public right. Unhappy man, to break the pious laws Of nature, pleading in his children's cause! Howeer the doubtful fact is understood, 'T is love of honor, and his country's good: The consul, not the father, sheds the blood. Behold Torquatus the same track pursue; And, next, the two devoted Decii view: The Drusian line, Camillus loaded home With standards well redeem'd, and foreign foes o'ercome The pair you see in equal armor shine, Now, friends below, in close embraces join; But, when they leave the shady realms of night, And, cloth'd in bodies, breathe your upper light, With mortal hate each other shall pursue: What wars, what wounds, what slaughter shall ensue! From Alpine heights the father first descends; His daughter's husband in the plain attends: His daughter's husband arms his eastern friends. Embrace again, my sons, be foes no more; Nor stain your country with her children's gore! And thou, the first, lay down thy lawless claim, Thou, of my blood, who bearist the Julian name! Another comes, who shall in triumph ride, And to the Capitol his chariot guide, From conquer'd Corinth, rich with Grecian spoils. And yet another, fam'd for warlike toils, On Argos shall impose the Roman laws, And on the Greeks revenge the Trojan cause; Shall drag in chains their Achillean race; Shall vindicate his ancestors' disgrace, And Pallas, for her violated place. Great Cato there, for gravity renown'd, And conqu'ring Cossus goes with laurels crown'd. Who can omit the Gracchi? who declare The Scipios' worth, those thunderbolts of war, The double bane of Carthage? Who can see Without esteem for virtuous poverty, Severe Fabricius, or can cease t' admire The plowman consul in his coarse attire? Tir'd as I am, my praise the Fabii claim; And thou, great hero, greatest of thy name, Ordain'd in war to save the sinking state, And, by delays, to put a stop to fate! Let others better mold the running mass Of metals, and inform the breathing brass, And soften into flesh a marble face; Plead better at the bar; describe the skies, And when the stars descend, and when they rise. But, Rome, 't is thine alone, with awful sway, To rule mankind, and make the world obey, Disposing peace and war by thy own majestic way; To tame the proud, the fetter'd slave to free: These are imperial arts, and worthy thee."
He paus'd; and, while with wond'ring eyes they view'd The passing spirits, thus his speech renew'd: "See great Marcellus! how, untir'd in toils, He moves with manly grace, how rich with regal spoils! He, when his country, threaten'd with alarms, Requires his courage and his conqu'ring arms, Shall more than once the Punic bands affright; Shall kill the Gaulish king in single fight; Then to the Capitol in triumph move, And the third spoils shall grace Feretrian Jove." Aeneas here beheld, of form divine, A godlike youth in glitt'ring armor shine, With great Marcellus keeping equal pace; But gloomy were his eyes, dejected was his face. He saw, and, wond'ring, ask'd his airy guide, What and of whence was he, who press'd the hero's side: "His son, or one of his illustrious name? How like the former, and almost the same! Observe the crowds that compass him around; All gaze, and all admire, and raise a shouting sound: But hov'ring mists around his brows are spread, And night, with sable shades, involves his head." "Seek not to know," the ghost replied with tears, "The sorrows of thy sons in future years. This youth (the blissful vision of a day) Shall just be shown on earth, and snatch'd away. The gods too high had rais'd the Roman state, Were but their gifts as permanent as great. What groans of men shall fill the Martian field! How fierce a blaze his flaming pile shall yield! What fun'ral pomp shall floating Tiber see, When, rising from his bed, he views the sad solemnity! No youth shall equal hopes of glory give, No youth afford so great a cause to grieve; The Trojan honor, and the Roman boast, Admir'd when living, and ador'd when lost! Mirror of ancient faith in early youth! Undaunted worth, inviolable truth! No foe, unpunish'd, in the fighting field Shall dare thee, foot to foot, with sword and shield; Much less in arms oppose thy matchless force, When thy sharp spurs shall urge thy foaming horse. Ah! couldst thou break thro' fate's severe decree, A new Marcellus shall arise in thee! Full canisters of fragrant lilies bring, Mix'd with the purple roses of the spring; Let me with fun'ral flow'rs his body strow; This gift which parents to their children owe, This unavailing gift, at least, I may bestow!" Thus having said, he led the hero round The confines of the blest Elysian ground; Which when Anchises to his son had shown, And fir'd his mind to mount the promis'd throne, He tells the future wars, ordain'd by fate; The strength and customs of the Latian state; The prince, and people; and forearms his care With rules, to push his fortune, or to bear.
Two gates the silent house of Sleep adorn; Of polish'd ivory this, that of transparent horn: True visions thro' transparent horn arise; Thro' polish'd ivory pass deluding lies. Of various things discoursing as he pass'd, Anchises hither bends his steps at last. Then, thro' the gate of iv'ry, he dismiss'd His valiant offspring and divining guest. Straight to the ships Aeneas his way, Embark'd his men, and skimm'd along the sea, Still coasting, till he gain'd Cajeta's bay. At length on oozy ground his galleys moor; Their heads are turn'd to sea, their sterns to shore.
And thou, O matron of immortal fame, Here dying, to the shore hast left thy name; Cajeta still the place is call'd from thee, The nurse of great Aeneas' infancy. Here rest thy bones in rich Hesperia's plains; Thy name ('t is all a ghost can have) remains.
Now, when the prince her fun'ral rites had paid, He plow'd the Tyrrhene seas with sails display'd. From land a gentle breeze arose by night, Serenely shone the stars, the moon was bright, And the sea trembled with her silver light. Now near the shelves of Circe's shores they run, (Circe the rich, the daughter of the Sun,) A dang'rous coast: the goddess wastes her days In joyous songs; the rocks resound her lays: In spinning, or the loom, she spends the night, And cedar brands supply her father's light. From hence were heard, rebellowing to the main, The roars of lions that refuse the chain, The grunts of bristled boars, and groans of bears, And herds of howling wolves that stun the sailors' ears. These from their caverns, at the close of night, Fill the sad isle with horror and affright. Darkling they mourn their fate, whom Circe's pow'r, (That watch'd the moon and planetary hour,) With words and wicked herbs from humankind Had alter'd, and in brutal shapes confin'd. Which monsters lest the Trojans' pious host Should bear, or touch upon th' inchanted coast, Propitious Neptune steer'd their course by night With rising gales that sped their happy flight. Supplied with these, they skim the sounding shore, And hear the swelling surges vainly roar. Now, when the rosy morn began to rise, And wav'd her saffron streamer thro' the skies; When Thetis blush'd in purple not her own, And from her face the breathing winds were blown, A sudden silence sate upon the sea, And sweeping oars, with struggling, urge their way. The Trojan, from the main, beheld a wood, Which thick with shades and a brown horror stood: Betwixt the trees the Tiber took his course, With whirlpools dimpled; and with downward force, That drove the sand along, he took his way, And roll'd his yellow billows to the sea. About him, and above, and round the wood, The birds that haunt the borders of his flood, That bath'd within, or basked upon his side, To tuneful songs their narrow throats applied. The captain gives command; the joyful train Glide thro' the gloomy shade, and leave the main.
Now, Erato, thy poet's mind inspire, And fill his soul with thy celestial fire! Relate what Latium was; her ancient kings; Declare the past and state of things, When first the Trojan fleet Ausonia sought, And how the rivals lov'd, and how they fought. These are my theme, and how the war began, And how concluded by the godlike man: For I shall sing of battles, blood, and rage, Which princes and their people did engage; And haughty souls, that, mov'd with mutual hate, In fighting fields pursued and found their fate; That rous'd the Tyrrhene realm with loud alarms, And peaceful Italy involv'd in arms. A larger scene of action is display'd; And, rising hence, a greater work is weigh'd.
Latinus, old and mild, had long possess'd The Latin scepter, and his people blest: His father Faunus; a Laurentian dame His mother; fair Marica was her name. But Faunus came from Picus: Picus drew His birth from Saturn, if records be true. Thus King Latinus, in the third degree, Had Saturn author of his family. But this old peaceful prince, as Heav'n decreed, Was blest with no male issue to succeed: His sons in blooming youth were snatch'd by fate; One only daughter heir'd the royal state. Fir'd with her love, and with ambition led, The neighb'ring princes court her nuptial bed. Among the crowd, but far above the rest, Young Turnus to the beauteous maid address'd. Turnus, for high descent and graceful mien, Was first, and favor'd by the Latian queen; With him she strove to join Lavinia's hand, But dire portents the purpos'd match withstand.
Deep in the palace, of long growth, there stood A laurel's trunk, a venerable wood; Where rites divine were paid; whose holy hair Was kept and cut with superstitious care. This plant Latinus, when his town he wall'd, Then found, and from the tree Laurentum call'd; And last, in honor of his new abode, He vow'd the laurel to the laurel's god. It happen'd once (a boding prodigy!) A swarm of bees, that cut the liquid sky, (Unknown from whence they took their airy flight,) Upon the topmost branch in clouds alight; There with their clasping feet together clung, And a long cluster from the laurel hung. An ancient augur prophesied from hence: "Behold on Latian shores a foreign prince! From the same parts of heav'n his navy stands, To the same parts on earth; his army lands; The town he conquers, and the tow'r commands."
Yet more, when fair Lavinia fed the fire Before the gods, and stood beside her sire, (Strange to relate!) the flames, involv'd in smoke Of incense, from the sacred altar broke, Caught her dishevel'd hair and rich attire; Her crown and jewels crackled in the fire: From thence the fuming trail began to spread And lambent glories danc'd about her head. This new portent the seer with wonder views, Then pausing, thus his prophecy renews: "The nymph, who scatters flaming fires around, Shall shine with honor, shall herself be crown'd; But, caus'd by her irrevocable fate, War shall the country waste, and change the state."
