Christopher Pearse Cranch.

The Aeneid of Virgil; Translated into English Blank Verse by Christopher ... online

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And fierce and fiercer neigh the battle-steeds.

Advancing now within a javelin's throw.

Each army halted ; then with sudden shouts

They cheer and spur their fiery horses on. soo

From all sides now the spears fly thick and fast,

As showers of sleet, and darken all the sky.

With all their strength, with lance opposed to lance,

Tyrrhenus and Aconteus forward rush.

And clash together with resounding shock, aos

Steed against steed. Aconteus from his horse

Is hurled afar, like some swift thunderbolt.

Or as a ponderous weight by engine shot.

And yields his life in air. Confusion then

Seizes the Latian troops, who turn about, sio

And throw their shields upon their backs, and fly.

Urging their horses to the city walls.

The Trojans follow, and Asilas leads.

And now they neared the gates ; when with a shout

The Latians turn, and wheel their ductile steeds, 8u

And charge in turn. The others give full rein

And fly. As when with an alternate tide

The rolling waves now rush upon the land,

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And foaming flood the rocks, and climb to touch
The farthest sands, now backward swiftly suck 8»
The rolling stones, and ebbing leave the shore.
Twice the Rutulians to their walls are driven,
And twice they turn and face their foes repulsed.

But when in the third battle-shock they met,
Both armies intermingled, man to man ; sss

Then dying groans, corpses, and armor mixed,
Bodies of men, and horses half alive,
Soiling 'mid heaps of slain, and pools of blood, —
So fiercely raged the fight. Orsilochus
Against the steed of Eemulus (he feared sao

To brave the rider) hurled a spear that pierced
Below the ear, and clung. The furious steed.
Galled by the wound, rears high. His rider falls
And rolls upon the ground. Catillus fells
lollas, and Herminius huge of limb, 835

And great in arms and courage ; yellow locks
Graced his bare head ; his shoulders too were bare.
Exposed to wounds, — yet ever undismayed.
Bent down with pain, he writhes beneath the spear
Through his broad shoulders driven deep and fixed. 840
The black blood flows around on every side ;
And deadly strokes they deal, still fighting on.
And rushing through their wounds to glorious death.

But through the thickest of the carnage borne.
The Amazon Camilla bounds along, 845

Armed with her quiver, and with one breast bare.
And now she showers her javelins thick and fast.
And now unwearied grasps her halberd strong.
Upon her shoulder rings her golden bow,
Diana's arms. Even if at any time sm

Repulsed, she yielded ground, she turns again,

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And aims her flying arrows from her bow.

Around her rode the attendants of her choice,

Larina, TuUa, and, with brazen axe,

Tarpeia, virgins of Italian race, sss

AH chosen by the sacred maid herself ;

Her trusty ministrants they were, alike

In peace and war ; like Thracian Amazons

Trampling along Thermodon's river banks, .

And fighting with their motley-metalled arms, set

Either around Hippolyte, or when

Penthesilea in her martial car

Betums from war, and with tumultuous yells

The female bands leap with their crescent shields.

Who first before thy weapon, and who last, «»

Dread maiden, fell, stretched dying on the ground ?
Eunaeus first, the son of Clytius, dies.
His breast, unshielded, by her long fir spear
Is pierced ; and from his mouth flow riUs of blood ;
And on his wound he writhes, and bites the ground. 87o
Then Liris, and then Pagasus : the one
Grrasping his reins, as from his wounded horse
He falls ; the other reaching helpless arms
To stay him falling. Both at once are slain.
Amastrus next, the son of Hippotas, 875

Is added to her victims. Pressing on.
She Tereas and Harpalycus pursues,
Demophoon and Chromis. Every shaft
Hurled from her hand brings down some Phrygian

The hunter Omytus in armor strange sai

Is seen afar on an Apulian steed,
Upon his shoulders broad a bullock's hide,
Upon his head a wolf's wide yawning jaws
And white teeth, in his hand a rustic lance.

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Amid his troops he moves about, and towers sm

Above them aU. Him meeting (no hard task,
His band being routed), with her darts she pierced ;
And thus addressed with stem and hostile mien : —

^^ And didst thou, Tuscan, think that in the woods
Thou here wast hunting beasts ? The day has come sso
That by a woman's arm refutes thy boast.
Yet to the Manes of thy fathers this.
No trifling honor, shalt thou bear away.
That by Camilla's weapon thou didst fall."

