Aeneid (Conington 1866)/Book 1
Arms and the man I sing, who ﬁrst,
By Fate of Ilian realm amerced,
To fair Italia onward bore,
And landed on Lavinium’s shore:—
Long tossing earth and ocean o’er,
By violence of heaven, to sate
Fell Juno’s unforgetting hate:
Much laboured too in battle-ﬁeld,
Striving his city’s walls to build,
And give his Gods a home:
Thence come the hardy Latin brood,
The ancient sires of Alba’s blood,
And lofty-rampired Rome.
Say, Muse, for godhead how disdained,
Or wherefore wroth, Heaven’s queen constrained
That soul of piety so long
To turn the wheel, to cope with wrong.
Can heavenly natures nourish hate
So ﬁerce, so blindly passionate?
There stood a city on the sea
Manned by a Tyrian colony,
Named Carthage, fronting far to south
Italia’s coast and Tiber's mouth,
Rich in all wealth, all means of rule,
And hardened in wars sternest school.
Men say the place was Juno's pride
More than all lands on earth beside;
E'en Samos' self not half so dear:
Here were her arms, her chariot here:
Here, goddess-like, to fix one day
The seat of universal sway,
Might Fate be wrung to yield assent,
E'en then her schemes, her cares were bent.
Yet had she heard that sons of Troy
Were born her Carthage to destroy;
From those majestic loins should spring
A nation like a warrior king,
Ordained for Libya's overthrow:
The web of Fate was woven so.
This was her fear: and fear renewed
The memory of that earlier feud,
The war at Troy she erst had waged
In darling Argos' cause engaged:
Nor yet had faded from her view
The insults whence those angers grew,
Deep in remembrance lives engrained
The judgment which her charms disdained,
The offspring of adulterous seed,
The rape of minion Ganymede:
With such resentments brimming o'er
She tossed and tossed from shore to shore
The Trojan bands, poor relics these
Of Achillean victories,
Away from Latium: many a year,
Fate-driven, they wandered far and near:
So vast the labour to create
The fabric of the Roman state!
Scarce out of sight of Sicily
Troy's crews were spreading sail to sea,
Pleased o'er the foam to run,
When Juno, feeding ever more
The vulture at her bosom's core,
Thus to herself begun:
'I to give way? has Juno willed,
And must her will he unfulfilled?
Too weak from Latium's coast to fling
Back to the sea this Trojan king?
Restrained by Fate? Could Pallas fire
The Argive fleet to wreak her ire,
And drown the crews, for one offence,
Mad Ajax' curst incontinence?
She from the clouds Jove's lightning cast,
Dispersed the ships, the billows massed,
Caught the scathed wretch, whose breast exhaled
Fierce flames, and on a rock impaled:
I who through heaven its mistress move,
The sister and the wife of Jove,
With one poor tribe of earth contend
Long years revolving without end.
Will any Juno's power adore
Henceforth, or crown her altars more?'
Such fiery tumult in her mind,
She seeks the birthplace of the wind,
Æolia, realm for ever rife
With turbid elemental life:
Here Æolus in a cavern vast
With bolt and barrier fetters fast
Rebellious storm and howling blast.
They with the rock's reverberant roar
Chafe blustering round their prison-door:
He, throned on high, the sceptre sways,
Controls their moods, their wrath allays.
Break but that sceptre, sea and land
And heaven's etherial deep
Before them they would whirl like sand,
And through the void air sweep.
But the great Sire, with prescient fear,
Had whelmed them deep in dungeon drear,
And o'er the struggling captives thrown
Huge masses of primeval stone,
Ruled by a monarch who might know
To curb them or to let them go:
Whom now as suppliant at his knees
Juno bespoke in words like these.
'O Æolus! since the Sire of all
Has made the wind obey thy call
To raise or lay the foam,
A race I hate now ploughs the sea,
Transporting Troy to Italy
And home-gods reft of home:
Lash thou thy winds, their ships submerge,
Or toss them weltering o'er the surge.
Twice seven bright nymphs attend on me,
The fairest of them Deiope:
Her will I give thee for thine own,
The partner of thy heart and throne,
With thee to pass unending days
And goodly children round thee raise.'
The God replies: 'O Queen, 'tis thine
To weigh thy will, to do it mine.
Thou givest me this poor kingdom, thou
Hast smoothed for me the Thunderer's brow;
Givest me to share the Olympian board,
And o'er the tempests makest me lord.'
He said, and with his spear struck wide
The portals in the mountain side:
At once, like soldiers in a band,
Forth rush the winds, and scour the land:
Then lighting heavily on the main,
East, South, and West with storms in train,
Heave from its depth the watery floor,
And roll great billows to the shore.
Then come the clamour and the shriek,
The sailors shout, the main-ropes creak:
All in a moment sun and skies
Are blotted from the Trojans' eyes:
Black night is brooding o'er the deep,
Sharp thunder peals, live lightnings leap:
The stoutest warrior holds his breath,
And looks as on the face of death.
At once Æneas thrilled with dread;
Forth from his breast, with hands outspread,
These groaning words he drew:
'O happy, thrice and yet again,
Who died at Troy like valiant men,
E'en in their parents' view!