Latinus, frighted with this dire ostent, For counsel to his father Faunus went, And sought the shades renown'd for prophecy Which near Albunea's sulph'rous fountain lie. To these the Latian and the Sabine land Fly, when distress'd, and thence relief demand. The priest on skins of off'rings takes his ease, And nightly visions in his slumber sees; A swarm of thin aerial shapes appears, And, flutt'ring round his temples, deafs his ears: These he consults, the future fates to know, From pow'rs above, and from the fiends below. Here, for the gods' advice, Latinus flies, Off'ring a hundred sheep for sacrifice: Their woolly fleeces, as the rites requir'd, He laid beneath him, and to rest retir'd. No sooner were his eyes in slumber bound, When, from above, a more than mortal sound Invades his ears; and thus the vision spoke: "Seek not, my seed, in Latian bands to yoke Our fair Lavinia, nor the gods provoke. A foreign son upon thy shore descends, Whose martial fame from pole to pole extends. His race, in arms and arts of peace renown'd, Not Latium shall contain, nor Europe bound: 'T is theirs whate'er the sun surveys around." These answers, in the silent night receiv'd, The king himself divulg'd, the land believ'd: The fame thro' all the neighb'ring nations flew, When now the Trojan navy was in view.
Beneath a shady tree, the hero spread His table on the turf, with cakes of bread; And, with his chiefs, on forest fruits he fed. They sate; and, (not without the god's command,) Their homely fare dispatch'd, the hungry band Invade their trenchers next, and soon devour, To mend the scanty meal, their cakes of flour. Ascanius this observ'd, and smiling said: "See, we devour the plates on which we fed." The speech had omen, that the Trojan race Should find repose, and this the time and place. Aeneas took the word, and thus replies, Confessing fate with wonder in his eyes: "All hail, O earth! all hail, my household gods! Behold the destin'd place of your abodes! For thus Anchises prophesied of old, And this our fatal place of rest foretold: 'When, on a foreign shore, instead of meat, By famine forc'd, your trenchers you shall eat, Then ease your weary Trojans will attend, And the long labors of your voyage end. Remember on that happy coast to build, And with a trench inclose the fruitful field.' This was that famine, this the fatal place Which ends the wand'ring of our exil'd race. Then, on to-morrow's dawn, your care employ, To search the land, and where the cities lie, And what the men; but give this day to joy. Now pour to Jove; and, after Jove is blest, Call great Anchises to the genial feast: Crown high the goblets with a cheerful draught; Enjoy the present hour; adjourn the future thought."
Thus having said, the hero bound his brows With leafy branches, then perform'd his vows; Adoring first the genius of the place, Then Earth, the mother of the heav'nly race, The nymphs, and native godheads yet unknown, And Night, and all the stars that gild her sable throne, And ancient Cybel, and Idaean Jove, And last his sire below, and mother queen above. Then heav'n's high monarch thunder'd thrice aloud, And thrice he shook aloft a golden cloud. Soon thro' the joyful camp a rumor flew, The time was come their city to renew. Then ev'ry brow with cheerful green is crown'd, The feasts are doubled, and the bowls go round.
When next the rosy morn disclos'd the day, The scouts to sev'ral parts divide their way, To learn the natives' names, their towns explore, The coasts and trendings of the crooked shore: Here Tiber flows, and here Numicus stands; Here warlike Latins hold the happy lands. The pious chief, who sought by peaceful ways To found his empire, and his town to raise, A hundred youths from all his train selects, And to the Latian court their course directs, (The spacious palace where their prince resides,) And all their heads with wreaths of olive hides. They go commission'd to require a peace, And carry presents to procure access. Thus while they speed their pace, the prince designs His new-elected seat, and draws the lines. The Trojans round the place a rampire cast, And palisades about the trenches plac'd.
Meantime the train, proceeding on their way, From far the town and lofty tow'rs survey; At length approach the walls. Without the gate, They see the boys and Latian youth debate The martial prizes on the dusty plain: Some drive the cars, and some the coursers rein; Some bend the stubborn bow for victory, And some with darts their active sinews try. A posting messenger, dispatch'd from hence, Of this fair troop advis'd their aged prince, That foreign men of mighty stature came; Uncouth their habit, and unknown their name. The king ordains their entrance, and ascends His regal seat, surrounded by his friends.
The palace built by Picus, vast and proud, Supported by a hundred pillars stood, And round incompass'd with a rising wood. The pile o'erlook'd the town, and drew the sight; Surpris'd at once with reverence and delight. There kings receiv'd the marks of sov'reign pow'r; In state the monarchs march'd; the lictors bore Their awful axes and the rods before. Here the tribunal stood, the house of pray'r, And here the sacred senators repair; All at large tables, in long order set, A ram their off'ring, and a ram their meat. Above the portal, carv'd in cedar wood, Plac'd in their ranks, their godlike grandsires stood; Old Saturn, with his crooked scythe, on high; And Italus, that led the colony; And ancient Janus, with his double face, And bunch of keys, the porter of the place. There good Sabinus, planter of the vines, On a short pruning hook his head reclines, And studiously surveys his gen'rous wines; Then warlike kings, who for their country fought, And honorable wounds from battle brought. Around the posts hung helmets, darts, and spears, And captive chariots, axes, shields, and bars, And broken beaks of ships, the trophies of their wars. Above the rest, as chief of all the band, Was Picus plac'd, a buckler in his hand; His other wav'd a long divining wand. Girt in his Gabin gown the hero sate, Yet could not with his art avoid his fate: For Circe long had lov'd the youth in vain, Till love, refus'd, converted to disdain: Then, mixing pow'rful herbs, with magic art, She chang'd his form, who could not change his heart; Constrain'd him in a bird, and made him fly, With party-color'd plumes, a chatt'ring pie.
In this high temple, on a chair of state, The seat of audience, old Latinus sate; Then gave admission to the Trojan train; And thus with pleasing accents he began: "Tell me, ye Trojans, for that name you own, Nor is your course upon our coasts unknown- Say what you seek, and whither were you bound: Were you by stress of weather cast aground? (Such dangers as on seas are often seen, And oft befall to miserable men,) Or come, your shipping in our ports to lay, Spent and disabled in so long a way? Say what you want: the Latians you shall find Not forc'd to goodness, but by will inclin'd; For, since the time of Saturn's holy reign, His hospitable customs we retain. I call to mind (but time the tale has worn) Th' Arunci told, that Dardanus, tho' born On Latian plains, yet sought the Phrygian shore, And Samothracia, Samos call'd before. From Tuscan Coritum he claim'd his birth; But after, when exempt from mortal earth, From thence ascended to his kindred skies, A god, and, as a god, augments their sacrifice,"
He said. Ilioneus made this reply: "O king, of Faunus' royal family! Nor wintry winds to Latium forc'd our way, Nor did the stars our wand'ring course betray. Willing we sought your shores; and, hither bound, The port, so long desir'd, at length we found; From our sweet homes and ancient realms expell'd; Great as the greatest that the sun beheld. The god began our line, who rules above; And, as our race, our king descends from Jove: And hither are we come, by his command, To crave admission in your happy land. How dire a tempest, from Mycenae pour'd, Our plains, our temples, and our town devour'd; What was the waste of war, what fierce alarms Shook Asia's crown with European arms; Ev'n such have heard, if any such there be, Whose earth is bounded by the frozen sea; And such as, born beneath the burning sky And sultry sun, betwixt the tropics lie. From that dire deluge, thro' the wat'ry waste, Such length of years, such various perils past, At last escap'd, to Latium we repair, To beg what you without your want may spare: The common water, and the common air; Sheds which ourselves will build, and mean abodes, Fit to receive and serve our banish'd gods. Nor our admission shall your realm disgrace, Nor length of time our gratitude efface. Besides, what endless honor you shall gain, To save and shelter Troy's unhappy train! Now, by my sov'reign, and his fate, I swear, Renown'd for faith in peace, for force in war; Oft our alliance other lands desir'd, And, what we seek of you, of us requir'd. Despite not then, that in our hands we bear These holy boughs, sue with words of pray'r. Fate and the gods, by their supreme command, Have doom'd our ships to seek the Latian land. To these abodes our fleet Apollo sends; Here Dardanus was born, and hither tends; Where Tuscan Tiber rolls with rapid force, And where Numicus opes his holy source. Besides, our prince presents, with his request, Some small remains of what his sire possess'd. This golden charger, snatch'd from burning Troy, Anchises did in sacrifice employ; This royal robe and this tiara wore Old Priam, and this golden scepter bore In full assemblies, and in solemn games; These purple vests were weav'd by Dardan dames."
Thus while he spoke, Latinus roll'd around His eyes, and fix'd a while upon the ground. Intent he seem'd, and anxious in his breast; Not by the scepter mov'd, or kingly vest, But pond'ring future things of wondrous weight; Succession, empire, and his daughter's fate. On these he mus'd within his thoughtful mind, And then revolv'd what Faunus had divin'd. This was the foreign prince, by fate decreed To share his scepter, and Lavinia's bed; This was the race that sure portents foreshew To sway the world, and land and sea subdue. At length he rais'd his cheerful head, and spoke: "The pow'rs," said he, "the pow'rs we both invoke, To you, and yours, and mine, propitious be, And firm our purpose with their augury! Have what you ask; your presents I receive; Land, where and when you please, with ample leave; Partake and use my kingdom as your own; All shall be yours, while I command the crown: And, if my wish'd alliance please your king, Tell him he should not send the peace, but bring. Then let him not a friend's embraces fear; The peace is made when I behold him here. Besides this answer, tell my royal guest, I add to his commands my own request: One only daughter heirs my crown and state, Whom not our oracles, nor Heav'n, nor fate, Nor frequent prodigies, permit to join With any native of th' Ausonian line. A foreign son-in-law shall come from far (Such is our doom), a chief renown'd in war, Whose race shall bear aloft the Latian name, And thro' the conquer'd world diffuse our fame. Himself to be the man the fates require, I firmly judge, and, what I judge, desire."
