off his breast the corslet tear,
And soil in dust his essenced hair,
New crisped with heated steel.’
Such furies in his bosom rise:
His features all ablaze
Shoot direful sparkles: from his eyes
A stream of lightning plays.
So ere he tries the combat’s shock
A bull loud bellowing makes,
And butting at a tree’s hard stock
His horns to anger wakes,
With furious heel the sand upthrows,
And challenges the wind for foes.
Meantime in Vulcan’s arms arrayed
Æneas mans his breast,
Rejoiced that offered truce has made
Two hosts from battle rest:
Then reassures his comrades’ fears
And checks Iulus’ starting tears,
Rehearsing Fate’s decree,
And bids his envoys answer bear
To Latium’s monarch, and declare
The terms of peace to be.

Scarce had the morn her radiance shed
On topmost mountain height,
When, leaving Ocean’s oozy bed,
The Sun’s fleet steeds, with upturned head,
Breathe out loose flakes of light,
Beneath the city’s strong redoubt
Rutule and Trojan measure out
The combat’s listed ground,
And altars in the midst prepare
For common sacrifice and prayer,
Piled up with grassy mound;
While others, girt with aprons, bring
Live coals and water from the spring,
Their brows with vervain bound.
Through the thronged gates the Ausonian band
Comes streaming onward, lance in hand:
Trojans and Tuscans all,
Equipped in arms of various show,
Come marshalled by their ranks, as though
They heard the battle’s call.
Decked out with gold and purple dye,
From troop to troop the leaders fly,
Mnestheus, Assaracus’s seed,
Asilias, chief divine,
Messapus, tamer of the steed,
Who comes of Neptune’s line.
The signal given, they each recede
Within the space assigned,
Their javelins planted in the mead,
Their shields at rest reclined:
While, brimming o’er with yearning strong,
Weak matrons, an unwarlike throng,
And fathers, old and grey,
Turret and roof confusedly crowd,
Or stand beside the portals proud,
The combat to survey.

But Juno, seated on the mount
That Alban now is named
(’Twas then a hill of scant account,
Untitled and unfamed),
On the two hosts was gazing down,
The listed field, the Latian town.
To Turnus’ sister then she said
(A goddess she of lake and flood;
Such honour Jove the damsel paid
For violated maidenhood):
‘Pride of all streams on earth that roll,
Juturna, favourite of my soul,
Thou know’st, of all of Latian race
That e’er endured great Jove’s embrace
I still have set thee first, and given
To share ungrudged the courts of heaven;
Now learn thy woes, unhappy dame,
Nor think too late that mine the blame.
While Latium yet could keep the field
And Fate seemed kind, I cast my shield
O’er Turnus and his town:
Now in ill hour he tempts the fray,
And baleful force and Fate’s dark day
From heaven are swooping down.
I cannot view the unequal fight,
Nor see that shameful treaty plight.
Can sister nought for brother dare?
Take heart: perchance the Gods may spare.’
She said: Juturna’s tears ’gan flow,
And oft she smote her breast of snow.
‘No time for tears,’ Saturnia cries:
‘Haste, save your brother ere he dies:
Or stir again the war, and break
(Mine be the risk) the league they make.’
She ceased, and left her sore distraught,
With bleeding heart and wavering thought.

Now to the field the monarchs came,
Latinus, his majestic frame
In four-horse chariot borne;
Twelve gilded rays, memorial sign
Of the great Sun, his sire divine,
His kingly brows adorn:
Grasping two javelins as in war
Rides Turnus in his two-horse car:
Æneas leaves his rampired home,
First founder of the race of Rome,
Glorious in heavenly armour’s pride,
With shield that beams like day;
And young Ascanius at his side,
Rome’s other hope and stay.
Then to the hearth the white-robed priest
Brings two-year sheep all richly fleeced
And young of bristly swine;
They turn them to the radiant east,
With knives the victim’s foreheads score,
Strew cakes of salted meal, and pour
The sacrificial wine.
Then thus with falchion’s naked blade
Æneas supplication made:
‘Sun, and thou Land, attest my prayer
For whom I have been fain to bear
So many a year of woe;
And Jove, Almighty Sire, and thou,
Saturnia, now at last, O now
No more Æneas’ foe;
Thou too, great Mars, who rul’st the fray
By thine imperial nod,
And you, ye Springs and Floods, I pray
Whate’er the powers that ether sway,
And ocean’s every god:
If victory shall to Turnus fall,
The vanquished to Evander’s wall
Their instant flight shall take:
Iulus shall the realm resign,
Nor here in Latium seed of mine
Fresh war hereafter wake:
But if, as prayers and hopes foresee,
The queen of battles smile on me,
I will not force Italia’s land
To Teucrian rule to bow;
I seek no sceptre for my hand,
No diadem for my brow:
Let race and race, unquelled and free,
Join hands in deathless amity.
My gods, my rites, I claim to bring:
Let sire Latinus still be king,
In peace and war the same;
The sons of Troy my destined town
Shall build, and fair Lavinia crown
The city with her name.’
He spoke, and next Latinus prays
With lifted hand and heavenward gaze:
‘By land, by sea, by stars I swear,
E’en as Æneas swore;
By queen Latona’s princely pair,
And two-faced Janus hoar;
By all the infernal powers divine
And grisly Pluto’s mystic shrine:
Let Jove give ear, whose vengeful fire
Makes treaties firm, the Almighty Sire:
I touch the hearth with either hand,
I call the Gods that ’twixt us

  By PanEris using Melati.

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