LXXXIII. Great Jove meanwhile to Juno spake and said, "Sweet spouse and sister, thou hast deemed aright, 'Tis Venus, sure, who doth the Trojans aid, Not courage, strength and patience in the fight." Then Juno meekly: "Dearest, why delight With cruel words to vex me, sad with fear And sick at heart? Had still my love the might It had and should have; were I still so dear, Not thou, with all thy power, should'st then refuse to hear,
LXXXIV. "But safe should Turnus from the fight once more Return to greet old Daunus. Be it so, And let him die, and shed his righteous gore To glut the vengeance of his Teucrian foe, Albeit his name celestial birth doth show, Fourth in succession from Pilumnus, yea, Though oft his hand thy sacred shrines below Hath heaped his gifts." She ended, and straightway Brief answer made the Sire, who doth Olympus sway:
LXXXV. "If but a respite for the youth be sought, A little time of tarrying, ere he die, And thus thou read'st the purport of my thought, Take then awhile thy Turnus; let him fly And 'scape his present fates; thus far may I Indulge thee. But if aught beneath thy prayer Lie veiled of purpose or of hopes more high, To change the war's whole aspect, then beware, For idle hopes thou feed'st, as empty as the air."
LXXXVI. Then She with tears: "What if thy heart should give The pledge and promise, that thy lips disdain, And Turnus by thy warrant still should live? Now death awaits him guiltless, or in vain I read the Fates. Ah! may I merely feign An empty fear, and better thoughts advise Thee—for thou can'st—to spare him and refrain!" So saying, arrayed in storm-clouds, through the skies Down to Laurentum's camp and Ilian lines she flies.
LXXXVII. Then straight the Goddess from a hollow cloud— Strange sight to see!—a thin and strengthless shade Shaped like the great AEneas, and endowed With Dardan arms, and fixed the shield, and spread The plume and crest as on his godlike head. And empty words, a soulless sound, she gave, And feigned the fashion of the warrior's tread. Thus ghosts are said to glide above the grave; Thus oft delusive dreams the slumbering sense enslave.
LXXXVIII. Proud stalks the phantom, gladdening in the van, With darts provokes him, and with words defies. Forth rushed fierce Turnus, hurling as he ran His whistling spear. The shadow turns and flies. Then Turnus, glorying in his fancied prize, "Where now, AEneas, from thy plighted bride? The land thou soughtest o'er the deep, it lies Here, and this hand shall give it thee." He cried, And waved his glittering sword, and chased him, nor espied
LXXXIX. The winds bear off his triumph.—Hard at hand, With steps let down and gangway ready laid, Moored by the rocks, a vessel chanced to stand, Which brave Osinius, Clusium's king, conveyed. Here, as in haste, for shelter plunged the shade. On Turnus pressed, and with a bound ascends The lofty gangways, dauntless nor delayed. The bows scarce reached, the rope Saturnia rends, And down the refluent tide the loosened ship descends.
XC. Loud calls AEneas for his absent foe, And many a hero-body—all who dare To meet him—hurries to the shades below. No more the phantom lingers in his lair, But, soaring, melts into the misty air. Turnus a storm-wind o'er the deep sea blows. Backward he looks, and of events unware, And all unthankful to escape his foes. Up to the stars of heaven his hand and voice he throws.
XCI. "Great Sire, was I so guilty in thy sight, To make thee deem such punishment my due? Whence came I? Whither am I borne? What flight Is this? and how do I return, and who? Again Laurentum's city shall I view? What of that band, who followed me, whom I— Shame on me—left a shameful death to rue? E'en now I see them scattered,—see them fly,— And see them fall; and hear the groans of those that die.
XCII. "What am I doing? Where can Earth for me Gape deep enough? Ye winds that round me roar, Pity I crave, on rocks amid the sea— 'Tis Turnus, I, a willing prayer who pour— Dash me this ship, or drive it on the shore, 'Mid ruthless shoals, where no Rutulian eyes May see my shame, nor prying Fame explore." Thus he, and, tost in spirit, as he cries, This plan and that in turn his wavering thoughts devise:
XCIII. Madly to grasp the dagger in his hand, And through his ribs drive home the naked blade, Or plunge into the deep, and swim to land, And, armed, once more the Teucrian foes invade. Thrice, but in vain, each venture he essayed. Thrice Heaven's high queen, in pity fain to save, Held back the youth, and from his purpose stayed. And borne along by favouring tide and wave, On to his father's town the level deep he clave.
XCIV. Jove prompting, fierce Mezentius now the fight Takes up, and charges at the Teucrian foes. And, hurrying up, the Tuscan troops unite. All against one—one only—these and those Their gathered hate and crowding darts oppose. Unmoved he stands, as when a rocky steep In ocean, bare to every blast that blows, Around whose base the savage waves upleap, Braves all the threats of heaven, and buffets of the deep.
XCV. Hebrus he slew, from Dolichaon sprung, Then Latagus, then Palmus, as he fled. Full in the face of Latagus he flung A monstrous stone, that stretched him with the dead. Palmus, with severed hamstring, next he sped, And rolled him helpless. Lausus takes his gear; The shining crest he fits upon his head, And dons the breastplate. 'Neath the conqueror's spear Phrygian Evanthes falls, and Paris' friend and peer,
XCVI. Young Mimas, whom to Amycus that night Theano bore, when, big with Ilion's bane, Queen Hecuba brought Paris forth to light. Now Paris sleeps upon his native plain, But Mimas on a foreign shore is slain. As when a wild-boar, hounded from the hill, Who long on pine-clad Venulus hath lain, Or in Laurentum's marish fed his fill, Now in the toils caught fast, before his foes stands still,
XCVII. And snorts with rage, and rears his bristling back; None dares approach him, but aloof they wait, Safe-shouting, and with distant darts attack; E'en so, of those who burn with righteous hate, None dares against Mezentius try his fate. But cries are hurled, and distant missiles plied, While he, undaunted, but in desperate strait, Gnashes his teeth, and from his shield's tough hide Shakes off the darts in showers, and shifts from side to side.
XCVIII. From ancient Corythus came Acron there, A Greek, in exile from his half-won bride. Him, dealing havoc in the ranks, elsewhere Mezentius marked; the purple plumes he eyed, The robe his loved one for her lord had dyed. As when a lion, prowling to and fro, Sore pinched with hunger, round the fold, hath spied A stag tall-antlered, or a timorous roe, Ghastly he grins, erect his horrid mane doth show;
XCIX. Prone o'er his victim, to the flesh he clings, And laps the gore; so, burning in his zeal, The fierce Mezentius at his foemen springs. Poor Acron falls, and earth with dying heel Spurns, and the red blood stains the splintered steel. Orodes fled; Mezentius marks his flight, And scorns with lance a covert wound to deal, But face to face confronts him in the fight, Courage, not craft, prevails, and might o'ermatches might.
C. With foot and spear upon him, "See," he cries, "Their champion; see the great Orodes slain!" All shout applause, but, dying, he replies, "Strange foe, not long thy triumph shall remain; Like fate awaits thee, on the self-same plain." "Die!" said Mezentius, with a smile of spite, "Jove cares for me," and plucked the shaft again. Grim rest and iron slumber seal his sight; The drooping eyelids close on everlasting night.
CI. Now Caedicus made great Alcathous fall, Sacrator killed Hydaspes; Rapo too Parthenius and Orses, strong and tall; Messapus Clonius, whom his steed o'erthrew, And, foot to foot, Lycaon's son he slew, Brave Ericetes. Valerus with a blow Felled Agis, Lycia' s warrior. Salius flew At Thronius, but Nealces lays him low, Skilled with the flying dart and far-deceiving bow.
CII. Stern Mars, impartial, weighs in equal scale The mutual slaughter, and the ghastly fight Raves, as in turn they perish or prevail, Vanquished or victor, for none dreams of flight. From Heaven the gods look pitying on the sight, Such fruitless hate, such scenes of mortal woe. Here Venus, there great Juno, filled with spite, Sits watching. Pale Tisiphone below Fierce amid thousands raves, and bids the discord grow.
CIII. His massive spear Mezentius, flown with pride, Shakes in his fury, as he towers amain, Like huge Orion, when with ample stride He cleaves the deep-sea, where the Nereids reign, And lifts his lofty shoulders o'er the main, Or when, uprooting from the mountain head An aged ash, he stalks along the plain, And hides his forehead in the clouds; so dread Mezentius clangs his arms, so terrible his tread.
CIV. AEneas marks him in the files of fight Far off, and hastes to meet him in advance. Dauntless he waits, collected in his might, The noble foe, then, measuring at a glance The space his arm can cover with the lance; "May this right hand, my deity," cried he, "And this poised javelin aid the doubtful chance. The spoils, from this false pirate stript, to thee My Lausus, I devote; his trophy shalt thou be."
CV. So saying, from far his whistling shaft he threw. Wide glanced the missile, by the tough shield bent, And finding famed Antores, as it flew, 'Twixt flank and bowels pierced a deadly rent. He, friend of Hercules, from Argos sent, With king Evander, 'neath Italian skies, Had fixed his home. Alas! a wound unmeant Hath laid him low. To heaven he lifts his eyes, And of sweet Argos dreams, his native land, and dies.
CVI. His javelin then the good AEneas cast; Flying it pierced the hollow disk, and through The plates of brass, thrice welded firm and fast, And linen folds, and triple bull-hides flew, And in the groin, with failing force but true, Lodged deep. At once AEneas, for his eye Glistens with joy, the Tuscan's blood to view, His trusty sword unfastening from his thigh, Springs at the faltering foe, and bids Mezentius die.