He said, and then on each bestow'd a steed. Three hundred horses, in high stables fed, Stood ready, shining all, and smoothly dress'd: Of these he chose the fairest and the best, To mount the Trojan troop. At his command The steeds caparison'd with purple stand, With golden trappings, glorious to behold, And champ betwixt their teeth the foaming gold. Then to his absent guest the king decreed A pair of coursers born of heav'nly breed, Who from their nostrils breath'd ethereal fire; Whom Circe stole from her celestial sire, By substituting mares produc'd on earth, Whose wombs conceiv'd a more than mortal birth. These draw the chariot which Latinus sends, And the rich present to the prince commends. Sublime on stately steeds the Trojans borne, To their expecting lord with peace return.
But jealous Juno, from Pachynus' height, As she from Argos took her airy flight, Beheld with envious eyes this hateful sight. She saw the Trojan and his joyful train Descend upon the shore, desert the main, Design a town, and, with unhop'd success, Th' embassadors return with promis'd peace. Then, pierc'd with pain, she shook her haughty head, Sigh'd from her inward soul, and thus she said: "O hated offspring of my Phrygian foes! O fates of Troy, which Juno's fates oppose! Could they not fall unpitied on the plain, But slain revive, and, taken, scape again? When execrable Troy in ashes lay, Thro' fires and swords and seas they forc'd their way. Then vanquish'd Juno must in vain contend, Her rage disarm'd, her empire at an end. Breathless and tir'd, is all my fury spent? Or does my glutted spleen at length relent? As if 't were little from their town to chase, I thro' the seas pursued their exil'd race; Ingag'd the heav'ns, oppos'd the stormy main; But billows roar'd, and tempests rag'd in vain. What have my Scyllas and my Syrtes done, When these they overpass, and those they shun? On Tiber's shores they land, secure of fate, Triumphant o'er the storms and Juno's hate. Mars could in mutual blood the Centaurs bathe, And Jove himself gave way to Cynthia's wrath, Who sent the tusky boar to Calydon; (What great offense had either people done?) But I, the consort of the Thunderer, Have wag'd a long and unsuccessful war, With various arts and arms in vain have toil'd, And by a mortal man at length am foil'd. If native pow'r prevail not, shall I doubt To seek for needful succor from without? If Jove and Heav'n my just desires deny, Hell shall the pow'r of Heav'n and Jove supply. Grant that the Fates have firm'd, by their decree, The Trojan race to reign in Italy; At least I can defer the nuptial day, And with protracted wars the peace delay: With blood the dear alliance shall be bought, And both the people near destruction brought; So shall the son-in-law and father join, With ruin, war, and waste of either line. O fatal maid, thy marriage is endow'd With Phrygian, Latian, and Rutulian blood! Bellona leads thee to thy lover's hand; Another queen brings forth another brand, To burn with foreign fires another land! A second Paris, diff'ring but in name, Shall fire his country with a second flame."
Thus having said, she sinks beneath the ground, With furious haste, and shoots the Stygian sound, To rouse Alecto from th' infernal seat Of her dire sisters, and their dark retreat. This Fury, fit for her intent, she chose; One who delights in wars and human woes. Ev'n Pluto hates his own misshapen race; Her sister Furies fly her hideous face; So frightful are the forms the monster takes, So fierce the hissings of her speckled snakes. Her Juno finds, and thus inflames her spite: "O virgin daughter of eternal Night, Give me this once thy labor, to sustain My right, and execute my just disdain. Let not the Trojans, with a feign'd pretense Of proffer'd peace, delude the Latian prince. Expel from Italy that odious name, And let not Juno suffer in her fame. 'T is thine to ruin realms, o'erturn a state, Betwixt the dearest friends to raise debate, And kindle kindred blood to mutual hate. Thy hand o'er towns the fun'ral torch displays, And forms a thousand ills ten thousand ways. Now shake, out thy fruitful breast, the seeds Of envy, discord, and of cruel deeds: Confound the peace establish'd, and prepare Their souls to hatred, and their hands to war."
Smear'd as she was with black Gorgonian blood, The Fury sprang above the Stygian flood; And on her wicker wings, sublime thro' night, She to the Latian palace took her flight: There sought the queen's apartment, stood before The peaceful threshold, and besieg'd the door. Restless Amata lay, her swelling breast Fir'd with disdain for Turnus dispossess'd, And the new nuptials of the Trojan guest. From her black bloody locks the Fury shakes Her darling plague, the fav'rite of her snakes; With her full force she threw the poisonous dart, And fix'd it deep within Amata's heart, That, thus envenom'd, she might kindle rage, And sacrifice to strife her house husband's age. Unseen, unfelt, the fiery serpent skims Betwixt her linen and her naked limbs; His baleful breath inspiring, as he glides, Now like a chain around her neck he rides, Now like a fillet to her head repairs, And with his circling volumes folds her hairs. At first the silent venom slid with ease, And seiz'd her cooler senses by degrees; Then, ere th' infected mass was fir'd too far, In plaintive accents she began the war, And thus bespoke her husband: "Shall," she said, "A wand'ring prince enjoy Lavinia's bed? If nature plead not in a parent's heart, Pity my tears, and pity her desert. I know, my dearest lord, the time will come, You in vain, reverse your cruel doom; The faithless pirate soon will set to sea, And bear the royal virgin far away! A guest like him, a Trojan guest before, In shew of friendship sought the Spartan shore, And ravish'd Helen from her husband bore. Think on a king's inviolable word; And think on Turnus, her once plighted lord: To this false foreigner you give your throne, And wrong a friend, a kinsman, and a son. Resume your ancient care; and, if the god Your sire, and you, resolve on foreign blood, Know all are foreign, in a larger sense, Not born your subjects, or deriv'd from hence. Then, if the line of Turnus you retrace, He springs from Inachus of Argive race."
But when she saw her reasons idly spent, And could not move him from his fix'd intent, She flew to rage; for now the snake possess'd Her vital parts, and poison'd all her breast; She raves, she runs with a distracted pace, And fills with horrid howls the public place. And, as young striplings whip the top for sport, On the smooth pavement of an empty court; The wooden engine flies and whirls about, Admir'd, with clamors, of the beardless rout; They lash aloud; each other they provoke, And lend their little souls at ev'ry stroke: Thus fares the queen; and thus her fury blows Amidst the crowd, and kindles as she goes. Nor yet content, she strains her malice more, And adds new ills to those contriv'd before: She flies the town, and, mixing with a throng Of madding matrons, bears the bride along, Wand'ring thro' woods and wilds, and devious ways, And with these arts the Trojan match delays. She feign'd the rites of Bacchus; cried aloud, And to the buxom god the virgin vow'd. "Evoe! O Bacchus!" thus began the song; And "Evoe!" answer'd all the female throng. "O virgin! worthy thee alone!" she cried; "O worthy thee alone!" the crew replied. "For thee she feeds her hair, she leads thy dance, And with thy winding ivy wreathes her lance." Like fury seiz'd the rest; the progress known, All seek the mountains, and forsake the town: All, clad in skins of beasts, the jav'lin bear, Give to the wanton winds their flowing hair, And shrieks and shoutings rend the suff'ring air. The queen herself, inspir'd with rage divine, Shook high above her head a flaming pine; Then roll'd her haggard eyes around the throng, And sung, in Turnus' name, the nuptial song: "Io, ye Latian dames! if any here Hold your unhappy queen, Amata, dear; If there be here," she said, who dare maintain My right, nor think the name of mother vain; Unbind your fillets, loose your flowing hair, And orgies and nocturnal rites prepare."
Amata's breast the Fury thus invades, And fires with rage, amid the sylvan shades; Then, when she found her venom spread so far, The royal house embroil'd in civil war, Rais'd on her dusky wings, she cleaves the skies, And seeks the palace where young Turnus lies. His town, as fame reports, was built of old By Danae, pregnant with almighty gold, Who fled her father's rage, and, with a train Of following Argives, thro' the stormy main, Driv'n by the southern blasts, was fated here to reign. 'T was Ardua once; now Ardea's name it bears; Once a fair city, now consum'd with years. Here, in his lofty palace, Turnus lay, Betwixt the confines of the night and day, Secure in sleep. The Fury laid aside Her looks and limbs, and with new methods tried The foulness of th' infernal form to hide. Propp'd on a staff, she takes a trembling mien: Her face is furrow'd, and her front obscene; Deep-dinted wrinkles on her cheek she draws; Sunk are her eyes, and toothless are her jaws; Her hoary hair with holy fillets bound, Her temples with an olive wreath are crown'd. Old Chalybe, who kept the sacred fane Of Juno, now she seem'd, and thus began, Appearing in a dream, to rouse the careless man: "Shall Turnus then such endless toil sustain In fighting fields, and conquer towns in vain? Win, for a Trojan head to wear the prize, Usurp thy crown, enjoy thy victories? The bride and scepter which thy blood has bought, The king transfers; and foreign heirs are sought. Go now, deluded man, and seek again New toils, new dangers, on the dusty plain. Repel the Tuscan foes; their city seize; Protect the Latians in luxurious ease. This dream all-pow'rful Juno sends; I bear Her mighty mandates, and her words you hear. Haste; arm your Ardeans; issue to the plain; With fate to friend, assault the Trojan train: Their thoughtless chiefs, their painted ships, that lie In Tiber's mouth, with fire and sword destroy. The Latian king, unless he shall submit, Own his old promise, and his new forget- Let him, in arms, the pow'r of Turnus prove, And learn to fear whom he disdains to love. For such is Heav'n's command." The youthful prince With scorn replied, and made this bold defense: "You tell me, mother, what I knew before: The Phrygian fleet is landed on the shore. I neither fear nor will provoke the war; My fate is Juno's most peculiar care. But time has made you dote, and vainly tell Of arms imagin'd in your lonely cell. Go; be the temple and the gods your care; Permit to men the thought of peace and war."
