WHILE these affairs in distant places passd,
The various Iris Juno sends with haste,
To find bold Turnus, who, with anxious thought,
The secret shade of his great grandsire sought.
Retird alone she found the daring man, 5
And opd her rosy lips, and thus began:
What none of all the gods could grant thy vows,
That, Turnus, this auspicious day bestows.
Æneas, gone to seek th Arcadian prince,
Has left the Trojan camp without defense; 10
And, short of succors there, employs his pains
In parts remote to raise the Tuscan swains.
Now snatch an hour that favors thy designs;
Unite thy forces, and attack their lines.
This said, on equal wings she poisd her weight, 15
And formd a radiant rainbow in her flight.
The Daunian hero lifts his hands and eyes,
And thus invokes the goddess as she flies:
Iris, the grace of heavn, what powr divine
Has sent thee down, thro dusky clouds to shine? 20
See, they divide; immortal day appears,
And glittring planets dancing in their spheres!
With joy, these happy omens I obey,
And follow to the war the god that leads the way.
Thus having said, as by the brook he stood, 25
He scoopd the water from the crystal flood;
Then with his hands the drops to heavn he throws,
And loads the powrs above with offerd vows.
Now march the bold confedrates thro the plain,
Well horsd, well clad; a rich and shining train. 30
Messapus leads the van; and, in the rear,
The sons of Tyrrheus in bright arms appear.
In the main battle, with his flaming crest,
The mighty Turnus towrs above the rest.
Silent they move, majestically slow, 35
Like ebbing Nile, or Ganges in his flow.
The Trojans view the dusty cloud from far,
And the dark menace of the distant war.
Caicus from the rampire saw it rise,
Blackning the fields, and thickning thro the skies. 40
Then to his fellows thus aloud he calls:
What rolling clouds, my friends, approach the walls?
Arm! arm! and man the works! prepare your spears
And pointed darts! the Latian host appears.
Thus warnd, they shut their gates; with shouts ascend 45
The bulwarks, and, secure, their foes attend:
For their wise genral, with foreseeing care,
Had chargd them not to tempt the doubtful war,
Nor, tho provokd, in open fields advance,
But close within their lines attend their chance. 50
Unwilling, yet they keep the strict command,
And sourly wait in arms the hostile band.
The fiery Turnus flew before the rest:
A piebald steed of Thracian strain he pressd;
His helm of massy gold, and crimson was his crest. 55
With twenty horse to second his designs,
An unexpected foe, he facd the lines.
Is there, he said, in arms, who bravely dare
His leaders honor and his danger share?
Then spurring on, his brandishd dart he threw, 60
In sign of war: applauding shouts ensue.
Amazd to find a dastard race, that run
Behind the rampires and the battle shun,
He rides around the camp, with rolling eyes,
And stops at evry post, and evry passage tries. 65
So roams the nightly wolf about the fold:
Wet with descending showrs, and stiff with cold,
He howls for hunger, and he grins for pain,
(His gnashing teeth are exercisd in vain,)
And, impotent of anger, finds no way 70
In his distended paws to grasp the prey.
The mothers listen; but the bleating lambs
Securely swig the dug, beneath the dams.
Thus ranges eager Turnus oer the plain.
Sharp with desire, and furious with disdain; 75
Surveys each passage with a piercing sight,
To force his foes in equal field to fight.
Thus while he gazes round, at length he spies,
Where, fencd with strong redoubts, their navy lies,
Close underneath the walls; the washing tide 80
Secures from all approach this weaker side.
He takes the wishd occasion, fills his hand
With ready fires, and shakes a flaming brand.
Urgd by his presence, evry soul is warmd,
And evry hand with kindled firs is armd. 85
From the fird pines the scattring sparkles fly;
Fat vapors, mixd with flames, involve the sky.
What powr, O Muses, could avert the flame
Which threatend, in the fleet, the Trojan name?
Tell: for the fact, thro length of time obscure, 90
Is hard to faith; yet shall the fame endure.
T is said that, when the chief prepard his flight,
And felld his timber from Mount Idas height,
The grandam goddess then approachd her son,
And with a mothers majesty begun: 95
Grant me, she said, the sole request I bring,
Since conquerd heavn has ownd you for its king.
On Idas brows, for ages past, there stood,
With firs and maples filld, a shady wood;
And on the summit rose a sacred grove, 100
Where I was worshipd with religious love.
Those woods, that holy grove, my long delight,
I gave the Trojan prince, to speed his flight.
Now, filld with fear, on their behalf I come;
Let neither winds oerset, nor waves intomb 105
The floating forests of the sacred pine;
But let it be their safety to be mine.
Then thus replied her awful son, who rolls
The radiant stars, and heavn and earth controls:
How dare you, mother, endless date demand 110
For vessels molded by a mortal hand?
What then is fate? Shall bold Æneas ride,
Of safety certain, on th uncertain tide?
Yet, what I can, I grant; when, wafted oer,
The chief is landed on the Latian shore, 115
Whatever ships escape the raging storms,
At my command shall change their fading forms
To nymphs divine, and plow the watry way,
Like Dotis and the daughters of the sea.
To seal his sacred vow, by Styx he swore, 120
The lake of liquid pitch, the dreary shore,
And Phlegethons innavigable flood,
And the black regions of his brother god.
He said; and shook the skies with his imperial nod.
And now at length the numberd hours were come, 125
Prefixd by fates irrevocable doom,
When the great Mother of the Gods was free
To save her ships, and finish Joves decree.
First, from the quarter of the morn, there sprung
A light that signd the heavns, and shot along; 130
Then from a cloud, fringd round with golden fires,
Were timbrels heard, and Berecynthian choirs;
And, last, a voice, with more than mortal sounds,
Both hosts, in arms opposd, with equal horror wounds:
O Trojan race, your needless aid forbear, 135
And know, my ships are my peculiar care.