O Diomed, first of Greeks in fray,
Why pressed I not the plain that day,
Yielding my life to you,
Where stretched beneath a Phrygian sky
Fierce Hector, tall Sarpedon lie:
Where Simois tumbles 'neath his wave
Shields, helms, and bodies of the brave?'
Now, howling from the north, the gale,
While thus he moans him, strikes his sail:
The swelling surges climb the sky;
The shattered oars in splinters fly;
The prow turns round, and to the tide
Lays broad and bare the vessel's side;
On comes a billow, mountain-steep,
Bears down, and tumbles in a heap.
These stagger on the billow's crest;
Those to the yawning depth deprest
See land appearing 'mid the waves,
While surf with sand in turmoil raves.
Three ships the South has caught and thrown
On scarce hid rocks, as Altars known,
Ridging the main, a reef of stone.
Three more fierce Eurus from the deep,
A sight to make the gazer weep,
Drives on the shoals, and banks them round
With sand, as with a rampire-mound.
One, which erewhile from Lycia's shore
Orontes and his people bore,
E'en in Æneas' anguished sight
A sea down crashing from the height
Strikes full astern: the pilot, torn
From off the helm, is headlong borne:
Three turns the foundered vessel gave,
Then sank beneath the engulfing wave.
There in the vast abyss are seen
The swimmers, few and far between,
And warriors' arms and shattered wood,
And Trojan treasures strew the flood.
And now Ilioneus, and now
Aletes old and grey,
Abas and brave Achates bow
Beneath the tempest's sway;
Fast drinking in through timbers loose
At every pore the fatal ooze,
Their sturdy barks give way.
Meantime the turmoil of the main,
The tempest loosened from its chain,
The waters of the nether deep
Upstarting from their tranquil sleep,
On Neptune broke: disturbed he hears,
And quickened by a monarch's fears,
His calm broad brow o'er ocean rears.
Æneas' fleet he sees dispersed,
Whelmed by fierce wave and stormy burst:
Nor failed a brother's eye to read
Junonian rancour in the deed.
Forthwith he summoned East and West,
And thus his kingly wrath expressed:—
'How now? presume ye on your birth
To blend in chaos skies and earth,
And billowy mountains heavenward heave,
Bold Winds, without my sovereign leave?
Whom I—but rather were it good
To pacify yon troubled flood.
Offend once more, and ye shall pay
Upon a heavier reckoning day.
Back to your master instant flee,
And tell him, not to him but me
The imperial trident of the sea
Fell by the lot's award:
His is that prison-house of stone,
A mansion, Eurus, all your own:
There let him lord it to his mind,
The jailor-monarch of the wind,
But keep its portal barred.'
He said, and, ere his words were done,
Allays the surge, brings back the sun:
Triton and swift Cymothoe drag
The ships from off the pointed crag:
He, trident-armed, each dull weight heaves,
Through the vast shoals a passage cleaves,
Makes smooth the ruffled wave, and rides
Calm o'er the surface of the tides.
As when sedition oft has stirred
In some great town the vulgar herd,
And brands and stones already fly—
For rage has weapons always nigh—
Then should some man of worth appear
Whose stainless virtue all revere,
They hush, they list: his clear voice rules
Their rebel wills, their anger cools:
So ocean ceased at once to rave,
When, calmly looking o'er the wave,
Girt with a range of azure sky,
The father bids his chariot fly.
The tempest-tossed Æneadæ
Strain for the nearest land,
And turn their vessels from the sea
To Libya's welcome strand.
Deep in a bay an island makes
A haven by its jutting sides,
Whereon each wave from ocean breaks,
And parting into hollows glides.
High o'er the cove vast rocks extend,
A beetling cliff at either end:
Beneath their summit far and wide
In sheltered silence sleeps the tide,
While quivering forests crown the scene,
A theatre of glancing green.
In front, retiring from the wave,
Opes on the view a rock-hung cave,
A home that nymphs might call their own,
Fresh springs, and seats of living stone:
No need of rope or anchor's bite
To hold the weary vessel tight.
Such haven now Æneas gains,
With seven lorn ships, the scant remains
Of what was once his fleet;
Forth leap the Trojans on the sand,
Lay down their brine-drenched limbs on land,
And feel the shore is sweet.
And first from flints together clashed
The latent spark Achates flashed,
Caught in sere leaves, and deftly nursed
Till into flame the fuel burst.
Then from the hold the crews o'ertoiled
Bring out their grain by ocean spoiled,
And gird themselves with fire and quern
To parch and grind the rescued corn.
Meanwhile Æneas scales a height
And sweeps the ocean with his sight;
Might he perchance a Capys mark,
An Antheus in his Phrygian bark,
Or trace the arms that wont to deck
Caicus in some labouring wreck.
No vessel seaward meets his eyes,
But on the shore three stags he spies,
Close followed by a meaner throng
That grazed the winding coasts along.