These haughty words Alecto's rage provoke, And frighted Turnus trembled as she spoke. Her eyes grow stiffen'd, and with sulphur burn; Her hideous looks and hellish form return; Her curling snakes with hissings fill the place, And open all the furies of her face: Then, darting fire from her malignant eyes, She cast him backward as he strove to rise, And, ling'ring, sought to frame some new replies. High on her head she rears two twisted snakes, Her chains she rattles, and her whip she shakes; And, churning bloody foam, thus loudly speaks: "Behold whom time has made to dote, and tell Of arms imagin'd in her lonely cell! Behold the Fates' infernal minister! War, death, destruction, in my hand I bear."
Thus having said, her smold'ring torch, impress'd With her full force, she plung'd into his breast. Aghast he wak'd; and, starting from his bed, Cold sweat, in clammy drops, his limbs o'erspread. "Arms! arms!" he cries: "my sword and shield prepare!" He breathes defiance, blood, and mortal war. So, when with crackling flames a caldron fries, The bubbling waters from the bottom rise: Above the brims they force their fiery way; Black vapors climb aloft, and cloud the day.
The peace polluted thus, a chosen band He first commissions to the Latian land, In threat'ning embassy; then rais'd the rest, To meet in arms th' intruding Trojan guest, To force the foes from the Lavinian shore, And Italy's indanger'd peace restore. Himself alone an equal match he boasts, To fight the Phrygian and Ausonian hosts. The gods invok'd, the Rutuli prepare Their arms, and warn each other to the war. His beauty these, and those his blooming age, The rest his house and his own fame ingage.
While Turnus urges thus his enterprise, The Stygian Fury to the Trojans flies; New frauds invents, and takes a steepy stand, Which overlooks the vale with wide command; Where fair Ascanius and his youthful train, With horns and hounds, a hunting match ordain, And pitch their toils around the shady plain. The Fury fires the pack; they snuff, they vent, And feed their hungry nostrils with the scent. 'Twas of a well-grown stag, whose antlers rise High o'er his front; his beams invade the skies. From this light cause th' infernal maid prepares The country churls to mischief, hate, and wars.
The stately beast the two Tyrrhidae bred, Snatch'd from his dams, and the tame youngling fed. Their father Tyrrheus did his fodder bring, Tyrrheus, chief ranger to the Latian king: Their sister Silvia cherish'd with her care The little wanton, and did wreaths prepare To hang his budding horns, with ribbons tied His tender neck, and comb'd his silken hide, And bathed his body. Patient of command In time he grew, and, growing us'd to hand, He waited at his master's board for food; Then sought his salvage kindred in the wood, Where grazing all the day, at night he came To his known lodgings, and his country dame.
This household beast, that us'd the woodland grounds, Was view'd at first by the young hero's hounds, As down the stream he swam, to seek retreat In the cool waters, and to quench his heat. Ascanius young, and eager of his game, Soon bent his bow, uncertain in his aim; But the dire fiend the fatal arrow guides, Which pierc'd his bowels thro' his panting sides. The bleeding creature issues from the floods, Possess'd with fear, and seeks his known abodes, His old familiar hearth and household gods. He falls; he fills the house with heavy groans, Implores their pity, and his pain bemoans. Young Silvia beats her breast, and cries aloud For succor from the clownish neighborhood: The churls assemble; for the fiend, who lay In the close woody covert, urg'd their way. One with a brand yet burning from the flame, Arm'd with a knotty club another came: Whate'er they catch or find, without their care, Their fury makes an instrument of war. Tyrrheus, the foster father of the beast, Then clench'd a hatchet in his horny fist, But held his hand from the descending stroke, And left his wedge within the cloven oak, To whet their courage and their rage provoke. And now the goddess, exercis'd in ill, Who watch'd an hour to work her impious will, Ascends the roof, and to her crooked horn, Such as was then by Latian shepherds borne, Adds all her breath: the rocks and woods around, And mountains, tremble at th' infernal sound. The sacred lake of Trivia from afar, The Veline fountains, and sulphureous Nar, Shake at the baleful blast, the signal of the war. Young mothers wildly stare, with fear possess'd, And strain their helpless infants to their breast.
The clowns, a boist'rous, rude, ungovern'd crew, With furious haste to the loud summons flew. The pow'rs of Troy, then issuing on the plain, With fresh recruits their youthful chief sustain: Not theirs a raw and unexperienc'd train, But a firm body of embattled men. At first, while fortune favor'd neither side, The fight with clubs and burning brands was tried; But now, both parties reinforc'd, the fields Are bright with flaming swords and brazen shields. A shining harvest either host displays, And shoots against the sun with equal rays. Thus, when a black-brow'd gust begins to rise, White foam at first on the curl'd ocean fries; Then roars the main, the billows mount the skies; Till, by the fury of the storm full blown, The muddy bottom o'er the clouds is thrown. First Almon falls, old Tyrrheus' eldest care, Pierc'd with an arrow from the distant war: Fix'd in his throat the flying weapon stood, And stopp'd his breath, and drank his vital blood Huge heaps of slain around the body rise: Among the rest, the rich Galesus lies; A good old man, while peace he preach'd in vain, Amidst the madness of th' unruly train: Five herds, five bleating flocks, his pastures fill'd; His lands a hundred yoke of oxen till'd.
Thus, while in equal scales their fortune stood The Fury bath'd them in each other's blood; Then, having fix'd the fight, exulting flies, And bears fulfill'd her promise to the skies. To Juno thus she speaks: "Behold! It is done, The blood already drawn, the war begun; The discord is complete; nor can they cease The dire debate, nor you command the peace. Now, since the Latian and the Trojan brood Have tasted vengeance and the sweets of blood; Speak, and my pow'r shall add this office more: The neighb'ing nations of th' Ausonian shore Shall hear the dreadful rumor, from afar, Of arm'd invasion, and embrace the war." Then Juno thus: "The grateful work is done, The seeds of discord sow'd, the war begun; Frauds, fears, and fury have possess'd the state, And fix'd the causes of a lasting hate. A bloody Hymen shall th' alliance join Betwixt the Trojan and Ausonian line: But thou with speed to night and hell repair; For not the gods, nor angry Jove, will bear Thy lawless wand'ring walks in upper air. Leave what remains to me." Saturnia said: The sullen fiend her sounding wings display'd, Unwilling left the light, and sought the nether shade.
In midst of Italy, well known to fame, There lies a lake (Amsanctus is the name) Below the lofty mounts: on either side Thick forests the forbidden entrance hide. Full in the center of the sacred wood An arm arises of the Stygian flood, Which, breaking from beneath with bellowing sound, Whirls the black waves and rattling stones around. Here Pluto pants for breath from out his cell, And opens wide the grinning jaws of hell. To this infernal lake the Fury flies; Here hides her hated head, and frees the lab'ring skies.
Saturnian Juno now, with double care, Attends the fatal process of the war. The clowns, return'd, from battle bear the slain, Implore the gods, and to their king complain. The corps of Almon and the rest are shown; Shrieks, clamors, murmurs, fill the frighted town. Ambitious Turnus in the press appears, And, aggravating crimes, augments their fears; Proclaims his private injuries aloud, A solemn promise made, and disavow'd; A foreign son is sought, and a mix'd mungril brood. Then they, whose mothers, frantic with their fear, In woods and wilds the flags of Bacchus bear, And lead his dances with dishevel'd hair, Increase the clamor, and the war demand, (Such was Amata's interest in the land,) Against the public sanctions of the peace, Against all omens of their ill success. With fates averse, the rout in arms resort, To force their monarch, and insult the court. But, like a rock unmov'd, a rock that braves The raging tempest and the rising waves- Propp'd on himself he stands; his solid sides Wash off the seaweeds, and the sounding tides- So stood the pious prince, unmov'd, and long Sustain'd the madness of the noisy throng. But, when he found that Juno's pow'r prevail'd, And all the methods of cool counsel fail'd, He calls the gods to witness their offense, Disclaims the war, asserts his innocence. "Hurried by fate," he cries, "and borne before A furious wind, we have the faithful shore. O more than madmen! you yourselves shall bear The guilt of blood and sacrilegious war: Thou, Turnus, shalt atone it by thy fate, And pray to Heav'n for peace, but pray too late. For me, my stormy voyage at an end, I to the port of death securely tend. The fun'ral pomp which to your kings you pay, Is all I want, and all you take away." He said no more, but, in his walls confin'd, Shut out the woes which he too well divin'd Nor with the rising storm would vainly strive, But left the helm, and let the vessel drive.