With greater ease the bold Rutulian may,
With hissing brands, attempt to burn the sea,
Than singe my sacred pines. But you, my charge,
Loosd from your crooked anchors, launch at large, 140
Exalted each a nymph: forsake the sand,
And swim the seas, at Cybeles command.
No sooner had the goddess ceasd to speak,
When, lo! th obedient ships their haulsers break;
And, strange to tell, like dolphins, in the main 145
They plunge their prows, and dive, and spring again:
As many beauteous maids the billows sweep,
As rode before tall vessels on the deep.
The foes, surprisd with wonder, stood aghast;
Messapus curbd his fiery coursers haste; 150
Old Tiber roard, and, raising up his head,
Calld back his waters to their oozy bed.
Turnus alone, undaunted, bore the shock,
And with these words his trembling troops bespoke:
These monsters for the Trojans fate are meant, 155
And are by Jove for black presages sent.
He takes the cowards last relief away;
For fly they cannot, and, constraind to stay,
Must yield unfought, a base inglorious prey.
The liquid half of all the globe is lost; 160
Heavn shuts the seas, and we secure the coast.
Theirs is no more than that small spot of ground
Which myriads of our martial men surround.
Their fates I fear not, or vain oracles.
T was givn to Venus they should cross the seas, 165
And land secure upon the Latian plains:
Their promisd hour is passd, and mine remains.
T is in the fate of Turnus to destroy,
With sword and fire, the faithless race of Troy.
Shall such affronts as these alone inflame 170
The Grecian brothers, and the Grecian name?
My cause and theirs is one; a fatal strife,
And final ruin, for a ravishd wife.
Was t not enough, that, punishd for the crime,
They fell; but will they fall a second time? 175
One would have thought they paid enough before,
To curse the costly sex, and durst offend no more.
Can they securely trust their feeble wall,
A slight partition, a thin interval,
Betwixt their fate and them; when Troy, tho built 180
By hands divine, yet perishd by their guilt?
Lend me, for once, my friends, your valiant hands,
To force from out their lines these dastard bands.
Less than a thousand ships will end this war,
Nor Vulcan needs his fated arms prepare. 185
Let all the Tuscans, all th Arcadians, join!
Nor these, nor those, shall frustrate my design.
Let them not fear the treasons of the night,
The robbd Palladium, the pretended flight:
Our onset shall be made in open light. 190
No wooden engine shall their town betray;
Fires they shall have around, but fires by day.
No Grecian babes before their camp appear,
Whom Hectors arms detaind to the tenth tardy year.
Now, since the sun is rolling to the west, 195
Give we the silent night to needful rest:
Refresh your bodies, and your arms prepare;
The morn shall end the small remains of war.
The post of honor to Messapus falls,
To keep the nightly guard, to watch the walls, 200
To pitch the fires at distances around,
And close the Trojans in their scanty ground.
Twice seven Rutulian captains ready stand,
And twice seven hundred horse these chiefs command;
All clad in shining arms the works invest, 205
Each with a radiant helm and waving crest.
Stretchd at their length, they press the grassy ground;
They laugh, they sing, (the jolly bowls go round,)
With lights and cheerful fires renew the day,
And pass the wakeful night in feasts and play. 210
The Trojans, from above, their foes beheld,
And with armd legions all the rampires filld.
Seizd with affright, their gates they first explore;
Join works to works with bridges, towr to towr:
Thus all things needful for defense abound. 215
Mnestheus and brave Seresthus walk the round,
Commissiond by their absent prince to share
The common danger, and divide the care.
The soldiers draw their lots, and, as they fall,
By turns relieve each other on the wall. 220
Nigh where the foes their utmost guards advance,
To watch the gate was warlike Nisus chance.
His father Hyrtacus of noble blood;
His mother was a huntress of the wood,
And sent him to the wars. Well could he bear 225
His lance in fight, and dart the flying spear,
But better skilld unerring shafts to send.
Beside him stood Euryalus, his friend:
Euryalus, than whom the Trojan host
No fairer face, or sweeter air, could boast 230
Scarce had the down to shade his cheeks begun.
One was their care, and their delight was one:
One common hazard in the war they shard,
And now were both by choice upon the guard.
Then Nisus thus: Or do the gods inspire 235
This warmth, or make we gods of our desire?
A genrous ardor boils within my breast,
Eager of action, enemy to rest:
This urges me to fight, and fires my mind
To leave a memorable name behind. 240
Thou seest the foe secure; how faintly shine
Their scatterd fires! the most, in sleep supine
Along the ground, an easy conquest lie:
The wakeful few the fuming flagon ply;
All hushd around. Now hear what I revolve 245
A thought unripeand scarcely yet resolve.
Our absent prince both camp and council mourn;
By message both would hasten his return:
If they confer what I demand on thee,
(For fame is recompense enough for me,) 250
Methinks, beneath yon hill, I have espied
A way that safely will my passage guide.
Euryalus stood listning while he spoke,
With love of praise and noble envy struck;
Then to his ardent friend exposd his mind: 255
All this, alone, and leaving me behind!
Am I unworthy, Nisus, to be joind?
Thinkst thou I can my share of glory yield,
Or send thee unassisted to the field?
Not so my father taught my childhood arms; 260
Born in a siege, and bred among alarms!
Nor is my youth unworthy of my friend,
Nor of the heavn-born hero I attend.
The thing calld life, with ease I can disclaim,
And think it over-sold to purchase fame. 265
Then Nisus thus: Alas! thy tender years
Would minister new matter to my fears.
So may the gods, who view this friendly strife,
Restore me to thy lovd embrace with life,
Condemnd to pay my vows, (as sure I trust,) 270
This thy request is cruel and unjust.
But if some chanceas many chances are,
And doubtful hazards, in the deeds of war
If one should reach my head, there let it fall,
And spare thy life; I would not perish all. 275
Thy bloomy youth deserves a longer date:
Live thou to mourn thy loves unhappy fate;
To bear my mangled body from the foe,
Or buy it back, and funral rites bestow.
Or, if hard fortune shall those dues deny, 280
Thou canst at least an empty tomb supply.