CVII. Love for his sire stirred Lausus, and the tears Rolled down, and heavily he groaned. Thy fate, Brave youth! thy prowess, if the far-off years Shall give due credence to a deed so great, My verse at least shall spare not to relate. While backward limped Mezentius, spent and slow, His shield still cumbered with the javelin's weight, Forth sprang the youth, and grappled with the foe, And 'neath AEneas' sword, uplifted for the blow,
CVIII. Slipped in, and checked him. Onward press the train With shouts, to shelter the retreating sire, And distant arrows on the foeman rain. Safe-covered stands AEneas, thrilled with ire. As when the storm-clouds in a deluge dire Pour down the hail, and all the ploughmen fly, And scattered hinds from off the fields retire, And rock or stream-side shields the passer-by, Till sunshine calls to toil, and reawakes the sky;
CIX. So, whelmed with darts, the Trojan chief defies The cloud of war, till all its storms abate, And chides and threatens Lausus. "Fool," he cries, "Why rush to death, and dare a deed too great? Rash youth! thy love betrays thee." 'Twas too late; Rage blinds poor Lausus, and he scorns to stay. Then fiercer waxed the Dardan's wrath, and Fate The threads had gathered, for their forceful sway Hilt-deep within his breast the falchion urged its way.
CX. It pierced the shield, light armour and the vest, Wrought by his mother with fine golden thread, And drenched with gore the tunic and the breast. Sweet life, departing, left the limbs outspread, And the sad spirit to the ghost-world fled. But when the son of great Anchises scanned The face, the pallid features of the dead, Deeply he groaned, and stretched a pitying hand. Grief for his own dear sire his noble soul unmanned.
CXI. "Alas! what meed, to match such worth divine, Can good AEneas give thee? Take to-day The arms wherein thou joyed'st; they are thine. Thy corpse—if aught can please the senseless clay— Back to thy parents' ashes I repay. Poor youth! thy solace be it to be slain By great AEneas." Then his friends' delay He chides, and lifts young Lausus from the plain, Dead, and with dainty locks fouled by the crimson stain.
CXII. Meanwhile the sire Mezentius, faint with pain, In Tiber's waters bathes the bleeding wound. Against a trunk he leans; the boughs sustain His brazen helm; his arms upon the ground Rest idly, and his comrades stand around. Sick, gasping, spent, his weary neck he tends; Loose o'er his bosom floats the beard unbound. Oft of his son he questions, oft he sends To bid him quit the field, and seek his sire and friends.
CXIII. But, sad and sorrowful, the Tuscan train Bear back the lifeless Lausus from the field, Weeping—the mighty by a mightier slain, And laid in death upon the warrior's shield. Far off, their wailing to the sire revealed The grief, that made his boding heart mistrust. In agony of vanquish, down he kneeled, His hoary hairs disfiguring with the dust, And, grovelling, clasped the corpse, and both his hands outthrust.
CXIV. "Dear son, was life so tempting to the sire, To let thee face the foemen in my room, Whom I begot? Shalt thou, my son, expire, And I live on, my darling in the tomb, Saved by thy wounds, and living by thy doom? Ah! woe is me; too well at length I own The pangs of exile, and the wound strikes home. 'Twas I, thy name who tarnished, I alone, Whom just resentment thrust from sceptre and from throne.
CXV. "Due to my country was the forfeit; yea, All deaths Mezentius had deserved to die. Yet still I leave, and leave not man and day, But leave I will,—the fatal hour is nigh." Then, slowly leaning on his crippled thigh (Deep was the wound, but dauntless was his breast), He rose, and calling for his steed hard by, The steed, that oft in victory's hour he pressed, His solace and his pride, the sorrowing beast addressed:
CXVI. "Rhaebus, full long, if aught of earth be long, We two have lived. AEneas' head to-day, And spoils, blood-crimsoned to avenge this wrong, Back shalt thou bring, or, failing in the fray, Bite earth with me, and be the Dardan's prey. Not thou would'st brook a foreign lord, I weet, Brave heart, or deign a Teucrian to obey." He spoke, and, mounting to his well-known seat, Swift at the ranks spurred forth, his dreaded foe to meet.
CXVII. Each hand a keen dart brandished; o'er his head Gleamed the brass helmet with its horse-hair crest. Shame for himself, and sorrow for the dead, The parent's anguish, and the warrior's zest, Thrilled through his veins, and kindled in his breast, And thrice he called AEneas. With delight AEneas heard him, and his vows addressed: "So help me Jove, so Phoebus lend his might, Come on," and couched his spear, advancing to the fight.
CXVIII. "Wretch," cries Mezentius, "having robbed my son, Why scare me now? Thy terrors I defy. Only through Lausus were his sire undone. I heed not death nor deities, not I; Forbear thy taunting; I am here to die, But send this gift to greet thee, ere I go." He spake, and quickly let a javelin fly, Another—and another, as round the foe In widening orbs he wheels; the good shield bides the blow.
CXIX. Thrice round AEneas leftward he careers, Raining his darts. Thrice, shifting round, each way The Trojan bears the forest of his spears. At length, impatient of the long delay, And tired with plucking all the shafts away, Pondering awhile, and by the ceaseless blows Hard pressed, and chafing at the unequal fray, Forth springs AEneas, and betwixt the brows Full at the warrior-steed a fatal javelin throws.
CXX. Up rears the steed, and paws the air in pain, Then, following on his falling rider, lies And pins him with his shoulder to the plain. Shouts from each host run kindling through the skies. Forth springs AEneas, glorying in his prize, And plucks the glittering falchion from his thigh, "Where now is fierce Mezentius? where," he cries, "That fiery spirit?" Then, with upturned eye, Gasping, with gathered sense, the Tuscan made reply:
CXXI. "Stern foe! why taunt and threaten? 'twere no shame To slay me. No such covenant to save His sire made Lausus; nor for this I came. One boon I ask—if vanquished men may crave The victor's grace—a burial for the brave. My people hate me; I have lived abhorred; Shield me from them with Lausus in the grave." This said, his throat he offered to the sword, And o'er his shining arms life's purple stream was poured.
AEneas erects a trophy of Mezentius' arms, and sends the body of Pallas with tears and lamentations to Evander (1-108). A truce for the burial of the dead is asked by the Latins, and sympathy with the Trojan cause finds a spokesman in Drances (109-144). The sorrow of Evander and the funeral rites of Trojans and Latins (145-262). The ambassadors return from the city of Diomedes and report that he praises AEneas and counsels submission (263-336). An anxious debate follows: Latinus suggests terms of peace: Drances inveighs against Turnus, who replies, protesting his readiness to meet AEneas in single combat, and presently seizes the opportunity afforded by a false alarm of impending attack to break up the council. The Latin mothers and maidens offer gifts and litanies to Pallas. Turnus arms for battle (337-576). Camilla and Messapus command the Latin horse; Turnus prepares an ambuscade (577-612). Diana tells the story of Camilla and charges Opis, one of her nymphs, to avenge her should she fall (613-684). Opis watches the battle before the city of Latinus (685-738). The deeds and death of Camilla are recounted: Aruns, her slayer, is slain by Opis (739-972). The Latins are routed, and Turnus, learning the news, abandons the ambush and hurries to the city, closely followed by AEneas (973-1026).
I. Meanwhile from Ocean peeps the dawning day. The Dardan chief, though fain his friends to mourn, And pressed with thoughts of burial, hastes to pay His vows, as victor, with the rising morn. A towering oak-tree, of its branches shorn, He plants upon a mound. Aloft, in sight, The glittering armour from Mezentius torn, His spoils, he hangs,—a trophy to thy might, Great Mars, the Lord of war, the Ruler of the fight.
II. Thereon he sets the helmet and the crest, Bedewed with gore, the javelins snapt in twain, And fits the corslet on the warrior's breast, Pierced in twelve places through the twisted chain. The left arm, as for battle, bears again The brazen shield, and from the neck depends The ivory-hilted falchion of the slain. Around, with shouts of triumph, crowd his friends, Whom thus the Dardan chief with gladdening words commends:
III. "Comrades, great deeds have been achieved to-day; Let not the morrow trouble you. See there The tyrant's spoils, the first-fruits of the fray. And this my work, Mezentius. Now prepare To king Latinus and his walls to fare. Let hope forestall, and courage hail the fray, So, when the gods shall summon us to bear The standards forth, and muster our array, No fears shall breed dull sloth, nor ignorance delay.
IV. "Our co-mates now commit we to the ground, Sole honour that in Acheron below Awaits them. Go ye, on these souls renowned, Who poured their blood, to purchase from the foe This country for our fatherland, bestow The last, sad gift, the tribute of a tomb. First to Evander's city, whelmed in woe, Send Pallas back, whom Death's relentless doom Hath reft ere manhood's prime, and plunged in early gloom."
V. He spake, and sought the threshold, weeping sore, Where by dead Pallas watched with pious care Acoetes; once Evander's arms he bore, His squire; since then, with auspices less fair, The trusted guardian of his dear-loved heir. A crowd of sorrowing menials stand around, And Troy's sad matrons, with their streaming hair. These, when AEneas at the door is found, Shriek out, and beat their breasts, and bitter wails resound.
VI. He marked the pillowed head, the snow-white face, The smooth breast, gaping with the wound, and cried In anguish, while the tears burst forth apace, "Poor boy; hath Fortune, in her hour of pride, To me thy triumph and return denied? Not such my promise to thy sire; not so My pledge to him, who, ere I left his side In quest of empire, clasped me, boding woe, And warned the race was fierce, and terrible the foe.
VII. "He haply now, by empty hope betrayed, With prayer and presents doth the gods constrain. We to the dead, whose debt to Heaven is paid, The rites of mourners render, but in vain. Unhappy! doomed to see thy darling slain. Is this the triumph? this the promise sworn? This the return? Yet never thine the pain A coward's flight, a coward's scars to mourn; Not thine to long for death, thy loved one saved with scorn.
VIII. "Ah, weep, Ausonia! thou hast lost to-day Thy champion. Weep, Iulus; he is ta'en, Thy heart's delight, the bulwark of the fray!" Thus he with tears, and bids them lift the slain. A thousand men, the choicest of his train, He sends as mourners, with the corpse to go, And stand between the parent and his pain, A scanty solace for so huge a woe, But such as pity claims, and piety doth owe.
