THE AENEIDS OF VIRGIL
DONE INTO ENGLISH VERSE
AUTHOR OF 'THE EARTHLY PARADISE'
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON NEW YORK AND BOMBAY
THE AENEIDS OF VIRGIL.
AENEAS AND HIS TROJANS BEING DRIVEN TO LIBYA BY A TEMPEST, HAVE GOOD WELCOME OF DIDO, QUEEN OF CARTHAGE.
Lo I am he who led the song through slender reed to cry, And then, come forth from out the woods, the fields that are thereby In woven verse I bade obey the hungry tillers' need: Now I, who sang their merry toil, sing Mars and dreadful deed.
I sing of arms, I sing of him, who from the Trojan land Thrust forth by Fate, to Italy and that Lavinian strand First came: all tost about was he on earth and on the deep By heavenly might for Juno's wrath, that had no mind to sleep: And plenteous war he underwent ere he his town might frame And set his Gods in Latian earth, whence is the Latin name, And father-folk of Alba-town, and walls of mighty Rome.
Say, Muse, what wound of godhead was whereby all this must come, How grieving, she, the Queen of Gods, a man so pious drave To win such toil, to welter on through such a troublous wave: 10 —Can anger in immortal minds abide so fierce and fell?
There was a city of old time where Tyrian folk did dwell, Called Carthage, facing far away the shores of Italy And Tiber-mouth; fulfilled of wealth and fierce in arms was she, And men say Juno loved her well o'er every other land, Yea e'en o'er Samos: there were stored the weapons of her hand, And there her chariot: even then she cherished the intent To make her Lady of all Lands, if Fate might so be bent; Yet had she heard how such a stem from Trojan blood should grow, As, blooming fair, the Tyrian towers should one day overthrow, 20 That thence a folk, kings far and wide, most noble lords of fight, Should come for bane of Libyan land: such web the Parcae dight. The Seed of Saturn, fearing this, and mindful how she erst For her beloved Argive walls by Troy the battle nursed— —Nay neither had the cause of wrath nor all those hurts of old Failed from her mind: her inmost heart still sorely did enfold That grief of body set at nought in Paris' doomful deed, The hated race, and honour shed on heaven-rapt Ganymede— So set on fire, that Trojan band o'er all the ocean tossed, Those gleanings from Achilles' rage, those few the Greeks had lost, 30 She drave far off the Latin Land: for many a year they stray Such wise as Fate would drive them on by every watery way. —Lo, what there was to heave aloft in fashioning of Rome!
Now out of sight of Sicily the Trojans scarce were come And merry spread their sails abroad and clave the sea with brass, When Juno's heart, who nursed the wound that never thence would pass, Spake out: "And must I, vanquished, leave the deed I have begun, Nor save the Italian realm a king who comes of Teucer's son? The Fates forbid it me forsooth? And Pallas, might not she Burn up the Argive fleet and sink the Argives in the sea 40 For Oileus' only fault and fury that he wrought? She hurled the eager fire of Jove from cloudy dwelling caught, And rent the ships and with the wind the heaped-up waters drew, And him a-dying, and all his breast by wildfire smitten through, The whirl of waters swept away on spiky crag to bide. While I, who go forth Queen of Gods, the very Highest's bride And sister, must I wage a war for all these many years With one lone race? What! is there left a soul that Juno fears Henceforth? or will one suppliant hand gifts on mine altar lay?"
So brooding in her fiery heart the Goddess went her way 50 Unto the fatherland of storm, full fruitful of the gale, AEolia hight, where AEolus is king of all avail, And far adown a cavern vast the bickering of the winds And roaring tempests of the world with bolt and fetter binds: They set the mountains murmuring much, a-growling angrily About their bars, while AEolus sits in his burg on high, And, sceptre-holding, softeneth them, and strait their wrath doth keep: Yea but for that the earth and sea, and vault of heaven the deep, They eager-swift would roll away and sweep adown of space: For fear whereof the Father high in dark and hollow place 60 Hath hidden them, and high above a world of mountains thrown And given them therewithal a king, who, taught by law well known, Now draweth, and now casteth loose the reins that hold them in: To whom did suppliant Juno now in e'en such words begin:
"The Father of the Gods and men hath given thee might enow, O AEolus, to smooth the sea, and make the storm-wind blow. Hearken! a folk, my very foes, saileth the Tyrrhene main Bearing their Troy to Italy, and Gods that were but vain: Set on thy winds, and overwhelm their sunken ships at sea, Or prithee scattered cast them forth, things drowned diversedly. 70 Twice seven nymphs are in my house of body passing fair: Of whom indeed Deiopea is fairest fashioned there. I give her thee in wedlock sure, and call her all thine own To wear away the years with thee, for thy deserving shown To me this day; of offspring fair she too shall make thee sire."
To whom spake AEolus: "O Queen, to search out thy desire Is all thou needest toil herein; from me the deed should wend. Thou mak'st my realm; the sway of all, and Jove thou mak'st my friend, Thou givest me to lie with Gods when heavenly feast is dight, And o'er the tempest and the cloud thou makest me of might." 80
Therewith against the hollow hill he turned him spear in hand And hurled it on the flank thereof, and as an ordered band By whatso door the winds rush out o'er earth in whirling blast, And driving down upon the sea its lowest deeps upcast. The East, the West together there, the Afric, that doth hold A heart fulfilled of stormy rain, huge billows shoreward rolled. Therewith came clamour of the men and whistling through the shrouds And heaven and day all suddenly were swallowed by the clouds Away from eyes of Teucrian men; night on the ocean lies, Pole thunders unto pole, and still with wildfire glare the skies, 90 And all things hold the face of death before the seamen's eyes.
Now therewithal AEneas' limbs grew weak with chilly dread, He groaned, and lifting both his palms aloft to heaven, he said: "O thrice and four times happy ye, that had the fate to fall Before your fathers' faces there by Troy's beloved wall! Tydides, thou of Danaan folk the mightiest under shield, Why might I never lay me down upon the Ilian field, Why was my soul forbid release at thy most mighty hand, Where eager Hector stooped and lay before Achilles' wand, Where huge Sarpedon fell asleep, where Simois rolls along 100 The shields of men, and helms of men, and bodies of the strong?"
Thus as he cried the whistling North fell on with sudden gale And drave the seas up toward the stars, and smote aback the sail; Then break the oars, the bows fall off, and beam on in the trough She lieth, and the sea comes on a mountain huge and rough. These hang upon the topmost wave, and those may well discern The sea's ground mid the gaping whirl: with sand the surges churn. Three keels the South wind cast away on hidden reefs that lie Midmost the sea, the Altars called by men of Italy, A huge back thrusting through the tide: three others from the deep 110 The East toward straits, and swallowing sands did miserably sweep, And dashed them on the shoals, and heaped the sand around in ring: And one, a keel the Lycians manned, with him, the trusty King Orontes, in AEneas' sight a toppling wave o'erhung, And smote the poop, and headlong rolled, adown the helmsman flung; Then thrice about the driving flood hath hurled her as she lay, The hurrying eddy swept above and swallowed her from day: And lo! things swimming here and there, scant in the unmeasured seas, The arms of men, and painted boards, and Trojan treasuries. And now Ilioneus' stout ship, her that Achates leal 120 And Abas ferried o'er the main, and old Aletes' keel The storm hath overcome; and all must drink the baneful stream Through opening leaky sides of them that gape at every seam.
But meanwhile Neptune, sorely moved, hath felt the storm let go, And all the turmoil of the main with murmur great enow; The deep upheaved from all abodes the lowest that there be: So forth he put his placid face o'er topmost of the sea, And there he saw AEneas' ships o'er all the main besprent, The Trojans beaten by the flood and ruin from heaven sent. But Juno's guile and wrathful heart her brother knew full well: 130 So East and West he called to him, and spake such words to tell:
"What mighty pride of race of yours hath hold upon your minds, That earth and sea ye turmoil so without my will, O winds; That such upheaval and so great ye dare without my will? Whom I—But first it comes to hand the troubled flood to still: For such-like fault henceforward though with nought so light ye pay. Go get you gone, and look to it this to your king to say: That ocean's realm and three-tined spear of dread are given by Fate Not unto him but unto me? he holds the cliffs o'ergreat, Thine houses, Eurus; in that hall I bid him then be bold, 140 Thine AEolus, and lord it o'er his winds in barred hold."
So saying and swifter than his word he layed the troubled main, And put to flight the gathered clouds, and brought the sun again; And with him Triton fell to work, and fair Cymothoe, And thrust the ships from spiky rocks; with triple spear wrought he To lift, and opened swallowing sands, and laid the waves alow. Then on light wheels o'er ocean's face soft gliding did he go. And, like as mid a people great full often will arise Huge riot, and all the low-born herd to utter anger flies, And sticks and stones are in the air, and fury arms doth find: 150 Then, setting eyes perchance on one of weight for noble mind, And noble deeds, they hush them then and stand with pricked-up ears, And he with words becomes their lord, and smooth their anger wears; —In such wise fell all clash of sea when that sea-father rose, And looked abroad: who turned his steeds, and giving rein to those, Flew forth in happy-gliding car through heaven's all-open way.
AEneas' sore forewearied host the shores that nearest lay Stretch out for o'er the sea, and turn to Libyan land this while. There goes a long firth of the sea, made haven by an isle, 159 Against whose sides thrust out abroad each wave the main doth send Is broken, and must cleave itself through hollow bights to wend: Huge rocks on this hand and on that, twin horns of cliff, cast dread On very heaven; and far and wide beneath each mighty head Hushed are the harmless waters; lo, the flickering wood above And wavering shadow cast adown by darksome hanging grove: In face hereof a cave there is of rocks o'erhung, made meet With benches of the living stone and springs of water sweet, The house of Nymphs: a-riding there may way-worn ships be bold To lie without the hawser's strain or anchor's hooked hold.