He catches from Achates' hand
Quiver and bow, and takes his stand;
And first the lordly leaders fall
With tree-like antlers branching tall;
Then, turning on the multitude,
He drives them routed through the wood,
Nor stays till his victorious bow
Has laid seven goodly bodies low,
For his seven ships; then portward fares,
And 'mid his crews the quarry shares;
The wine which late their princely host,
What time they left Trinacria's coast,
Bestowed in casks, and freely gave,
A brave man's bounty to the brave,
With like equality he parts,
And comforts their desponding hearts;
'Comrades and friends! for ours is strength
Has brooked the test of woes;
O worse-scarred hearts! these wounds at length
The Gods will heal, like those.
You that have seen grim Scylla rave,
And heard her monsters yell,
Yon that have looked upon the cave
Where savage Cyclops dwell,
Come, cheer your souls, your fears forget;
This suffering will yield us yet
A pleasant tale to tell.
Through chance, through peril lies our way
To Latium, where the fates display
A mansion of abiding stay:
There Troy her fallen realm shall raise:
Bear up, and live for happier days.'
Such were his words: on brow and tongue
Sat hope, while grief his spirit wrung.
They for their dainty food prepare,
Strip off the hide, the carcase bare,
Divide and spit the quivering meat,
Dispose the fire, the caldrons heat,
Then, stretched on turf, their frames refresh
With generous wine and wild deer's flesh.
And now, when hunger's rage was ceased,
And checked the impatience of the feast,
In long discourse they strive to track
And bring their missing comrades back.
Hope bandies questions with despair,
If yet they breathe the upper air,
Or down in final durance lie,
Deaf to their friends' invoking cry.
But chief Æneas fondly yearns,
And racks his heart for each by turns,
Now weeping o'er Orontes' grave,
Now claiming Lycus from the wave,
Brave Gyas, and Cloanthus brave.
And now an end had come, when Jove,
His broad view casting from above,
The countries and their people scanned,
The sail-fledged sea, the lowly land,
Last on the summit of the sky
Paused, and on Libya fixed his eye.
'Twas then sad Venus, as he mused,
Her starry eyes with tears suffused,
Bespoke him: 'Thou whose lightnings awe,
Whose will on heaven and earth is law,
What has Æneas done, or how
Could my poor Trojans cloud thy brow,
To suffer as they suffer now?
So many deaths the race has died:
And now behold them, lest one day
To Italy they win their way,
Barred from all lands beside!
Once didst thou promise with an oath
The Romans hence should have their growth,
Great chiefs, from Teucer's line renewed,
The masters of a world subdued:
Fate heard the pledge: what power has wrought
To turn the channel of thy thought?
That promise oft consoled my woe
For Ilium's piteous overthrow,
While I could balance, weight with weight,
The prosperous with the adverse fate.
But now the self-same fortune hounds
The lorn survivors yet:
And hast thou, mighty King, no bounds
To that their misery set?
Antenor from the Greeks could scape,
Mid Hadria's deep recesses shape
His dangerous journey, and surmount
The perils of Timavus' fount,
Where with the limestone's reboant roar
Through nine loud mouths the sea-waves pour,
And all the fields are deluged o'er:
Yet here he built Patavium's town,
His nation named, his arms laid down,
Now rests in honour and renown:
We, thine own race, on whom thy word
Olympian glories has conferred,
Our vessels lost, O shame untold!
Are traitorously bought and sold,
Still from Italia kept apart
To pacify one jealous heart.
Lo! piety with honour graced,
A monarch on his throne replaced!'
With that refulgence in his eye
Which soothes the humours of the sky
Jove on his daughter's lips impressed
A gracious kiss, then thus addressed:
'Queen of Cythera! spare thy pain:
Thy children's fates unmoved remain:
Thine eyes shall have their pledged desire
And see Lavinium's walls aspire:
Thine arms at length shall bear on high
To bright possession in the sky
Æneas the high-souled: nor aught
Has turned the channel of my thought.
He—for I now will speak thee sooth,
Vexed as thou art by sorrow's tooth,
Will ope the volume and relate
The far-off oracles of Fate—
Fierce war in Italy shall wage,
Shall quell her peoples' patriot rage,
And give his veterans, worn with strife,
A city and a peaceful life,
Till summers three have seen him reign,
Three winters crowned the dire campaign.
But he, the father's darling child,
Ascanius, now Iulus styled
(Ilus the name the infant bore
Ere Ilium's sky was clouded o'er),
Shall thirty years of power complete,
Then from Lavinium's royal seat
Transfer the empire, and make strong
The walls of Alba named the Long.
Three hundred years in that proud town
Shall Hector's children wear the crown,
Till Ilia, priestess-princess, bear
By Mars' embrace a kingly pair.
Then, with his nurse's wolf-skin girt,
Shall Romulus the line assert,
Invite them to his new raised home,
And call the martial city Rome.
No date, no goal, I here ordain:
Theirs is an endless, boundless reign.
Nay Juno's self, whose wild alarms
Set ocean, earth, and heaven in arms,
Shall change for smiles her moody frown,
And vie with me in zeal to crown
Rome's sons, the nation of the gown.
