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Who vainly reaches at the last reward,
If the first palm on Salius be conferr'd.
Then thus the prince; "Let no disputes arise:
Where Fortune plac'd it, I award the prize.
But Fortune's errors give me leave to mend,
At least to pity my deserving friend."
He said, and, from among the spoils, he draws
(Pond'rous with shaggy mane and golden paws)
A lion's hide to Salius this he gives:
Nisus with envy sees the gift, and grieves:
"If such rewards to vanquish'd inen are due,
(He said,) and falling is to rise by you,
What prize may Nisus from your bounty claim,
Who merited the first rewards and fame?
In falling, both an equal fortune tried ;
Would Fortune for my fall so well provide !"
With this he pointed to his face, and show'd
His hands and all his habit smear'd with blood.
Th' indulgent father of the people smil'd,
And caus'd to be produc'd an ample shield,
Of wondrous art, by Didymaon wrought,
Long since, from Neptune's bars, in triumph
This giv'n to Nisus, he divides the rest,
And equal justice in his gifts express'd,
The race thus ended, and rewards bestow'd,
Once more the prince bespeaks th' attentive
"If there be here, whose dauntless courage dare
In gauntlet fight, with limbs and body bare,
His opposite sustain in open view,
Stand forth the champion, and the games re-
Two prizes I propose, and thus divide-
A bull with gilded horns, and fillets tied,
Shall be the portion of the conquʼring chief:
A sword and helm shall cheer the loser's grief."
Then haughty Dares in the lists appears: Stalking he strides, his head erected bears: His nervous arms the weighty gauntlet wield; And loud applauses echo through the field. Dares alone in combat us'd to stand
The match of mighty Paris, hand to hand;
at Hector's fun'rals, undertook
Gigantic Butes, of th' Amycian stock,
And, by the stroke of his resistless hand,
Stretch'd the vast bulk upon the yellow sand.
Such Dares was; and such he strode along,
And drew the wonder of the gazing throng.
His brawny back and ample breast he shows;
His lifted arms around his head he throws,
And deals, in whistling air, his empty blows.
His match is sought; but, through the trem-
Not one dares answer to the proud demand. Presuming of his force, with sparkling eyes Already he devours the promis'd prize,
He claims the bull with awless insolence,
And, having seiz'd his horns, accosts the prince:
"If none my matchless valour dare oppose,
How long shall Dares wait his dastard foes?
Permit me, chief, permit without delay,
To lead this uncontended gift away."
The crowd assents, and, with redoubled cries,
For the proud challenger demands the prize.
Acestes, fir'd with just disdain to see
The palm usurp'd without a victory,
Reproach'd Entellus thus, who sate beside,
And heard, and saw, unmov'd, the Trojan's
"Once, but in vain, a champion of renown,
So tamely can you bear the ravish'd crown,
A prize in triumph borne before your sight,
And shun for fear the danger of the fight?
Where is our Eryx now, the boasted name,
The god who taught your thund'ring arm the
Where now your baffled honour; where the
That fill'd your house, any fame that fill'd our
Entellus thus: "My soul is still the same,
Unmov'd with fear, and mov'd with martial
But my chill blood is curdled in my veins
And scarce the shadow of a man remains,
Oh! could I turn to that fair prime again,
That prime, of which this boaster is so vain!
The brave, who this decrepit age defies,
Should feel my force, without the promis'd
But, if the challenger these arms refuse,
And cannot wield their weight, or dare not use;
If great Æneas and Acestes join
In his request, these gauntlets I resign:
Let us with equal arms perform the fight;
And let him leave to fear, since I resign my
Both on the tiptoe stand, at full extent,
Their arms aloft, their bodies inly bent;
Their heads from aiming blows they bear afar;
With clashing gauntlets then provoke the war.
One on his youth and pliant limbs relies ;
One on his sinews and his giant size.
The last is stiff with age, his motion slow;
He heaves for breath; he staggers to and fro;
And clouds of issuing smoke his nostrils loudly
Yet equal in success, they ward, they strike;
Their ways are diff'rent, but their art alike.
Before, behind, the blows are dealt; around
Their hollow sides the rattling thumps resound.
A storm of strokes, well meant, with fury flies,
And errs about their temples, ears, and eyes-
Nor always errs; for oft the gauntlet draws
A sweeping stroke along the crackling jaws.
Heavy with age, Entellus stands his ground,
But with his warping body wards the wound.
His hand and watchful eye keep even pace;
While Dares traverses, and shifts his place,
And, like a captain who beleaguers round
Some strong-built castle on a rising ground,
Views all th' approaches with observing eyes:
This and that other part in vain he tries,
And more on industry than force relies.
With hands on high, Entellus threats the foe;
But Dares watch'd the motion from below,
And slipp'd aside, and shunn'd the long de-
Entellus wastes his forces on the wind,
And, thus deluded of the stroke design'd,
Headlong and heavy fell: his ample breast
And weighty limbs his ancient mother press'd.
So falls a hollow pine, that long had stood
On Ida's height, or Erymanthus' wood,
Torn from the roots. The diff'ring nations rise
And shouts and ming'ed murmurs rend the skies,
Acestes runs with eager haste, to raise
The fall'n companion of his youthful days.
Dauntless he rose, and to the fight return'd:
With shame his glowing cheeks, his eyes with
Disdain and conscious virtue fir'd his breast,
And with redoubled force his foe he press'd;
He lays on load with either hand, amain,
And headlong drives the Trojan o'er the plain;
Nor stops, nor stays; nor rest, nor breath al-
This said, Entellus for the strife prepares;
Stript of his quilted coat, his body bares;
Compos'd of mighty bones,and brawn he stands,
A goodly tow'ring object on the sands.