IX. Of oaken twigs and arbutus they wove A wattled bier. Soft leaves beneath him made His pillow, and with leafy boughs above They twined a verdurous canopy of shade. There, on his rustic couch the youth is laid, Fair as the hyacinth, with drooping head, Cropped by the careless fingers of a maid, Or tender violet, when life has fled, That, torn from earth, still blooms, unfaded but unfed.
X. Two purple mantles, stiff with golden braid, AEneas brings, which erst, in loving care, Sidonian Dido with her hands had made, And pranked with golden tissue, for his wear. One, wound in sorrow round the corpse so fair, The last, sad honour, shrouds the senseless clay; One, ere the burning, veils the warrior's hair. Rich spoils, the trophies of Laurentum's fray, Stript arms and steeds he brings, and bids them pile the prey.
XI. Here march the captives, doomed to feed the flames; There, staff in hand, each Dardan chief uprears The spoil-decked ensigns, marked with foemen's names. There, too, they lead Acoetes, bowed with years, He smites his breast, his haggard cheeks he tears, Then flings his full length prostrate. There, again, The blood-stained chariot, and with big, round tears, Stript of his trappings, in the mournful train, AEthon, the warrior's steed, comes sorrowing for the slain.
XII. These bear the dead man's helmet and his spear; All else the victor for his spoils hath ta'en. A melancholy phalanx close the rear, Teucrians, and Tuscans, and Arcadia's train, With arms reversed, and mourning for the slain. So passed the pomp, and, while the tear-drops fell, AEneas stopped, and, groaning, cried again, "Hail, mighty Pallas! us the fates compel Yet other tears to shed. Farewell! a long farewell!"
XIII. He spake, then, turning, to the camp doth fare. Thither Laurentum's envoys found their way. Branches of olive in their hands they bear, And beg a truce,—a respite from the fray, Their slaughtered comrades in the ground to lay, And glean the war's sad harvest. Brave men ne'er Warred with the dead and vanquished. Once were they His hosts and kinsmen; he would surely spare. Their plea AEneas owns, and thus accosts them fair:
XIV. "What mischief, Latins, hath your minds misled, To shun our friendship in the hour of need, And rush to arms? Peace ask ye for the dead, The War-God's prey, whom folly doomed to bleed? Peace to the living would I fain concede. I came not hither, but with Heaven to guide. Fate chose this country, and this home decreed; Nor war I with the race. Your king denied Our proffered league; 'twas he on Turnus' arms relied.
XV. "'Twere juster then that Turnus hand to hand His life had ventured. Dreams he in his pride To end the war, and drive us from the land? He should have met me; he or I had died, As Fate or prowess might the day decide. Go, take your dead, and let the bale-fires blaze: Ye have your answer." Thus the prince replied, And each on each the wondering heralds gaze, Mute with admiring awe, and wildered with amaze.
XVI. Then Drances, ever fain with gibes and hate To vex young Turnus, takes the word and cries, "O Trojan, great in fame, in arms more great, What praise of mine shall match thee with the skies? What most—thy deeds or justice—shall I prize? Grateful, this answer to our friends we bear, And thee (let Turnus seek his own allies), Thee King Latinus shall his friend declare, And Latium's sons with joy Troy's destined walls prepare."
XVII. He spake; as one, all murmur their assent. For twice six days a solemn truce they plight, And Teucrians, now, with Latins, freely blent In peaceful fellowship, as friends unite, And roam the wooded hills. Sharp axes smite The sounding ash; these with keen wedges cleave Tall oak and scented cedar; those with might The pine-tree, soaring to the stars, upheave, And wains, with groaning wheels, the giant elms receive.
XVIII. Now Rumour, harbinger of woe so great, That told of Pallas victor, fills again Evander's town. All hurry to the gate, With torches snatched, as ancient rites ordain. A line of fire, that parts the dusky plain, The long road gleams before them, as they go To meet the mourners. Soon the wailing train The Phrygians join. With shrieks the matrons know Far off the funeral throng, and fill the town with woe.
XIX. Naught stays Evander; through the midst he springs, And falling on the bier, as down they lay Dead Pallas, groaning to his child he clings, And hangs with tears upon the senseless clay, Till speech, half-choked with sorrow, finds a way. "Pallas, not such thy promise to thy sire, Warely to trust the War-God in the fray. I knew what ardour would thy soul inspire, The charms of new-won fame, and battle's fierce desire.
XX. "O bitter first-fruits of a youth so fair! O war's stern prelude! promise dashed to scorn! Unheeded vows, and unavailing prayer! O happy spouse! not left, like me, to mourn A son thus slaughtered, and a life outworn. I have o'erlived my destiny; life fled When Pallas left me childless and forlorn. O, had I fall'n with Trojans in his stead, And me this pomp brought home, and not my Pallas, dead!
XXI. "Yet, Trojans, you I blame not, nor the hands We joined in friendship, nor the league we swore. Old age—too old—this cruel lot demands. Ah, sweet to think, though falling in his flower, He fell, where thousand Volscians fell before, Leading Troy's sons to Latium. Thou shalt have A Trojan's funeral—can I wish thee more?— What rites AEneas offers to the brave, And all Etruria's hosts shall bear thee to the grave.
XXII. "Proud trophies those who perish by thy hand Bear thee, and slaughtered foemen speak thy fame. Thou, Turnus, too, an effigy should'st stand, Hung round with arms, and Pallas' praise proclaim, Had but thine age and Pallas' been the same, Like thine the vigour of his years. But O! Why, Teucrians, do I keep you? wherefore claim An old man's privilege of empty woe? This message bear your king, and con it as ye go.
XXIII. "If yet I linger on, with Pallas slain, Loathing the light, and longing to expire, 'Tis thy right hand that tempts me to remain, That hand from which—thou see'st it—son and sire The penalty of Turnus' blood require. This niche of fame,—'tis all the Fates bestow— Awaits thee still. For me, all life's desire— 'Twere vain—hath fled; but gladly would I go, And bear the welcome news to Pallas' shade below."
XXIV. Meanwhile to weary mortals fresh and fair Upsprings the Dawn, and reawakes the land To toil and labour. Reared with pious care By Tarchon and the good AEneas, stand The funeral pyres along the winding strand. Here brings each warrior, as in days gone by, His comrade's corpse, and holds the lighted brand. The dusk flames burn beneath them, and on high The clouds of smoke roll up, and shroud the lofty sky.
XXV. Three times the Trojans, sheathed in shining mail, Pace round the piles; three times they ride around The funeral fire, and raise the warrior's wail. Tears bathe their arms, and tears bedew the ground, And, mixt with clamour, comes the clarion's sound. Spoils of dead Latins on the flames are thrown, Bits, bridles, glowing wheels and helmets crown'd With glittering plumes, and, last, the gifts well-known, The luckless spear and shield, the weapons of their own.
XXVI. Oxen in numbers round the pyres are slain To Death's dread power, and herds of bristly swine; And cattle, snatched from all the neighbouring plain, And sheep they slaughter for the flames divine. Far down the sea-coast, where the bale-fires shine, They guard and gaze upon the pyres, where lie Their burning comrades, nor their watch resign, Nor leave the spot, till dewy night on high Rolls round the circling heavens, and starlight gilds the sky.
XXVII. Nor less the sorrowing Latins build elsewhere Their countless piles. These burying they bemoan; Those to the town or neighbouring fields they bear. The rest, untold, unhonoured and unknown, A mass of carnage, on the flames are thrown. Thick blaze the fires, and light the plains around, And on the third dawn, when the mists have flown, The bones and dust, still smouldering on the ground, Mourning, they rake in heaps, and cover with a mound.
XXVIII. But loudest in Laurentum rose the noise Of woe and wailing for their friends who died. Here, mothers, wives, sad sisters, orphaned boys Curse the dire war, and Turnus and his bride. "Let him, let Turnus fight it out," they cried; "Who claims chief honours and Italia's throne, And caused the quarrel, let his sword decide"; And spiteful Drances: "Ay, 'tis he alone Whom Latium's foes demand; the challenge is his own."
XXIX. And voices, too, with various reasons, plead For Turnus, sheltered by the queen's great name, And spoils that speak for many a glorious deed. Lo, in the midst, the tumult still aflame, With doleful news from Diomede, back came The envoys. All was useless,—gifts, and prayer, And proffered gold; his answer was the same: Let Latins look for other arms elsewhere, Or beg the Trojan king in clemency to spare.
XXX. Grief bowed Latinus, and his heart sank low. The wrath of Heaven, the recent funerals, The graves before them—all AEneas show The god's true choice. A council straight he calls, And Latium's chiefs convenes within his walls. All meet; along the crowded ways the peers Stream at the summons. In his palace-halls Amidst them sits Latinus, first in years, And first in sceptred state, but filled with anxious fears.
XXXI. Forthwith the envoys he invites, each man To tell his message, and the terms expound, Then, silence made, thus Venulus began: "Friends, we have seen great Diomede, and found The Argive camp, and, safe from peril, crowned Our journey's end, and pressed the mighty hand That razed old Troy. On Iapygian ground By Garganus the conqueror hath planned Argyripa's new town, named from his native land.
XXXII. "There, audience gained and liberty to speak, The gifts we tender, and our names declare And country, who our foemen, what we seek, And why to Arpi and his court we fare. He hears, and gently thus bespeaks us fair: 'O happy nations, once by Saturn blest, Time-old Ausonians, what sad misfare, What evil fortune mars your ancient rest And tempts to wage strange wars, and dare the doubtful test?
XXXIII. "'All we, whoever with the steel profaned Troy's fields (I leave the wasting siege alone, The dead, who lie in Simois), all have drained Evils past utterance, o'er the wide world blown, And, suffering, learned our trespass to atone, A hapless band! E'en Priam's self might weep For woes like ours, as Pallas well hath known, Whose baleful star once wrecked us on the deep, And grim Euboea's rocks, Caphareus' vengeful steep.