So stands my will. There comes a day,
While Rome's great ages hold their way,
When old Assaracus's sons
Shall quit them on the Myrmidons,
O'er Phthia and Mycenæ reign,
And humble Argos to their chain.
From Troy's fair stock shall Cæsar rise,
The limits of whose victories
Are ocean, of his fame the skies;
Great Julius, proud that style to bear,
In name and blood Iulus' heir.
Him, at the appointed time, increased
With, plunder from the conquered East,
Thine arms shall welcome to the sky,
And worshippers shall find him nigh.
Then battles o'er the world shall cease,
Harsh times shall mellow into peace:
Then Vesta, Faith, Quirinus, joined
With brother Remus, rule mankind:
Grim iron bolt and massy bar
Shall close the dreadful gates of War:
Within unnatural Rage confined,
Fast bound with manacles behind,
His dark head pillowed on a heap
Of clanking armour, not in sleep,
Shall gnash his savage teeth, and roar
From lips incarnadined with gore.'
He said, and hastes from heaven to send
The son of Maia down;
Bids Carthage open to befriend
The Teucrians, realm and town,
Lest Dido, ignorant of fate,
Should drive the wanderers from her gate.
Swift Mercury cuts with feathered oar
The sky, and lights on Libya's shore.
At once he does the Sire's behest,
Each Tyrian smooths his rugged breast,
And chief the queen has thoughts of grace
And pity to the Teucrian race.
But good Æneas, through the night
Revolving many a care,
Determines with the dawn of light
Forth from the port to fare,
Explore the stranger clime, and find
What land is his, by stress of wind,
By what inhabitants possessed
(For waste he sees it), man or beast,
And back the tidings bear.
Within a hollowed rock's retreat,
Deep in the wood, he hides his fleet,
Defended by a leafy screen
Of forestry and quivering green:
Then with Achates moves along,
Wielding two spears, steel-tipped and strong:
When in the bosom of the wood
Before him, lo, his mother stood,
In mien and gear a Spartan maid,
Or like Harpalyce arrayed,
Who tires fleet coursers in the chase,
And heads the swiftest streams of Thrace.
Slung from her shoulders hangs a bow;
Loose to the wind her tresses flow;
Bare was her knee; her mantle's fold
The gathering of a knot controlled.
And 'Saw ye, youths,' she asks them, 'say,
One of my sisters here astray,
A silvan quiver at her side,
And for a scarf a lynx's hide,
Or pressing on the wild boar's track
With upraised dart and voiceful pack?'
Thus Venus: Venus' son replied:
'No sister we of thine have spied:
What name to call thee, beauteous maid?
That look, that voice the God betrayed;
Can it be Phœbus' sister bright,
Or some fair Nymph, has crossed our sight?
Be gracious, whosoe'er thou art,
And lift this burden from our heart;
Instruct us, 'neath what sky at last,
Upon what shore, our lot is cast;
We wander here, by tempest blown,
The people and the place unknown.
O say! and many a victim's life
Before thy shrine shall stain my knife.'
Then Venus: 'Nay, I would not claim
A goddess' venerable name:
The quiver and the buskin's braid
But designate a Tyrian maid.
The Punic state is this you see,
Agenor's Tyrian colony:
But all around the Libyans dwell,
A race in war untamed and fell.
The sceptre here queen Dido sways,
Who fled from Tyre in other days,
To 'scape a brother's frenzy: long
And dark the story of her wrong;
To thread each tangle time would fail,
So learn the summits of the tale.
Sychæus was her husband once,
The wealthiest of Phœnicia's sons:
She loved him; nor her sire denied,
But made her his, a virgin bride.
But soon there filled the ruler's place
Her brother, worst of human race,
Pygmalion: 'twixt the kinsmen came
Fierce hatred, like a withering flame.
With avarice blind, by stealthy blow
The monster laid Sychæus low,
E'en at the altar, recking nought
What passion in his sister wrought:
Long time he hid the foul offence,
And, feigning many a base pretence,
Beguiled her love-sick innocence.
But, as she slept, before her eyes
She saw in pallid ghastly guise
Her lord's unburied semblance rise;
The murderous altar he revealed,
The death-wound, gaping and unhealed,
And all the crime the house concealed:
Then bids her fly without delay,
And shows, to aid her on her way,
His buried treasures, stores untold
Of silver and of massy gold.
She heard, and, quickened by affright,
Provides her friends and means of flight.
Each malcontent her summons hears,
Who hates the tyrant, or who fears;
The ships that in the haven rode
They seize, and with the treasures load:
Pygmalion's stores o'er ocean speed,
And woman's daring wrought the deed.
The spot they reached where now your eyes
See Carthage-towers in beauty rise:
There bought them soil, such space of ground
As one bull's hide could compass round;
There fixed their site; and Byrsa's name
Preserves the action fresh in fame.
But who are you? to whom allied?
Whence bound and whither?' Deep he sighed,
And thus with labouring speech replied:
'Fair Goddess! should thy suppliants show
From first to last their tale of woe,
Or ere it ceased the day were done,
And closed the palace of the sun.