That bight with seven of all his tale of ships AEneas gained, 170 And there, by mighty love of land the Trojans sore constrained, Leap off-board straight, and gain the gift of that so longed-for sand, And lay their limbs with salt sea fouled adown upon the strand: And first Achates smote alive the spark from out the flint, And caught the fire in tinder-leaves, and never gift did stint Of feeding dry; and flame enow in kindled stuff he woke; Then Ceres' body spoilt with sea, and Ceres' arms they took, And sped the matter spent with toil, and fruit of furrows found They set about to parch with fire and 'twixt of stones to pound.
Meanwhile AEneas scaled the cliff and far and wide he swept 180 The main, if anywhere perchance the sea his Antheus kept, Tossed by the wind, if he might see the twi-banked Phrygians row; If Capys, or Caicus' arms on lofty deck might show. Nor any ship there was in sight, but on the strand he saw Three stags a-wandering at their will, and after them they draw The whole herd following down the dales long strung out as they feed: So still he stood, and caught in hand his bow and shafts of speed, The weapons that Achates staunch was bearing then and oft; And first the very lords of those, that bore their heads aloft With branching horns, he felled, and then the common sort, and so 190 Their army drave he with his darts through leafy woods to go: Nor held his hand till on the earth were seven great bodies strown, And each of all his ships might have one head of deer her own. Thence to the haven gat he gone with all his folk to share, And that good wine which erst the casks Acestes made to bear, And gave them as they went away on that Trinacrian beach, He shared about; then fell to soothe their grieving hearts with speech:
"O fellows, we are used ere now by evil ways to wend; O ye who erst bore heavier loads, this too the Gods shall end. Ye, ye have drawn nigh Scylla's rage and rocks that inly roar, 200 And run the risk of storm of stones upon the Cyclops' shore: Come, call aback your ancient hearts and put your fears away! This too shall be for joy to you remembered on a day. Through diverse haps, through many risks wherewith our way is strown, We get us on to Latium, the land the Fates have shown To be for peaceful seats for us: there may we raise up Troy. Abide, endure, and keep yourselves for coming days of joy."
So spake his voice: but his sick heart did mighty trouble rack, As, glad of countenance, he thrust the heavy anguish back. But they fall to upon the prey, and feast that was to dight, 210 And flay the hide from off the ribs, and bare the flesh to sight. Some cut it quivering into steaks which on the spits they run, Some feed the fire upon the shore, and set the brass thereon. And so meat bringeth might again, and on the grass thereby, Fulfilled with fat of forest deer and ancient wine, they lie. But when all hunger was appeased and tables set aside, Of missing fellows how they fared the talk did long abide; Whom, weighing hope and weighing fear, either alive they trow, Or that the last and worst has come, that called they hear not now. And chief of all the pious King AEneas moaned the pass 220 Of brisk Orontes, Amycus, and cruel fate that was Of Lycus, and of Bias strong, and strong Cloanthus gone.
But now an end of all there was, when Jove a-looking down From highest lift on sail-skimmed sea, and lands that round it lie, And shores and many folk about, in topmost burg of sky Stood still, and fixed the eyes of God on Libya's realm at last: To whom, as through his breast and mind such cares of godhead passed, Spake Venus, sadder than her due with bright eyes gathering tears:
"O thou, who rulest with a realm that hath no days nor years, Both Gods and men, and mak'st them fear thy thunder lest it fall, 230 What then hath mine AEneas done so great a crime to call? What might have Trojan men to sin? So many deaths they bore 'Gainst whom because of Italy is shut the wide world's door. Was it not surely promised me that as the years rolled round The blood of Teucer come again should spring from out the ground, The Roman folk, such very lords, that all the earth and sea Their sway should compass? Father, doth the counsel shift in thee? This thing indeed atoned to me for Troy in ashes laid, And all the miserable end, as fate 'gainst fate I weighed: But now the self-same fortune dogs men by such troubles driven 240 So oft and oft. What end of toil then giv'st thou, King of heaven? Antenor was of might enow to 'scape the Achaean host, And safe to reach the Illyrian gulf and pierce Liburnia's coast, And through the inmost realms thereof to pass Timavus' head, Whence through nine mouths midst mountain roar is that wild water shed, To cast itself on fields below with all its sounding sea: And there he made Patavium's town and Teucrian seats to be, And gave the folk their very name and Trojan arms did raise: Now settled in all peace and rest he passeth quiet days. But we, thy children, unto whom thou giv'st with bowing head 250 The heights of heaven, our ships are lost, and we, O shame! betrayed, Are driven away from Italy for anger but of one. Is this the good man's guerdon then? is this the promised throne?"
The Sower of the Gods and men a little smiled on her With such a countenance as calms the storms and upper air; He kissed his daughter on the lips, and spake such words to tell: "O Cytherean, spare thy dread! unmoved the Fates shall dwell Of thee and thine, and thou shalt see the promised city yet, E'en that Lavinium's walls, and high amidst the stars shalt set Great-souled AEneas: nor in me doth aught of counsel shift 260 But since care gnaws upon thine heart, the hidden things I lift Of Fate, and roll on time for thee, and tell of latter days. Great war he wars in Italy, and folk full wild of ways He weareth down, and lays on men both laws and walled steads, Till the third summer seeth him King o'er the Latin heads, And the third winter's wearing brings the fierce Rutulians low. Thereon the lad Ascanius, Iulus by-named now, (And Ilus was he once of old, when Ilium's city was,) Fulfilleth thirty orbs of rule with rolling months that pass, And from the town Lavinium shifts the dwelling of his race, 270 And maketh Alba-town the Long a mighty fenced place. Here when for thrice an hundred years untouched the land hath been Beneath the rule of Hector's folk, lo Ilia, priestess-queen, Goes heavy with the love of Mars, and bringeth twins to birth. 'Neath yellow hide of foster-wolf thence, mighty in his mirth, Comes Romulus to bear the folk, and Mavors' walls to frame, And by the word himself was called the Roman folk to name. On them I lay no bonds of time, no bonds of earthly part; I give them empire without end: yea, Juno, hard of heart, Who wearieth now with fear of her the heavens and earth and sea, 280 Shall gather better counsel yet, and cherish them with me; The Roman folk, the togaed men, lords of all worldly ways. Such is the doom. As weareth time there come those other days, Wherein Assaracus shall bind Mycenae of renown, And Phthia, and shall lord it o'er the Argives beaten down. Then shall a Trojan Caesar come from out a lovely name, The ocean-stream shall bound his rule, the stars of heaven his fame, Julius his name from him of old, the great Iulus sent: Him too in house of heaven one day 'neath spoils of Eastlands bent Thou, happy, shalt receive; he too shall have the prayers of men. 290 The wars of old all laid aside, the hard world bettereth then, And Vesta and the hoary Faith, Quirinus and his twin Now judge the world; the dreadful doors of War now shut within Their iron bolts and strait embrace the godless Rage of folk, Who, pitiless, on weapons set, and bound in brazen yoke Of hundred knots aback of him foams fell from bloody mouth."
Such words he spake, and from aloft he sent down Maia's youth To cause the lands and Carthage towers new-built to open gate And welcome in the Teucrian men; lest Dido, fooled of fate, 299 Should drive them from her country-side. The unmeasured air he beat With flap of wings, and speedily in Libya set his feet: And straightway there his bidding wrought, and from the Tyrians fall, God willing it, their hearts of war; and Dido first of all Took peace for Teucrians to her soul, and quiet heart and kind.
Now good AEneas through the night had many things in mind, And set himself to fare abroad at first of holy day To search the new land what it was, and on what shore he lay Driven by the wind; if manfolk there abode, or nought but deer, (For waste it seemed), and tidings true back to his folk to bear. So in that hollow bight of groves beneath the cavern cleft, 310 All hidden by the leafy trees and quavering shades, he left His ships: and he himself afoot went with Achates lone, Shaking in hand two slender spears with broad-beat iron done. But as he reached the thicket's midst his mother stood before, Who virgin face, and virgin arms, and virgin habit bore, A Spartan maid; or like to her who tames the Thracian horse, Harpalyce, and flies before the hurrying Hebrus' course. For huntress-wise on shoulder she had hung the handy bow, And given all her hair abroad for any wind to blow, And, naked-kneed, her kirtle long had gathered in a lap: 320 She spake the first: "Ho youths," she said, "tell me by any hap If of my sisters any one ye saw a wandering wide With quiver girt, and done about with lynx's spotted hide, Or following of the foaming boar with shouts and eager feet?"
So Venus; and so Venus' son began her words to meet: "I have not seen, nor have I heard thy sisters nigh this place, O maid:—and how to call thee then? for neither is thy face Of mortals, nor thy voice of men: O very Goddess thou! What! Phoebus' sister? or of nymphs whom shall I call thee now? But whosoe'er thou be, be kind and lighten us our toil, 330 And teach us where beneath the heavens, which spot of earthly soil We are cast forth; unlearned of men, unlearned of land we stray, By might of wind and billows huge here driven from out our way. Our right hands by thine altar-horns shall fell full many a host."