XXXIV. "'Freed from that war, to distant shores we stray. To Proteus' Pillars, far remote from men An exile, Menelaus wends his way; Ulysses shudders at the Cyclops' den; Why speak of Pyrrhus, by Orestes slain? Or poor Idomeneus, expelled his state? Of Locrians, cast upon the Libyan plain? Of Agamemnon, greatest of the great, Mycenae's valiant lord, slain by his faithless mate,
XXXV. "'E'en on his threshold, when the adulterer lay In wait for Asia's conqueror? Me, too, Hath envious Heaven in exile doomed to stay, Nor home, nor wife, nor Calydon to view. Nay, ghastly prodigies my flight pursue. Transformed to birds, my comrades wing the skies,— Ah! cruel punishment for friends so true!— Or skim the streams; from all the shores arise Their piteous shrieks, the cliffs re-echo with their cries.
XXXVI. "'Such woes had I to look for, from the day I dared a goddess, and my javelin tore The hand of Venus. To such fights, I pray, Persuade me not. Troy fall'n, I fight no more With Trojans, nor those evil days of yore Now care to dwell on. To AEneas go, And take these gifts. Once, hand to hand, we bore The shock of battle; to my cost I know How to his shield he towers, the whirlwind of his throw.
XXXVII. "'Had Ida's land two others borne as great, To Argos Dardanus had found his way, And Greece were mourning now a different fate. The stubborn siege, the conquerors kept at bay, For ten whole years, the triumph's long delay Were his and Hector's doing, each in might Renowned, and each the foremost in the fray, AEneas first in piety. Go, plight What peace ye may, but shun to meet him in the fight.'
XXXVIII. "Thou hast, great king, the answer of the king, And this, his sentence on the war." So they, And diverse murmurs in the crowd upspring; As when big rocks a rushing torrent stay, The prisoned waters, chafing with delay, Boil, and the banks in many a foaming crest Fling back with echoes the tumultuous spray. Now from his throne, their murmurs laid to rest, The King, first offering prayer, his listening folk addressed:
XXXIX. "I would, ye peers, and better it had been An earlier hour had called us to debate, Than thus in haste a council to convene, And meet, while foemen battle at the gate. A war ill-omened, with disastrous fate, We wage with men unconquered in the field, A race of gods, whose force nor toils abate, Nor wounds can tire; who, driven back, still wield The sword and shake the spear, and, beaten, scorn to yield.
XL. "What hope ye had in Diomede, give o'er; Each for himself must be his hope and stay. This hope how slender, and our straits how sore, Ye see; the general ruin and decay Is open, palpable and clear as day. Yet blame I none; what valour could, was done. Our country's strength, our souls were in the fray. Hear then in brief, and ponder every one, What wavering thoughts have shaped, our present fate to shun.
XLI. "Far-stretching westward, past Sicania's bound, By Tiber's stream, an ancient tract is mine. Auruncans and Rutulians till the ground; Their ploughshares cleave the stubborn slopes, their kine Graze on the rocks. This tract, these hills of pine Let Latins yield the Trojans for their own, And both, as friends, in equal league combine And share the realm. Here let them settle down, If so they love the land, and build the wished-for town.
XLII. "But if new frontiers, and another folk, They fain would look for, and can leave our shore, Then twice ten ships of tough Italian oak Build we, nor only let us build a score Can they but man them (by the stream good store Of timber is at hand); let them decide The form, the number, and the size. What more Is wanting, we will grudge not to provide, Gold, labour, brass, and docks, and naval gear beside.
XLIII. "Nay more, to strike the proffered league, 'twere good That chosen envoys to their camp should fare, A hundred Latins of the noblest blood, The peaceful olive in their hands to bear, With gifts, the choicest that the realm can spare, Talents of gold and ivory, just in weight, The royal mantle, and the curule chair, The marks of rule. With freedom now debate, Consult the common weal, and help the sickly state."
XLIV. Up rose then Drances, with indignant mien, Whom, spiteful still, the fame of Turnus stung With carping envy, and malignant spleen; Lavish of wealth, and fluent with his tongue, No mean adviser in debate, and strong In faction, but in battle cold and tame. From royal seed his mother's race was sprung, His sire's unknown. He thus with words of blame Piles up the general wrath, and fans resentment's flame.
XLV. "Good king, the matter—it is plain, for each Knows well our needs, but hesitates to say. Let him cease blustering, and allow free speech, Him, for whose pride and sullen temper, yea, I say it, let him threaten as he may— Quenched is the light of many a chief, that lies In earth's cold lap, and mourning and dismay Have filled the town, while, sure of flight, he tries To storm the Trojan camp, and idly flouts the skies.
XLVI. "One gift, O best of monarchs, add, to crown Thy bounty to the Dardans,—one, beside These many, nor let bluster bear thee down. A worthy husband for thy child provide, And peace shall with the lasting pact abide. Else, if such terror doth our souls enslave, Him now, in hope to turn away his pride, Him let us pray his proper right to waive, And, pitying, deign to yield what king and country crave.
XLVII. "O Turnus, cause of all our ills to-day, Why make the land these miseries endure? The war is desperate; for peace we pray, And that one pledge, inviolably sure, Naught else but which can make the peace secure. Thy foeman, I—nor be the fact concealed, For so thou deem'st—entreat thee and adjure. Blood flows enough on many a wasted field. Relent, and spare thine own, and, beaten, learn to yield.
XLVIII. "Or, if fame tempt, and in thy bosom glow Such fire, and so thou hankerest to gain A kingdom's dower, take heart and face the foe. Must we, poor souls, that Turnus may obtain A royal bride, like carrion strew the plain, Unwept, unburied? If thine arm hath might, If but a spark of native worth remain, Go forth this hour; in arms assert thy right, And meet him, face to face, who calls thee to the fight."
XLIX. Fierce blazed the wrath of Turnus, and he wrung Speech from his breast, deep groaning in his gall. "Glib art thou, Drances, voluble of tongue, When hands are needed, and the trumpets call. The council summoned, thou art first of all. Not this the hour thy vapouring to outpour, Though big thy talk, and brave the words, that fall From craven lips, while ramparts stand before, To guard thee safe from foes, nor trenches swim with gore.
L. "Rave on, and thunder in thy wonted strain, And brand me coward, thou whose hands can slay Such Trojan hosts, whose trophies grace the plain. What worth can do, and manhood can essay, We twain may venture. Sooth, not far away Need foes be sought; around the walls they throng. March we to meet them! Dotard, why delay? Still dwells thy War-God in a windy tongue, And flying feet, and knees all feeble and unstrung?
LI. "I beaten? Who, foul spawn of earth, shall call Me beaten? who, that saw swoln Tiber flow Red with the blood of Trojans, ay, and all Evander's house and progeny laid low, And fierce Arcadians vanquished at a blow? Not such dead Pandarus and Bitias found This right hand, nor those thousands hurled below In one short day, when battlement and mound Hemmed me in hostile walls, and foemen swarmed around.
LII. "No hope from war?—Go, fool, to Dardan ears These bodings whisper, to thy new ally. Go, swell the panic, spread the coward's fears. Puff up the foemen's prowess to the sky,— Twice-conquered churls,—and Latin arms decry. See now, forsooth, the Myrmidons afraid Of Phrygian arms, Tydides fain to fly, Achilles trembling, Aufidus in dread Shrunk from the Hadrian deep, and cowering in his bed.
LIII. "Or mark the trickster's cunning when he feigns To fear my vengeance, whom his taunts revile! Nay, Drances, be at ease; this hand disdains To take the forfeit of a soul so vile. Keep it, fit inmate of that breast of guile, And now, good Sire, if, beaten, we despair, If never Fate on Latin arms shall smile, And naught our ruined fortunes can repair, Stretch we our craven hands, and beg the foe to spare.
LIV. "Yet oh! if aught of ancient worth remain, Him deem I noblest, and his end renowned, Brave soul! who sooner than behold such stain, Fell once for all, and, dying, bit the ground. But, if fit men and martial means abound, And towns and tribes, to muster at our call, Hath Italy; if Trojans, too, have found Fame dearly bought with many a brave man's fall (For they have, too, their deaths; the storm hath swept o'er all),
LV. "Why fail we on the threshold, faint with fears, And sick knees tremble ere the trumpets bray? Time—healing Time—and long, laborious years Oft raise the humble; Fortune in her play Lifts those to-morrow, whom she lowers to-day. What though no aid AEtolian Arpi lends, Ours is Messapus, ours Tolumnius, yea, And all whom Latium or Laurentum sends, Nor scanty fame, nor slow Italia's hosts attends.
LVI. "Ours, too, is brave Camilla, noble maid, The pride of Volscians, and she leads a band Of horsemen fierce, in brazen arms arrayed. If me the foe to single fight demand, And so ye will, and I alone withstand The common good, come danger as it may, Not so hath victory fled this hated hand, Not yet so weak is Turnus, as to stay With such a prize unsnatched, and falter from the fray.
LVII. "Though greater than the great Achilles he, Though, like Achilles, Vulcan's arms he wear, Fain will I meet him. Lo, to you, to thee, Latinus, father of the bride so fair, I, Turnus, I, in prowess past compare, Devote this life. AEneas calls but me, So let him, rather than that Drances bear The smart, if death the wrathful gods decree, Or, if 'tis glory's field, usurp the victor's fee."
LVIII. While thus, with wrangling and contentious doubt, They urged debate, AEneas his array Moved from the camp. Behold, a trusty scout Back, through Latinus' palace, speeds his way, And fills the town with tumult and dismay. The Trojans—see!—the Trojans,—down they swarm From Tiber. See the meadows far away Alive with foes! Rage, turmoil and alarm In turns distract the town. "Arm," cry the young men, "arm!"