A solemn custom was observ'd of old, Which Latium held, and now the Romans hold, Their standard when in fighting fields they rear Against the fierce Hyrcanians, or declare The Scythian, Indian, or Arabian war; Or from the boasting Parthians would regain Their eagles, lost in Carrhae's bloody plain. Two gates of steel (the name of Mars they bear, And still are worship'd with religious fear) Before his temple stand: the dire abode, And the fear'd issues of the furious god, Are fenc'd with brazen bolts; without the gates, The wary guardian Janus doubly waits. Then, when the sacred senate votes the wars, The Roman consul their decree declares, And in his robes the sounding gates unbars. The youth in military shouts arise, And the loud trumpets break the yielding skies. These rites, of old by sov'reign princes us'd, Were the king's office; but the king refus'd, Deaf to their cries, nor would the gates unbar Of sacred peace, or loose th' imprison'd war; But hid his head, and, safe from loud alarms, Abhorr'd the wicked ministry of arms. Then heav'n's imperious queen shot down from high: At her approach the brazen hinges fly; The gates are forc'd, and ev'ry falling bar; And, like a tempest, issues out the war.
The peaceful cities of th' Ausonian shore, Lull'd in their ease, and undisturb'd before, Are all on fire; and some, with studious care, Their restiff steeds in sandy plains prepare; Some their soft limbs in painful marches try, And war is all their wish, and arms the gen'ral cry. Part scour the rusty shields with seam; and part New grind the blunted ax, and point the dart: With joy they view the waving ensigns fly, And hear the trumpet's clangor pierce the sky. Five cities forge their arms: th' Atinian pow'rs, Antemnae, Tibur with her lofty tow'rs, Ardea the proud, the Crustumerian town: All these of old were places of renown. Some hammer helmets for the fighting field; Some twine young sallows to support the shield; The croslet some, and some the cuishes mold, With silver plated, and with ductile gold. The rustic honors of the scythe and share Give place to swords and plumes, the pride of war. Old fauchions are new temper'd in the fires; The sounding trumpet ev'ry soul inspires. The word is giv'n; with eager speed they lace The shining headpiece, and the shield embrace. The neighing steeds are to the chariot tied; The trusty weapon sits on ev'ry side.
And now the mighty labor is begun Ye Muses, open all your Helicon. Sing you the chiefs that sway'd th' Ausonian land, Their arms, and armies under their command; What warriors in our ancient clime were bred; What soldiers follow'd, and what heroes led. For well you know, and can record alone, What fame to future times conveys but darkly down. Mezentius first appear'd upon the plain: Scorn sate upon his brows, and sour disdain, Defying earth and heav'n. Etruria lost, He brings to Turnus' aid his baffled host. The charming Lausus, full of youthful fire, Rode in the rank, and next his sullen sire; To Turnus only second in the grace Of manly mien, and features of the face. A skilful horseman, and a huntsman bred, With fates averse a thousand men he led: His sire unworthy of so brave a son; Himself well worthy of a happier throne.
Next Aventinus drives his chariot round The Latian plains, with palms and laurels crown'd. Proud of his steeds, he smokes along the field; His father's hydra fills his ample shield: A hundred serpents hiss about the brims; The son of Hercules he justly seems By his broad shoulders and gigantic limbs; Of heav'nly part, and part of earthly blood, A mortal woman mixing with a god. For strong Alcides, after he had slain The triple Geryon, drove from conquer'd Spain His captive herds; and, thence in triumph led, On Tuscan Tiber's flow'ry banks they fed. Then on Mount Aventine the son of Jove The priestess Rhea found, and forc'd to love. For arms, his men long piles and jav'lins bore; And poles with pointed steel their foes in battle gore. Like Hercules himself his son appears, In salvage pomp; a lion's hide he wears; About his shoulders hangs the shaggy skin; The teeth and gaping jaws severely grin. Thus, like the god his father, homely dress'd, He strides into the hall, a horrid guest.
Then two twin brothers from fair Tibur came, (Which from their brother Tiburs took the name,) Fierce Coras and Catillus, void of fear: Arm'd Argive horse they led, and in the front appear. Like cloud-born Centaurs, from the mountain's height With rapid course descending to the fight; They rush along; the rattling woods give way; The branches bend before their sweepy sway.
Nor was Praeneste's founder wanting there, Whom fame reports the son of Mulciber: Found in the fire, and foster'd in the plains, A shepherd and a king at once he reigns, And leads to Turnus' aid his country swains. His own Praeneste sends a chosen band, With those who plow Saturnia's Gabine land; Besides the succor which cold Anien yields, The rocks of Hernicus, and dewy fields, Anagnia fat, and Father Amasene- A num'rous rout, but all of naked men: Nor arms they wear, nor swords and bucklers wield, Nor drive the chariot thro' the dusty field, But whirl from leathern slings huge balls of lead, And spoils of yellow wolves adorn their head; The left foot naked, when they march to fight, But in a bull's raw hide they sheathe the right. Messapus next, (great Neptune was his sire,) Secure of steel, and fated from the fire, In pomp appears, and with his ardor warms A heartless train, unexercis'd in arms: The just Faliscans he to battle brings, And those who live where Lake Ciminia springs; And where Feronia's grove and temple stands, Who till Fescennian or Flavinian lands. All these in order march, and marching sing The warlike actions of their sea-born king; Like a long team of snowy swans on high, Which clap their wings, and cleave the liquid sky, When, homeward from their wat'ry pastures borne, They sing, and Asia's lakes their notes return. Not one who heard their music from afar, Would think these troops an army train'd to war, But flocks of fowl, that, when the tempests roar, With their hoarse gabbling seek the silent shore.
Then Clausus came, who led a num'rous band Of troops embodied from the Sabine land, And, in himself alone, an army brought. 'T was he, the noble Claudian race begot, The Claudian race, ordain'd, in times to come, To share the greatness of imperial Rome. He led the Cures forth, of old renown, Mutuscans from their olive-bearing town, And all th' Eretian pow'rs; besides a band That follow'd from Velinum's dewy land, And Amiternian troops, of mighty fame, And mountaineers, that from Severus came, And from the craggy cliffs of Tetrica, And those where yellow Tiber takes his way, And where Himella's wanton waters play. Casperia sends her arms, with those that lie By Fabaris, and fruitful Foruli: The warlike aids of Horta next appear, And the cold Nursians come to close the rear, Mix'd with the natives born of Latine blood, Whom Allia washes with her fatal flood. Not thicker billows beat the Libyan main, When pale Orion sets in wintry rain; Nor thicker harvests on rich Hermus rise, Or Lycian fields, when Phoebus burns the skies, Than stand these troops: their bucklers ring around; Their trampling turns the turf, and shakes the solid ground.
High in his chariot then Halesus came, A foe by birth to Troy's unhappy name: From Agamemnon born- to Turnus' aid A thousand men the youthful hero led, Who till the Massic soil, for wine renown'd, And fierce Auruncans from their hilly ground, And those who live by Sidicinian shores, And where with shoaly fords Vulturnus roars, Cales' and Osca's old inhabitants, And rough Saticulans, inur'd to wants: Light demi-lances from afar they throw, Fasten'd with leathern thongs, to gall the foe. Short crooked swords in closer fight they wear; And on their warding arm light bucklers bear.
Nor Oebalus, shalt thou be left unsung, From nymph Semethis and old Telon sprung, Who then in Teleboan Capri reign'd; But that short isle th' ambitious youth disdain'd, And o'er Campania stretch'd his ample sway, Where swelling Sarnus seeks the Tyrrhene sea; O'er Batulum, and where Abella sees, From her high tow'rs, the harvest of her trees. And these (as was the Teuton use of old) Wield brazen swords, and brazen bucklers hold; Sling weighty stones, when from afar they fight; Their casques are cork, a covering thick and light.
Next these in rank, the warlike Ufens went, And led the mountain troops that Nursia sent. The rude Equicolae his rule obey'd; Hunting their sport, and plund'ring was their trade. In arms they plow'd, to battle still prepar'd: Their soil was barren, and their hearts were hard.
Umbro the priest the proud Marrubians led, By King Archippus sent to Turnus' aid, And peaceful olives crown'd his hoary head. His wand and holy words, the viper's rage, And venom'd wounds of serpents could assuage. He, when he pleas'd with powerful juice to steep Their temples, shut their eyes in pleasing sleep. But vain were Marsian herbs, and magic art, To cure the wound giv'n by the Dardan dart: Yet his untimely fate th' Angitian woods In sighs remurmur'd to the Fucine floods.
The son of fam'd Hippolytus was there, Fam'd as his sire, and, as his mother, fair; Whom in Egerian groves Aricia bore, And nurs'd his youth along the marshy shore, Where great Diana's peaceful altars flame, In fruitful fields; and Virbius was his name. Hippolytus, as old records have said, Was by his stepdam sought to share her bed; But, when no female arts his mind could move, She turn'd to furious hate her impious love. Torn by wild horses on the sandy shore, Another's crimes th' unhappy hunter bore, Glutting his father's eyes with guiltless gore. But chaste Diana, who his death deplor'd, With Aesculapian herbs his life restor'd. Then Jove, who saw from high, with just disdain, The dead inspir'd with vital breath again, Struck to the center, with his flaming dart, Th' unhappy founder of the godlike art. But Trivia kept in secret shades alone Her care, Hippolytus, to fate unknown; And call'd him Virbius in th' Egerian grove, Where then he liv'd obscure, but safe from Jove. For this, from Trivia's temple and her wood Are coursers driv'n, who shed their master's blood, Affrighted by the monsters of the flood. His son, the second Virbius, yet retain'd His father's art, and warrior steeds he rein'd.
Amid the troops, and like the leading god, High o'er the rest in arms the graceful Turnus rode: A triple of plumes his crest adorn'd, On which with belching flames Chimaera burn'd: The more the kindled combat rises high'r, The more with fury burns the blazing fire. Fair Io grac'd his shield; but Io now With horns exalted stands, and seems to low- A noble charge! Her keeper by her side, To watch her walks, his hundred eyes applied; And on the brims her sire, the wat'ry god, Roll'd from a silver urn his crystal flood. A cloud of foot succeeds, and fills the fields With swords, and pointed spears, and clatt'ring shields; Of Argives, and of old Sicanian bands, And those who plow the rich Rutulian lands; Auruncan youth, and those Sacrana yields, And the proud Labicans, with painted shields, And those who near Numician streams reside, And those whom Tiber's holy forests hide, Or Circe's hills from the main land divide; Where Ufens glides along the lowly lands, Or the black water of Pomptina stands.