O let not me the widows tears renew!
Nor let a mothers curse my name pursue:
Thy pious parent, who, for love of thee,
Forsook the coasts of friendly Sicily, 285
Her age committing to the seas and wind,
When evry weary matron stayd behind.
To this, Euryalus: You plead in vain,
And but protract the cause you cannot gain.
No more delays, but haste! With that, he wakes 290
The nodding watch; each to his office takes.
The guard relievd, the genrous couple went
To find the council at the royal tent.
All creatures else forgot their daily care,
And sleep, the common gift of nature, share; 295
Except the Trojan peers, who wakeful sate
In nightly council for th indangerd state.
They vote a message to their absent chief,
Shew their distress, and beg a swift relief.
Amid the camp a silent seat they chose, 300
Remote from clamor, and secure from foes.
On their left arms their ample shields they bear,
The right reclind upon the bending spear.
Now Nisus and his friend approach the guard,
And beg admission, eager to be heard: 305
Th affair important, not to be deferrd.
Ascanius bids em be conducted in,
Ordring the more experiencd to begin.
Then Nisus thus: Ye fathers, lend your ears;
Nor judge our bold attempt beyond our years. 310
The foe, securely drenchd in sleep and wine,
Neglect their watch; the fires but thinly shine;
And where the smoke in cloudy vapors flies,
Covring the plain, and curling to the skies,
Betwixt two paths, which at the gate divide, 315
Close by the sea, a passage we have spied,
Which will our way to great Æneas guide.
Expect each hour to see him safe again,
Loaded with spoils of foes in battle slain.
Snatch we the lucky minute while we may; 320
Nor can we be mistaken in the way;
For, hunting in the vale, we both have seen
The rising turrets, and the stream between,
And know the winding course, with evry ford.
He ceasd; and old Alethes took the word: 325
Our country gods, in whom our trust we place,
Will yet from ruin save the Trojan race,
While we behold such dauntless worth appear
In dawning youth, and souls so void of fear.
Then into tears of joy the father broke; 330
Each in his longing arms by turns he took;
Panted and pausd; and thus again he spoke:
Ye brave young men, what equal gifts can we,
In recompense of such desert, decree?
The greatest, sure, and best you can receive, 335
The gods and your own conscious worth will give.
The rest our grateful genral will bestow,
And young Ascanius till his manhood owe.
And I, whose welfare in my father lies,
Ascanius adds, by the great deities, 340
By my dear country, by my household gods,
By hoary Vestas rites and dark abodes,
Adjure you both, (on you my fortune stands;
That and my faith I plight into your hands,)
Make me but happy in his safe return, 345
Whose wanted presence I can only mourn;
Your common gift shall two large goblets be
Of silver, wrought with curious imagery,
And high embossd, which, when old Priam reignd,
My conquring sire at sackd Arisba gaind; 350
And more, two tripods cast in antic mold,
With two great talents of the finest gold;
Beside a costly bowl, ingravd with art,
Which Dido gave, when first she gave her heart.
But, if in conquerd Italy we reign, 355
When spoils by lot the victor shall obtain
Thou sawst the courser by proud Turnus pressd:
That, Nisus, and his arms, and nodding crest,
And shield, from chance exempt, shall be thy share:
Twelve labring slaves, twelve handmaids young and fair, 360
All clad in rich attire, and traind with care;
And, last, a Latian field with fruitful plains,
And a large portion of the kings domains.
But thou, whose years are more to mine allied
No fate my vowd affection shall divide 365
From thee, heroic youth! Be wholly mine;
Take full possession; all my soul is thine.
One faith, one fame, one fate, shall both attend;
My lifes companion, and my bosom friend:
My peace shall be committed to thy care, 370
And to thy conduct my concerns in war.
Then thus the young Euryalus replied:
Whatever fortune, good or bad, betide,
The same shall be my age, as now my youth;
No time shall find me wanting to my truth. 375
This only from your goodness let me gain
(And, this ungranted, all rewards are vain):
Of Priams royal race my mother came
And sure the best that ever bore the name
Whom neither Troy nor Sicily could hold 380
From me departing, but, oerspent and old,
My fate she followd. Ignorant of this
(Whatever) danger, neither parting kiss,
Nor pious blessing taken, her I leave,
And in this only act of all my life deceive. 385
By this right hand and conscious Night I swear,
My soul so sad a farewell could not bear.
Be you her comfort; fill my vacant place
(Permit me to presume so great a grace);
Support her age, forsaken and distressd. 390
That hope alone will fortify my breast
Against the worst of fortunes, and of fears.
He said. The movd assistants melt in tears.
Then thus Ascanius, wonderstruck to see
That image of his filial piety: 395
So great beginnings, in so green an age,
Exact the faith which I again ingage.
Thy mother all the dues shall justly claim,
Creusa had, and only want the name.
Whateer event thy bold attempt shall have, 400
T is merit to have borne a son so brave.
Now by my head, a sacred oath, I swear,
(My father usd it,) what, returning here
Crownd with success, I for thyself prepare,
That, if thou fail, shall thy lovd mother share. 405
He said, and weeping, while he spoke the word,
From his broad belt he drew a shining sword,
Magnificent with gold. Lycaon made,
And in an ivry scabbard sheathd the blade.
This was his gift. Great Mnestheus gave his friend 410
A lions hide, his body to defend;
And good Alethes furnishd him, beside,
With his own trusty helm, of temper tried.
Thus armd they went. The noble Trojans wait
Their issuing forth, and follow to the gate 415
With prayers and vows. Above the rest appears
Ascanius, manly far beyond his years,
And messages committed to their care,
Which all in winds were lost, and flitting air.
The trenches first they passd; then took their way 420
Where their proud foes in pitchd pavilions lay;
To many fatal, ere themselves were slain.
They found the careless host dispersd upon the plain,
Who, gorgd, and drunk with wine, supinely snore.