Orsilochus and Butes next §he slew, a»

Two huge-limbed Trojans. Butes face to face
Upon his horse she pierces with her spear.
Where between helm and corselet gleamed his neck.
Above the buckler that his left arm held.
Around Orsilochus she wheels in flight wo

Delusive, then in narrower circle turns.
Pursuing the pursuer. Rising then.
With her strong battle-axe she cleaves him through,
With strokes redoubled, while he begs for life ;
And from the wound the brains besmear his face. 9C.

The son of Aunus of the Apennines
Next meets her, and stops short with sudden fear.
Of race Ligurian not the last was he.
While fate permitted crafty stratagem.
He, when he sees that he cannot evade 9iu

By flight the conflict, nor avoid the queen
Close pressing on him, thus resorts to guile : —
" What wondrous courage does a woman show.
When mounted on a faithful battlersteed !
Put by thy means of flight, and hand to hand 9i5

Meet me on equal ground, and fight afoot.
Soon shalt thou know whose windy boasting first
Shall bring its punishment." He said : but she,

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Burning with rage, delivers to a mate

Her steed, confronting him with equal arms, 9»

Undaunted, and on foot, with, naked sword.

And with unblazoned buckler. But the youth,

Thinking to conquer by a stratagem.

Turns his fleet steed and flies, with iron heel

Goading his sides, and swiftly borne away. 925

^* Ah, false Ligurian ! '' said the maid ; '' in vain.

Elated with thy pride, in vain thou try'st

Thy country's slippery wiles ; nor shall thy tricks

To guileful Annus take thee safely back."

Then all afire, with swiftly flying feet, mo

His horse she soon outstrips, and, face to face,

Seizing his reins, assails, and strikes him down.

Not with more ease that consecrated bird,

The falcon, from a lofty rock pursues

And overtakes a dove amid the clouds, ns

And clutches him, and tears with crooked claws.

And blood and feathers torn drop from the sky.

But not with unobserving eyes these things

The sire of gods and men on high beheld.

The Tuscan Tarchon he enflames with wrath, 940

And to the cruel battle goads him on.

So, 'mid the carnage, and the falling ranks

Tarchon is borne along upon his steed.

And animates the army's flagging wings,

With varying words appealing to each man ms

By name, and rallying all their baffled strength.

*^ O Tuscans, whom no wrongs can spur to rage !

O tame and spiritless ! What fear is this.?

What cowardice ? And does a woman drive

Your straggling ranks, and put them thus to flight ? i»e

Why do we bear these swords and spears in vain?

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Not thus to Venus and her nightly wars

Are ye so slow ; nor when the bended pipes

Of Bacchus call the choirs to sumptuous feasts

And brimming bowls, — your joy, your high desire. 965

While your sleek augur bids you to the rites,

And the fat victim calls to lofty groves."

So saying, he spurs his steed into the midst,
Resolved to encounter death. On Venulus
He charges in fierce onset ; from his horse m

He grasps and tears his foe, and bears him off
Before him. Then a mighty shout is raised.
The Latins turn their eyes. But Tarchon fierce
Flies on, and bears the warrior and his arms.
Then from his lance he breaks the sharp steel head, 966
And searches for the parts exposed, to deal
A mortal wound. His struggling foe essays
To pluck away his right hand from his throat,
Opposing force to force. As when on high
A tawny eagle bears a serpent off, 970

And clings to it with griping claws, the snake,
Wounded and writhing, twists its sinuous rings.
And rears its bristling scales and hissing mouth ;
But none the less the bird with crooked beak
Strikes at the struggling reptile, and the air 975

Beats with her wings. So from the hostile ranks
Tarchon exulting bears away his prey.
Following his lead the Etruscans all rush on.

Thon round the swift Camilla Aruns rides,
Destined to death, his javelin in his hand ; 980

With cautious skill he watches for his chance.
Where'er the maiden drives her furious course
Amid the troops, he follows silently.
Watching her steps. Where with victorious speed
She from the enemy returns, that way 9»»

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He turns his reins unseen, and wheels about ;
Tries all approaches, traverses her path
Through all its rounds, and shakes his threatening

By chance appeared upon the field, far off,
Chloreus, who once was priest of Cybele. 990

Distinguished in his Phrygian arms he shone,
And rode upon a foaming courser, decked
With cloth o'erspread with plumy scales of brass.
And clasped with gold, while he in rich attire
Of foreign purple, from his Lycian bow 9w

Shot his Gortynian shafts. Upon his back
A golden quiver rattled ; and of gold \

His helmet was. He wore a saffron scarf ;
The rustling linen folds were 'broidered o'er.
And gathered in a yellow golden knot ; 1000

And in barbaric sheaths his thighs were cased.