LIX. The old men weep and mutter. Clamours rend The startled skies, and discord reigns supreme, E'en as when birds on lofty woods descend In flocks, or in Padusa's fishful stream The swans sing hoarsely, and the wild-fowl scream Along the babbling waters. Turnus straight The moment snatched. "Ah! townsmen, sooth, ye deem This hour an hour to chatter and debate; Sit on, and praise sweet peace, while foemen storm the gate."
LX. He spake, and from the council dashed with speed. "Go, Volusus," he cries, "and arm amain The Volscians; hither the Rutulians lead. Messapus, go, with horsemen in thy train, And Coras, with thy brother scour the plain. Let these all entrance at the gate forestall, And man the turrets; let the rest remain In arms, and wait my bidding." One and all, The townsmen throng the streets, and hurry to the wall.
LXI. Then, sore distrest, the aged king proclaims The council closed, and for a happier tide Puts off debate; and oft himself he blames, Who welcomed not AEneas to his side, Nor graced his city with a Dardan's bride. But hark! to battle peals the clarion's call. These by the gate dig trenches, those provide Sharp stakes and stones. Along the girdling wall Pale boys and matrons stand: the last hour cries for all.
LXII. To Pallas' rock-built temple rides the queen, Bearing her gifts. The matrons march in line, And by her side is fair Lavinia seen, The war's sad authoress, with down-dropt eyne. They, entering in, with incense fume the shrine, And from the threshold pour the mournful strain: "O strong in arms, Tritonian maid divine! Break thou the Phrygian robber's spear in twain, And 'neath the gates strike down and stretch him on the plain."
LXIII. Now in hot haste fierce Turnus dons the mail, Eager for battle. On his breast he laced The corselet, rough with many a brazen scale. Around his legs the golden greaves he placed, His brow yet bare, and at his side he braced, The trusty sword. All golden is the glow Of burnished arms, as down the height in haste He flies exulting to the field below. High leaps his heart, and hope anticipates the foe.
LXIV. So, free at length, his tether snapt in twain, Swift from his stall, in eager joy, the steed Bounds forth and, master of the open plain, Now seeks the mares that in the pastures feed, Now towards the well-known river scours the mead, Wont there to cool his glowing sides, and neighs With head erect and glories in his speed, While o'er his collar and his shoulders plays The waving mane, flung loose in many a wandering maze.
LXV. Him meets Camilla, with her Volscian train, And by the gate dismounting then and there (Down likewise leap her followers to the plain), "Turnus," she cries, "if confidence can e'er Befit the brave, I venture and I swear Singly to face yon Trojans in the fray, And stem the Tuscan cavalry. My care Shall be the war's first hazards to essay; Thou guard the walls afoot, and by the ramparts stay."
LXVI. Then he, with eyes fixt on the wondrous maid, "O glory of Italia, virgin bright! What praise can match thee? how shall thanks be paid? But now, since naught can daunt thee nor affright, Share thou my labour, and divide the fight. Yonder AEneas, so the news hath flown, So spies report, hath sent his horsemen light To scour the fields, while o'er the mountains' crown Himself through devious ways is marching to the town.
LXVII. "Deep in a hollow, where the wood's dark shade Two cross-ways hides, an ambush I prepare, And armed men shall the double pass blockade. Thou take the shock of battle, and o'erbear The Tuscan horse. Messapus shall be there, Tiburtus' band, and Latins in array To aid, and thine shall be the leader's care." He spake, and cheered Messapus to the fray, And Latium's federate chiefs, and spurred upon his way.
LXVIII. There lies a winding valley, fit for snares And stratagems, shut in on either hand By wooded slopes. A narrow pathway fares Along the gorge, and on the hill-tops, planned For safety, flat but hidden spreads the land. Rightward or leftward there is room to bear The shock of arms, or on the ridge to stand, And roll down rocks upon the foe. 'Twas there Young Turnus, screened by woods, lies crouching in his lair.
LXIX. Meanwhile Latonia in the realms of air Fleet Opis, sister of her sacred train, Addressed in sorrowing accents, "Maiden fair, See how Camilla to the fatal plain Goes forth, in quest of battle. See, in vain Our arms she wears, the quiver and the bow. Dearest is she of all that own my reign, Nor new-born is Diana's love, I trow; No fit of fondness this, or fancy known but now
LXX. "When tyrant Metabus his people's hate Drove from Privernum, for his deeds of shame. His babe he bore, the partner of his fate, Through war and battle, and, her mother's name Casmilla changed, Camilla she became. To lonely woods and hill-tops fain to fly, Fierce swords and Volscians all around, he came Where Amasenus, with its waves bank-high, Athwart him foamed; so vast a deluge rent the sky.
LXXI. "Prepared to plunge, he pauses, sore assailed By love, and terror for a charge so dear. All means revolving, this at last prevailed. Fire-dried and knotted, an enormous spear Of seasoned oak the warrior chanced to bear. To the mid shaft the tender babe he ties, Swathed in the covering of a cork-tree near, Then lifts the load, and, poising, ere it flies, The ponderous lance, looks up, and thus invokes the skies:
LXXII. "'O Queen of woods, Latonia, virgin fair! To thee my daughter I devote this day, Thy handmaid. See, thus early through the air She bears thy weapons. Make her thine, I pray, And safely through the doubtful air convey.' So prayed the sire, and nerved him for the throw, Then aimed, and launched the missile on its way. The babe forlorn, while roars the stream below, Link'd to the shaft, is borne across the current's flow.
LXXIII. "In plunges Metabus, the foemen near, And Trivia's gift, safe landing from the wave, Plucks from the grass,—the maiden and the spear. No town is his, to shelter and to save, His savage mood no shelter deigns to crave. A shepherd's life on lonely hills he leads, In tangled covert, or in woodland cave. The milk of beasts supplies his daughter's needs, And from the wild-mare's teats her tender lips he feeds.
LXXIV. "And when the tottering infant first essayed To plant her footsteps, to her hands he strung A lance, and o'er the shoulders of the maid The light-wing'd arrows and the bow he slung. For golden coif and trailing mantle, hung A tiger's spoils. Her tiny hand e'en then Hurled childish darts; e'en then the tough hide, swung Around her temples, as she roamed the plain, Brought down the snowy swan, or swift Strymonian crane.
LXXV. "Full many a Tuscan mother far and near Has wooed Camilla for her son in vain. Contented with Diana year by year, She loves her silvan weapon, free and fain To live a maiden-huntress, pure of stain. And O! had battle, and the toils of fight Not lured her thus to combat on the plain, And match her prowess with the Teucrians' might, Mine were the maiden still, my darling and delight.
LXXVI. "Now, since well-nigh the fatal threads are spun, Go, Nymph, to Latin frontiers wing thy way, Where evil omens mark the fight begun. Take, too, this quiver; who the maid shall slay,— Trojan or Latin—with his blood shall pay Myself the armour and the corpse will bear, Wrapt in a cloud, and in her country lay." She spake, and, girt with whirlwind, and the blare Of sounding arms, the Nymph glides down the yielding air.
LXXVII. Meanwhile, the Trojans and the Tuscan train, In marshalled squadrons, to the walls draw near, Steeds neigh, and chafe, and prance upon the plain, And lances bristling o'er the field appear. Messapus, too, and Latium's hosts are here, Coras, Catillus, and Camilla leads Her troops to aid. All couch the levelled spear, And whirl the dart. Hot waxes on the meads The tramp of hurrying hosts, the snorting of the steeds.
LXXVIII. Each halts within a spear-cast of the foe, Then, spurring, forward with a shout they dash, And, darkening heaven, shower the darts like snow. In front, Tyrrhenus and Aconteus rash Cross spears, the first to grapple. With a crash, Steed against steed, went ruining. Breast and head Shocked and were shattered. Like the lightning's flash, And loud as missile from an engine sped, Hurled far, Aconteus falls, and with a gasp lies dead.
LXXIX. This breaks the line; the Latins turn and fly, Their shields behind them. On the Trojans go, Asilas first. And now the gates are nigh; Once more, with shouts, the Latins face the foe; These, scared in turn, the slackened reins forego. So shifts the fight, as on the winding strand The swelling ocean, with alternate flow, Foams on the rocks, and curls along the sand, Now sucks the shingle back, and, ebbing, leaves the land.
LXXX. Twice the fierce Tuscans, spurring o'er the fields, Drive the Rutulians to their walls in flight. Twice, driven backward, from behind their shields The victors see the rallying foes unite. But when the third time, in the fangs of fight, Man singling man, both armies met to close, Loud were the groans, and fearful was the sight, Arms splashed with gore, steeds, riders, friends and foes, Blent in the deadly broil, and fierce the din uprose.
LXXXI. Lo, here, Orsilochus, too faint with fear To meet fierce Remulus, a distant dart Hurls at his steed. Beneath the charger's ear The shaft stands fixt; the beast, with sudden start, His breast erect, and maddened by the smart, Rears up, and flings his rider to the ground. Here brave Iolas, from his friends apart, Catillus slew; Herminius next he found, Large-hearted, large of limb, and eke in arms renowned.
LXXXII. Bare is his head, with auburn locks aglow, And bare his shoulders. Wounds to him are vain; Tower-like he stands, defenceless to the foe. Through his broad chest the javelin, urged amain, Pierced him, and quivered, and he writhed with pain, His giant form bent double. Far and nigh The dark blood pours in torrents on the plain, As, dealing havoc with the sword, they vie, And, courting wounds, rush on, a warrior's death to die.
LXXXIII. There, quiver-girt, the Amazonian maid, One bosom bare, amidst the carnage wheeled, Camilla, glorying in the war's grim trade. Her limber darts she scatters o'er the field, Her arms untired the ponderous axe can wield. Diana's arrows and the golden bow Sound at her back. She too, if forced to yield, Fights as she flies, and well the maid doth know With flying shafts hurled back to stay the following foe.
LXXXIV. Around her, Tulla and Larinia stand, Tarpeia too, with brazen axe bedight, Italians all, the choicest of her band, In peace or war her glory and delight. So, battling round Hippolyte, unite Her Thracians, when Thermodon's banks afar Ring with their arms. So rides the maid of might, Penthesilea, in her conquering car, And hosts, with moon-shaped shields, exulting hail the war.