We from old Troy, if Tyrian ear
Have chanced the name of Troy to hear,
Driven o'er all seas, are thrown at last
On Libya's coast by chance-sent blast.
Æneas I, who bear on board
My home-gods, rescued from the sword:
Men call me good; and vulgar fame
Above the stars exalts my name.
My quest is Italy, the place
That nursed my Jove-descended race.
My ships were twenty when I gave
My fortunes to the Phrygian wave;
My goddess-mother lent me light,
And oracles prescribed my flight:
And now scarce seven survive the strain
Of boisterous wind and billowy main.
I wander o'er your Libyan waste,
From Europe and from Asia chased,
Unfriended and unknown.' No more
His plaint of anguish Venus bore,
But interrupts ere yet 'tis o'er:
'Whoe'er you are, I cannot deem
Unloved of heaven you drink the beam
Of sunlight; else had never Fate
Conveyed you to a Tyrian's gate.
Take heart and follow on the road,
Still making for the queen's abode.
You yet shall witness, mark my word,
Your friends returned, your fleet restored:
The winds are changed, and all are brought
To port, or augury is naught,
And vain the lore my parents taught.
Mark those twelve swans, that hold their way
In seemly jubilant array,
Whom late, down swooping from on high,
Jove's eagle scattered through the sky:
Now see them o'er the land extend
Or hover, ready to descend:
They, rallying, sport on noisy wing,
And circle round the heaven, and sing:
E'en so your ships, your martial train,
Have gained the port, or stand to gain.
Then pause not further, but proceed
Still following where the road shall lead.'
She turned, and flashed upon their view
Her stately neck's purpureal hue;
Ambrosial tresses round her head
A more than earthly fragrance shed:
Her falling robe her footprints swept,
And showed the goddess as she stept;
While he, at length his mother known,
Pursues her with complaining tone:
'And art thou cruel like the rest?
Why cheat so oft thy son's fond eyes?
Why cannot hand in hand be pressed,
And speech exchanged without disguise?'
So ring the words of fond regret
While toward the town his face is set.
But Venus either traveller shrouds
With thickest panoply of clouds,
That none may see them, touch, nor stay,
Nor, idly asking, breed delay.
She through the sky to Paphos moves,
And seeks the temple of her loves,
Where from a hundred altars rise
Rich steam and flowerets' odorous sighs.
Meantime, the path itself their clue,
With speed their journey they pursue;
And now they climb the hill, whose frown
On the tall towers looks lowering down,
And beetles o'er the fronting town.
Æneas marvelling views the pile
Of stately structures, huts erewhile,
Marvelling, the lofty gates surveys,
The pavements, and the loud highways.
On press the Tyrians, each and all:
Some raise aloft the city's wall,
Or at the fortress' base of rock
Toil, heaving up the granite block:
While some for dwellings mark the ground,
Select a site and trench it round,
Or choose the rulers and the law,
And the young senate clothe with awe.
They hollow out the haven; they
The theatre's foundations lay,
And fashion from the quarry's side
Tall columns, germs of scenic pride.
So bees, when spring-time is begun,
Ply their warm labour in the sun,
What time along the flowery mead
Their nation's infant hope they lead;
Or with clear honey charge each cell,
And make the hive with sweetness swell,
The workers of their loads relieve,
Or chase the drones, that gorge and thieve:
With toil the busy scene ferments,
And fragrance breathes from thymy scents.
'O happy they,' Æneas cries,
As to the roofs he lifts his eyes,
'Whose promised walls already rise!'
Then enters, 'neath his misty screen,
And threads the crowd, of all unseen.
Midway within the city stood
A spreading grove of hallowed wood,
The spot where first the Punic train,
Fresh from the shock of storm and main,
The token Juno bad foretold
Dug up, the head of charger bold:
Sign of a nation formed for strife
And born to years of plenteous life.
A temple there began to tower
To Juno, rich, with many a dower
Of human wealth and heavenly power,
The oblation of the queen:
Brass was the threshold of the gate,
The posts were sheathed with brazen plate,
And brass the valves between.
First in that spot once more appears
A sight to soothe the traveller's fears,
Illumes with hope Æneas' eye,
And bids him trust his destiny.
As, waiting for the queen, he gazed
Around the fane with eyes upraised,
Much marvelling at a lot so blessed,
At art by rival hands expressed,
And labour's mastery confessed,
O wonder! there is Ilium's war,
And all those battles blazed afar:
Here stands Atrides, Priam here,
And chafed Achilles, either's fear.
He starts: the tears rain fast and hot:
And 'Is there, friend,' he cries, 'a spot
That knows not Troy's unhappy lot?
See Priam! aye, praise waits on worth
E'en in this corner of the earth;
E'en here the tear of pity springs,
And hearts are touched by human things.
Dismiss your fear: we sure may claim
To find some safety in our fame.'
He said; and feeds his hungry heart
With shapes of unsubstantial art,
In fond remembrance groaning deep,
While briny floods his visage steep.
There spreads and broadens on his sight
The portraiture of Greece in flight,
Pressed by the Trojan youth; while here
Troy flies, Achilles in her rear.