Last, from the Volscians fair Camilla came, And led her warlike troops, a warrior dame; Unbred to spinning, in the loom unskill'd, She chose the nobler Pallas of the field. Mix'd with the first, the fierce virago fought, Sustain'd the toils of arms, the danger sought, Outstripp'd the winds in speed upon the plain, Flew o'er the fields, nor hurt the bearded grain: She swept the seas, and, as she skimm'd along, Her flying feet unbath'd on billows hung. Men, boys, and women, stupid with surprise, Where'er she passes, fix their wond'ring eyes: Longing they look, and, gaping at the sight, Devour her o'er and o'er with vast delight; Her purple habit sits with such a grace On her smooth shoulders, and so suits her face; Her head with ringlets of her hair is crown'd, And in a golden caul the curls are bound. She shakes her myrtle jav'lin; and, behind, Her Lycian quiver dances in the wind.
When Turnus had assembled all his pow'rs, His standard planted on Laurentum's tow'rs; When now the sprightly trumpet, from afar, Had giv'n the signal of approaching war, Had rous'd the neighing steeds to scour the fields, While the fierce riders clatter'd on their shields; Trembling with rage, the Latian youth prepare To join th' allies, and headlong rush to war. Fierce Ufens, and Messapus, led the crowd, With bold Mezentius, who blasphem'd aloud. These thro' the country took their wasteful course, The fields to forage, and to gather force. Then Venulus to Diomede they send, To beg his aid Ausonia to defend, Declare the common danger, and inform The Grecian leader of the growing storm: Aeneas, landed on the Latian coast, With banish'd gods, and with a baffled host, Yet now aspir'd to conquest of the state, And claim'd a title from the gods and fate; What num'rous nations in his quarrel came, And how they spread his formidable name. What he design'd, what mischief might arise, If fortune favor'd his first enterprise, Was left for him to weigh, whose equal fears, And common interest, was involv'd in theirs.
While Turnus and th' allies thus urge the war, The Trojan, floating in a flood of care, Beholds the tempest which his foes prepare. This way and that he turns his anxious mind; Thinks, and rejects the counsels he design'd; Explores himself in vain, in ev'ry part, And gives no rest to his distracted heart. So, when the sun by day, or moon by night, Strike on the polish'd brass their trembling light, The glitt'ring species here and there divide, And cast their dubious beams from side to side; Now on the walls, now on the pavement play, And to the ceiling flash the glaring day.
'T was night; and weary nature lull'd asleep The birds of air, and fishes of the deep, And beasts, and mortal men. The Trojan chief Was laid on Tiber's banks, oppress'd with grief, And found in silent slumber late relief. Then, thro' the shadows of the poplar wood, Arose the father of the Roman flood; An azure robe was o'er his body spread, A wreath of shady reeds adorn'd his head: Thus, manifest to sight, the god appear'd, And with these pleasing words his sorrow cheer'd: "Undoubted offspring of ethereal race, O long expected in this promis'd place! Who thro' the foes hast borne thy banish'd gods, Restor'd them to their hearths, and old abodes; This is thy happy home, the clime where fate Ordains thee to restore the Trojan state. Fear not! The war shall end in lasting peace, And all the rage of haughty Juno cease. And that this nightly vision may not seem Th' effect of fancy, or an idle dream, A sow beneath an oak shall lie along, All white herself, and white her thirty young. When thirty rolling years have run their race, Thy son Ascanius, on this empty space, Shall build a royal town, of lasting fame, Which from this omen shall receive the name. Time shall approve the truth. For what remains, And how with sure success to crown thy pains, With patience next attend. A banish'd band, Driv'n with Evander from th' Arcadian land, Have planted here, and plac'd on high their walls; Their town the founder Pallanteum calls, Deriv'd from Pallas, his great-grandsire's name: But the fierce Latians old possession claim, With war infesting the new colony. These make thy friends, and on their aid rely. To thy free passage I submit my streams. Wake, son of Venus, from thy pleasing dreams; And, when the setting stars are lost in day, To Juno's pow'r thy just devotion pay; With sacrifice the wrathful queen appease: Her pride at length shall fall, her fury cease. When thou return'st victorious from the war, Perform thy vows to me with grateful care. The god am I, whose yellow water flows Around these fields, and fattens as it goes: Tiber my name; among the rolling floods Renown'd on earth, esteem'd among the gods. This is my certain seat. In times to come, My waves shall wash the walls of mighty Rome."
He said, and plung'd below. While yet he spoke, His dream Aeneas and his sleep forsook. He rose, and looking up, beheld the skies With purple blushing, and the day arise. Then water in his hollow palm he took From Tiber's flood, and thus the pow'rs bespoke: "Laurentian nymphs, by whom the streams are fed, And Father Tiber, in thy sacred bed Receive Aeneas, and from danger keep. Whatever fount, whatever holy deep, Conceals thy wat'ry stores; where'er they rise, And, bubbling from below, salute the skies; Thou, king of horned floods, whose plenteous urn Suffices fatness to the fruitful corn, For this thy kind compassion of our woes, Shalt share my morning song and ev'ning vows. But, O be present to thy people's aid, And firm the gracious promise thou hast made!" Thus having said, two galleys from his stores, With care he chooses, mans, and fits with oars. Now on the shore the fatal swine is found. Wondrous to tell!- She lay along the ground: Her well-fed offspring at her udders hung; She white herself, and white her thirty young. Aeneas takes the mother and her brood, And all on Juno's altar are bestow'd.
The foll'wing night, and the succeeding day, Propitious Tiber smooth'd his wat'ry way: He roll'd his river back, and pois'd he stood, A gentle swelling, and a peaceful flood. The Trojans mount their ships; they put from shore, Borne on the waves, and scarcely dip an oar. Shouts from the land give omen to their course, And the pitch'd vessels glide with easy force. The woods and waters wonder at the gleam Of shields, and painted ships that stem the stream. One summer's night and one whole day they pass Betwixt the greenwood shades, and cut the liquid glass. The fiery sun had finish'd half his race, Look'd back, and doubted in the middle space, When they from far beheld the rising tow'rs, The tops of sheds, and shepherds' lowly bow'rs, Thin as they stood, which, then of homely clay, Now rise in marble, from the Roman sway. These cots (Evander's kingdom, mean and poor) The Trojan saw, and turn'd his ships to shore. 'T was on a solemn day: th' Arcadian states, The king and prince, without the city gates, Then paid their off'rings in a sacred grove To Hercules, the warrior son of Jove. Thick clouds of rolling smoke involve the skies, And fat of entrails on his altar fries.
But, when they saw the ships that stemm'd the flood, And glitter'd thro' the covert of the wood, They rose with fear, and left th' unfinish'd feast, Till dauntless Pallas reassur'd the rest To pay the rites. Himself without delay A jav'lin seiz'd, and singly took his way; Then gain'd a rising ground, and call'd from far: "Resolve me, strangers, whence, and what you are; Your bus'ness here; and bring you peace or war?" High on the stern Aeneas his stand, And held a branch of olive in his hand, While thus he spoke: "The Phrygians' arms you see, Expell'd from Troy, provok'd in Italy By Latian foes, with war unjustly made; At first affianc'd, and at last betray'd. This message bear: 'The Trojans and their chief Bring holy peace, and beg the king's relief.' Struck with so great a name, and all on fire, The youth replies: "Whatever you require, Your fame exacts. Upon our shores descend. A welcome guest, and, what you wish, a friend." He said, and, downward hasting to the strand, Embrac'd the stranger prince, and join'd his hand.
Conducted to the grove, Aeneas broke The silence first, and thus the king bespoke: "Best of the Greeks, to whom, by fate's command, I bear these peaceful branches in my hand, Undaunted I approach you, tho' I know Your birth is Grecian, and your land my foe; From Atreus tho' your ancient lineage came, And both the brother kings your kindred claim; Yet, my self-conscious worth, your high renown, Your virtue, thro' the neighb'ring nations blown, Our fathers' mingled blood, Apollo's voice, Have led me hither, less by need than choice. Our founder Dardanus, as fame has sung, And Greeks acknowledge, from Electra sprung: Electra from the loins of Atlas came; Atlas, whose head sustains the starry frame. Your sire is Mercury, whom long before On cold Cyllene's top fair Maia bore. Maia the fair, on fame if we rely, Was Atlas' daughter, who sustains the sky. Thus from one common source our streams divide; Ours is the Trojan, yours th' Areadian side. Rais'd by these hopes, I sent no news before, Nor ask'd your leave, nor did your faith implore; But come, without a pledge, my own ambassador. The same Rutulians, who with arms pursue The Trojan race, are equal foes to you. Our host expell'd, what farther force can stay The victor troops from universal sway? Then will they stretch their pow'r athwart the land, And either sea from side to side command. Receive our offer'd faith, and give us thine; Ours is a gen'rous and experienc'd line: We want not hearts nor bodies for the war; In council cautious, and in fields we dare."