LXXXV. Whom first, dread maiden, did thy javelin quell? Whom last? how many in the dust lay low? Eunaeus first, the son of Clytius, fell. Sheer through his breast, left naked to the blow, Ploughed the long fir-shaft, as he faced his foe. Prone falls the warrior, and in deadly stound Gasps out his life-blood, and the crimson flow Spouts forth in torrents, as he bites the ground, And, dying, grasps the spear, and writhes upon the wound.
LXXXVI. Liris anon and Pagasus she slew, One, flung to earth, and gathering up the rein, His charger stabbed, the other, as he flew To aid, and reached his helpless hands in vain, Amastrus, son of Hippotas, was slain; Harpalycus, Demophoon, as they fled, The dread spear caught, and stretched upon the plain, Tereus and Chromis. For each shaft that sped, Launched from her maiden hand, a Phrygian foe lay dead.
LXXXVII. On Iapygian steed, in arms unknown, Rode Ornytus, the huntsman. A rough hide, Stript from a bullock, o'er his back was thrown. A wolf's huge jaws, with glittering teeth, supplied His helmet, and a rustic pike he plied. Him, as he towered, the tallest in the fray, Wheeling his steed, Camilla unespied Caught—in the rout 'twas easy—and her prey Pinned, with unpitying spear, and jeered him as he lay.
LXXXVIII. "Ha, Tuscan! thought'st thou 'twas the chase? Thy day Hath come; a woman shall thy vaunts belie. Yet take this glory to the grave, and say 'Twas I, the great Camilla, made thee die." She spake, and smote Orsilochus close by, And Butes, hugest of the Trojan crew. First Butes falls; just where the neck doth lie, 'Twixt casque and corslet, naked to the view, And leftward droops the shield, the fatal barb goes through.
LXXXIX. Chased by Orsilochus, afar she wheels Her seeming flight, wide-circling to and fro, Till, doubling in a narrower ring, she steals Inside, and follows on the following foe. Then, rising steep, while vainly in his woe He pleads for pity, and entreats her grace, She swings the battle-axe, and blow on blow On head and riven helmet heaps apace, And the hot brains and blood are spattered o'er his face.
XC. Next crossed her path, but stood aghast to see, The son of Aunus, from the mountain-seat Of Apennine. No mean Ligurian he, While Fate was kind, and prospered his deceit. Fearful of death, and hopeless to retreat, He tries if cunning can avail his need, And cries aloud, "Good sooth, a wondrous feat! A woman trusts for glory to her steed. Come down; fight fair afoot, and take the braggart's meed!"
XCI. Down leaps the maid in fury, and her steed Hands to a comrade, and with arms matched fair, And dauntless heart, confronts him on the mead, Her shield unblazoned, and her falchion bare. He, vainly glorying in his fancied snare, Reins round in haste, and, spurring, strives to flee. "Fool," cries Camilla, "let thy pride beware. Think not to palm thy father's tricks on me, Nor hope with craft like this thy lying sire to see."
XCII. So spake she, and on flying feet afire Outruns his steed, and stands athwart the way, Then grasps the reins, and deals the wretch his hire, Doomed with his life-blood for his craft to pay. So on a dove, amid the clouds astray, Down swoops the sacred falcon through the sky From some tall cliff, and fastens on his prey, And grips, and rends, and sucks the life-blood dry; The feathers, foul with blood, come, fluttering down from high.
XCIII. Nor Jove meanwhile with unregarding ken, Throned on Olympus, doth the scene survey. Watchful of all, the Sire of gods and men Stirs up the Tuscan Tarchon to the fray, And plies the war-goad with no gentle sway. He through the squadrons on his steed aflame Rides 'mid the carnage, where the ranks give way; Now chides, now cheers, and calling each by name, Re-forms the broken lines, and reinspires the tame.
XCIV. "Cowards, why faint ye, Tuscans but in name? Fie! shall a woman scatter you in flight? O, slack! O, never to be stung to shame! What use of weapons, if ye fear to fight? No laggards ye for amorous jousts at night, Or Bacchic revels, when the fife ye hear. The feast and wine-cup—these are your delight; For these ye linger, till the approving seer Calls to the grove's deep shade, where bleeds the fattened steer."
XCV. Then, spurring forth, himself prepared to die, He dashed at Venulus, unhorsed his prize, And bore him on his saddle-bow. A cry Goes up, and all the Latins turn their eyes. Swift with his prey the fiery Tarchon flies, And, while the steel-head from his spear he rends, Each chink and crevice in his armour tries, To deal the death-blow. He, as fierce, contends, And, countering force with force, his naked throat defends.
XCVI. As when a golden eagle, high in air, Wreathed with a serpent, fastens, as she flies, With feet that clutch, and taloned claws that tear. Coil writhed in coil, the roughening scales uprise, The crest points up, the hissing tongue defies. She with sharp beak still rends the struggling prey, And beats the air. So Tarchon with his prize Through Tibur's host exulting speeds away. With cheers the Tuscans charge, and hail their chief's essay.
XCVII. Now, due to fate, aloof with lifted lance, The crafty Aruns round Camilla wheels, And tries where fortune lends the readiest chance. Oft as she charges, where the war-shout peals, He slips unseen, and follows on her heels. When back she runs, triumphant from the foe, He shifts the rein, and from the conflict steals. Now here, now there, he doubles to and fro, And shakes his felon spear, but hesitates to throw.
XCVIII. Lo, Chloreus, priest of Cybele, aglow In Phrygian armour, gorgeous to behold, Urges his foaming charger at the foe, All decked in feathered chain-work, linked with gold. Cretan his shafts, his bow of Lycian mould. Dark blue and foreign purple clothed his breast, Golden his casque and bow; his mantle's fold Of yellow saffron knots of gold compressed, And buskins bound his knees, and broidered was his vest.
XCIX. Him the fierce huntress, whether fain the shrine To deck with trophies, or with envious eyes Wishful herself in Trojan arms to shine, Marks in the strife; at him alone she flies, Proud, like a woman, of her fancied prize. Blindly she runs, uncautious of the snare, When, darting from the ambush, where he lies, The moment snatched, false Aruns shakes his spear, And thus, with measured aim, invokes the Gods with prayer.
C. "O Phoebus, guardian of Soracte's steep, Whom first we honour, to whose sacred name, Thy votaries, we, the blazing pine-wood heap, And, firm in faith, pass through the smouldering flame, Grant that our arms may wipe away this shame. Trophies, nor spoils, nor plunder from the prey Be mine; I look to other deeds for fame. If wound of mine this hateful pest shall slay, Home will I gladly go, and fameless quit the fray."
CI. Apollo heard, and granted half his prayer, And half he scattered to the winds. To slay With sudden stroke Camilla unaware He gave, but gave not his returning day; The breezes puffed the bootless wish away. Shrill sang the lance; each Volscian eye and heart Turned to the queen. The weapon on its way,— The rush of air she heeds not, till the dart Strikes home, and, staying, draws the life-blood from her heart.
CII. Up run her friends, the fainting queen to aid, More scared than all, in fear and joy amain, False Aruns flies, nor dares to face the maid, Or trust the venture of his spear again. As guilty wolf, some steer or shepherd slain, Slinks to the hills, ere hostile darts pursue, And clasps his tail between his thighs, full fain To seek the woods, so Aruns shrank from view, Sore scared and glad to fly, and in the crowd withdrew.
CIII. With dying hand she strives to pluck the spear: Deep 'twixt the rib-bones in the wound it lies. Bloodless she faints; her features, late so fair, Fade, as the crimson from the pale cheeks flies, And cold and misty wax the drooping eyes. Then, with quick gasps, and groaning from her breast, She calls to faithful Acca, ere she dies,— Acca, her truest comrade and her best, The partner of her cares,—and breathes a last request.
CIV. "Sister, 'tis past; the bitter shaft apace Consumes me; all is growing dark. Go, tell This news to Turnus; bid him take my place, And keep these Trojans from the town. Farewell." So saying, she dropped the bridle, as she fell. Death's creeping chills the loosened limbs o'erspread. Down dropped the weapons she had borne so well, The neck drooped, slackened; and she bowed her head, And the disdainful soul went groaning to the dead.
CV. Up rose a shout, Camilla fall'n, that beat The golden stars, and fiercer waxed the fray. On press the host, in serried ranks complete, Trojans, Arcadians, Tuscans in array. High on a hill, fair Opis watched the day, Set there by Trivia, undisturbed till now, When, lo, amid the tumult far away She sees Camilla, in the dust laid low, Deep from her breast she sighs, and thus in words of woe:
CVI. "Cruel, too cruel, is thy forfeit paid, Poor maiden, who the Trojan arms would'st dare; Nor aught availed thee, in the woodland glade To serve Diana, and her arms to wear. Yet not unhonoured in thy death, nor bare Of fame she leaves thee; nor in after day Shall vengeance fail thy prowess to declare. Whoso hath dared thy sacred form to slay, His blood shall rue the deed, and fit atonement pay."
CVII. Beneath the hill a barrow chanced to stand, Heaped there of old, and holm-oaks frowned beside Dercennus' tomb, who ruled Laurentum's land. Here, lightning swift, the lovely Nymph espied, In shining arms, and puffed with empty pride, False Aruns. "Caitiff! dost thou think to flee? Why keep aloof? Turn hitherward!" she cried, "Come here, and die! Camilla claims her fee. Must Cynthia waste her shafts on worthless knaves like thee?"
CVIII. Plucking the arrow from her case, she drew The bow, full-stretched, till both the horns unite. Both arms raised level, ere the missile flew, Her left hand touched the iron point, the right, Pressed to her nipple, strained the bow-string tight. He hears the arrow whistle as it flies, And feels the wound. Sweeping on amain, [word missing] Forsakes him. Groaning, with a gasp, he dies. Upsoars the gladdening Nymph, and seeks the Olympian skies.