Not far removed with tears he knows
The tents of Rhesus, white as snows,
Through which, by sleep's first breath betrayed.
Tydides makes his murderous raid,
And camp-ward drives the fiery brood
Of coursers, ere on Trojan food
They browse, or drink of Xanthus' flood.
Here Troilus, shield and lance let go,
Poor youth, Achilles' ill-matched foe,
Fallen backward from the chariot seat,
Whirls on, yet clinging by his feet,
Still grasps the reins: his hair, his neck
Trail o'er the ground in helpless wreck,
And the loose spear he wont to wield
Makes dusty scoring on the field.
Meantime to partial Pallas' fane
Moved with slow steps a matron train,
With smitten breasts, dishevelled, pale,
Beseechingly they bore the veil:
She motionless as stone remained,
Her cruel eyes to earth enchained.
Thrice, to Achilles' chariot bound,
Had Hector circled Ilium round,
And now the satiate victor sold
His mangled enemy for gold.
Deep groaned the gazer to survey
The spoils, the arms, the lifeless clay,
And Priam, with weak hands outspread
In piteous pleading for the dead.
Himself too in the press he knows,
Mixed with the foremost line of foes,
And swarthy Memnon, armed for war,
With followers from the morning star.
Penthesilea leads afield
The sisters of the moony shield,
One naked breast conspicuous shown
By looping of her golden zone,
And burns with all the battle's heat,
A maid, the shock of men to meet.
While thus with passionate amaze
Æneas stood in one set gaze,
Queen Dido with a warrior train
In beauty's pride approached the fane.
As when upon Eurotas' banks
Or Cynthus' summits high
Diana leads the Oread ranks
In choric revelry,
Girt with her quiver, straight and tall,
Though all be gods, she towers o'er all;
Latona's mild maternal eyes
Beam with unspoken ecstasies:
So Dido looked; so 'mid the throng
With joyous step she moved along,
As pressing on to antedate
The birthday of her nascent state.
Then, 'neath the temple's roofing shell,
On stairs that mount the inner cell,
Throned on a chair of queenly state,
Hemmed round by glittering arms, she sate.
Thus circled by religious awe
She gives the gathered people law,
By chance-drawn lot or studious care
Assigning each his labour's share.
When lo! a concourse to the fane:
He looks: amid the shouting train
Lost Antheus and Sergestus pressed,
And brave Cloanthus, and the rest,
Driven by fierce gales the water o'er,
And landed on a different shore.
Astounded stand twixt fear and joy
Achates and the chief of Troy:
They burn to hail them and salute,
But wildering wonder keeps them mute.
So, peering through their cloudy screen,
They strive the broken tale to glean,
Where rest the vessels and the crew,
And wherefore thus they come to sue:
For every ship her chief had sent,
And clamouring towards the fane they went.
Then, audience granted by the queen,
Ilioneus spoke with placid mien:
'Lady, whom gracious Jove has willed
A city in the waste to build,
And minds of savage temper school
By justice' humanizing rule,
We, tempest-tost on every wave,
Poor Trojans, your compassion crave
From hideous flame our barks to save:
Commiserate our wretched case,
And war not on a pious race.
We come not, we, to spoil and slay
Your Libyan households, sweep the prey
Off to the shore, then haste away:
Meek grows the heart by misery cowed,
And vanquished souls are not so proud.
A land there is, by Greece of old
Known as Hesperia, rich its mould,
Its children brave and free:
Œnotrians were its planters: Fame
Now gives the race their leader's name,
And calls it Italy.
There lay our course, when, grief to tell,
Orion, rising with a swell,
Hurled us on shoals, and scattered wide
O'er pathless rocks along the tide
'Mid swirling billows: thence our crew
Drifts to your coast, a rescued few.
What tribe of human kind is here?
What barbarous region yields such cheer?
E'en the cold welcome of the sand
To travellers is barred and banned:
Ere earth we touch, they draw the sword,
And drive us from the bare sea-board.
If men and mortal arms ye slight,
Know there are Gods who watch o'er right.
Æneas was our king, than who
The breath of being none e'er drew,
More brave, more pious, or more true:
If he still looks upon the sun,
No spectre yet, our fears are done,
Nor need you doubt to assume the lead
In rivalry of generous deed.
Sicilia too, no niggard field,
Has towns to hold us, arms to shield,
And king Acestes, brave and good,
In heart a Trojan, as in blood.
Give leave to draw our ships ashore,
There smooth the plank and shape the oar:
So, should our friends, our king survive,
For Italy we yet may strive:
But, if our hopes are quenched, and thee,
Best father of the sons of Troy,
Death hides beneath the Libyan sea,
Nor spares to us thy princely boy,
Yet may we seek Sicania's land,
Her mansions ready to our hand,
And dwell where we were guests so late,
The subjects of Acestes' state.'
So spoke Ilioneus: and the rest
With shouts their loud assent expressed.
Then, looking downward, Dido said:
'Discharge you, Trojans, of your dread:
An infant realm and fortune hard
Compel me thus my shores to guard.
Who knows not of Æneas' name,
Of Troy, her fortune and her fame,
And that devouring war?