Spake Venus: "Nowise am I worth so much of honour's cost: The Tyrian maids are wont to bear the quiver even as I, And even so far upon the leg the purple shoe-thong tie. The Punic realm thou seest here, Agenor's town and folk, But set amidst of Libyan men unused to bear the yoke. Dido is Lady of the Land, who fled from Tyre the old, 340 And from her brother: weary long were all the ill deed told, And long its winding ways, but I light-foot will overpass. Her husband was Sychaeus hight, of land most rich he was Of all Phoenicians: she, poor wretch! loved him with mighty love, Whose father gave her, maid, to him, and first the rites did move Of wedlock: but as King of Tyre her brother did abide, Pygmalion, more swollen up in sin than any man beside: Mad hatred yoked the twain of them, he blind with golden lust, Godless with stroke of iron laid Sychaeus in the dust Unwares before the altar-horns; nor of the love did reck 350 His sister had, but with vain hope played on the lover sick, And made a host of feignings false, and hid the matter long. Till in her sleep the image came of that unburied wrong, Her husband dead; in wondrous wise his face was waxen pale: His breast with iron smitten through, the altar of his bale, The hooded sin of evil house, to her he open laid, And speedily to flee away from fatherland he bade; And for the help of travel showed earth's hidden wealth of old, A mighty mass that none might tell of silver and of gold. Sore moved hereby did Dido straight her flight and friends prepare: 360 They meet together, such as are or driven by biting fear, Or bitter hatred of the wretch: such ships as hap had dight They fall upon and lade with gold; forth fare the treasures bright Of wretch Pygmalion o'er the sea, a woman first therein. And so they come unto the place where ye may see begin The towers of Carthage, and the walls new built that mighty grow, And bought the Byrsa-field good cheap, as still the name shall show, So much of land as one bull's hide might scantly go about —But ye forsooth, what men are ye, from what land fare ye out, And whither go ye on your ways?" 370 Her questioning in speech He answered, and a heavy sigh from inmost heart did reach: "O Goddess, might I tread again first footsteps of our way, And if the annals of our toil thine hearkening ears might stay, Yet Vesper first on daylight dead should shut Olympus' door. From Troy the old, if yet perchance your ears have felt before That name go by, do we come forth, and, many a water past, A chance-come storm hath drifted us on Libyan shores at last. I am AEneas, God-lover; I snatched forth from the foe My Gods to bear aboard with me, a fame for heaven to know. I seek the Italian fatherland, and Jove-descended line; 380 Twice ten the ships were that I manned upon the Phrygian brine, My Goddess-mother led the way, we followed fate god-given; And now scarce seven are left to me by wave and east-wind riven; And I through Libyan deserts stray, a man unknown and poor, From Asia cast, from Europe cast," She might abide no more To hear his moan: she thrusts a word amidst his grief and saith: "Nay thou art not God's castaway, who drawest mortal breath, And fairest to the Tyrian town, if aught thereof I know. Set on to Dido's threshold then e'en as the way doth show. For take the tidings of thy ships and folk brought back again 390 By shifting of the northern wind all safe from off the main: Unless my parents learned me erst of soothsaying to wot But idly. Lo there twice seven swans disporting in a knot, Whom falling from the plain of air drave down the bird of Jove From open heaven: strung out at length they hang the earth above, And now seem choosing where to pitch, now on their choice to gaze, As wheeling round with whistling wings they sport in diverse ways And with their band ring round the pole and cast abroad their song. Nought otherwise the ships and youth that unto thee belong Hold haven now, or else full sail to harbour-mouth are come. 400 Set forth, set forth and tread the way e'en as it leadeth home."
She spake, she turned, from rosy neck the light of heaven she cast, And from her hair ambrosial the scent of Gods went past Upon the wind, and o'er her feet her skirts fell shimmering down, And very God she went her ways. Therewith his mother known, With such a word he followed up a-fleeing from his eyes:
"Ah cruel as a God! and why with images and lies Dost thou beguile me? wherefore then is hand to hand not given And we to give and take in words that come from earth and heaven?"
Such wise he chided her, and then his footsteps townward bent: 410 But Venus with a dusky air did hedge them as they went, And widespread cloak of cloudy stuff the Goddess round them wrapped, Lest any man had seen them there, or bodily had happed Across their road their steps to stay, and ask their dealings there. But she to Paphos and her home went glad amidst the air: There is her temple, there they stand, an hundred altars meet, Warm with Sabaean incense-smoke, with new-pulled blossoms sweet.
But therewithal they speed their way as led the road along; And now they scale a spreading hill that o'er the town is hung, And looking downward thereupon hath all the burg in face. 420 AEneas marvels how that world was once a peasants' place, He marvels at the gates, the roar and rattle of the ways. Hot-heart the Tyrians speed the work, and some the ramparts raise, Some pile the burg high, some with hand roll stones up o'er the ground; Some choose a place for dwelling-house and draw a trench around; Some choose the laws, and lords of doom, the holy senate choose. These thereaway the havens dig, and deep adown sink those The founding of the theatre walls, or cleave the living stone In pillars huge, one day to show full fair the scene upon. As in new summer 'neath the sun the bees are wont to speed 430 Their labour in the flowery fields, whereover now they lead The well-grown offspring of their race, or when the cells they store With flowing honey, till fulfilled of sweets they hold no more; Or take the loads of new-comers, or as a watch well set Drive off the lazy herd of drones that they no dwelling get; Well speeds the work, and thymy sweet the honey's odour is.
"Well favoured of the Fates are ye, whose walls arise in bliss!" AEneas cries, a-looking o'er the housetops spread below; Then, wonderful to tell in tale, hedged round with cloud doth go Amid the thickest press of men, and yet of none is seen. 440
A grove amid the town there is, a pleasant place of green, Where erst the Tyrians, beat by waves and whirling of the wind, Dug out the token Juno once had bidden them hope to find, An eager horse's head to wit: for thus their folk should grow Far-famed in war for many an age, of victual rich enow. There now did Dido, Sidon-born, uprear a mighty fane To Juno, rich in gifts, and rich in present godhead's gain: On brazen steps its threshold rose, and brass its lintel tied, And on their hinges therewithal the brazen door-leaves cried. And now within that grove again a new thing thrusting forth 450 'Gan lighten fear; for here to hope AEneas deemed it worth, And trust his fortune beaten down that yet it might arise. For there while he abode the Queen, and wandered with his eyes O'er all the temple, musing on the city's fate to be, And o'er the diverse handicraft and works of mastery, Lo there, set out before his face the battles that were Troy's, And wars, whereof all folk on earth had heard the fame and noise; King Priam, the Atridae twain, Achilles dire to both. He stood, and weeping spake withal: "Achates, lo! forsooth What place, what land in all the earth but with our grief is stored? 460 Lo Priam! and even here belike deed hath its own reward. Lo here are tears for piteous things that touch men's hearts anigh: Cast off thy fear! this fame today shall yet thy safety buy."
And with the empty painted thing he feeds his mind withal, Sore groaning, and a very flood adown his face did fall. For there he saw, as war around of Pergamus they cast, Here fled the Greeks, the Trojan youth for ever following fast; There fled the Phrygians, on their heels high-helmed Achilles' car; Not far off, fair with snowy cloths, the tents of Rhesus are; He knew them weeping: they of old in first of sleep betrayed, 470 Tydides red with many a death a waste of nothing made, And led those fiery steeds to camp ere ever they might have One mouthful of the Trojan grass, or drink of Xanthus' wave. And lo again, where Troilus is fleeing weaponless, Unhappy youth, and all too weak to bear Achilles' stress, By his own horses, fallen aback, at empty chariot borne, Yet holding on the reins thereof; his neck, his tresses torn O'er face of earth, his wrested spear a-writing in the dust. Meanwhile were faring to the fane of Pallas little just The wives of Troy with scattered hair, bearing the gown refused, 480 Sad they and suppliant, whose own hands their very bosoms bruised, While fixed, averse, the Goddess kept her eyes upon the ground. Thrice had Achilles Hector dragged the walls of Troy around, And o'er his body, reft of soul, was chaffering now for gold. Deep groaned AEneas from his heart in such wise to behold The car, the spoils, the very corpse of him, his fellow dead, To see the hands of Priam there all weaponless outspread. Yea, thrust amidst Achaean lords, his very self he knew; The Eastland hosts he saw, and arms of Memnon black of hue. There mad Penthesilea leads the maids of moony shield, 490 The Amazons, and burns amidst the thousands of the field, And with her naked breast thrust out above the golden girth, The warrior maid hath heart to meet the warriors of the earth.
But while AEneas, Dardan lord, beholds the marvels there, And, all amazed, stands moving nought with eyes in one set stare, Lo cometh Dido, very queen of fairest fashion wrought, By youths close thronging all about unto the temple brought. Yea, e'en as on Eurotas' rim or Cynthus' ridges high Diana leadeth dance about, a thousandfold anigh The following Oreads gather round, with shoulder quiver-hung 500 She overbears the Goddesses her swift feet fare among, And great Latona's silent breast the joys of godhead touch. Lo, such was Dido; joyously she bore herself e'en such Amidst them, eager for the work and ordered rule to come; Then through the Goddess' door she passed, and midmost 'neath the dome, High raised upon a throne she sat, with weapons hedged about, And doomed, and fashioned laws for men, and fairly sifted out And dealt their share of toil to them, or drew the lot as happed. There suddenly AEneas sees amidst a concourse wrapped Antheus, Sergestus, and the strong Cloanthus draw anigh, 510 And other Teucrians whom the whirl, wild, black, all utterly Had scattered into other lands afar across the sea. Amazed he stood, nor stricken was Achates less than he By joy, by fear: they hungered sore hand unto hand to set; But doubt of dealings that might be stirred in their hearts as yet; So lurking, cloaked in hollow cloud they note what things betide Their fellows there, and on what shore the ships they manned may bide, And whence they come; for chosen out of all the ships they bear Bidding of peace, and, crying out, thus temple-ward they fare.
But now when they were entered in, and gained the grace of speech, 520 From placid heart Ilioneus the elder 'gan beseech: "O Queen, to whom hath Jove here given a city new to raise, And with thy justice to draw rein on men of wilful ways, We wretched Trojans, tossed about by winds o'er every main, Pray thee forbid it from our ships, the dreadful fiery bane. Spare pious folk, and look on us with favouring kindly eyes! We are not come with sword to waste the Libyan families, Nor drive adown unto the strand the plunder of the strong: No such high hearts, such might of mind to vanquished folk belong. There is a place, Hesperia called of Greeks in days that are, 530 An ancient land, a fruitful soil, a mighty land in war. Oenotrian folk first tilled the land, whose sons, as rumours run, Now call it nought but Italy from him who led them on. And thitherward our course was turned, When sudden, stormy, tumbling seas, Orion rose on us, And wholly scattering us abroad with fierce blasts from the south, Drave us, sea-swept, by shallows blind, to straits with wayless mouth: But to thy shores we few have swum, and so betake us here. What men among men are ye then? what country's soil may bear Such savage ways? ye grudge us then the welcome of your sand, 540 And fall to arms, and gainsay us a tide-washed strip of strand. But if men-folk and wars of men ye wholly set at nought, Yet deem the Gods bear memory still of good and evil wrought AEneas was the king of us; no juster was there one, No better lover of the Gods, none more in battle shone: And if the Fates have saved that man, if earthly air he drink, Nor 'neath the cruel deadly shades his fallen body shrink, Nought need we fear, nor ye repent to strive in kindly deed With us: we have in Sicily fair cities to our need. And fields we have; Acestes high of Trojan blood is come. 550 Now suffer us our shattered ships in haven to bring home, To cut us timber in thy woods, and shave us oars anew. Then if the Italian cruise to us, if friends and king are due, To Italy and Latium then full merry wend we on. But if, dear father of our folk, hope of thy health be gone, And thee the Libyan water have, nor hope Iulus give, Then the Sicanian shores at least, and seats wherein to live, Whence hither came we, and the King Acestes let us seek."