Him singling out, the himtress blindly chased ;
Whether she wished to affix the Trojan arms
Upon the temple gates, or show herself
In captive gold, she rashly through the ranks low

Pursues, smit with a woman's love__of spoils.
Watching his time, Aruns his javelin takes,
And thus to heaven he prays : " Apollo, thou,
Soracte's guardian, greatest of the gods
We worship ! Thou for whom the pine-wood fire 1010
Is fed, and we thy pious vojbaries walk
O'er heaps of burning coals, — grant, mightiest sire.
That from our arms this stain we may erase.
Not spoils, nor trophies from a vanquished maid.
Nor booty do I seek. My other deeds 1015

.Will bring me praise. If by my hand struck down,
This direful pest shall fall, then willingly
Will I return inglorious to my home."

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Apollo heard, and in his mind decreed
That half his suppliant's prayer should be fulfilled, iom
And half dispersed in air. That he should slay
Camilla, as she hurried heedless by,
He granted. But that he should see again
His native land, this part the god refused ;
And in the stormy winds the prayer was lost. 1025

Then, as the whizzing javelin cleaved the air.
The Volscians turned their eyes upon their queen.
But she no whizzing sound of javelin heard
Along the air, nor heeded aught, until
Beneath her naked breast the weapon pierced, loao
And clung, deep driven, and drank her virgin blood.
In trembliAg haste the attendants in her train
Eush forward, and sustain their falling queen.
But Aruns, smit with mingled joy and fear.
Flies, nor will further trust his spear, nor dare 1035
To brave the virgin's darts. And as a wolf,
Who, having slain a shepherd or a steer.
Before pursuit begins, in conscious guilt
Flies to the mountains by some secret path,
And with his coward tail beneath him, hides io40

Trembling amid the woods ; so Aruns flies,
Disturbed, and yet well pleased at his escape.
And mingles with the troops. She, dying, strives
To pluck the weapon from her wound ; but deep
Between her ribs the pointed steel is fixed. 1045

Bloodless and pale she sinks ; her heavy ey^s
Are closed ; the rosy flush has left her face.
Then thus, expiring, she to Acca speaks.
One of her equals, who before all others
Was true to her, and one with whom her cares low
Were all divided : " Acca, sister dear.
Thus far I have striven ; but this bitter woimd

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Has ended all ; — around me all grows dark. '\

Haste, bear to Tumus these my last commands. ,

Let him advance, and from the city drive iom

The Trojans ; now, farewell 1 " With that she loosed j

Her grasp upon her reins, and sinking fell. a

From her cold limbs and languid neck, the life

With gradual ebb departs ; her drooping head

Is bowed in death ; the weapon leaves her hand; vm ,

And with a groan the indignant spirit fled :

Into the shades below. Then a great cry

Ascends, that strikes against the golden stars. |

The combat deepens with Camilla's death.

And the whole Trojan force, the Tuscan chiefs, io« |

And all the Arcadian troops come rushing on.

But Opis, Dian's guardian nymph, had sat

Long on the mountains, and had watched afar

The battle, undismayed. Soon as she saw,

Amid the clamor of the furious bands, io7o

Camilla stricken down by bitter death.

She groaned; and from her breast escaped these

words : —
** Ah, too, too cruel punishment, dear maid.
Thou hast borne, for warring 'gainst the Trojan hosts !
Nor does it profit thee, that lonely life \m

Amid the woods, to Diau's service given ;
Nor on thy shoulder to have worn our shafts.
Yet not inglorious in thy hour extreme
Thy queen hath left thee ; nor shall this thy death
Among the nations be without a name. loso

Nor the disgrace of dying unavenged
Shalt thou endure. For whosoever dealt
Thy death-wound, he shall suffer death deserved."
Beneath the mountain stood a spacious tomb

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Of mounded earth, where King Dercennus lay, loss

One of Laurentum's ancient sovereigns.

A shady ilex covered it. Here first

The fair nymph from a rapid flight alights,

And watches Aruns from the lofty mound.

Soon as she saw him, swollen with pride and joy, loeo

" Why stray so far away ? Here bend thy steps,"

She cried, " thou doomed one, that thou may'st receive

Camilla's due reward. Shalt thou too die

By Dian's shafts ? " Then from her golden quiver

The Thracian nymph a wingSd arrow took, 1095

And, angry, drew it to its fullest length.

And bent her bow until the curved tips met ;

Her left hand touched the arrow's point ; her right

Grasping the string drawn back upon her breast.

At the same instant Aruns hears the sound, 1100

And feels the steel deep buried in his heart.

Him, in his dying groans, his comrades leave,

Begardless, in the dust of fields unknown.