Unharnassd chariots stand along the shore: 425
Amidst the wheels and reins, the goblet by,
A medley of debauch and war, they lie.
Observing Nisus shewd his friend the sight:
Behold a conquest gaind without a fight.
Occasion offers, and I stand prepard; 430
There lies our way; be thou upon the guard,
And look around, while I securely go,
And hew a passage thro the sleeping foe.
Softly he spoke; then striding took his way,
With his drawn sword, where haughty Rhamnes lay; 435
His head raisd high on tapestry beneath,
And heaving from his breast, he drew his breath;
A king and prophet, by King Turnus lovd:
But fate by prescience cannot be removd.
Him and his sleeping slaves he slew; then spies 440
Where Remus, with his rich retinue, lies.
His armor-bearer first, and next he kills
His charioteer, intrenchd betwixt the wheels
And his lovd horses; last invades their lord;
Full on his neck he drives the fatal sword: 445
The gasping head flies off; a purple flood
Flows from the trunk, that welters in the blood,
Which, by the spurning heels dispersd around,
The bed besprinkles and bedews the ground.
Lamus the bold, and Lamyrus the strong, 450
He slew, and then Serranus fair and young.
From dice and wine the youth retird to rest,
And puffd the fumy god from out his breast:
Evn then he dreamt of drink and lucky play
More lucky, had it lasted till the day. 455
The famishd lion thus, with hunger bold,
Oerleaps the fences of the nightly fold,
And tears the peaceful flocks: with silent awe
Trembling they lie, and pant beneath his paw.
Nor with less rage Euryalus employs 460
The wrathful sword, or fewer foes destroys;
But on th ignoble crowd his fury flew;
He Fadus, Hebesus, and Rhoetus slew.
Oppressd with heavy sleep the former fell,
But Rhoetus wakeful, and observing all: 465
Behind a spacious jar he slinkd for fear;
The fatal iron found and reachd him there;
For, as he rose, it piercd his naked side,
And, reeking, thence returnd in crimson dyed.
The wound pours out a stream of wine and blood; 470
The purple soul comes floating in the flood.
Now, where Messapus quarterd, they arrive.
The fires were fainting there, and just alive;
The warrior-horses, tied in order, fed.
Nisus observd the discipline, and said: 475
Our eager thirst of blood may both betray;
And see the scatterd streaks of dawning day,
Foe to nocturnal thefts. No more, my friend;
Here let our glutted execution end.
A lane thro slaughterd bodies we have made. 480
The bold Euryalus, tho loth, obeyd.
Of arms, and arras, and of plate, they find
A precious load; but these they leave behind.
Yet, fond of gaudy spoils, the boy would stay
To make the rich caparison his prey, 485
Which on the steed of conquerd Rhamnes lay.
Nor did his eyes less longingly behold
The girdle-belt, with nails of burnishd gold.
This present Cædicus the rich bestowd
On Remulus, when friendship first they vowd, 490
And, absent, joind in hospitable ties:
He, dying, to his heir bequeathd the prize;
Till, by the conquring Ardean troops oppressd,
He fell; and they the glorious gift possessd.
These glittring spoils (now made the victors gain) 495
He to his body suits, but suits in vain:
Messapus helm he finds among the rest,
And laces on, and wears the waving crest.
Proud of their conquest, prouder of their prey,
They leave the camp, and take the ready way. 500
But far they had not passd, before they spied
Three hundred horse, with Volscens for their guide.
The queen a legion to King Turnus sent;
But the swift horse the slower foot prevent,
And now, advancing, sought the leaders tent. 505
They saw the pair; for, thro the doubtful shade,
His shining helm Euryalus betrayd,
On which the moon with full reflection playd.
T is not for naught, cried Volscens from the crowd,
These men go there; then raisd his voice aloud: 510
Stand! stand! why thus in arms? And whither bent?
From whence, to whom, and on what errand sent?
Silent they scud away, and haste their flight
To neighbring woods, and trust themselves to night.
The speedy horse all passages belay, 515
And spur their smoking steeds to cross their way,
And watch each entrance of the winding wood.
Black was the forest: thick with beech it stood,
Horrid with fern, and intricate with thorn;
Few paths of human feet, or tracks of beasts, were worn. 520
The darkness of the shades, his heavy prey,
And fear, misled the younger from his way.
But Nisus hit the turns with happier haste,
And, thoughtless of his friend, the forest passd,
And Alban plains, from Albas name so calld, 525
Where King Latinus then his oxen stalld;
Till, turning at the length, he stood his ground,
And missd his friend, and cast his eyes around:
Ah wretch! he cried, where have I left behind
Th unhappy youth? where shall I hope to find? 530
Or what way take? Again he ventures back,
And treads the mazes of his former track.
He winds the wood, and, listning, hears the noise
Of tramping coursers, and the riders voice.
The sound approachd; and suddenly he viewd 535
The foes inclosing, and his friend pursued,
Forelaid and taken, while he strove in vain
The shelter of the friendly shades to gain.
What should he next attempt? what arms employ,
What fruitless force, to free the captive boy? 540
Or desperate should he rush and lose his life,
With odds oppressd, in such unequal strife?
Resolvd at length, his pointed spear he shook;
And, casting on the moon a mournful look:
Guardian of groves, and goddess of the night, 545
Fair queen, he said, direct my dart aright.
If eer my pious father, for my sake,
Did grateful offrings on thy altars make,
Or I increasd them with my sylvan toils,
And hung thy holy roofs with savage spoils, 550
Give me to scatter these. Then from his ear
He poisd, and aimd, and launchd the trembling spear.
The deadly weapon, hissing from the grove,
Impetuous on the back of Sulmo drove;
Piercd his thin armor, drank his vital blood, 555
And in his body left the broken wood.
He staggers round; his eyeballs roll in death,
And with short sobs he gasps away his breath.
All stand amazda second javlin flies
With equal strength, and quivers thro the skies. 560
This thro thy temples, Tagus, forcd the way,
And in the brainpan warmly buried lay.