So spake he, and the others made as they the same would speak, The Dardan-folk with murmuring mouth. 560
But Dido, with her head hung down, in few words answer gave: "Let fear fall from you, Teucrian men, and set your cares aside; Hard fortune yet constraineth me and this my realm untried To hold such heed, with guard to watch my marches up and down. Who knoweth not AEneas' folk? who knoweth not Troy-town, The valour, and the men, and all the flame of such a war? Nay, surely nought so dull as this the souls within us are, Nor turns the sun from Tyrian town, so far off yoking steed. So whether ye Hesperia great, and Saturn's acres need, Or rather unto Eryx turn, and King Acestes' shore, 570 Safe, holpen will I send you forth, and speed you with my store: Yea and moreover, have ye will in this my land to bide. This city that I build is yours: here leave your ships to ride: Trojan and Tyrian no two wise at hands of me shall fare. And would indeed the King himself, AEneas, with us were, Driven by that self-same southern gale: but sure men will I send, And bid them search through Libya from end to utmost end, Lest, cast forth anywhere, he stray by town or forest part."
Father AEneas thereupon high lifted up his heart, Nor stout Achates less, and both were fain the cloud to break; 580 And to AEneas first of all the leal Achates spake:
"O Goddess-born, what thought hereof ariseth in thy mind? All safe thou seest thy ships; thy folk fair welcomed dost thou find: One is away, whom we ourselves saw sunken in the deep; But all things else the promised word thy mother gave us keep."
Lo, even as he spake the word the cloud that wrapped them cleaves, And in the open space of heaven no dusk behind it leaves; And there AEneas stood and shone amid the daylight clear, With face and shoulders of a God: for loveliness of hair His mother breathed upon her son, and purple light of youth, 590 And joyful glory of the eyes: e'en as in very sooth The hand gives ivory goodliness, or when the Parian stone, Or silver with the handicraft of yellow gold is done: And therewithal unto the Queen doth he begin to speak, Unlooked-for of all men: "Lo here the very man ye seek, Trojan AEneas, caught away from Libyan seas of late! Thou, who alone of toils of Troy hast been compassionate, Who takest us, the leavings poor of Danaan sword, outworn With every hap of earth and sea, of every good forlorn, To city and to house of thine: to thank thee to thy worth, 600 Dido, my might may compass not; nay, scattered o'er the earth The Dardan folk, for what thou dost may never give thee meed: But if somewhere a godhead is the righteous man to heed, If justice is, or any soul to note the right it wrought, May the Gods give thee due reward. What joyful ages brought Thy days to birth? what mighty ones gave such an one today? Now while the rivers seaward run, and while the shadows stray O'er hollow hills, and while the pole the stars is pasturing wide, Still shall thine honour and thy name, still shall thy praise abide What land soever calleth me." 610 Therewith his right hand sought His very friend Ilioneus, his left Serestus caught, And then the others, Gyas strong, Cloanthus strong in fight.
Sidonian Dido marvelled much, first at the hero's sight, Then marvelled at the haps he had, and so such word doth say:
"O Goddess-born, what fate is this that ever dogs thy way With such great perils? What hath yoked thy life to this wild shore? And art thou that AEneas then, whom holy Venus bore Unto Anchises, Dardan lord, by Phrygian Simois' wave? Of Teucer unto Sidon come a memory yet I have, Who, driven from out his fatherland, was seeking new abode 620 By Belus' help: but Belus then, my father, over-rode Cyprus the rich, and held the same as very conquering lord: So from that tide I knew of Troy and bitter Fate's award, I knew of those Pelasgian kings—yea, and I knew thy name. He then, a foeman, added praise to swell the Teucrian fame, And oft was glad to deem himself of ancient Teucer's line. So hasten now to enter in 'neath roofs of me and mine. Me too a fortune such as yours, me tossed by many a toil, Hath pleased to give abiding-place at last upon this soil, Learned in illhaps full wise am I unhappy men to aid." 630
Such tale she told, and therewith led to house full kingly made AEneas, bidding therewithal the Gods with gifts to grace; Nor yet their fellows she forgat upon the sea-beat place, But sendeth them a twenty bulls, an hundred bristling backs Of swine, an hundred fatted lambs, whereof his ewe none lacks, And gifts and gladness of the God. Meanwhile the gleaming house within with kingly pomp is dight, And in the midmost of the hall a banquet they prepare: Cloths laboured o'er with handicraft, and purple proud is there; Great is the silver on the board, and carven out of gold 640 The mighty deeds of father-folk, a long-drawn tale, is told, Brought down through many and many an one from when their race began.
AEneas, through whose father's heart unquiet love there ran, Sent on the swift Achates now unto the ships to speed, To bear Ascanius all these haps, and townward him to lead; For on Ascanius well beloved was all his father's thought: And therewithal gifts good to give from Ilium's ruin caught He bade him bring: a cope all stiff with golden imagery; With saffron soft acanthus twine a veil made fair to see; The Argive Helen's braveries, brought from Mycenae erst, 650 When she was seeking Pergamos and wedding all accursed: Her mother Leda gave her these and marvellous they were. A sceptre too that Ilione in days agone did bear, The eldest-born of Priam's maids; a neckchain pearl bestrown, And, doubly wrought with gold and gems, a kingly-fashioned crown. So to the ships Achates went these matters forth to speed.
But Cytherea in her heart turned over new-wrought rede, New craft; how, face and fashion changed, her son the very Love For sweet Ascanius should come forth, and, gift-giving, should move The Queen to madness, make her bones the yoke-fellows of flame. 660 Forsooth the doubtful house she dreads, the two-tongued Tyrian name; And bitter Juno burneth her, and care the night doth wake: Now therefore to the winged Love such words as this she spake:
"O son, my might, my only might, who fearest nought at all How his, the highest Father's bolts, Typhoeus' bane, may fall, To thee I flee, and suppliant so thy godhead's power beseech: Thy brother, e'en AEneas, tossed on every sea-side beach Thou knowest; all the fashioning of wrongful Juno's hate Thou knowest; oft upon my grief with sorrow wouldst thou wait. Him now Phoenician Dido holds, and with kind words enow 670 Delays him there, but unto what Junonian welcomes grow I fear me: will she hold her hand when thus the hinge is dight? Now therefore am I compassing to catch their craft in flight, To ring the Queen about with flame that her no power may turn, That she may cling to me and sore for mine AEneas yearn. Now hearken how I counsel thee to bring about my will: The kingly boy his father calls, he whom I cherish still, To that Sidonian city now is ready dight to fare, And gifts, the gleanings of the sea and flames of Troy, doth bear, Whom soaked in sleep forthwith will I in high Cythera hide, 680 Or in Idalium's holy place where I am wont to bide, Lest any one the guile should know and thrust themselves between: But thou with craft his fashion feign, and with his face be seen Well known of all, for no more space than one night's wearing by; And so, when Dido, gladdest grown, shall take thee up to lie Upon her breast 'twixt queenly board and great Lyaeus' wave, And thou the winding of her arms and kisses sweet shalt have, Then breathe the hidden flame in her and forge thy venomed guile."
His lovesome mother Love obeyed, and doffed his wings awhile, And as Iulus goeth now rejoicing on his way. 690 But Venus all Ascanius' limbs in quiet rest doth lay, And cherished in her goddess' breast unto Idalian groves She bears him, where the marjoram still soft about him moves And breatheth sweet from scented shade and blossoms on the air. Love wrought her will, and bearing now those royal gifts and rare, Unto the Tyrians joyous went, e'en as Achates led. But when he came into the house, there on her golden bed With hangings proud Queen Dido lay amidmost of the place: The father then, AEneas, then the youth of Trojan race, There gather, and their bodies cast on purple spread abroad. 700 Folk serve them water for their hands, and speed the baskets stored With Ceres, and the towels soft of close-clipped nap they bear. Within were fifty serving-maids, whose long array had care To furnish forth the meat and drink, and feed the house-gods' flame; An hundred more, and youths withal of age and tale the same, Set on the meat upon the board and lay the cups about. And now through that wide joyous door came thronging from without The Tyrians, and, so bidden, lie on benches painted fair. They wonder at AEneas' gifts, and at Iulus there, The flaming countenance of God, and speech so feigned and fine; 710 They wonder at the cope and veil with that acanthus twine. And chiefly that unhappy one doomed to the coming ill, Nor hungry hollow of her heart nor burning eyes may fill With all beholding: gifts and child alike her heart do move. But he, when he had satisfied his feigned father's love, And clipped AEneas all about, and round his neck had hung, Went to the Queen, who with her eyes and heart about him clung, And whiles would strain him to her breast—poor Dido! knowing nought What God upon her bosom sat; who ever had in thought His Acidalian mother's word, and slowly did begin 720 To end Sychaeus quite, and with a living love to win Her empty soul at rest, and heart unused a weary tide.
But when the feasting first was stayed, and boards were done aside, Great beakers there they set afoot, and straight the wine they crowned. A shout goes up within the house, great noise they roll around The mighty halls: the candles hang adown from golden roof All lighted, and the torches' flame keeps dusky night aloof. And now a heavy bowl of gold and gems the Queen bade bring And fill with all unwatered wine, which erst used Belus king, 729 And all from Belus come: therewith through the hushed house she said:
"O Jupiter! they say by thee the guesting laws were made; Make thou this day to Tyrian folk, and folk come forth from Troy, A happy day, and may our sons remember this our joy! Mirth-giver Bacchus, fail thou not from midst our mirth! be kind, O Juno! and ye Tyrian folk, be glad this bond to bind!"