He said; and while spoke, with piercing eyes Evander view'd the man with vast surprise, Pleas'd with his action, ravish'd with his face: Then answer'd briefly, with a royal grace: "O valiant leader of the Trojan line, In whom the features of thy father shine, How I recall Anchises! how I see His motions, mien, and all my friend, in thee! Long tho' it be, 't is fresh within my mind, When Priam to his sister's court design'd A welcome visit, with a friendly stay, And thro' th' Arcadian kingdom took his way. Then, past a boy, the callow down began To shade my chin, and call me first a man. I saw the shining train with vast delight, And Priam's goodly person pleas'd my sight: But great Anchises, far above the rest, With awful wonder fir'd my youthful breast. I long'd to join in friendship's holy bands Our mutual hearts, and plight our mutual hands. I first accosted him: I sued, I sought, And, with a loving force, to Pheneus brought. He gave me, when at length constrain'd to go, A Lycian quiver and a Gnossian bow, A vest embroider'd, glorious to behold, And two rich bridles, with their bits of gold, Which my son's coursers in obedience hold. The league you ask, I offer, as your right; And, when to-morrow's sun reveals the light, With swift supplies you shall be sent away. Now celebrate with us this solemn day, Whose holy rites admit no long delay. Honor our annual feast; and take your seat, With friendly welcome, at a homely treat." Thus having said, the bowls (remov'd for fear) The youths replac'd, and soon restor'd the cheer. On sods of turf he set the soldiers round: A maple throne, rais'd higher from the ground, Receiv'd the Trojan chief; and, o'er the bed, A lion's shaggy hide for ornament they spread. The loaves were serv'd in canisters; the wine In bowls; the priest renew'd the rites divine: Broil'd entrails are their food, and beef's continued chine.
But when the rage of hunger was repress'd, Thus spoke Evander to his royal guest: "These rites, these altars, and this feast, O king, From no vain fears or superstition spring, Or blind devotion, or from blinder chance, Or heady zeal, or brutal ignorance; But, sav'd from danger, with a grateful sense, The labors of a god we recompense. See, from afar, yon rock that mates the sky, About whose feet such heaps of rubbish lie; Such indigested ruin; bleak and bare, How desart now it stands, expos'd in air! 'T was once a robber's den, inclos'd around With living stone, and deep beneath the ground. The monster Cacus, more than half a beast, This hold, impervious to the sun, possess'd. The pavement ever foul with human gore; Heads, and their mangled members, hung the door. Vulcan this plague begot; and, like his sire, Black clouds he belch'd, and flakes of livid fire. Time, long expected, eas'd us of our load, And brought the needful presence of a god. Th' avenging force of Hercules, from Spain, Arriv'd in triumph, from Geryon slain: Thrice liv'd the giant, and thrice liv'd in vain. His prize, the lowing herds, Alcides drove Near Tiber's bank, to graze the shady grove. Allur'd with hope of plunder, and intent By force to rob, by fraud to circumvent, The brutal Cacus, as by chance they stray'd, Four oxen thence, and four fair kine convey'd; And, lest the printed footsteps might be seen, He dragg'd 'em backwards to his rocky den. The tracks averse a lying notice gave, And led the searcher backward from the cave.
"Meantime the herdsman hero shifts his place, To find fresh pasture and untrodden grass. The beasts, who miss'd their mates, fill'd all around With bellowings, and the rocks restor'd the sound. One heifer, who had heard her love complain, Roar'd from the cave, and made the project vain. Alcides found the fraud; with rage he shook, And toss'd about his head his knotted oak. Swift as the winds, or Scythian arrows' flight, He clomb, with eager haste, th' aerial height. Then first we saw the monster mend his pace; Fear his eyes, and paleness in his face, Confess'd the god's approach. Trembling he springs, As terror had increas'd his feet with wings; Nor stay'd for stairs; but down the depth he threw His body, on his back the door he drew (The door, a rib of living rock; with pains His father hew'd it out, and bound with iron chains): He broke the heavy links, the mountain clos'd, And bars and levers to his foe oppos'd. The wretch had hardly made his dungeon fast; The fierce avenger came with bounding haste; Survey'd the mouth of the forbidden hold, And here and there his raging eyes he roll'd. He gnash'd his teeth; and thrice he compass'd round With winged speed the circuit of the ground. Thrice at the cavern's mouth he pull'd in vain, And, panting, thrice desisted from his pain. A pointed flinty rock, all bare and black, Grew gibbous from behind the mountain's back; Owls, ravens, all ill omens of the night, Here built their nests, and hither wing'd their flight. The leaning head hung threat'ning o'er the flood, And nodded to the left. The hero stood Adverse, with planted feet, and, from the right, Tugg'd at the solid stone with all his might. Thus heav'd, the fix'd foundations of the rock Gave way; heav'n echo'd at the rattling shock. Tumbling, it chok'd the flood: on either side The banks leap backward, and the streams divide; The sky shrunk upward with unusual dread, And trembling Tiber div'd beneath his bed. The court of Cacus stands reveal'd to sight; The cavern glares with new-admitted light. So the pent vapors, with a rumbling sound, Heave from below, and rend the hollow ground; A sounding flaw succeeds; and, from on high, The gods with hate beheld the nether sky: The ghosts repine at violated night, And curse th' invading sun, and sicken at the sight. The graceless monster, caught in open day, Inclos'd, and in despair to fly away, Howls horrible from underneath, and fills His hollow palace with unmanly yells. The hero stands above, and from afar Plies him with darts, and stones, and distant war. He, from his nostrils huge mouth, expires Black clouds of smoke, amidst his father's fires, Gath'ring, with each repeated blast, the night, To make uncertain aim, and erring sight. The wrathful god then plunges from above, And, where in thickest waves the sparkles drove, There lights; and wades thro' fumes, and gropes his way, Half sing'd, half stifled, till he grasps his prey. The monster, spewing fruitless flames, he found; He squeez'd his throat; he writh'd his neck around, And in a knot his crippled members bound; Then from their sockets tore his burning eyes: Roll'd on a heap, the breathless robber lies. The doors, unbarr'd, receive the rushing day, And thoro' lights disclose the ravish'd prey. The bulls, redeem'd, breathe open air again. Next, by the feet, they drag him from his den. The wond'ring neighborhood, with glad surprise, Behold his shagged breast, his giant size, His mouth that flames no more, and his extinguish'd eyes. From that auspicious day, with rites divine, We worship at the hero's holy shrine. Potitius first ordain'd these annual vows: As priests, were added the Pinarian house, Who rais'd this altar in the sacred shade, Where honors, ever due, for ever shall be paid. For these deserts, and this high virtue shown, Ye warlike youths, your heads with garlands crown: Fill high the goblets with a sparkling flood, And with deep draughts invoke our common god."
This said, a double wreath Evander twin'd, And poplars black and white his temples bind. Then brims his ample bowl. With like design The rest invoke the gods, with sprinkled wine. Meantime the sun descended from the skies, And the bright evening star began to rise. And now the priests, Potitius at their head, In skins of beasts involv'd, the long procession led; Held high the flaming tapers in their hands, As custom had prescrib'd their holy bands; Then with a second course the tables load, And with full chargers offer to the god. The Salii sing, and cense his altars round With Saban smoke, their heads with poplar bound- One choir of old, another of the young, To dance, and bear the burthen of the song. The lay records the labors, and the praise, And all th' immortal acts of Hercules: First, how the mighty babe, when swath'd in bands, The serpents strangled with his infant hands; Then, as in years and matchless force he grew, Th' Oechalian walls, and Trojan, overthrew. Besides, a thousand hazards they relate, Procur'd by Juno's and Eurystheus' hate: "Thy hands, unconquer'd hero, could subdue The cloud-born Centaurs, and the monster crew: Nor thy resistless arm the bull withstood, Nor he, the roaring terror of the wood. The triple porter of the Stygian seat, With lolling tongue, lay fawning at thy feet, And, seiz'd with fear, forgot his mangled meat. Th' infernal waters trembled at thy sight; Thee, god, no face of danger could affright; Not huge Typhoeus, nor th' unnumber'd snake, Increas'd with hissing heads, in Lerna's lake. Hail, Jove's undoubted son! an added grace To heav'n and the great author of thy race! Receive the grateful off'rings which we pay, And smile propitious on thy solemn day!" In numbers thus they sung; above the rest, The den and death of Cacus crown the feast. The woods to hollow vales convey the sound, The vales to hills, and hills the notes rebound. The rites perform'd, the cheerful train retire.
Betwixt young Pallas and his aged sire, The Trojan pass'd, the city to survey, And pleasing talk beguil'd the tedious way. The stranger cast around his curious eyes, New objects viewing still, with new surprise; With greedy joy enquires of various things, And acts and monuments of ancient kings. Then thus the founder of the Roman tow'rs: "These woods were first the seat of sylvan pow'rs, Of Nymphs and Fauns, and salvage men, who took Their birth from trunks of trees and stubborn oak. Nor laws they knew, nor manners, nor the care Of lab'ring oxen, or the shining share, Nor arts of gain, nor what they gain'd to spare. Their exercise the chase; the running flood Supplied their thirst, the trees supplied their food. Then Saturn came, who fled the pow'r of Jove, Robb'd of his realms, and banish'd from above. The men, dispers'd on hills, to towns he brought, And laws ordain'd, and civil customs taught, And Latium call'd the land where safe he lay From his unduteous son, and his usurping sway. With his mild empire, peace and plenty came; And hence the golden times deriv'd their name. A more degenerate and discolor'd age Succeeded this, with avarice and rage. Th' Ausonians then, and bold Sicanians came; And Saturn's empire often chang'd the name. Then kings, gigantic Tybris, and the rest, With arbitrary sway the land oppress'd: For Tiber's flood was Albula before, Till, from the tyrant's fate, his name it bore. I last arriv'd, driv'n from my native home By fortune's pow'r, and fate's resistless doom. Long toss'd on seas, I sought this happy land, Warn'd by my mother nymph, and call'd by Heav'n's command."