Fierce Volscens foams with rage, and, gazing round,
Descried not him who gave the fatal wound,
Nor knew to fix revenge: But thou, he cries, 565
Shalt pay for both, and at the prisner flies
With his drawn sword. Then, struck with deep despair,
That cruel sight the lover could not bear;
But from his covert rushd in open view,
And sent his voice before him as he flew: 570
Me! me! he criedturn all your swords alone
On methe fact confessd, the fault my own.
He neither could nor durst, the guiltless youth:
Ye moon and stars, bear witness to the truth!
His only crime (if friendship can offend) 575
Is too much love to his unhappy friend.
Too late he speaks: the sword, which fury guides,
Drivn with full force, had piercd his tender sides.
Down fell the beauteous youth: the yawning wound
Gushd out a purple stream, and staind the ground. 580
His snowy neck reclines upon his breast,
Like a fair flowr by the keen share oppressd;
Like a white poppy sinking on the plain,
Whose heavy head is overchargd with rain.
Despair, and rage, and vengeance justly vowd, 585
Drove Nisus headlong on the hostile crowd.
Volscens he seeks; on him alone he bends:
Borne back and bord by his surrounding friends,
Onward he pressd, and kept him still in sight;
Then whirld aloft his sword with all his might: 590
Th unerring steel descended while he spoke,
Piercd his wide mouth, and thro his weazon broke.
Dying, he slew; and, staggring on the plain,
With swimming eyes he sought his lover slain;
Then quiet on his bleeding bosom fell, 595
Content, in death, to be revengd so well.
O happy friends! for, if my verse can give
Immortal life, your fame shall ever live,
Fixd as the Capitols foundation lies,
And spread, whereer the Roman eagle flies! 600
The conquring party first divide the prey,
Then their slain leader to the camp convey.
With wonder, as they went, the troops were filld,
To see such numbers whom so few had killd.
Serranus, Rhamnes, and the rest, they found: 605
Vast crowds the dying and the dead surround;
And the yet reeking blood oerflows the ground.
All knew the helmet which Messapus lost,
But mournd a purchase that so dear had cost.
Now rose the ruddy morn from Tithons bed, 610
And with the dawn of day the skies oerspread;
Nor long the sun his daily course withheld,
But added colors to the world reveald:
When early Turnus, wakning with the light,
All clad in armor, calls his troops to fight. 615
His martial men with fierce harangue he fird,
And his own ardor in their souls inspird.
This doneto give new terror to his foes,
The heads of Nisus and his friend he shows,
Raisd high on pointed spearsa ghastly sight: 620
Loud peals of shouts ensue, and barbarous delight.
Meantime the Trojans run, where danger calls;
They line their trenches, and they man their walls.
In front extended to the left they stood;
Safe was the right, surrounded by the flood. 625
But, casting from their towrs a frightful view,
They saw the faces, which too well they knew,
Tho then disguisd in death, and smeard all oer
With filth obscene, and dropping putrid gore.
Soon hasty fame thro the sad city bears 630
The mournful message to the mothers ears.
An icy cold benumbs her limbs; she shakes;
Her cheeks the blood, her hand the web forsakes.
She runs the rampires round amidst the war,
Nor fears the flying darts; she rends her hair, 635
And fills with loud laments the liquid air.
Thus, then, my lovd Euryalus appears!
Thus looks the prop of my declining years!
Wast on this face my famishd eyes I fed?
Ah! how unlike the living is the dead! 640
And couldst thou leave me, cruel, thus alone?
Not one kind kiss from a departing son!
No look, no last adieu before he went,
In an ill-boding hour to slaughter sent!
Cold on the ground, and pressing foreign clay, 645
To Latian dogs and fowls he lies a prey!
Nor was I near to close his dying eyes,
To wash his wounds, to weep his obsequies,
To call about his corpse his crying friends,
Or spread the mantle (made for other ends) 650
On his dear body, which I wove with care,
Nor did my daily pains or nightly labor spare.
Where shall I find his corpse? what earth sustains
His trunk dismemberd, and his cold remains?
For this, alas! I left my needful ease, 655
Exposd my life to winds and winter seas!
If any pity touch Rutulian hearts,
Here empty all your quivers, all your darts;
Or, if they fail, thou, Jove, conclude my woe,
And send me thunderstruck to shades below! 660
Her shrieks and clamors pierce the Trojans ears,
Unman their courage, and augment their fears;
Nor young Ascanius could the sight sustain,
Nor old Ilioneus his tears restrain,
But Actor and Idæus jointly sent, 665
To bear the madding mother to her tent.
And now the trumpets terribly, from far,
With rattling clangor, rouse the sleepy war.
The soldiers shouts succeed the brazen sounds;
And heavn, from pole to pole, the noise rebounds. 670
The Volscians bear their shields upon their head,
And, rushing forward, form a moving shed.
These fill the ditch; those pull the bulwarks down:
Some raise the ladders; others scale the town.
But, where void spaces on the walls appear, 675
Or thin defense, they pour their forces there.
With poles and missive weapons, from afar,
The Trojans keep aloof the rising war.
Taught, by their ten years siege, defensive fight,
They roll down ribs of rocks, an unresisted weight, 680
To break the penthouse with the pondrous blow,
Which yet the patient Volscians undergo:
But could not bear th unequal combat long;
For, where the Trojans find the thickest throng,
The ruin falls: their shatterd shields give way, 685
And their crushd heads become an easy prey.
They shrink for fear, abated of their rage,
Nor longer dare in a blind fight engage;
Contented now to gall them from below
With darts and slings, and with the distant bow. 690
Elsewhere Mezentius, terrible to view,
A blazing pine within the trenches threw.
But brave Messapus, Neptunes warlike son,
Broke down the palisades, the trenches won,
And loud for ladders calls, to scale the town. 695
Calliope, begin! Ye sacred Nine,
Inspire your poet in his high design,
To sing what slaughter manly Turnus made,
What souls he sent below the Stygian shade,
What fame the soldiers with their captain share, 700
And the vast circuit of the fatal war;
For you in singing martial facts excel;
You best remember, and alone can tell.