She spake, and on the table poured the glorious wave of wine, Then touched the topmost of the bowl with dainty lip and fine, And, egging on, to Bitias gave: nought slothful to be told The draught he drained, who bathed himself within the foaming gold; Then drank the other lords of them: long-haired Iopas then 740 Maketh the golden harp to sing, whom Atlas most of men Erst taught: he sings the wandering moon and toiling of the sun, And whence the kind of men and beasts, how rain and fire begun, Arcturus, the wet Hyades, and twin-wrought Northern Bears: And why so swift the winter sun unto his sea-bath fares, And what delayeth night so long upon the daylight's hem. Then praise on praise the Tyrians shout, the Trojans follow them.
Meanwhile unhappy Dido wore the night-tide as it sank In diverse talk, and evermore long draughts of love she drank, And many a thing of Priam asked, of Hector many a thing: 750 With what-like arms Aurora's son had come unto the King; What were the steeds of Diomed, how great Achilles was. At last she said: "But come, O guest, tell all that came to pass From earliest tide; of Danaan craft, and how thy land was lorn, And thine own wanderings; for as now the seventh year is worn That thee a-straying wide away o'er earth and sea hath borne."
AENEAS TELLETH TO DIDO AND THE TYRIANS THE STORY OF TROY'S OVERTHROW.
All hearkened hushed, and fixed on him was every face of man, As from the couch high set aloft AEneas thus began:
"Unutterable grief, O Queen, thou biddest me renew The falling of the Trojan weal and realm that all shall rue 'Neath Danaan might; which thing myself unhappy did behold, Yea, and was no small part thereof. What man might hear it told Of Dolopes, or Myrmidons, or hard Ulysses' band, And keep the tears back? Dewy night now falleth from the land Of heaven, and all the setting stars are bidding us to sleep: But if to know our evil hap thy longing is so deep, 10 If thou wilt hear a little word of Troy's last agony, Though memory shuddereth, and my heart shrunk up in grief doth lie, I will begin. By battle broke, and thrust aback by Fate Through all the wearing of the years, the Danaan lords yet wait And build a horse up mountain-huge by Pallas' art divine, Fair fashioning the ribs thereof with timbers of the pine, And feign it vowed for safe return, and let the fame fly forth. Herein by stealth a sort of men chosen for bodies' worth Amid its darkness do they shut; the caverns inly lost Deep in the belly of the thing they fill with armed host. 20
In sight of Troy lies Tenedos, an island known of all, And rich in wealth before the realm of Priam had its fall, Now but a bay and roadstead poor, where scarcely ships may ride. So thither now they sail away in desert place to hide. We thought them gone, and that they sought Mycenae on a wind, Whereat the long-drawn grief of Troy fell off from every mind.
The gates are opened; sweet it is the Dorian camp to see, The dwellings waste, the shore all void where they were wont to be: Here dwelt the band of Dolopes, here was Achilles set, 29 And this was where their ships were beached; here edge to edge we met. Some wonder at unwedded maid Minerva's gift of death, That baneful mountain of a horse; and first Thymoetes saith 'Twere good in walls to lead the thing, on topmost burg to stand; Whether such word the fate of Troy or evil treason planned I know not: Capys and the rest, who better counsel have, Bid take the fashioned guile of Greeks, the doubtful gift they gave, To tumble it adown to sea, with piled-up fire to burn, Or bore the belly of the beast its hidden holes to learn; So cleft atwain is rede of men abiding there in doubt.
But first before all others now with much folk all about 40 Laocoon the fiery man runs from the burg adown, And shouts from far: 'O wretched men, how hath such madness grown? Deem ye the foe hath fared away? Deem ye that Danaan gifts May ever lack due share of guile? Are these Ulysses' shifts? For either the Achaeans lurk within this fashioned tree, Or 'tis an engine wrought with craft bane of our walls to be, To look into our very homes, and scale the town perforce: Some guile at least therein abides: Teucrians, trust not the horse! Whatso it is, the Danaan folk, yea gift-bearing I fear.' 49
Thus having said, with valiant might he hurled a huge-wrought spear Against the belly of the beast swelled out with rib and stave; It stood a-trembling therewithal; its hollow caverns gave From womb all shaken with the stroke a mighty sounding groan. And but for God's heart turned from us, for God's fate fixed and known, He would have led us on with steel to foul the Argive den, And thou, O Troy, wert standing now, thou Priam's burg as then!
But lo, where Dardan shepherds lead, with plenteous clamour round, A young man unto Priam's place with hands behind him bound, Who privily had thrust himself before their way e'en now The work to crown, and into Troy an open way to show 60 Unto the Greeks; a steadfast soul, prepared for either end, Or utterly to work his craft or unto death to bend. Eager to see him as he went around the Trojans flock On every side, and each with each contend the man to mock. Lo now, behold the Danaan guile, and from one wrong they wrought Learn ye what all are like to be. For as he stood in sight of all, bewildered, weaponless, And let his eyes go all around the gazing Phrygian press, He spake: 'What land shall have me now, what sea my head shall hide? What then is left of deed to do that yet I must abide? 70 No place I have among the Greeks, and Dardan folk withal My foemen are, and bloody end, due doom, upon me call.'
And with that wail our hearts were turned, and somewhat backward hung The press of men: we bade him say from whence his blood was sprung, And what he did, and if indeed a captive we might trust; So thus he spake when now all fear from off his heart was thrust:
'Whatso betide, to thee, O King, the matter's verity Will I lay bare unto the end, nor Argive blood deny: This firstly; for if Fate indeed shaped Sinon for all bale To make him liar and empty fool her worst may not avail. 80 Perchance a rumour of men's talk about your ears hath gone, Telling of Palamedes' fame and glory that he won, The son of Belus: traitors' word undid him innocent; By unjust doom for banning war the way of death he went, Slain by Pelasgian men, that now his quenched light deplore. Fellow to him, and nigh akin, I went unto the war, Sent by my needy father forth, e'en from my earliest years; Now while he reigned in health, a king fair blooming mid his peers In council of the kings, I too had share of name and worth. But after he had gone his way from land of upper earth, 90 Thrust down by sly Ulysses' hate, (I tell all men's belief), Then beaten down I dragged my life through shadowy ways of grief, And heavily I took the death of him my sackless friend, Nor held my peace, O fool! but vowed revenge if time should send A happy tide; if I should come to Argos any more, A victor then: so with my words I drew down hatred sore. This was the first fleck of my ill; Ulysses ever now Would threaten with some new-found guilt, and mid the folk would sow Dark sayings, and knowing what was toward, sought weapons new at need; Nor wearied till with Calchas now to help him to the deed.— 100 —But why upturn these ugly things, or spin out time for nought? For if ye deem all Greekish men in one same mould are wrought: It is enough. Come make an end; Ulysses' hope fulfil! With great price would the Atridae buy such working of their will.'
Then verily to know the thing and reach it deep we burned, So little in Pelasgian guile and evil were we learned. He takes the tale up; fluttering-voiced from lying heart he speaks:
'The longing to be gone from Troy fell oft upon the Greeks, And oft they fain had turned their backs on war without an end, (I would they had), and oft as they were e'en at point to wend 110 A tempest would forbid the sea, or southern gale would scare, And chiefly when with maple-beams this horse that standeth here They fashioned, mighty din of storm did all the heavens fulfil. So held aback, Eurypylus we sent to learn the will Of Phoebus: from the shrine he brought such heavy words as these: With blood and with a virgin's death did ye the winds appease When first ye came, O Danaan folk, unto the Ilian shore; With blood and with an Argive soul the Gods shall ye adore For your return. 'Now when that word men's ears had gone about Their hearts stood still, and tremors cold took all their bones for doubt What man the Fates had doomed thereto, what man Apollo would. 121 Amidst us then the Ithacan drags in with clamour rude Calchas the seer, and wearieth him the Gods' will to declare. Of that craftsmaster's cruel guile had many bade beware In words, and many silently foresaw the coming death. Twice five days Calchas holdeth peace and, hidden, gainsayeth To speak the word that any man to very death should cast, Till hardly, by Ulysses' noise sore driven, at the last He brake out with the speech agreed, and on me laid the doom; All cried assent, and what each man feared on himself might come, 130 'Gainst one poor wretch's end of days with ready hands they bear. Now came the evil day; for me the rites do men prepare, The salted cakes, the holy strings to do my brows about. I needs must say I brake my bonds, from Death's house gat me out, And night-long lay amid the sedge by muddy marish side Till they spread sail, if they perchance should win their sailing tide. Nor have I hope to see again my fatherland of old; My longed-for father and sweet sons I never shall behold; On whom the guilt of me who fled mayhappen men will lay, And with their death for my default the hapless ones shall pay. 140 But by the might of very God, all sooth that knoweth well, By all the unstained faith that yet mid mortal men doth dwell, If aught be left, I pray you now to pity such distress! Pity a heart by troubles tried beyond its worthiness!'
His weeping won his life of us, and pity thereunto, And Priam was the first who bade his irons to undo, And hand-bonds, and in friendly words unto the man he speaks:
'Whoso thou art, henceforward now forget thy missing Greeks; Thou shalt be ours: but learn me now, who fain the sooth would wot, Wherefore they built this world of horse, what craftsman him begot, 150 And what to do? What gift for Gods; what gin of war is he?'
He spake. The other, wise in guile and Greekish treachery, Both palms of his from bonds new-freed raised toward the stars above, And, 'O eternal fires!' he cried, 'O might that none may move, Bear witness now! ye altar-stones, ye wicked swords I fled, Ye holy fillets of the Gods bound round my fore-doomed head, That I all hallowed Greekish rites may break and do aright, That I may hate the men and bring all hidden things to light If aught lie hid; nor am I held by laws my country gave! But thou, O Troy, abide by troth, and well thy saviour save, 160 If truth I bear thee, if great things for great I pay thee o'er!