CIX. First flies Camilla's troop, their mistress slain, Then, routed, the Rutulian ranks give way, And fierce Atinas gallops from the plain, And scattered chiefs and squadrons in dismay Spur towards the town for shelter from the fray. None dares that murderous onset of the foe To stem with javelins, nor their charge to stay. Slack from their fainting shoulders hangs the bow, The clattering horse-hoofs shake the crumbling ground below.
CX. Dark rolls the dust-cloud, to the town-walls driven, And mothers on the watch-towers, pale with fear, Smite on their breasts, and shriek aloud to heaven. These, bursting in, their foemen in the rear Crush in the crowd, and slaughter with the spear, Slain in the gateway—miserably slain!— Their walls in sight, their happy homes so near. Those bar the gates, while comrades on the plain Stretch their imploring hands, and call to them in vain.
CXI. Then piteous waxed the carnage by the gate, Some storming, some defending. These without, In sight of parents, weeping at their fate, Roll down the moat, swept headlong by the rout, Or charge the battered doorposts with a shout. The very matrons, at their country's call, Their javelins hurl. Charr'd stakes and oak-staves stout Serve them for swords. Forth rush they, one and all, Fir'd by Camilla's deeds, to save the town or fall.
CXII. Meanwhile to Turnus, in the woods afar, Came Acca, and the bitter news made plain, And told the chief the tumult of the war,— The panic and the rout—the Volscian train Swept from the battle, and Camilla slain. The foemen, flushed with conquest, far and near In hot pursuit, and sweeping on amain, And all the city now aghast with fear:— Such was the dolorous tale that filled the warrior's ear.
CXIII. Then, mad with fury, in revengeful mood (For Jove is stern, and so the Fates ordain), He quits his mountain-ambush and the wood. Scarce, out of sight, had Turnus reached the plain, When, issuing forth, AEneas hastes to gain The pass, left open, climbs the neighbouring height, And leaves the tangled forest. Thus the twain, Each near to each,—the middle space is slight,— Townward their troops lead on, and hail the proffered fight.
CXIV. At once AEneas on the dusty plain Marks the Laurentine columns far away. At once, in arms, fierce Turnus knows again The dread AEneas, and he hears the neigh Of steeds, and tramp of footmen in array. Then each the fight had ventured, as they stood, But rosy Phoebus, with declining day, His steeds was bathing in the Iberian flood; So by the walls they camp, and make the ramparts good.
Turnus realises that he must now redeem his promise to meet AEneas in single combat, and refuses to be dissuaded either by Latinus or by Amata (1-90). The challenge is sent, and the two make ready. Lists are prepared and spectators gather (91-153). Juno warns the Nymph Juturna to aid her brother Turnus (154-180). After the terms of combat have been ratified by oath and sacrifice, Juturna, in disguise, by an opportune omen induces one of the assembled Latins to break the truce and kill a Trojan (181-310). AEneas is wounded while endeavouring to restrain his men from reprisals, and the fray becomes general. Turnus deals death among the Trojans (311-441). AEneas is miraculously healed, and at first pursues only Turnus—who is carried off by Juturna (442-561), but presently gives rein to his anger and slays indiscriminately, until by Venus' advice he attacks the city. Amata kills herself, believing Turnus dead (562-702). Turnus' eyes are opened. Seeing the city outworks in flames, he returns and proclaims himself ready to meet AEneas, who, welcoming the challenge, rushes forward. All eyes are riveted on the two, when Turnus' sword breaks, and once more he flees, pursued by AEneas. Juturna gives Turnus another sword, and Venus restores to AEneas his spear (703-918). Follows a colloquy between Jupiter and Juno.—Turnus must die. AEneas shall marry Lavinia and be king. But the new nation must keep the ancient rites and names of Latium, and be called not Trojans but Latins. Juno yields, and Jupiter warns Juturna to leave the battle (919-1026). Turnus, being beside himself, after a last superhuman effort, is struck down. AEneas is about to spare his life, when he sees upon his shoulder the spoils of Pallas, and kills him (1027-1107).
I. When Turnus saw the Latins faint and fly, Crushed by the War-God, and his pledge reclaimed, Himself the mark of every scornful eye, Rage unappeasable his pride inflamed. As when a lion, in the breast sore maimed In Punic fields, uprousing, shakes his mane, And snaps the shaft that felon hands had aimed, His mouth all bloody, as he roars with pain, So Turnus blazed with wrath, as thus in scornful strain
II. He hailed the king: "Not Turnus stops the way; No cause have these their challenge to forego, Poor Trojan cowards; I accept the fray, Sire, be the compact hallowed; be it so. Or I, while Latins sit and see the show, Will hurl to Hell this Dardan thief abhorred, This Asian runaway, and on the foe Refute the common slander with the sword, Or he, as victor, reign and be Lavinia's lord."
III. Then, calm of soul, Latinus made reply, "O gallant youth, the more thy heart is fain In fierceness to excel, the more should I Weigh well the risks and measure loss with gain. To thee belong thy father Daunus' reign And captured towns. Good will have I and gold, And other maids our Latin homes contain, Of noble birth and lovely to behold. Hear now, and let plain speech the thankless truth unfold.
IV. "To none of former suitors was I free To wed my daughter, so the voice ordained Of gods and men consenting. Love for thee, And sympathy for kindred blood hath gained The mastery, and a weeping wife constrained. I robbed the husband of the bride he wooed, Took impious arms, and plighted faith disdained. Ah me! what wars, what bitter fates ensued, Thou, Turnus, know'st too well, who first hast felt the feud.
V. "Scarce now, twice worsted in the desperate fray, Our walls can guard what Latin hopes remain, And, choked with Latin corpses, day by day, Old Tiber's stream runs purple to the main, And Latin bones are whitening all the plain. Why shifts my frenzied purpose to and fro? Why change and change? If, maugre Turnus slain, I deign to welcome as a friend his foe, Why not, while Turnus lives, the needless strife forego?
VI. "What will Rutulian kinsmen, what will all Italia say, if (Chance the deed forefend!) I leave thee, cheated of my care, to fall, The daughter's lover, and the father's friend? O, weigh the risks that on the war attend; Pity the parent in his sad, old age, Left at far Ardea to lament thine end." Thus he; but naught fierce Turnus can assuage; The healing hand but chafes, and words augment his rage.
VII. Then he, scarce gathering utterance, spake again, "Good Sire, thy trouble for my sake forego; Leave me the price of glory—to be slain. I too can hurl, nor feeble is my blow, The whistling shaft, that lays the foeman low, And drinks his life-blood. Vain shall be his prayer. No goddess mother shall be there, to throw Her mist around him, with a woman's care, And screen her darling son with empty shades of air."
VIII. The Queen, with death before her, filled with fears, Wept sore and checked the fiery suitor's way. "O Turnus! if thou heed'st me, by these tears;— Hope of my age, Latinus' strength and stay, Prop of our falling house! one boon I pray; Forbear the fight. What fate awaiteth thee, Awaits me too. If Trojans win the day, With thee I'll leave the loathed light, nor see AEneas wed my child, a captive slave, as she."
IX. With tears Lavinia heard her mother speak. A crimson blush her glowing face o'erspread, And hot fires kindled on her burning cheek. As Indian ivory, when stained with red, Or lilies, mixt with roses in a bed, So flushed the maid, with varying thoughts distrest. He, wild with love, upon Lavinia fed His constant gaze, but maddening with unrest, Burned for the fight still more, and thus the Queen addressed:
X. "Vex me not, mother, marching to the fray, With these thy tears and bodings of despair. 'Tis not in me the fatal hour to stay. Thou, Idmon, to the Phrygian tyrant bear The unwelcome word: to-morrow let him spare To lead his Teucrians to the fight. Each side Shall rest awhile; when morning shines in air, His blood or mine the quarrel shall decide, And he or I shall win, whose prowess earns, the bride."
XI. Thus speaking, to his home the chieftain hies And bids his steeds be harnessed for the fight: Soon for the pleasure of their master's eyes They stand before him, neighing in their might. In days of old from Orithyia bright To King Pilumnus came those coursers twain, Swifter than breezes and than snow more white; His ready grooms attend, a nimble train, And clap the sounding breast and comb the abundant mane.
XII. Himself the shining corselet, stiff with gold And orichalcum, on his shoulders laid. His sword and shield he fitted to his hold, And donned the helm, with crimson plumes arrayed, The sword the Fire-King for his sire had made, And dipped still glowing in the Stygian flood, Last, the strong spear-beam in his hand he swayed (Against a pillar in the house it stood), Auruncan Actor's spoils, and shook the quivering wood,
XIII. And shouted, "Now, O never known to fail Thy master's call, my trusty spear, I trow The hour is come. Once, mightiest under mail, Did Actor wield thee; Turnus wields thee now. Grant this strong hand to lay the foeman low, This Phrygian eunuch of his arms to spoil, And rend his shattered breastplate with a blow; Dragged in the dust, his dainty curls to soil, Hot from the crisping tongs, and wet with myrrh and oil."
XIV. Such furies urge him, and, ablaze with ire, His hot face sparkles, and his eyes burn bright, And from his eye-balls leaps the living fire; As when a bull, in prelude for the fight, Roars terribly, and fills the hinds with fright, And, butting at a chance-met tree, would try To vent his fury on his horns of might, And with his fierce hoofs flings the sand on high, And gores the empty air, and challenges the sky.
XV. Nor less, meanwhile, and terrible in arms,— The arms that Venus to her son doth lend,— AEneas rages, and the War-God warms. Pleased with the challenge, singly to contend, And bring the weary warfare to an end, His friends he cheers, and calms Iulus' care, Unfolding Fate, then heralds hastes to send, His answer to the Latin King to bear: The challenge he accepts, the terms of peace are fair.