There stood a towr, amazing to the sight,
Built up of beams, and of stupendous height: 705
Art, and the nature of the place, conspird
To furnish all the strength that war requird.
To level this, the bold Italians join;
The wary Trojans obviate their design;
With weighty stones oerwhelm their troops below, 710
Shoot thro the loopholes, and sharp javlins throw.
Turnus, the chief, tossd from his thundring hand
Against the wooden walls, a flaming brand:
It stuck, the fiery plague; the winds were high;
The planks were seasond, and the timber dry. 715
Contagion caught the posts; it spread along,
Scorchd, and to distance drove the scatterd throng.
The Trojans fled; the fire pursued amain,
Still gathring fast upon the trembling train;
Till, crowding to the corners of the wall, 720
Down the defense and the defenders fall.
The mighty flaw makes heavn itself resound:
The dead and dying Trojans strew the ground.
The towr, that followd on the fallen crew,
Whelmd oer their heads, and buried whom it slew: 725
Some stuck upon the darts themselves had sent;
All the same equal ruin underwent.
Young Lycus and Helenor only scape;
Savdhow, they know notfrom the steepy leap.
Helenor, elder of the two: by birth, 730
On one side royal, one a son of earth,
Whom to the Lydian king Licymnia bare,
And sent her boasted bastard to the war
(A privilege which none but freemen share).
Slight were his arms, a sword and silver shield: 735
No marks of honor chargd its empty field.
Light as he fell, so light the youth arose,
And rising, found himself amidst his foes;
Nor flight was left, nor hopes to force his way.
Emboldend by despair, he stood at bay; 740
Andlike a stag, whom all the troop surrounds
Of eager huntsmen and invading hounds
Resolvd on death, he dissipates his fears,
And bounds aloft against the pointed spears:
So dares the youth, secure of death; and throws 745
His dying body on his thickest foes.
But Lycus, swifter of his feet by far,
Runs, doubles, winds and turns, amidst the war;
Springs to the walls, and leaves his foes behind,
And snatches at the beam he first can find; 750
Looks up, and leaps aloft at all the stretch,
In hopes the helping hand of some kind friend to reach
But Turnus followd hard his hunted prey
(His spear had almost reachd him in the way,
Short of his reins, and scarce a span behind): 755
Fool! said the chief, tho fleeter than the wind,
Couldst thou presume to scape, when I pursue?
He said, and downward by the feet he drew
The trembling dastard; at the tug he falls;
Vast ruins come along, rent from the smoking walls. 760
Thus on some silver swan, or timrous hare,
Joves bird comes sousing down from upper air;
Her crooked talons truss the fearful prey:
Then out of sight she soars, and wings her way.
So seizes the grim wolf the tender lamb, 765
In vain lamented by the bleating dam.
Then rushing onward with a barbrous cry,
The troops of Turnus to the combat fly.
The ditch with fagots filld, the daring foe
Tossd firebrands to the steepy turrets throw. 770
Ilioneus, as bold Lucetius came
To force the gate, and feed the kindling flame,
Rolld down the fragment of a rock so right,
It crushd him double underneath the weight.
Two more young Liger and Asylas slew: 775
To bend the bow young Liger better knew;
Asylas best the pointed javlin threw.
Brave Cæneus laid Ortygius on the plain;
The victor Cæneus was by Turnus slain.
By the same hand, Clonius and Itys fall, 780
Sagar, and Ida, standing on the wall.
From Capys arms his fate Privernus found:
Hurt by Themilla firstbut slight the wound
His shield thrown by, to mitigate the smart,
He clappd his hand upon the wounded part: 785
The second shaft came swift and unespied,
And piercd his hand, and naild it to his side,
Transfixd his breathing lungs and beating heart:
The soul came issuing out, and hissd against the dart.
The son of Arcens shone amid the rest, 790
In glittring armor and a purple vest,
(Fair was his face, his eyes inspiring love,)
Bred by his father in the Martian grove,
Where the fat altars of Palicus flame,
And sent in arms to purchase early fame. 795
Him when he spied from far, the Tuscan king
Laid by the lance, and took him to the sling,
Thrice whirld the thong around his head, and threw:
The heated lead half melted as it flew;
It piercd his hollow temples and his brain; 800
The youth came tumbling down, and spurnd the plain.
Then young Ascanius, who, before this day,
Was wont in woods to shoot the savage prey,
First bent in martial strife the twanging bow,
And exercisd against a human foe 805
With this bereft Numanus of his life,
Who Turnus younger sister took to wife.
Proud of his realm, and of his royal bride,
Vaunting before his troops, and lengthend with a stride,
In these insulting terms the Trojans he defied: 810
Twice-conquerd cowards, now your shame is shown
Coopd up a second time within your town!
Who dare not issue forth in open field,
But hold your walls before you for a shield.
Thus threat you war? thus our alliance force? 815
What gods, what madness, hether steerd your course?
You shall not find the sons of Atreus here,
Nor need the frauds of sly Ulysses fear.
Strong from the cradle, of a sturdy brood,
We bear our newborn infants to the flood; 820
There bathd amid the stream, our boys we hold,
With winter hardend, and inurd to cold.
They wake before the day to range the wood,
Kill ere they eat, nor taste unconquerd food.
No sports, but what belong to war, they know: 825
To break the stubborn colt, to bend the bow.
Our youth, of labor patient, earn their bread;
Hardly they work, with frugal diet fed.
From plows and harrows sent to seek renown,
They fight in fields, and storm the shaken town. 830
No part of life from toils of war is free,
No change in age, or diffrence in degree.
We plow and till in arms; our oxen feel,
Instead of goads, the spur and pointed steel;
Th inverted lance makes furrows in the plain. 835
Evn time, that changes all, yet changes us in vain:
The body, not the mind; nor can control
Th immortal vigor, or abate the soul.