'All hope the Danaans had, all trust for speeding on the war On Pallas' aid was ever set: yet came a day no less When godless Diomed and he, well-spring of wickedness, Ulysses, brake the holy place that they by stealth might gain The fate-fulfilled Palladium, when, all the burg-guards slain, They caught the holy image up, and durst their bloody hands Lay on the awful Goddess there and touch her holy bands: The flood-tide of the Danaan hope ebbed from that very day; Might failed them, and the Goddess-maid turned all her heart away: 170 Token whereof Tritonia gave by portent none might doubt: Scarce was the image set in camp when suddenly flashed out Fierce fire from staring eyes of her, and salt sweat oozed and fell O'er all her limbs, and she from earth, O wonderful to tell! Leapt thrice, still holding in her hand the quivering spear and shield: Then Calchas bade us turn to flight across the wavy field, Singing how ruin of Pergamos the Argive steel shall lack, Till Argos give the signs again, and we the God bring back In hollow of the curved keel across the tumbling main. And this is why they sought their home, Mycenae's land, again, 180 And there they dight them arms and God, and presently unwares Will be on you across the sea—Calchas such doom declares. So warned hereby for Godhead's hurt, in stolen Palladium's stead, Atonement for their heavy guilt, this horse they fashioned. But him indeed did Calchas bid to pile so mountain-high With such a might of mingled beams, and lead up to the sky, Lest it within the gates should come, or mid the walls, and lest Beneath their ancient Pallas-faith the people safe should rest. For if upon Minerva's gift ye lay a godless hand, Then mighty ruin (and would to God before his face might stand 190 That ruin instead) on Priam's might, and Phrygian folk shall fall. But if your hands shall lead it up within the city wall, Then Asia, free and willing it, to Pelops' house shall come With mighty war; and that same fate our sons shall follow home.'
Caught by such snares and crafty guile of Sinon the forsworn, By lies and lies, and tears forced forth there were we overborne; We, whom Tydides might not tame, nor Larissaean king Achilles; nor the thousand ships, and ten years' wearying.
But now another, greater hap, a very birth of fear, Was thrust before us wretched ones, our sightless hearts to stir. 200 Laocoon, chosen out by lot for mighty Neptune's priest, Would sacrifice a mighty bull at altars of the feast; When lo, away from Tenedos, o'er quiet of the main (I tremble in the tale) we see huge coils of serpents twain Breasting the sea, and side by side swift making for the shore; Whose fronts amid the flood were strained, and high their crests upbore Blood-red above the waves, the rest swept o'er the sea behind, And all the unmeasured backs of them coil upon coil they wind, While sends the sea great sound of foam. And now the meads they gained, The burning eyes with flecks of blood and streaks of fire are stained, Their mouths with hisses all fulfilled are licked by flickering tongue. 211 Bloodless we flee the sight, but they fare steadfastly along Unto Laocoon; and first each serpent round doth reach One little body of his sons, and knitting each to each, And winding round and round about, the unhappy body gnaws: And then himself, as sword in hand anigh for help he draws, They seize and bind about in coils most huge, and presently Are folded twice about his midst, twice round his neck they tie Their scaly backs, and hang above with head and toppling mane, While he both striveth with his hands to rend their folds atwain, 220 His fillets covered o'er with blood and venom black and fell, And starward sendeth forth withal a cry most horrible, The roaring of a wounded bull who flees the altar-horn And shaketh from his crest away the axe unhandy borne.
But fleeing to the shrines on high do those two serpents glide, And reach the hard Tritonia's house, and therewithin they hide Beneath the Goddess' very feet and orbed shield of dread; Then through our quaking hearts indeed afresh the terror spread, And all men say Laocoon hath paid but worthily For guilt of his, and hurt of steel upon the holy tree, 230 When that unhappy wicked spear against its flank he threw. They cry to lead the image on to holy house and due, And Pallas' godhead to adore. We break adown our rampart walls and bare the very town: All gird themselves unto the work, set wheels that it may glide Beneath his feet, about his neck the hempen bond is tied To warp it on: up o'er the walls so climbs the fateful thing Fruitful of arms; and boys about and unwed maidens sing The holy songs, and deem it joy hand on the ropes to lay. It enters; through the city's midst it wends its evil way. 240 —O land! O Ilium, house of Gods! O glorious walls of war! O Dardan walls!—four times amidst the threshold of our door It stood: four times with sound of arms the belly of it rung; But heedless, maddened hearts and blind, hard on the ropes we hung, Nor but amidst the holy burg the monster's feet we stay. And then Cassandra oped her mouth to tell the fateful day,— Her mouth that by the Gods' own doom the Teucrians ne'er might trow. Then on this day that was our last we bear the joyous bough, Poor wretches! through the town to deck each godhead's holy place.
Meanwhile the heavens are faring round, night falls on ocean's face, 250 Enwrapping in her mighty shade all earthly things and sky, And all the guile of Myrmidons: silent the Teucrians lie Through all the town, and Sleep her arms o'er wearied bodies slips.
And now the Argive host comes forth upon its ordered ships From Tenedos, all hushed amid the kind moon's silent ways, Seeking the well-known strand, when forth there breaks the bale-fire's blaze On the king's deck: and Sinon, kept by Gods' unequal fate, For Danaans hid in horse's womb undoes the piny gate In stealthy wise: them now the horse, laid open to the air, Gives forth again, and glad from out the hollow wood they fare; 260 Thessandrus, Sthenelus, the dukes, and dire Ulysses pass; Slipped down along a hanging rope, Thoas and Acamas, Peleian Neoptolemus, and Machaon the first, And Menelaues, and the man who forged the guile accursed, Epeos. Through the city sunk in sleep and wine they break, Slain are the guards, at gates all oped their fellows in they take, Till all their bands confederate are met at last in one.
It was the time when that first peace of sick men hath begun, By very gift of God o'er all in sweetest wise to creep, When Hector comes before mine eyes amid the dreams of sleep, 270 Most sorrowful to see he was, and weeping plenteous flood, And e'en as torn behind the car, black with the dust and blood, His feet all swollen with the thong that pierced them through and through. Woe worth the while for what he was! How changed from him we knew! The Hector come from out the fight in arms Achilles lost, The Hector that on Danaan decks the Phrygian firebrands tost. Foul was his beard, and all his hair was matted up with gore, And on his body were the wounds, the many wounds he bore Around his Troy. I seemed in sleep, I weeping e'en as he, To speak unto the hero first in voice of misery: 280
'O Light of Troy, most faithful hope of all the Teucrian men, What stay hath held thee back so long? from what shore com'st thou then, Long-looked-for Hector? that at last, so many died away, Such toil of city, toil of men, we see thy face today, We so forewearied? What hath fouled in such an evil wise Thy cheerful face? what mean these hurts thou showest to mine eyes?'
Nought: nor my questions void and vain one moment turned his speech; Who from the inmost of his heart a heavy groan did reach: 'O Goddess-born, flee forth,' he said, 'and snatch thee from the fire! The foeman hath the walls, and Troy is down from topmost spire. 290 For Priam and for country now enough. If any hand Might have kept Pergamos, held up by mine it yet should stand. Her holy things and household gods Troy gives in charge to thee; Take these as fellows of thy fate: go forth the walls to see, The great walls thou shalt build, when thou the sea hast wandered o'er.'
He spake, and from the inner shrine forth in his hands he bore Great Vesta, and the holy bands, and fire that never dies.
Meanwhile the city's turmoiled woe was wrought in diverse wise, And though my father's house aback apart from all was set, And hedged about with many trees, clearer and clearer yet 300 The sounds grew on us, ever swelled the weapons' dread and din. I shake off sleep and forthwithal climb up aloft and win To topmost roof: with ears pricked up I stand to hearken all. As when before the furious South the driven flame doth fall Among the corn: or like as when the hill-flood rolls in haste To waste the fields and acres glad, the oxen's toil to waste, Tearing the headlong woods along, while high upon a stone The unready shepherd stands amazed, and hears the sound come on.
Then was their faith made manifest, then Danaan guile lay bare; Deiphobus' wide house e'en now, o'ertopped by Vulcan's flare, Shows forth its fall; Ucalegon's is burning by its side: 310 The narrow seas Sigaeum guards gleam litten far and wide. The shout of men ariseth now, and blaring of the horn, And mad, I catch my weapons up though idly they be borne; But burned my heart to gather folk for battle, and set forth Upon the burg in fellowship; for fury and great wrath Thrust on my heart: to die in arms, it seemed a good reward.
But lo, now Panthus newly slipped from 'neath the Achean sword, Panthus the son of Othrys, priest of Phoebus' house on high; His holy things and vanquished Gods, his little lad thereby 320 He drags, and as a madman runs, to gain our doorway set. 'Panthus, how fares it at the worst? what stronghold keep we yet?' Scarce had I said, when from his mouth a groan and answer fares:
'Troy's latest day has come on us, a tide no struggling wears: Time was, the Trojans were; time was, and Ilium stood; time was, And glory of the Teucrian folk! Jove biddeth all to pass To Argos now: in Troy afire the Danaans now are lords; The horse high set amidst the town pours forth a flood of swords, And Sinon, of the victors now, the flame is driving home High mocking: by the open gates another sort is come, 330 As many thousands as ere flocked from great Mycenae yet: Others with weapons ready dight the narrow ways beset, And ban all passage; point and edge are glittering drawn and bare Ready for death: and scarcely now the first few gatewards dare The battle, and blind game of Mars a little while debate.'
Spurred by such speech of Othrys' son, and force of godhead great, Mid fire and steel I follow on as grim Erinnys shows, Where call the cries, where calls the shout that ever heavenward goes, Rhipeus therewith, and Epytus the mighty under shield, Dymas and Hypanis withal their fellowship now yield; 340 Met by the moon they join my side with young Coroebus; he The son of Mygdon, at that tide in Troy-town chanced to be; Drawn thither by Cassandra's love that burned within his heart. So he to Priam service gave, and helped the Phrygian part: Unhappy! that the warning word of his God-maddened love He might not hearken on that day. Now when I see them gathered so to dare the battle's pain, Thus I begin: 'O fellows fair, O hardy hearts in vain! If now ye long to follow me who dares the utterance And certain end, ye see indeed what wise our matters chance. 350 The Gods, who in the other days our lordship mighty made, Are gone from altar and from shrine: a town of flames ye aid. Fall on a very midst the fire and die in press of war! One hope there is for vanquished men, to cherish hope no more.'