Our Punic hearts have more of fire,
Nor all so retrograde from Tyre
Doth Phœbus yoke his car.
Whate'er your choice, the Hesperian plain,
Or Eryx and Acestes' reign,
My arms shall guard you in your way,
My treasuries your needs purvey.
Or would a home on Libya's shores
Allure you more? this town is yours:
Lay up your vessels: Tyre and Troy
Alike shall Dido's thoughts employ.
And would we had your monarch too,
Driven hither by the blast, like you,
The great Æneas! I will send
And search the coast from end to end,
If haply, wandering up and down,
He bide in woodland or in town.'
In breathless eagerness of joy
Achates and the chief of Troy
Were yearning long the cloud to burst;
And thus Achates spoke the first:
'What now, my chief, the thoughts that rise
Within you? see, before your eyes
Your fleet, your friends restored;
Save one, who sank beneath, the tide
E'en in our presence: all beside
Confirms your mother's word.'
Scarce had he said, the mist gives way
And purges brightening into day;
Æneas stood, to sight confest,
A very God in face and chest:
For Venus round her darling's head
A length of clustering locks had spread,
Crowned him with youth's purpureal light,
And made his eyes gleam glad and bright:
Such loveliness the hands of art
To ivory's native hues impart:
So 'mid the gold around it placed
Shines silver pale or marble chaste.
Then in a moment, unforeseen
Of all, he thus bespeaks the queen:
'Lo, him you ask for! I am he,
Æneas, saved from Libya's sea.
O, only heart that deigns to mourn
For Ilium's cruel care!
That bids e'en us, poor relics, torn
From Danaan fury, all outworn
By earth and ocean, all forlorn,
Its home, its city share!
We cannot thank you; no, nor they,
Our brethren of the Dardan race,
Who, driven from their ancestral place,
Throughout the wide world stray.
May Heaven, if virtue claim its thought,
If justice yet avail for aught,
Heaven, and the sense of conscious right,
With worthier meed your acts requite!
What happy ages gave you birth?
What glorious sires begat such worth?
While rivers run into the deep,
While shadows o'er the hillside sweep,
While stars in heaven's fair pasture graze,
Shall live your honour, name, and praise,
Whate'er my destined home.' He ends,
And turns him to his Trojan friends;
Ilioneus with his right hand greets,
And with the left Serestus meets;
Then to the rest like welcome gave,
Brave Gyas and Cloauthus brave.
Thus as she listened, first his mien,
His sorrow next, entranced the queen,
And 'Say,' cries she, 'what cruel wrong
Pursued you, goddess-born, so long?
What violence has your navy driven
On this rude coast, of all 'neath heaven?
And are you he, on Simois' shore
Whom Venus to Anchises bore,
Æneas? Well I mind the name,
Since Teucer first to Sidon came,
Driven from his home, in hope to gain
By Belus' aid another reign,
What time my father ruled the land
Of Cyprus with a conqueror's hand.
Then first the fall of Troy I knew,
And heard of Grecia's kings, and you.
Oft, I remember, would he glow
In praise of Troy, albeit her foe;
Oft would he boast, Avith generous pride,
Himself to Troy's old line allied.
Then enter, chiefs, these friendly doors;
I too have had my fate, like yours,
Which, many a suffering overpast,
Has willed to fix me here at last.
Myself not ignorant of woe,
Compassion I have learned to show.'
She speaks, and speaking leads the way
To where her palace stands,
And through the fanes a solemn day
Of sacrifice commands.
Nor yet unmindful of his friends,
Her bounty to the shore she sends,
A hundred bristly swine,
A herd of twenty beeves, of lambs
A hundred, with their fleecy dams,
And spirit-cheering wine.
And now the palace they array
With all the state that kings display,
And through the central breadth of hall
Prepare the sumptuous festival:
There, wrought with many a fair design,
Rich coverlets of purple shine:
Bright silver loads the boards, and gold
Where deeds of hero-sires are told,
From chief to chief in sequence drawn,
E'en from proud Sidon's earliest dawn.
Meantime Æneas, loth to lose
The father in the king,
Sends down Achates to his crews:
'Haste, to Ascanius bear the news,
Himself to Carthage bring.'
A father's care, a father's joy
All centre in the darling boy.
Rich presents too he bids be brought,
Scarce saved when Troy's last fight was fought,
A pall with stiffening gold inwrought,
A veil, the marvel of the loom,
Edged with acanthus' saffron bloom;
These Leda once to Helen gave,
And Helen from Mycenæ bore,
What time to Troy she crossed the wave
With that her unblessed paramour;
The sceptre Priam's eldest fair,
Ilione, was wont to bear;
Her necklace, and her coronet
With gold and gems in circle set.
Such mandate hastening to obey,
Achates takes his shore-ward way.
But Cytherea's anxious mind
New arts, new stratagems designed,
That Cupid, changed in mien and face,
Should come in sweet Ascanius' place,
Fire with his gifts the royal dame,
And thread each leaping vein with flame.
The palace of deceit she fears,
The double tongues of Tyre;
Fell Juno's form at night appears,
And burns her like a fire.
