When Turnus had war’s ensign shown
From high Laurentum’s tower,
And made the horns with hoarse harsh tone
Give forth their voice of power,
His fiery coursers chafed, and pealed
The din of battle on his shield,
Dull hearts are startled from their sloth;
All Latium joins in solemn oath,
And kindles in an hour.
Messapus, Ufens, ’mid the first,
And fierce Mezentius, scoffer cursed,
Raise succour, and from cultured plains
Sweep to the camp the sturdy swains.
And Venulus betimes is sped
On embassy to Diomed,
To crave for help, and tell the tale
That Troy has entered Latium’s pale:
Æneas with his gods is there,
And boasts himself the kingdom’s heir,
While many a nation joins his side,
And Latium feels his name spread wide.
What prize he seeks from war, what end,
Should Fortune smile, his hopes intend,
King Diomed may fitlier scan
Than Turnus or Latinus can.
So Latium fares: the Trojan sees,
And fluctuates in perplexities:
By thousand warring cares distraught,
This way and that he whirls his thought.
As flashes light upon the face
Of water in a brazen vase
From sun or lunar rays,
From spot to spot behold it dart,
And now it takes an upward start
And on the ceiling plays.
Night came: all life was buried deep,
Man, beast, and bird, in placid sleep:
The chief beneath the cope of heaven,
His heart with thought of battle riven,
His limbs beside the river throws
And courts the quiet of repose.
When rising through the poplar wood
Appears the genius of the flood:
A grey gauze mantle wrapped him round;
With shadowy reed his brows were crowned:
Then thus he spoke, and laid to rest
The cares that racked the hero’s breast:

‘O seed of Heaven, who bring once more
Lost Pergamus to this our shore,
And keep old Troy in life,
Long looked for on Laurentian ground,
Behold your home, your mansion found,
Nor fear though foemen hem you round
With menaces of strife.
Heaven’s anger is at length assuaged,
And ceased the feud of Gods enraged.
E’en now, lest haply you should deem
My words the coinage of a dream,
On woody banks before your eye
A thirty-farrowed sow shall lie,
Her whole white length on earth stretched out,
Her young, as white, her teats about,
Sign that when thirty years come round
White Alba shall Ascanius found.
Not vain my song: now, how to speed
In prosperous sort your pressing need,
’Tis mine to tell and yours to heed.
Arcadians here, from Pallas born,
To king Evander’s service sworn,
On mountain heights have built walled
A city, Pallanteum called.
With Latium constant war they wage:
Make them your friends, their aid engage.
Myself will be your journey’s guide,
And teach your oars to climb the tide.
Up, goddess-born, this instant rise,
And ere the starlight leaves the skies
Make vows to Juno: overbear
Her angry soul with gift and prayer.
When conquest crowns you in the fight,
I too will claim a patron’s right.
’Tis I whose brimming flood you see
Careering through the fruitful lea,
Cerulean Tiber, first in love
And dearest to the Gods above.
Lo here, arising from my bed,
My stately home, the nations’ head.’

He said, and sought the river’s pit,
While night and sleep Æneas quit.
Up starts the chief, and turns his eyes
In reverence to the orient skies,
In hollowed palm the water takes,
And thus his supplication makes:
‘Laurentian Nymphs, from whose pure blood
The rivers have their birth,
Thou, Tiber, with thy sacred flow,
The beauty of the earth,
Receive Æneas, and at length
A bate the toils that waste his strength.
Whate’er the source where, calm and still,
Thou giv’st a thought to this our ill,
Where’er thou spring’st to life divine,
My gifts, my worship shall be thine,
Blest power, o’er each Italian stream
The horned monarch crowned supreme.
Be near to succour us, and seal
The omen that thy words reveal.’
This said, he chooses biremes two,
Provides them oars, and arms the crew:
When lo! a sudden prodigy:
A milk-white sow is seen
Stretched with her young ones, white as she,
Along the margent green.
Æneas takes them, dam and brood,
And o’er the altar pours their blood,
To thee, great Juno, e’en to thee,
High heaven’s majestic queen.
All night the Tiber calmed his flood,
And stayed is onward course, and stood,
That smooth might lie the watery floor,
Nor aught impede the toiling oar.
So speed they on ’mid joyful cries;
The vessels lightly glide;
And waves and woods with strange surprise
See glittering steel and painted keel
Advancing up the tide.
Still rowing on, they wear away
The energies of night and day,
O’erpass full many a lengthy reach
’Neath alder shade or spreading beech,
And gently wind thick groves between
That lend the wave a deeper green.
The sun was at his mid- day height,
When tower and rampire loom in sight,
And dwellings thinly strown:
Now to the skies Rome’s power makes soar
That city: then ’twas scant and poor,
Evander’s humble throne.
Soon as they see, to land they steer
Their ships, and to the town draw near.

The Arcadian monarch chanced that day
A high solemnity to pay
Before the city, in a grove,
To Hercules, the seed of Jove.
His rustic senators are there,
And Pallas too, his kingdom’s heir,
With censers charged: the spilt life-stream
Sends up a sacrificial steam.
Soon as the gallant ships they saw
’Mid the thick forest nearer

  By PanEris using Melati.

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