Therewith the fury of their minds I feed, and thence away, As ravening wolves by night and cloud their bellies' lust obey, That bitter-sharp is driving on, the while their whelps at home Dry-jawed await them, so by steel, by crowd of foes we come Into the very death; we hold the city's midmost street, Black night-tide's wings with hollow shade about our goings meet. 360
O ruin and death of that ill night, what tongue may set it forth! Or who may pay the debt of tears that agony was worth! The ancient city overthrown, lord for so many a year, The many bodies of the slain, that, moveless, everywhere Lie in the street, in houses lie, lie round the holy doors Of Gods. But not alone that night the blood of Teucrians pours, For whiles the valour comes again in vanquished hearts to bide, And conquering Danaans fall and die: grim grief on every side, And fear on every side there is, and many-faced is death.
Androgeus, whom a mighty band of Danaans followeth, 370 First falleth on the road of us, and, deeming us to be His fellow-folk, in friendly words he speaketh presently:
'Haste on, O men! what sloth is this delayeth so your ways? While others hand and haul away in Pergamos ablaze; What! fellows, from the lofty ships come ye but even now?'
But with the word, no answer had wherein at all to trow, He felt him fallen amid the foe, and taken in the snare; Then foot and voice aback he drew, and stood amazed there, As one who through the thicket thrusts, and unawares doth tread Upon a snake, and starts aback with sudden rush of dread 380 From gathering anger of the thing and swelling neck of blue: So, quaking at the sight of us, Androgeus backward drew. But we fall on with serried arms and round their rout we crowd, And fell them knowing nought the place, and with all terror cowed: So sweet the breath of fortune was on our first handicraft.
But with good-hap and hardihood Coroebus' spirit laughed; 'Come, fellows, follow up,' he cries, 'the way that fortune shows This first of times, and where belike a little kind she grows. Change we our shields, and do on us the tokens of the Greeks; Whether with fraud or force he play what man of foeman seeks, 390 Yea, these themselves shall give us arms.' He spake, and forth did bear Androgeus' high-crested helm and shield emblazoned fair, And did it on, and Argive sword he girt unto his thigh: So Rhipeus did, and Dymas did, and all did joyously, And each man wholly armed himself with plunder newly won. Then mingled with the Greeks we fare, and no God helps us on, And many a battle there we join amid the eyeless night, And many a Danaan send adown to Orcus from the light: Some fled away unto the ships, some to the safe sea-shore, 399 Or smitten with the coward's dread climbed the great horse once more And there they lie all close within the well-known womb of wood.
Alas! what skills it man to trust in Gods compelled to good? For lo, Cassandra, Priam's maid, with hair cast all about, From Pallas' house and innermost of holy place dragged out, And straining with her burning eyes in vain to heaven aloft; Her eyes, for they in bonds had bound her tender palms and soft. Nought bore Coroebus' maddened mind to see that show go by, And in the middle of their host he flung himself to die, And all we follow and fall on with points together set. And first from that high temple-top great overthrow we get 410 From weapons of our friends, and thence doth hapless death arise From error of the Greekish crests and armour's Greekish guise; Then crying out for taken maid, fulfilled thereat with wrath, The gathered Greeks fall in on us: comes keenest Ajax forth; The sons of Atreus, all the host of Dolopes are there:— As whiles, the knit whirl broken up, the winds together bear And strive, the West wind and the South, the East wind glad and free With Eastland steeds; sore groan the woods; and Nereus stirs the sea From lowest deeps, and trident shakes, and foams upon the wave:— They even to whom by night and cloud great overthrow we gave, 420 Through craft of ours, and drave about through all the town that while, Now show themselves, and know our shields and weapons worn for guile The first of all; our mouths unmeet for Greekish speech they tell Then o'er us sweeps the multitude; and first Coroebus fell By Peneleus before the Maid who ever in the fight Prevaileth most; fell Rhipeus there, the heedfullest of right Of all among the Teucrian folk, the justest man of men; The Gods deemed otherwise. Dymas and Hypanis died then, Shot through by friends, and not a whit availed to cover thee, O Panthus, thine Apollo's bands or plenteous piety. 430 Ashes of Ilium, ye last flames where my beloved ones burned, Bear witness mid your overthrow my face was never turned From Danaan steel and Danaan deed! if fate had willed it so That I should fall, I earned my wage. Borne thence away, we go Pelias and Iphitus and I; but Iphitus was spent By eld, and by Ulysses' hurt half halting Pelias went. So unto Priam's house we come, called by the clamour there, Where such a mighty battle was as though none otherwhere Yet burned: as though none others fell in all the town beside. There all unbridled Mars we saw, the Danaans driving wide 440 Against the house; with shield-roofs' rush the doors thereof beset. The ladders cling unto the walls, men by the door-posts get Some foothold up; with shielded left they meet the weapons' rain, While on the battlements above grip with the right they gain. The Dardans on the other side pluck roof and pinnacle From off the house; with such-like shot they now, beholding well The end anigh, all death at hand, make ready for the play: And gilded beams, the pomp and joy of fathers passed away. They roll adown, and other some with naked point and edge The nether doorways of the place in close arrayment hedge. 450 Blazed up our hearts again to aid this palace of a king, To stead their toil, to vanquished men a little help to bring.
A door there was, a secret pass into the common way Of all King Priam's houses there, that at the backward lay As one goes by: in other days, while yet the lordship was, Hapless Andromache thereby unto the twain would pass Alone, or leading to the king Astyanax her boy. And thereby now I gain the tower, whence wretched men of Troy In helpless wise from out their hands were casting darts aloof. There was a tower, a sheer hight down, builded from highest roof 460 Up toward the stars; whence we were wont on Troy to look adown, And thence away the Danaan ships, the Achaean tented town. Against the highest stage hereof the steel about we bear, Just where the joints do somewhat give: this from its roots we tear, And heave it up and over wall, whose toppling at the last Bears crash and ruin, and wide away the Danaans are down cast Beneath its fall: but more come on: nor drift of stones doth lack, Nor doth all kind of weapon-shot at any while grow slack. Lo, Pyrrhus in the very porch forth to the door doth pass Exulting; bright with glittering points and flashing of the brass; 470 —E'en as a snake to daylight come, on evil herbage fed, Who, swollen, 'neath the chilly soil hath had his winter bed, And now, his ancient armour doffed, and sleek with youth new found, With front upreared his slippery back he coileth o'er the ground Up 'neath the sun; his three-cleft tongue within his mouth gleams clear:— And with him Periphas the huge, Achilles' charioteer, Now shield-bearer Automedon and all the Scyrian host Closed on the walls and on the roof the blazing firebrands tost. Pyrrhus in forefront of them all catches a mighty bill, Beats in the hardened door, and tears perforce from hinge and sill 480 The brazen leaves; a beam hewn through, wide gaped the oak hard knit Into a great-mouthed window there, and through the midst of it May men behold the inner house; the long halls open lie; Bared is the heart of Priam's home, the place of kings gone by; And close against the very door all armed men they see.
That inner house indeed was mazed with wail and misery, The inmost chambers of the place an echoing hubbub hold Of women's cries, whose clamour smites the far-off stars of gold, And through the house so mighty great the fearful mothers stray, And wind their arms about the doors, and kisses on them lay. 490
But Pyrrhus with his father's might comes on; no bolt avails, No man against the might of him; the door all battered fails, The door-leaves torn from off of hinge tumble and lie along: Might maketh road; through passage forced the entering Danaans throng, And slay the first and fill the place with armour of their ranks. Nay nought so great is foaming flood that through its bursten banks Breaks forth, and beateth down the moles that 'gainst its going stand. And falls a fierce heap on the plain, and over all the land Drags off the herds and herd-houses. There saw I Pyrrhus wild With death of men amidst the door, and either Atreus' child; 500 And Hecuba and hundred wives her sons wed saw I there, And Priam fouling with his blood the very altars fair Whose fires he hallowed: fifty beds the hope of house to be, The doorways proud with outland gold and war-got bravery Sunk into ash; where fire hath failed the Danaans are enow.
Belike what fate on Priam fell thou askest me to show: For when he saw the city lost, and his own house-door stormed, And how in bowels of his house the host of foemen swarmed, The ancient man in vain does on the arms long useless laid About his quaking back of eld, and girds himself with blade 510 Of no avail, and fareth forth amid the press to die. A very midmost of the courts beneath the naked sky A mighty altar stood: anear a bay exceeding old, The altar and the Gods thereof did all in shadow hold; And round about that altar-stead sat Hecuba the queen, And many daughters: e'en as doves all huddled up are seen 'Neath the black storm they cling about the dear God's images.
But when in arms of early days King Priam now she sees, She crieth: 'O unhappy spouse! what evil heart hast thou, With weapons thus to gird thyself, or whither wilt thou now? 520 Today availeth no such help, and no such warder's stay May better aught; not even were my Hector here today. But come thou hither unto me; this altar all shall save, Or we shall die together here!' Her arms about she gave And took him, and the elder set adown in holy stead.
But lo! now one of Priam's sons, Polites, having fled From Pyrrhus' murder through the swords and through the foeman's throng, Runs wounded through the empty hall from out the cloister long, And burning Pyrrhus, hard at heel, the deadly hurt doth bear, And grip of hand is on him now, and now the point of spear. 530 But as he rushed before their eyes, his parents' face beneath He fell, and with most plenteous blood shed forth his latest breath; Then Priam, howsoever nigh the very death might grip, Refrained him nothing at the sight, but voice and wrath let slip: 'Ah, for such wickedness,' he cried, 'for daring such a deed, If aught abide in heaven as yet such things as this to heed, May the Gods give thee worthy thanks, and pay thee well-earned prize, That thou hast set the death of sons before my father's eyes, That thou thy murder's fouling thus in father's face hast flung. Not he, Achilles, whence indeed thou liar hast never sprung, 540 Was such a foe to Priam erst; for shamfast meed he gave To law and troth of suppliant men, and rendered to the grave The bloodless Hector dead, and me sent to mine own again.'
