shapes before his eyes appear,
Strange voices whisper in his ear;
He communes with the sons of bliss,
Or talks with Acheron’s dark abyss.
So now, when king Latinus came
His parent god’s response to claim,
A hundred sheep he slew, and lay
Stretched on their wool till night’s decay,
When sudden from the grove’s deep gloom
Burst on his ear the voice of doom:
‘Ambition not, my son, to pair
With Latian prince thy royal heir,
Nor satisfy an easy quest
With nuptial bowers already drest:
Lo! foreign bridegrooms come, whose fame
To heaven shall elevate our name:
The sons who from their loins have birth
Shall see one day the whole broad earth,
From main to main, from pole to pole,
Beneath them bow, beneath them roll.’
These words, at night’s still hour addrest,
Latinus locks not in his breast:
Along Ausonia’s countryside
The voice of fame had spread them wide
Already when the Trojans moored
Their fleet on Tiber’s river-board.

Æneas and the chiefs of Troy,
And Ilium’s hope, the princely boy,
Their weary limbs at leisure laid
Under a tree’s alluring shade,
Set forth the banquet, and bespread
The sward beneath with cakes of bread
(Jove gave the thought), and heap with store
Of wilding fruit their wheaten floor.
So when, all else consumed, at last
The failure of their scant repast
Compelled the wanderers to devour
Their slender garniture of flour,
Attack the fated round, nor spare
The impress of the sacred square
‘What! eating up our boards beside?’
In merry vein Iulus cried.
That word at once dissolved the spell:
The father caught it as it fell,
With warning look all utterance stilled,
And marvelled at the sign fulfilled.
Then ‘Hail, auspicious land,’ he cries,
‘So long from Fate my due!
All hail, ye Trojan deities,
To Trojan fortunes true!
At length we rest, no more to roam:
Here is our country, here our home.
For well I mind, my sire of old
This secret of the future told:
‘Whene’er on unknown shores you eat
Your very boards for lack of meat,
Then count your home already found:
There build your town and bank it round.
Ay, this the lack his words forecast,
And these the horrors of that fast,
Which waited all the while, to close
Our dreary catalogue of woes.
Come then, and with the morrow’s ray
Explore we each his diverse way,
The natives who, and what the place,
And where the city of the race.
Now with full cups libation pour
To mighty Jove, whom all adore,
Invoke Anchises’ blessed soul,
And once again set on the bowl.’
Thus having said, he wreaths his brow
With cincture of a leafy bough,
Invokes the Genius of the spot,
And Earth, of Gods the first begot,
The Nymphs and Floods as yet unknown,
And Night and Stars that gem her throne,
And Ida’s monarch Jove,
And the great Mother, Phrygia’s fear,
And last, his own two parents dear,
One nether, one above.
Thrice, as he prayed, from azure skies
The Thunderer pealed aloud,
And flushing shook before their eyes
A red and golden cloud.
Through Ilium’s ranks the flame flies fast,
The day has come shall found at last
Their city’s promised towers:
Exulting in the mighty sign.
They spread the board, set on the wine,
And crown the cup with flowers.

Soon as the morn at earliest birth
Diffused her lustre o’er the earth,
Each by a different path explores
The town, the frontier, and the shores:
And here they find Numicius’ spring,
Here Tiber flows, here dwells the king.
This done, the monarch’s grace to gain,
Æneas sends a goodly train,
A hundred chiefs of each degree,
With wool-wreathed boughs from Pallas’ tree,
Rich presents to their hand commends,
And bids them crave the dues of friends.
At once the ambassadors obey:
Their hasty steps despatch the way.
Himself with narrow trench defines
The rampart’s meditated lines,
And camp-like girds his city round
With palisade and sloping mound.
And now the chiefs, the way o’ercome,
Before them rising tall
See roofs and towers, the Latins’ home,
And pass beneath the wall.
Before the town the youth at play
In mimic contests speed the day,
Direct the rapid car, or train
The courser on the dusty plain,
With vigour bend the pliant bow,
Or to its mark the javelin throw,
Ply the swift foot, or plant the blow:
When riding up in full career
A herald to the monarch’s ear
Reports that valiant chiefs are here
Attired in garb unknown:
He, hearing, gives the word to call
The strangers to the audience-hall,
And seats him on his throne.

Upon the city’s highest ground,
With hundred columns compassed round,
There rose a fane sublime;
’Twas Picus’ palace long ago,
And sacred woods around it throw
The awe of elder time.
Here wont the monarchs to receive
The royal staff, the fasces heave,
An omen of their reign:
Here met the council of debate,
Here on high days the seniors sate
At lengthening tables ranged in state
To feast on cattle slain.
There, formed of ancient cedar wood,
A line of old forefathers stood;
Here Italus, Sabinus here
Who taught them first the vine to rear
(The mimic semblance still preserved
The hook for pruning deftly curved);
There ancient Saturn holds his place,
And Janus with his double face,
And many another hoary king
E’en from the nation’s earliest spring,
And many a warrior, strong and brave,
Who poured his blood his land to save.
There too were spoils of bygone wars
Hung on the portals, captive cars,
Strong city-gates with massy bars,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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