Our helms defend the young, disguise the gray:
We live by plunder, and delight in prey. 840
Your vests embroiderd with rich purple shine;
In sloth you glory, and in dances join.
Your vests have sweeping sleeves; with female pride
Your turbants underneath your chins are tied.
Go, Phrygians, to your Dindymus again! 845
Go, less than women, in the shapes of men!
Go, mixd with eunuchs, in the Mothers rites,
Where with unequal sound the flute invites;
Sing, dance, and howl, by turns, in Idas shade:
Resign the war to men, who know the martial trade! 850
This foul reproach Ascanius could not hear
With patience, or a vowd revenge forbear.
At the full stretch of both his hands he drew,
And almost joind the horns of the tough yew.
But, first, before the throne of Jove he stood, 855
And thus with lifted hands invokd the god:
My first attempt, great Jupiter, succeed!
An annual offring in thy grove shall bleed;
A snow-white steer, before thy altar led,
Who, like his mother, bears aloft his head, 860
Butts with his threatning brows, and bellowing stands,
And dares the fight, and spurns the yellow sands.
Jove bowd the heavns, and lent a gracious ear,
And thunderd on the left, amidst the clear.
Sounded at once the bow; and swiftly flies 865
The featherd death, and hisses thro the skies.
The steel thro both his temples forcd the way:
Extended on the ground, Numanus lay.
Go now, vain boaster, and true valor scorn!
The Phrygians, twice subdued, yet make this third return. 870
Ascanius said no more. The Trojans shake
The heavns with shouting, and new vigor take.
Apollo then bestrode a golden cloud,
To view the feats of arms, and fighting crowd;
And thus the beardless victor he bespoke aloud: 875
Advance, illustrious youth, increase in fame,
And wide from east to west extend thy name;
Offspring of gods thyself; and Rome shall owe
To thee a race of demigods below.
This is the way to heavn: the powrs divine 880
From this beginning date the Julian line.
To thee, to them, and their victorious heirs,
The conquerd war is due, and the vast world is theirs.
Troy is too narrow for thy name. He said,
And plunging downward shot his radiant head; 885
Dispelld the breathing air, that broke his flight:
Shorn of his beams, a man to mortal sight.
Old Butes form he took, Anchises squire,
Now left, to rule Ascanius, by his sire:
His wrinkled visage, and his hoary hairs, 890
His mien, his habit, and his arms, he wears,
And thus salutes the boy, too forward for his years:
Suffice it thee, thy fathers worthy son,
The warlike prize thou hast already won.
The god of archers gives thy youth a part 895
Of his own praise, nor envies equal art.
Now tempt the war no more. He said, and flew
Obscure in air, and vanishd from their view.
The Trojans, by his arms, their patron know,
And hear the twanging of his heavnly bow. 900
Then duteous force they use, and Phbus name,
To keep from fight the youth too fond of fame.
Undaunted, they themselves no danger shun;
From wall to wall the shouts and clamors run.
They bend their bows; they whirl their slings around; 905
Heaps of spent arrows fall, and strew the ground;
And helms, and shields, and rattling arms resound.
The combat thickens, like the storm that flies
From westward, when the showry Kids arise;
Or pattring hail comes pouring on the main, 910
When Jupiter descends in hardend rain,
Or bellowing clouds burst with a stormy sound,
And with an armed winter strew the ground.
Pandrus and Bitias, thunderbolts of war,
Whom Hiera to bold Alcanor bare 915
On Idas top, two youths of height and size
Like firs that on their mother mountain rise,
Presuming on their force, the gates unbar,
And of their own accord invite the war.
With fates averse, against their kings command, 920
Armd, on the right and on the left they stand,
And flank the passage: shining steel they wear,
And waving crests above their heads appear.
Thus two tall oaks, that Padus banks adorn,
Lift up to heavn their leafy heads unshorn, 925
And, overpressd with natures heavy load,
Dance to the whistling winds, and at each other nod.
In flows a tide of Latians, when they see
The gate set open, and the passage free;
Bold Quercens, with rash Tmarus, rushing on, 930
Equicolus, that in bright armor shone,
And Hæmon first; but soon repulsd they fly,
Or in the well-defended pass they die.
These with success are fird, and those with rage,
And each on equal terms at length ingage. 935
Drawn from their lines, and issuing on the plain,
The Trojans hand to hand the fight maintain.
Fierce Turnus in another quarter fought,
When suddenly th unhopd-for news was brought,
The foes had left the fastness of their place, 940
Prevaild in fight, and had his men in chase.
He quits th attack, and, to prevent their fate,
Runs where the giant brothers guard the gate.
The first he met, Antiphates the brave,
But base-begotten on a Theban slave, 945
Sarpedons son, he slew: the deadly dart
Found passage thro his breast, and piercd his heart.
Fixd in the wound th Italian cornel stood,
Warmd in his lungs, and in his vital blood.
Aphidnus next, and Erymanthus dies, 950
And Meropes, and the gigantic size
Of Bitias, threatning with his ardent eyes.
Not by the feeble dart he fell oppressd
(A dart were lost within that roomy breast),
But from a knotted lance, large, heavy, strong, 955
Which roard like thunder as it whirld along:
Not two bull hides th impetuous force withhold,
Nor coat of double mail, with scales of gold.
Down sunk the monster bulk and pressd the ground;
His arms and clattring shield on the vast body sound, 960
Not with less ruin than the Bajan mole,
Raisd on the seas, the surges to control
At once comes tumbling down the rocky wall;
Prone to the deep, the stones disjointed fall
Of the vast pile; the scatterd ocean flies; 965
Black sands, discolord froth, and mingled mud arise:
The frighted billows roll, and seek the shores;
Then trembles Prochyta, then Ischia roars:
Typhus, thrown beneath, by Joves command,
Astonishd at the flaw that shakes the land, 970
Soon shifts his weary side, and, scarce awake,
With wonder feels the weight press lighter on his back.