So to her will she seeks to move
The winged deity of Love:
'My son, my strength, my virtue born,
Who laugh'st Jove's Titan bolts to scorn,
To thee for succour I repair,
And breathe the voice of suppliant prayer.
How Juno drives from coast to coast
Thy Trojan brother, this thou know'st,
And oft hast bid thy sorrows flow
With mine in pity of his woe.
Him now this Tyrian entertains,
And with soft speech his stay constrains:
But I, I cannot brook with ease
Nor, where our fortunes hinge and turn,
Can she long rest in unconcern.
Fain would I first ensnare the dame,
And wrap her leaguered heart in flame.
So, ere she change by power malign,
Æneas' love shall bind her mine.
Such triumph how thou mayst achieve,
The issue of my thought receive.
To Sidon's town the princely heir,
The darling motive of my care,
Sets out at summons of his sire,
With presents, saved from flood and fire.
Him, in the bands of slumber tied,
In high Cythera I will hide,
Or blest Idalia, safe and far,
Lest he perceive the plot, or mar.
Thou for one night supply his room,
Thyself a boy, the boy assume;
That when the queen, with rapture glowing,
While boards blaze rich, and wine is flowing,
Shall make thee nestle in her breast,
And to thy lips her lips are prest,
The stealthy plague thou mayst inspire,
And thrill her with contagious fire.
Young Love obeyed, his plumage stripped,
And, laughing, like Iulus tripped.
But Venus on her grandson strows
The dewy softness of repose,
And laps him in her robe, and bears
To tall Idalia's fragrant airs,
Where soft amaracus receives
And gently curtains him with leaves:
While Cupid, tutored to obey,
Beside Achates takes his way,
And bears the presents, blithe and gay.
Arrived, he finds the Tyrian queen
On tapestry laid of gorgeous sheen,
In central place, her guests between.
There lies Æneas, there his train,
All stretched at ease on purple grain.
Slaves o'er their hands clear water pour,
Deal round the bread from basket-store,
And napkins thick with wool:
Within full fifty maids supply
Fresh food, and make the hearths blaze high:
A hundred more of equal age,
Each with her fellow, girl and page,
Serve to the gathered company
The meats and goblets full.
The invited Tyrians throng the hall,
And on the broidered couches fall.
They marvel as the gifts they view,
They marvel at the bringer too,
The features where the God shines through,
The tones his mimic voice assumes,
The pall, the veil with saffron blooms.
But chiefly Dido, doomed to ill,
Her soul with gazing cannot fill,
And, kindling with delirious fires,
Admires the boy, the gifts admires.
He, having hung a little space
Clasped in Æneas' warm embrace
And satisfied the fond desire
Of that his counterfeited sire,
Turns him to Dido. Heart and eye
She clings, she cleaves, she makes him lie
Lapped in her breast, nor knows, lost fair,
How dire a God sits heavy there.
But he, too studious to fulfil
His Acidalian mother's will,
Begins to cancel trace by trace
The imprint of Sychæus' face,
And bids a living passion steal
On senses long unused to feel.
Soon as the feast begins to lull,
And boards are cleared away,
They place the bowls, all brimming full,
And wreathe with garlands gay.
Up to the rafters mounts the din,
And voices swell and heave within:
From the gilt roof hang cressets bright,
And flambeau-fires put out the night.
The queen gives charge: a cup is brought
With massy gold and jewels wrought,
Whence ancient Belus quaffed his wine,
And all the kings of Belus' line.
Then silence reigns: 'Great Jove, who know'st
The mutual rights of guest and host,
O make this day a day of joy
Alike to Tyre and wandering Troy,
And may our children's children feel
The blessing of the bond we seal!
Be Bacchus, giver of glad cheer,
And bounteous Juno, present here!
And Tyrians, you with frank good will
Our courteous purposes fulfil.'
She spoke, and on the festal board
The meed of due libation poured,
Touched with her lip the goblet's edge,
Then challenged Bitias to the pledge.
He grasped the cup with eager hold,
And drenched him with the foaming gold.
The rest succeed. Iopas takes
His gilded lyre, its chords awakes,
The long-haired bard, rehearsing sweet
The descant learned at Atlas' feet.
He sings the wanderings of the moon,
The sun eclipsed in deadly swoon,
Whence human kind and cattle came,
And whence the rain-spout and the flame,
Arcturus and the two bright Bears,
And Hyads weeping showery tears,
Why winter suns so swiftly go,
And why the weary nights move slow.
With plaudits Tyre the minstrel greets,
And Troy the loud acclaim repeats.
And now discourse succeeds to song:
Poor Dido makes the gay night long,
Still drinking love-draughts, deep and strong:
Much of great Priam asks the dame,
Much of his greater son:
Now of Tydides' steeds of flame,
Now in what armour Memnon came,
Now how Achilles shone.
'Nay, guest ' she cries 'vouchsafe a space
The tale of Danaan fraud to trace,
The dire misfortunes of your race,
These wanderings of your own:
For since you first 'gan wander o'er
Yon homeless world of sea and shore,
Seven summers nigh have flown.'