While Opis to the Olympian sky is borne.

Their leader lost, Camilla's light-armed troop uo5

First flies ; in wild disorder next the Rutuli,
And bold Atinas. Eouted chiefs and bands
All turn their horses toward the city's walls.
All power is unavailing to resist
The Trojans pressing on, and dealing death. 1110

Their languid backs bear ojBE their bows unbent.
Their galloping hoof -beats shake the crumbling ground.
Toward the walls black clouds of dust are rolled.
The matrons on the watch-towers beat their breasts ;
The cries of women to the heavens ascend. iiw

Those who are first to pour through opened gates
Are pressed behind by mingling hostile troops.

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With no escape from miserable death ;
But on their very threshold, 'neath their walls.
And sheltering roofs, are pierced, and breathe their
last. 1120

Some shut their doors, nor dare e*en to their friends
To ope a passage, and receive them in.
Imploring. And a slaughter dire ensues
At every entrance where defenders stand
Against the assailing foe. Some are shut out, 1125
Full in their wretched parents' sight, and roll
Plunged in the trenches, with death close behind.
Some wildly dash and batter against the gates
And barricaded doors. Even matrons too.
Fired by the love they bore their land and homes, uso
Eush to the conflict, as Camilla did ;
And, hurrying, from the ramparts throw their darts.
Or, imitating arms of steel, they fight
With stakes of hardened wood and pointed poles.
Eager to die the first before the walls. iiss

Meanwhile to Turnus, ambushed in the woods,

Acca has brought the news of dire defeat

And wild disorder : that the Volscian troops

Are routed and destroyed ; Camilla fallen ;

The enemy, pressing on with furious charge, U40

Have won the day. Fear seizes on the town.

He, furious (such the stern decrees of Jove),

Deserts his ambuscade and forests rough.

Scarce had he issued on the open fields.

When, having crossed the ridge, ^neas treads 1143

The plains, and passes through the gloomy wood.

So both, at rapid pace, with all their force

Move onward to the walls ; nor far apart

They march. Far off ^neas saw the plains

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Smoking with dust, and sees tlie Latian troops U5i

Across the plains. And Turnus also knew

^neas, in his formidable arms,

And heard the trampling feet and snorting steeds.

Then would they twain in battle have engaged,

Had not the red Sun in the western waves hm

His weary coursers plunged, and day declined

In night. Within their camps before the town

They rest, with trench and rampart girded round

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As soon as Tumus sees the Latin hosts.

Broken by unsuccessful war, lose heart ;

That now fulfilment of his promise made

Is claimed, and he marked out by every eye.

With towering soul implacable he bums ; a

As when a lion in the Libyan fields

Sore wounded, by the hunters, in the breast,

Prepares at last for battle, and delights

To shake the muscles of his shaggy neck ;

Fearless, he snaps the invader's clinging shaft, lo

And roars with bloody jaws. So Tumus' wrath

More fiercely glows. Then with tumultuous words.

Thus to the king he speaks : ** No obstacle

Shall Tumus prove ; there is no reason why

These dastard Trojans shoidd retract their word 15

Of challenge, or decline their compact made.

I take the field ! Command the sacred rites,

O Sire, and seal the bond. Either my hand

Shall send to Tartaras this Dardan foe,

Asia's deserter (let the Latians sit, ao

And see), and with the sword will I refute

The common charge, or let him rule o'er us

Vanquished, and take Lavinia for his wife.**

Then tranquilly Latinus answered him : —

" O youth of valiant soul, the more thou show'st 28

Such fierce and overtopping hardihood.

The more 't is just that I with anxious thought

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Thy safety should consult, and weigh with care

All risks. Thy father Daunus' realms are thine ;

Thine many a city captured by thy hands. so

My wealth and favor too would go with thee.

Other unwedded maids in Latian lands

There are, nor of ignoble birth are they.

Suffer me to impart without disguise

These things, not pleasant to be said ; and hear »

With an attentive mind. It was decreed

That to no former suitors I should wed

My daughter ; this all gods and men announced.

But overpowered by my love for thee,

And by thy kindred blood, and by the tears 4o

Of my afflicted wife, I broke all bonds,

Snatched from a son-in-law his promised bride.