So spake the elder, and cast forth a toothless spear and vain, That forthwith from the griding brass was put aback all spent, And from the shield-boss' outer skin hung down, for nothing sent. Then Pyrrhus cried: 'Yea tell him this, go take the tidings down To Peleus' son my father then, of Pyrrhus worser grown And all these evil deeds of mine! take heed to tell the tale! Now die!' And to the altar-stone him quivering did he hale, 550 And sliding in his own son's blood so plenteous: in his hair Pyrrhus his left hand wound, his right the gleaming sword made bare, That even to the hilts thereof within his flank he hid. Such was the end of Priam's day, such faring forth fate bid, Troy all aflame upon the road, all Pergamus adown. He, of so many peoples once the mighty lord and crown, So many lands of Asia once, a trunk beside the sea Huge with its headless shoulders laid, a nameless corpse is he.
Then first within the compassing of bitter fear I was; The image of my father dear by me all mazed did pass, 560 When I beheld the like-aged king gasping his life away Through cruel wound: upon mine eyes forlorn Creusa lay, The wasted house, my little one, Iulus', evil end. I look aback to see what folk about me yet do wend, But all, foredone, had fallen away, their weary bodies spent, Some all amid the fire had cast, some unto earth had sent.
Alone was I of all men now, when lo, in Vesta's house Abiding, and in inmost nook silent and lurking close, Helen the seed of Tyndarus! the clear fires give her light As there she strayeth, turning eyes on every shifting sight; 570 She, fearful of the Teucrian wrath for Pergamus undone, And fearful of the Danaan wrath and husband left alone, The wasting fury both of Troy and land where she was born, She hid her by the altar-stead, a thing of Gods forlorn.
Forth blazed the wildfire in my soul, wrath stirred me up to slake My vengeance for my dying home, and ill's atonement take. What! should she come to Sparta safe, and her Mycenae then, And in the hard-won triumphing go forth a Queen of men, And see her husband and her home, her parents and her sons, Served by the throng of Ilian wives and Phrygian vanquished ones? 580 Shall Priam so be slain with sword; shall Troy so blaze aloft; Shall the sea-beach the Dardan blood have sweat so oft and oft For this? Nay, nay: and though forsooth no deed to blaze abroad The slaying of a woman be, nor gaineth fame's reward, Yet still to quench an evil thing and pay the well-earned meed Is worthy praise, and joy it were unto the full to feed My heart's fell flame, and satisfy these ashes well beloved.
Such things my soul gave forth; such things in furious heart I moved. When lo, my holy mother now, ne'er seen by eyes of mine So clear before, athwart the dark in simple light did shine; 590 All God she was; of countenance and measure was she nought, But her the heaven-abiders see; so my right hand she caught, And held me, and from rosy mouth moreover added word:
'O son, what anger measureless thy mighty grief hath stirred? Why ragest thou? or whither then is gone thy heed of me? Wilt thou not first behold the place where worn by eld is he, Anchises, left? Wilt thou not see if yet thy wife abide Creusa, or Ascanius yet? The Greekish bands fare wide About them now on every hand, and but my care withstood The fire had wafted them away or sword had drunk their blood. 600 Laconian Helen's beauty cursed this overthrow ne'er wrought. Nor guilty Paris; nay, the Gods, the Gods who pity nought, Have overturned your lordship fair, and laid your Troy alow. Behold! I draw aside the cloud that all abroad doth flow, Dulling the eyes of mortal men, and darkening dewily The world about. And look to it no more afeard to be Of what I bid, nor evermore thy mother's word disown. There where thou seest the great walls cleft, and stone torn off from stone, And seest the waves of smoke go by with mingled dust-cloud rolled,— There Neptune shakes the walls and stirs the foundings from their hold With mighty trident, tumbling down the city from its base. 611 There by the Scaean gates again hath bitter Juno place The first of all, and wild and mad, herself begirt with steel, Calls up her fellows from the ships. Look back! Tritonian Pallas broods o'er topmost burg on high, All flashing bright with Gorgon grim from out her stormy sky; The very Father hearteneth on, and stays with happy might The Danaans, crying on the Gods against the Dardan fight. Snatch flight, O son, whiles yet thou may'st, and let thy toil be o'er, I by thy side will bring thee safe unto thy father's door.' 620
She spake, and hid herself away where thickest darkness poured. Then dreadful images show forth, great Godheads are abroad, The very haters of our Troy. And then indeed before mine eyes all Ilium sank in flame, And overturned was Neptune's Troy from its foundations deep. E'en as betideth with an ash upon the mountain steep, Round which sore smitten by the steel the acre-biders throng, And strive in speeding of the axe: and there it threateneth long, And, shaken, trembleth nodding still with heavy head of leaf; Till overcome by many hurts it groans its latest grief, 630 And torn from out the ridgy hill, drags all its ruin alow.
I get me down, and, Goddess-led, speed on 'twixt fire and foe, And point and edge give place to me, before me sinks the flame; But when unto my father's door and ancient house I came, And I was fain of all things first my father forth to bear Unto the mountain-tops, and first I sought to find him there, Still he gainsayed to spin out life now Troy was lost and dead, Or suffer exile: 'Ye whose blood is hale with youth,' he said, 'Ye other ones, whose might and main endureth and is stout, See ye to flight while yet ye may! 640 Full surely if the heavenly ones my longer life had willed, They would have kept me this abode: the measure is fulfilled In that the murder I have seen, and lived when Troy-town fell. O ye, depart, when ye have bid my body streaked farewell. My hand itself shall find out death, or pity of my foes, Who seek my spoils: the tomb methinks a little thing to lose. Forsooth I tarry overlong, God-cursed, a useless thing, Since when the Father of the Gods, the earth-abiders' King, Blew on me blast of thunder-wind and touched me with his flame.'
His deed was stubborn as his word, no change upon him came. 650 But all we weeping many tears, my wife Creusa there, Ascanius, yea and all the house, besought him not to bear All things to wrack with him, nor speed the hastening evil tide. He gainsaith all, and in his will and home will yet abide. So wretchedly I rush to arms with all intent to die; For what availeth wisdom now, what hope in fate may lie?
'And didst thou hope, O father, then, that thou being left behind, My foot would fare? Woe worth the word that in thy mouth I find! But if the Gods are loth one whit of such a town to save, And thou with constant mind wilt cast on dying Troy-town's grave 660 Both thee and thine, wide is the door to wend adown such ways; For Pyrrhus, red with Priam's blood, is hard at hand, who slays The son before the father's face, the father slays upon The altar. Holy Mother, then, for this thou ledst me on Through fire and sword!—that I might see our house filled with the foe, My father old, Ascanius, Creusa lying low, All weltering in each other's blood, and murdered wretchedly. Arms, fellows, arms! the last day's light on vanquished men doth cry. Ah! give me to the Greeks again, that I may play the play Another while: not unavenged shall all we die today.' 670
So was I girt with sword again, and in my shield would set My left hand now, and was in point from out of doors to get, When lo, my wife about my feet e'en in the threshold clung, Still to his father reaching out Iulus tender-young: 'If thou art on thy way to die, then bear us through it all; But if to thee the wise in arms some hope of arms befall, Then keep this house first! Unto whom giv'st thou Iulus' life, Thy father's, yea and mine withal, that once was called thy wife?'
So crying out, the house she filled with her exceeding moan, When sudden, wondrous to be told, a portent was there shown; 680 For as his woeful parents' hands and lips he hangs between, On topmost of Iulus' head a thin peaked flame is seen, That with the harmless touch of fire, whence clearest light is shed, Licks his soft locks and pastures round the temples of his head. Quaking with awe from out his hair we fall the fire to shake, And bring the water of the well the holy flame to slake. But joyous to the stars aloft Anchises raiseth eyes, And with his hands spread out abroad to very heaven he cries: 'Almighty Jove, if thou hast will toward any prayers to turn, Look down on us this while alone; if aught our goodness earn, 690 Father, give help and strengthen us these omens from the sky!'
Scarce had the elder said the word ere crashing suddenly It thundered on the left, and down across the shades of night Ran forth a great brand-bearing star with most abundant light; And clear above the topmost house we saw it how it slid Lightening the ways, and at the last in Ida's forest hid. Then through the sky a furrow ran drawn out a mighty space, Giving forth light, and sulphur-fumes rose all about the place.
My father vanquished therewithal his visage doth upraise, And saith a word unto the Gods that holy star to praise: 700 'Now, now, no tarrying is at all, I follow where ye lead; O Father-Gods heed ye our house and this my son's son heed! This is your doom; and Troy is held beneath your majesty. I yield, O son, nor more gainsay to go my ways with thee.'
He spake; and mid the walls meanwhile we hear the fire alive Still clearer, and the burning place more nigh the heat doth drive.
'O hasten, father well-beloved, to hang about my neck! Lo, here my shoulders will I stoop, nor of the labour reck. And whatsoever may befall, the two of us shall bide One peril and one heal and end: Iulus by my side 710 Shall wend, and after us my wife shall follow on my feet Ye serving-folk, turn ye your minds these words of mine to meet: Scant from the city is a mound and temple of old tide, Of Ceres' lone, a cypress-tree exceeding old beside. Kept by our fathers' worshipping through many years agone: Thither by divers roads go we to meet at last in one. Now, father, take thy fathers' Gods and holy things to hold, For me to touch them fresh from fight and murder were o'erbold, A misdeed done against the Gods, till in the living flood I make a shift to wash me clean.' 720
I stooped my neck and shoulders broad e'en as the word I said, A forest lion's yellow fell for cloth upon them laid, And took my burden up: my young Iulus by my side, Holding my hand, goes tripping short unto his father's stride; My wife comes after: on we fare amidst a mirky world. And I, erewhile as nothing moved by storm of weapons hurled, I, who the gathering of the Greeks against me nothing feared, Now tremble at each breath of wind, by every sound am stirred, Sore troubled for my fellows both, and burden that I bore.