XVI. Scarce Morning glimmered on the mountains grey, And Phoebus' steeds, uprising from the main, With lifted nostrils breathed approaching day. Mixt with the Trojans, the Rutulian train, Beneath the lofty town-walls on the plain Mark out the lists, and mid-way in the ring, Their braziers set, as common rites ordain. These, apron-girt and crowned with vervain, bring Fire for the turf-piled hearths, and water from the spring.
XVII. Forth, as to war, Ausonia's spear-armed host, Trojans and Tuscans, to the field proceed, And to and fro, in gold and purple, post Asilas brave, Assaracus's seed, Mnestheus, Messapus, tamer of the steed. Back step both armies at the trumpet's call, Their spears in earth, their shields upon the mead. An unarmed crowd, old men and matrons, all Stand by the lofty gates, and throng the towers and wall.
XVIII. But Juno, seated on a neighbouring height, Now Alban called, then nameless and unknown, Gazed from its summit on the field of fight, And, musing, on the marshalled hosts looked down Of Troy and Latium, and Latinus' town, Then straight—a goddess to a goddess—spake To Turnus' sister, who the sway doth own Of sounding river and of stagnant lake, Raised by the King of air, as yielding for his sake.
XIX. "Nymph, pride of rivers, darling of my love, Thou know'st, Juturna, how to all whoe'er Of Latin maidens climbed the couch of Jove, I thee preferred, and gave his courts to share. Learn now thy woe, lest I the blame should bear. While Fate and Fortune smiled on Latium's sway, Thy walls I saved, and Turnus was my care. Now in ill hour I see him tempt the fray; Fate and the foe speed on the inevitable day.
XX. "Not I this fight, this wager can behold. Thou, if thou durst, thy brother's doom arrest. Go; luck perchance may follow thee." Fast rolled Juturna's tears, and thrice she smote her breast. "No time to weep," said Juno, "speed thy quest, And save thy brother, if thou canst, ere dead, Or wake the war, and rend the league unblest; 'Tis I who bid thee to be bold." She said, And left her, tost with doubt, and full of wildering dread.
XXI. Forth come the Kings; Latinus, proudly borne High in his four-horse chariot, shines afar. Twelve gilded rays the monarch's brows adorn, His Sire's, the Sun-God's. Wielding as for war Two spears, comes Turnus in his two-horse car. There, Rome's great founder, doth AEneas ride, With dazzling shield, bright-shining as a star, And arms divine, and at his father's side Ascanius takes his place, Rome's second hope and pride.
XXII. And clad in robes of purest white, the priest Leads forth the youngling of a bristly swine, And two-year sheep, by shearer's hands unfleec'd. And they, with eyes turned to the dawn divine, Bared the bright steel, the victim's brow to sign, And strewed the cakes of salted meal, and poured On blazing altars bowls of sacred wine; And good AEneas drew his glittering sword, And thus, with pious prayer, the immortal gods adored:
XXIII. "Witness, O Sun, thou Earth attest my prayer, For whom I toil. Thou, Jove, supreme in sway, And thou, great Juno, pleased at length to spare. O mighty Mars, whose nod directs the fray; Springs, Streams, and Powers whom Air and Sea obey. If Turnus win—O let the vow remain— Humbly to King Evander, as they may, Troy's sons shall fly, Iulus quit the reign, Nor seed of mine e'er vex the Latin field again.
XXIV. "But else, if victory smile upon my sword (As rather deem I, and may Heaven decree), I wish not Troy to be Italia's lord, Nor claim the crown; let each, unquelled and free, In deathless league on equal terms agree. Arms, empire let Latinus keep; I claim To bring our rites and deities. For me My Teucrian friends another town shall frame, And bless the rising towers with fair Lavinia's name."
XXV. Thus first AEneas; then with uplift eyes, His right hand stretching to the stars in prayer, "Hear me, AEneas," old Latinus cries, "By the same Earth, and Sea and Stars I swear, By the twin offering of Latona fair, And two-faced Janus, and Hell's powers malign, And Dis unpitying; let Jove give ear, The Sire whose bolt the solemn league doth sign, Witness these fires and gods,—my hand is on the shrine,—
XXVI. "No time with Latins shall this league unbind, Whate'er the issue, or the peace confound, No force shall shake the purpose of my mind. Nay—though the circling Ocean burst its bound, And all the Earth were in a deluge drowned, And Heaven with Hell should mingle. Sure as now This sceptre" (haply in his hand was found The Royal sceptre) "nevermore, I trow, Shall bourgeon with fresh leaves, or spread a shadowing bough,
XXVII. "Since once in forests, from its parent tree Lopped clean away, the woodman stripped it bare Of boughs and leaves, now fashioned, as ye see, And cased in brass by cunning craftsman's care, For fathers of the Latin realm to bear." So they, amid their chiefest, Sire with Sire, Confirm the league. These o'er the flames prepare To slay the victims, and, as rites require, The living entrails tear, and feed the sacred fire.
XXVIII. Long while unequal to Rutulian eyes The combat seemed, and trouble tossed them sore, Now more, beholding nearer, how in size And strength the champions differed, yea, and more, Beholding Turnus, as he moved before The altars, sad and silently, and seeks With downcast eyes Heaven's favour to implore, The wanness of his youthful frame, that speaks Of health and hope now fled, the pallor of his cheeks.
XXIX. Soon as Juturna saw the whispers grow From tongue to tongue, and marked the changing tone, The hearts of people wavering to and fro, Amidst them,—now in form of Camers known, Great Camers, sprung from grandsires of renown, His father famed for many a brave emprise, Himself as famed for exploits of his own,— Amidst them, mistress of her part, she flies, And scatters words of doubt, and many a dark surmise.
XXX. "Shame, will ye risk, Rutulians, for his host The life of one? In number, strength and show Do we not match them? Those are all they boast, Trojans, Arcadians and Etruscans. Lo, Fight we by turns, each scarce can find a foe. He to his gods, whose shrines he dies to shield, Will rise, and praised will be his name below. We, reft of home, to tyrant lords shall yield, And toil as slaves, who sit so slackly on the field."
XXXI. So saying, Juturna to the youths imparts Fresh rage, and murmurs through the concourse run, And changed are Latin and Laurentian hearts, And they, who lately sought the strife to shun, And longed for rest, now wish the league undone, And, pitying Turnus, wrongly doomed to die, Call out for arms. And now, her work begun, Juturna shows a lying sign on high, That shakes Italian hearts, and cheats the wondering eye.
XXXII. Jove's golden eagle through the crimson skies In chase of clanging marsh-fowl, swooped in flight Down on a swan, and trussed the noble prize. The Latins gaze, when lo, a wondrous sight! Back wheels the flock, and all with screams unite, And darkening, as a cloud, in dense array Press on the foe, till, overborne by might, And yielding to sheer weight, he drops the prey Into the stream below, and cloudward soars away.
XXXIII. With shouts the glad Rutulians hail the sign, And lift their hands. Then spake the seer straightway, Tolumnius: "Welcome, welcome, powers divine! 'Twas this—'twas this I longed for, day by day. To arms! 'Tis I, Tolumnius, lead the way. Poor souls! whom yon strange pirate would enslave, Like feeble birds, and make your coast a prey. He too shall fly, and vanish o'er the wave. Stand close and fight as one, your captive king to save."
XXXIV. He spake and hurled his javelin at the foes, Advancing. Shrill the cornel hissed, and flew True to its quarry. Then a shout uprose, And the ranks wavered, and hearts throbbed anew With ardour, as the gathering tumult grew. On went the missile to where, side by side, Nine brethren stood, of comely form, whom, true To her Gylippus, bare a Tuscan bride, Nine tall Arcadian sons, in bloom of youthful pride.
XXXV. One, where the belt chafes, and the strong clasp bites The broidered edges,—comeliest of the band, And sheathed in shining mail—the steel-head smites, And rives the ribs, and rolls him on the sand. Blind with hot rage, his brethren, sword in hand, Or snatching missiles, to avenge the slain, Rush to the charge. Laurentum's ranks withstand Their onset, and a deluge sweeps the plain, Trojans, Agylla's bands, Arcadia's glittering train.
XXXVI. One passion burns,—to let the sword decide. Stript stand the altars, and the shrines are bare; Dark drives the storm of javelins far and wide, The iron tempest hurtles in the air, And bowls and censers from the hearths they tear. Himself Latinus, flying, bears afar His home-gods, outraged by the league's misfare. Some leap to horse, and others yoke the car, Or bare the glittering sword, and hurry to the war.
XXXVII. Aulestes first, a king with kingly crown, Messapus scares, and, spurring forward, fain To break the treaty, rides the Tuscan down. He, bating ground, falls back, and hurled amain Against the altars, pitches on the plain. Up comes Messapus, with his beam-like spear, And smites him, pleading sorely but in vain, Steep-rising heavily smites him, with a jeer, "He hath it; Heaven hath gained a better victim here."
XXXVIII. Up Latins rush, and strip the limbs yet warm, A brand half-burnt fierce Corynoeus there Flings full at Ebusus, as with lifted arm He nears him, and the long beard, all aflare, Shines crackling, with a smell of burning hair. He with his left hand, following up the throw, Grasps the long locks, and, planting firm and fair His knee, beneath him pins the prostrate foe, And drives the stark sword home, so deadly is the blow.
XXXIX. Then, fired with fury, Podalirius flew At shepherd Alsus, as he rushed among The foremost. With his naked sword he drew Behind him close, and o'er his foeman hung. He turning round his broad axe backward swung, And clave the chin and forehead. Left and right The dark blood o'er the spattered arms outsprung. Hard rest and iron slumber seal his sight, The drooping eyelids close on everlasting night.
XL. Unarmed, AEneas, with uncovered brow, Stretched out his hands, and shouted to his train: "Where rush ye, men? what sudden discord now Is this? Be calm; your idle wrath refrain. The truce is struck; the treaty's terms are plain. To me belongs the battle, not to you. Give way to me, nor fret and fume in vain. This hand shall make the treaty firm and true. These rites, this solemn pact give Turnus for my due."