The warrior god the Latian troops inspird,
New strung their sinews, and their courage fird,
But chills the Trojan hearts with cold affright: 975
Then black despair precipitates their flight.
When Pandarus beheld his brother killd,
The town with fear and wild confusion filld,
He turns the hinges of the heavy gate
With both his hands, and adds his shoulders to the weight; 980
Some happier friends within the walls inclosd;
The rest shut out, to certain death exposd:
Fool as he was, and frantic in his care,
T admit young Turnus, and include the war!
He thrust amid the crowd, securely bold, 985
Like a fierce tiger pent amid the fold.
Too late his blazing buckler they descry,
And sparkling fires that shot from either eye,
His mighty members, and his ample breast,
His rattling armor, and his crimson crest. 990
Far from that hated face the Trojans fly,
All but the fool who sought his destiny.
Mad Pandarus steps forth, with vengeance vowd
For Bitias death, and threatens thus aloud:
These are not Ardeas walls, nor this the town 995
Amata proffers with Lavinias crown:
T is hostile earth you tread. Of hope bereft,
No means of safe return by flight are left.
To whom, with countnance calm, and soul sedate,
Thus Turnus: Then begin, and try thy fate: 1000
My message to the ghost of Priam bear;
Tell him a new Achilles sent thee there.
A lance of tough ground ash the Trojan threw,
Rough in the rind, and knotted as it grew:
With his full force he whirld it first around; 1005
But the soft yielding air receivd the wound:
Imperial Juno turnd the course before,
And fixd the wandring weapon in the door.
But hope not thou, said Turnus, when I strike,
To shun thy fate: our force is not alike, 1010
Nor thy steel temperd by the Lemnian god.
Then rising, on his utmost stretch he stood,
And aimd from high: the full descending blow
Cleaves the broad front and beardless cheeks in two.
Down sinks the giant with a thundring sound: 1015
His pondrous limbs oppress the trembling ground;
Blood, brains, and foam gush from the gaping wound:
Scalp, face, and shoulders the keen steel divides,
And the shard visage hangs on equal sides.
The Trojans fly from their approaching fate; 1020
And, had the victor then securd the gate,
And to his troops without unclosd the bars,
One lucky day had ended all his wars.
But boiling youth, and blind desire of blood,
Pushd on his fury, to pursue the crowd. 1025
Hamstringd behind, unhappy Gyges died;
Then Phalaris is added to his side.
The pointed javlins from the dead he drew,
And their friends arms against their fellows threw.
Strong Halys stands in vain; weak Phlegys flies; 1030
Saturnia, still at hand, new force and fire supplies.
Then Halius, Prytanis, Alcander fall
Ingagd against the foes who scald the wall:
But, whom they feard without, they found within.
At last, tho late, by Lynceus he was seen. 1035
He calls new succors, and assaults the prince:
But weak his force, and vain is their defense.
Turnd to the right, his sword the hero drew,
And at one blow the bold aggressor slew.
He joints the neck; and, with a stroke so strong, 1040
The helm flies off, and bears the head along.
Next him, the huntsman Amycus he killd,
In darts invenomd and in poison skilld.
Then Clytius fell beneath his fatal spear,
And Creteus, whom the Muses held so dear: 1045
He fought with courage, and he sung the fight;
Arms were his busness, verses his delight.
The Trojan chiefs behold, with rage and grief,
Their slaughterd friends, and hasten their relief.
Bold Mnestheus rallies first the broken train, 1050
Whom brave Seresthus and his troop sustain.
To save the living, and revenge the dead,
Against one warriors arms all Troy they led.
O, void of sense and courage! Mnestheus cried,
Where can you hope your coward heads to hide? 1055
Ah! where beyond these rampires can you run?
One man, and in your camp inclosd, you shun!
Shall then a single sword such slaughter boast,
And pass unpunishd from a numrous host?
Forsaking honor, and renouncing fame, 1060
Your gods, your country, and your king you shame!
This just reproach their virtue does excite:
They stand, they join, they thicken to the fight.
Now Turnus doubts, and yet disdains to yield,
But with slow paces measures back the field, 1065
And inches to the walls, where Tibers tide,
Washing the camp, defends the weaker side.
The more he loses, they advance the more,
And tread in evry step he trod before.
They shout: they bear him back; and, whom by might 1070
They cannot conquer, they oppress with weight.
As, compassd with a wood of spears around,
The lordly lion still maintains his ground;
Grins horrible, retires, and turns again;
Threats his distended paws, and shakes his mane; 1075
He loses while in vain he presses on,
Nor will his courage let him dare to run:
So Turnus fares, and, unresolved of flight,
Moves tardy back, and just recedes from fight.
Yet twice, inragd, the combat he renews, 1080
Twice breaks, and twice his broken foes pursues.
But now they swarm, and, with fresh troops supplied,
Come rolling on, and rush from evry side:
Nor Juno, who sustaind his arms before,
Dares with new strength suffice th exhausted store; 1085
For Jove, with sour commands, sent Iris down,
To force th invader from the frighted town.
With labor spent, no longer can he wield
The heavy fanchion, or sustain the shield,
Oerwhelmd with darts, which from afar they fling: 1090
The weapons round his hollow temples ring;
His golden helm gives way, with stony blows
Batterd, and flat, and beaten to his brows.
His crest is rashd away; his ample shield
Is falsified, and round with javlins filld. 1095
The foe, now faint, the Trojans overwhelm;
And Mnestheus lays hard load upon his helm.
Sick sweat succeeds; he drops at evry pore;
With driving dust his cheeks are pasted oer;
Shorter and shorter evry gasp he takes; 1100
And vain efforts and hurtless blows he makes.
Plungd in the flood, and made the waters fly.
The yellow god the welcome burthen bore,
And wipd the sweat, and washd away the gore;
Then gently wafts him to the farther coast, 1105
And sends him safe to cheer his anxious host.
The Aeneid of Virgil: Book 9written by
Publius Vergilius Maro
WHILE these affairs in distant places passd,
© Publius Vergilius Maro