And took up impious arms. Thou seest what

O Tumus, what disasters since that time
Pursue me ; and what sufferings thou in chief 45

Endurest. Vanquished twice in conflict dire,
Scarce can we hold our hopes of Italy
Within the city. With our blood the waves
Of Tiber still flow warm. The spreading fields
Are whitened with our bones. Why thus so oft «
Should I be driven from my purpose ? Why
Such mad infatuation change my mind ?
If, Tumus slain, I am ready to invite
The Trojans as my allies, then why not
End these dissensions rather, he still safe ? n

What will my kinsmen the Eutulians say,
And what the rest of Italy, if thee.
Wooing my daughter, I betray to death ?
(May Fortune countervail my words of fear !)
Regard the various chances of the war. 6o

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Pity thy aged sire, whom mourning now
His native Ardea far from thee divides."

But not at all is Tumus' violence moved
By words. His towering ¥rrath grows greater still ;
The medicine but aggravates the pain. es

As soon as he could speak, he thus began : —
" Whatever care thou entertain'st for me,
Most worthy king, lay it aside, I pray,
And sufiEer me to purchase praise with death.
We too, O Sire, can with no feeble hand to

Scatter our spears and darts. The blood will flow
From wounds we deal. No goddess-mother there
Will help, in female semblance of a cloud
Screening the fugitive in empty shades."

But filled with terror at this new design 76

Of battle, weeping, and forecasting death,

The queen held fast her ardent son-in-law.

" Ah, by these tears, by whatso'er regard

Thou for Amata hast, thoii, Tumus, now.

Art the sole hope and solace that remains so

Unto my sad old age. On thee depends

Latinus' power and glory ; upon thee

Our house declining rests. One thing I beg :

Bef rain from battle with the Trojan power.

Whatever calamity to thee may come, 85

Amid this combat, Tumus, comes to me.

With thee will I this hated life resign.

Nor, captive, will I see uSSneas made

My son-in-law." Lavinia, her hot cheeks

Suffused with tears, lists to her mother's voice. w

A deep blush burns and courses through her face ;

As if, one stained the Indian ivory

With sanguine crimson, or as lilies white

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In beds of roses glowing ; such the hues

That overspread the virgin's face. But he, »

Fired with tumultuous love, upon the maid

Fixes his looks, and burns the more for arms.

Then briefly to Amata thus he speaks : —

" Nay, not with tears, O mother, not, I beg.

With such an omen follow me, as now loo

Forth to the strife of bitter war I go.

For Tumus has no power to stay his death.

Idmon, my herald, to the Phrygian king

These words of mine, no pleasing message, bear.

When, borne upon her glowing car, the Mom m

Eeddens to-morrow's sky, let him not lead

The Trojans on against the Rutuli.

Let Trojans and Rutulians rest from arms.

By our own blood we 'U end the war, and there

Upon that field Lavinia shall be won." uo

This said, into the palace he withdraws

With rapid steps, and for his steeds. he calls,

Which Orithyia to Pilumnus gave.

Proudly he sees them neigh before his face ;

Whiter than snow, fleeter than wind they were. iw

The busy grooms surround them ; with their hands

They pat their chests, and comb their waving manes.

Kis mail he then about his shoulders girds.

Scaly with gold and orichalcum pale ;

And fits for use his buckler and his sword, 120

ALud ruddy crest ; that sword the god of fire

Had wrought for his father Daunus, and had plunged

The glowing metal in the Stygian wave.

Then his tough spear he grasps, that leaned against

A mighty column in the middle court, im

Auruncan Actor's spoil, and brandishing

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The quivering steel, exclaims : " Now, now, my spear,

That never yet did fail to obey my call,

The hour is now at hand. Great Actor once.

Now Tumus' right hand wields thee. Grant that I «•

With this strong hand may fell him to the earth,

Tear the effeminate Phrygian's corselet off,

And soil with dust his locks with hot iron crisped,

And moist with myrrh ! '* Such fury drives him on ;

Sparks flashing from his glowing face, and fire i»

Fierce gleaming from his eyes. As when a bull,

Bellowing with dreadful voice, prepares to fight.

And whets his wrath in goring 'gainst a tree,

With angry horns ; in prelude to the fray

He butts the winds, and tosses up the sand. im

Meanwhile j^neas, formidably clad

In the arms his mother gave, his martial fire

And zeal awakes, rejoicing that the war

Should now be ended on the proffered terms.

His friends he then consoles, and calms the fears 145

Of sad lulus, and explains the fates.

Decided answers to Latinus then

He bids them bear, and terms of peace prescribes.

Scarce had the Morning tinged the mountain-tops.
When from the Sea the horses of the Sun, isa

With lifted nostrils breathing light, arose.
Beneath the city-walls the Rutidi
And Trojans, measuring out the field, prepared
The groimd for combat. To their common gods
Their fires and turfy altars in the midst iw

They built ; while some, in sacrificial robes.

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