Thus, walking on, he spoke, and shew'd the gate, Since call'd Carmental by the Roman state; Where stood an altar, sacred to the name Of old Carmenta, the prophetic dame, Who to her son foretold th' Aenean race, Sublime in fame, and Rome's imperial place: Then shews the forest, which, in after times, Fierce Romulus for perpetrated crimes A sacred refuge made; with this, the shrine Where Pan below the rock had rites divine: Then tells of Argus' death, his murder'd guest, Whose grave and tomb his innocence attest. Thence, to the steep Tarpeian rock he leads; Now roof'd with gold, then thatch'd with homely reeds. A reverent fear (such superstition reigns Among the rude) ev'n then possess'd the swains. Some god, they knew- what god, they could not tell- Did there amidst the sacred horror dwell. Th' Arcadians thought him Jove; and said they saw The mighty Thund'rer with majestic awe, Who took his shield, and dealt his bolts around, And scatter'd tempests on the teeming ground. Then saw two heaps of ruins, (once they stood Two stately towns, on either side the flood,) Saturnia's and Janicula's remains; And either place the founder's name retains. Discoursing thus together, they resort Where poor Evander kept his country court. They view'd the ground of Rome's litigious hall; (Once oxen low'd, where now the lawyers bawl;) Then, stooping, thro' the narrow gate they press'd, When thus the king bespoke his Trojan guest: "Mean as it is, this palace, and this door, Receiv'd Alcides, then a conqueror. Dare to be poor; accept our homely food, Which feasted him, and emulate a god." Then underneath a lowly roof he led The weary prince, and laid him on a bed; The stuffing leaves, with hides of bears o'erspread. Now Night had shed her silver dews around, And with her sable wings embrac'd the ground, When love's fair goddess, anxious for her son, (New tumults rising, and new wars begun,) Couch'd with her husband in his golden bed, With these alluring words invokes his aid; And, that her pleasing speech his mind may move, Inspires each accent with the charms of love: "While cruel fate conspir'd with Grecian pow'rs, To level with the ground the Trojan tow'rs, I ask'd not aid th' unhappy to restore, Nor did the succor of thy skill implore; Nor urg'd the labors of my lord in vain, A sinking empire longer to sustain, Tho'much I ow'd to Priam's house, and more The dangers of Aeneas did deplore. But now, by Jove's command, and fate's decree, His race is doom'd to reign in Italy: With humble suit I beg thy needful art, O still propitious pow'r, that rules my heart! A mother kneels a suppliant for her son. By Thetis and Aurora thou wert won To forge impenetrable shields, and grace With fated arms a less illustrious race. Behold, what haughty nations are combin'd Against the relics of the Phrygian kind, With fire and sword my people to destroy, And conquer Venus twice, in conqu'ring Troy." She said; and straight her arms, of snowy hue, About her unresolving husband threw. Her soft embraces soon infuse desire; His bones and marrow sudden warmth inspire; And all the godhead feels the wonted fire. Not half so swift the rattling thunder flies, Or forky lightnings flash along the skies. The goddess, proud of her successful wiles, And conscious of her form, in secret smiles.
Then thus the pow'r, obnoxious to her charms, Panting, and half dissolving in her arms: "Why seek you reasons for a cause so just, Or your own beauties or my love distrust? Long since, had you requir'd my helpful hand, Th' artificer and art you might command, To labor arms for Troy: nor Jove, nor fate, Confin'd their empire to so short a date. And, if you now desire new wars to wage, My skill I promise, and my pains engage. Whatever melting metals can conspire, Or breathing bellows, or the forming fire, Is freely yours: your anxious fears remove, And think no task is difficult to love." Trembling he spoke; and, eager of her charms, He snatch'd the willing goddess to his arms; Till in her lap infus'd, he lay possess'd Of full desire, and sunk to pleasing rest. Now when the Night her middle race had rode, And his first slumber had refresh'd the god- The time when early housewives leave the bed; When living embers on the hearth they spread, Supply the lamp, and call the maids to rise- With yawning mouths, and with half-open'd eyes, They ply the distaff by the winking light, And to their daily labor add the night: Thus frugally they earn their children's bread, And uncorrupted keep the nuptial bed- Not less concern'd, nor at a later hour, Rose from his downy couch the forging pow'r.
Sacred to Vulcan's name, an isle there lay, Betwixt Sicilia's coasts and Lipare, Rais'd high on smoking rocks; and, deep below, In hollow caves the fires of Aetna glow. The Cyclops here their heavy hammers deal; Loud strokes, and hissings of tormented steel, Are heard around; the boiling waters roar, And smoky flames thro' fuming tunnels soar. Hether the Father of the Fire, by night, Thro' the brown air precipitates his flight. On their eternal anvils here he found The brethren beating, and the blows go round. A load of pointless thunder now there lies Before their hands, to ripen for the skies: These darts, for angry Jove, they daily cast; Consum'd on mortals with prodigious waste. Three rays of writhen rain, of fire three more, Of winged southern winds and cloudy store As many parts, the dreadful mixture frame; And fears are added, and avenging flame. Inferior ministers, for Mars, repair His broken axletrees and blunted war, And send him forth again with furbish'd arms, To wake the lazy war with trumpets' loud alarms. The rest refresh the scaly snakes that fold The shield of Pallas, and renew their gold. Full on the crest the Gorgon's head they place, With eyes that roll in death, and with distorted face.
"My sons," said Vulcan, "set your tasks aside; Your strength and master-skill must now be tried. Arms for a hero forge; arms that require Your force, your speed, and all your forming fire." He said. They set their former work aside, And their new toils with eager haste divide. A flood of molten silver, brass, and gold, And deadly steel, in the large furnace roll'd; Of this, their artful hands a shield prepare, Alone sufficient to sustain the war. Sev'n orbs within a spacious round they close: One stirs the fire, and one the bellows blows. The hissing steel is in the smithy drown'd; The grot with beaten anvils groans around. By turns their arms advance, in equal time; By turns their hands descend, and hammers chime. They turn the glowing mass with crooked tongs; The fiery work proceeds, with rustic songs.
While, at the Lemnian god's command, they urge Their labors thus, and ply th' Aeolian forge, The cheerful morn salutes Evander's eyes, And songs of chirping birds invite to rise. He leaves his lowly bed: his buskins meet Above his ankles; sandals sheathe his feet: He sets his trusty sword upon his side, And o'er his shoulder throws a panther's hide. Two menial dogs before their master press'd. Thus clad, and guarded thus, he seeks his kingly guest. Mindful of promis'd aid, he mends his pace, But meets Aeneas in the middle space. Young Pallas did his father's steps attend, And true Achates waited on his friend. They join their hands; a secret seat they choose; Th' Arcadian first their former talk renews: "Undaunted prince, I never can believe The Trojan empire lost, while you survive. Command th' assistance of a faithful friend; But feeble are the succors I can send. Our narrow kingdom here the Tiber bounds; That other side the Latian state surrounds, Insults our walls, and wastes our fruitful grounds. But mighty nations I prepare, to join Their arms with yours, and aid your just design. You come, as by your better genius sent, And fortune seems to favor your intent. Not far from hence there stands a hilly town, Of ancient building, and of high renown, Torn from the Tuscans by the Lydian race, Who gave the name of Caere to the place, Once Agyllina call'd. It flourish'd long, In pride of wealth and warlike people strong, Till curs'd Mezentius, in a fatal hour, Assum'd the crown, with arbitrary pow'r. What words can paint those execrable times, The subjects' suff'rings, and the tyrant's crimes! That blood, those murthers, O ye gods, replace On his own head, and on his impious race! The living and the dead at his command Were coupled, face to face, and hand to hand, Till, chok'd with stench, in loath'd embraces tied, The ling'ring wretches pin'd away and died. Thus plung'd in ills, and meditating more- The people's patience, tir'd, no longer bore The raging monster; but with arms beset His house, and vengeance and destruction threat. They fire his palace: while the flame ascends, They force his guards, and execute his friends. He cleaves the crowd, and, favor'd by the night, To Turnus' friendly court directs his flight. By just revenge the Tuscans set on fire, With arms, their king to punishment require: Their num'rous troops, now muster'd on the strand, My counsel shall submit to your command. Their navy swarms upon the coasts; they cry To hoist their anchors, but the gods deny. An ancient augur, skill'd in future fate, With these foreboding words restrains their hate: 'Ye brave in arms, ye Lydian blood, the flow'r Of Tuscan youth, and choice of all their pow'r, Whom just revenge against Mezentius arms, To seek your tyrant's death by lawful arms; Know this: no native of our land may lead This pow'rful people; seek a foreign head.' Aw'd with these words, in camps they still abide, And wait with longing looks their promis'd guide. Tarchon, the Tuscan chief, to me has sent Their crown, and ev'ry regal ornament: The people join their own with his desire; And all my conduct, as their king, require. But the chill blood that creeps within my veins, And age, and listless limbs unfit for pains, And a soul conscious of its own decay, Have forc'd me to refuse imperial sway. My Pallas were more fit to mount the throne, And should, but he's a Sabine mother's son, And half a native; but, in you, combine A manly vigor, and a foreign line. Where Fate and smiling Fortune shew the way, Pursue the ready path to sov'reign sway. The staff of my declining days, my son, Shall make your good or ill success his own; In fighting fields from you shall learn to dare, And serve the hard apprenticeship of war; Your matchless courage and your conduct view, And early shall begin t' admire and copy you. Besides, two hundred horse he shall command; Tho' few, a warlike and well-chosen band. These in my name are listed; and my son As many more has added in his own."