Then just Æneas equal arms supplied,
Which round their shoulders to their wrists they First to the Trojan, spent with toil, he came,
And sooth'd his sorrow for the suffer'd shame.
"What fury seiz'd my friend? The gods, (said
To him propitious, and averse to thee, [he,)
Have giv'n his arms superior force to thine :
'T is madness to contend with strength divine."
The gauntlet-fight thus ended, from the shore
His faithful friends unhappy Dares bore:
His mouth and nostrils pour'd a purple flood
And pounded teeth came rushing with his blood.
Faintly he stagger'd through the hissing throng,
And hung his head, and trail'd his legs along.
The sword and casques are carried by his
But with his foe the palm and ox remain.
But storms of strokes descend about his brows,
A rattling tempest and a hail of blows,
But now the prince, who saw the wild increase
Of wounds, commands the combatants to cease,
And bounds Entellus' wrath, and bids the
The champion, then, before Æneas came,
Proud of his prize, but prouder of his fame;
"O goddess-born, and you, Dardanian host,
Mark with attention, and forgive my boast:
Learn what I was, by what remains; and know,
From what impending fate you sav'd my foe."
Sternly he spoke, and then confronts the bull;
And, on his ample forehead aiming full
The deadly stroke, descending, pierc'd the skull.
Down drops the beast, nor needs a second
But sprawls in pangs of death, and spurns the
Then thus: "In Dares' stead I offer this.
Eryx! accept a nobler sacrifice :
Take the last gift my wither'd arms can yield:
The gauntlets I resign, and here renounce the
This done, Æneas orders for the close,
The strife of archers, with contending bows.
The mast, Sergestus' shatter'd galley bore,
With his own hands he raises on the shore
A flutt'ring dove upon the top they tie,
The living mark at which their arrows fly.
The rival archers in a line advance,
Their turn of shooting to receive from chance.
A helmet holds their names: the lots were
On the first scroll was read Hippocoōn:
The people shout. Upon the next was found
Young Mnestheus, late with naval honours
The third contain'd Eurytion's noble name,
Thy brother, Pandarus, and next in fame,
Whom Pallas urg'd the treaty to confound,
And send among the Greeks a feather'd wound.
Acestes, in the bottom, last remain'd, [strain'd.
Whom not his age from youthful sports re-
Soon all with vigour bend their trusty bows;
And from the quiver each his arrow chose.
Hippocoon's was first: with forceful sway
It flew, and, whizzing, cut the liquid way,
Fix'd in the mast the feather'd weapon stands
The fearful pigeon flutters in her bands;
And the tree trembled; and the shouting cries
Or the pleas'd people rend the vaulted skies;
Then Mnestheus to the head his arrow drove,
With lifted eyes, and took his aim above,
But made a glancing shot, and miss'd the dove.
Yet miss'd so narrow that he cuts the cord,
Which fasten'd by the foot the flitting bird.
The captive thus releas'd, away she flies,
And beats with clapping wings the yielding
His bow already bent, Eurytion stood;
And, having first invok'd his brother god,
His winged shaft with eager haste he sped.
The fatal message reach'd her as she fled :
She leaves her life aloft; she strikes the ground,
And renders back the weapon in the wound.
Acestes grudging at his lot, remains,
Without a prize to gratify his pains.
Yet shooting upward, sends his shaft, to show
An archer's art, and boast his twanging bow.
The feather'd arrow gave a dire portent :
And latter augurs judge from this event.
Chaf'd by the speed, it fir'd; and as it flew,
A trail of following flames, ascending, drew:
Kindling they mount, and mark the shiny way;
Across the sky as falling meteors play,
And vanish into wind, or in a blaze decay.
The Trojans and Sicilians wildly stare,
And, trembling, turn their wonder into pray'r
The Dardan prince put on a smiling face,
And strain'd Acestes with a close embrace;
Then hon'ring him with gifts above the rest,
Turn'd the bad omen, nor his fears confess'd,
"The gods (said he) this miracle have wrought,
And order'd you the prize without the lot.
Accept this goblet, rough with figur'd gold,
Which Thracian Cisseus gave my sire of old.
This pledge of ancient amity receive,
Which to my second sire I justly give."
He said, and with the trumpet's cheerful sound,
Proclaim'd him victor, and with laurel crown'd:
Nor good Eurytion envied him the prize,
Though he transfix'd the pigeon in the skies.
Who cut the line, with second gifts was grac'd;
The third was his, whose arrow pierc'd the
(His race in after-times was known to fame New honours adding to the Latian name) And well the royal boy his Thracian steed be
White were the fetlocks of his feet before;
And on his front a snowy star he bore.
Then beauteous Atys, with Iülus bred
Of equal age, the second squadron led.
The last in order, but the first in place,
First in the lovely features of his face,
Rode fair Ascanius on a fiery steed,
Queen Dido's gift, and of the Tyrian breed.
Sure coursers for the rest the king ordains,
With golden bits adorn'd, and purple reins.
The pleas'd spectators peals of shouts renew, And all the parents in the children view; Their make, their motions, and their sprightly grace,
And hopes and fears alternate in their face
Th' unfledg'd commanders, and their martial
First make the circuit of the sandy plain
Around their sires, and, at the appointed sign,
Drawn up in beauteous order form a line.
The second signal sounds: the troop divides
In three distinguish'd parts, with three dis-
Again they close, and once again disjoin:
In troop to troop oppos'd, and line to line,
These are your fated seats, and this your Troy. Time calls you now, the precious hour employ: Slack not the good presage, while heav'n inspires
Our minds to dare, and gives the ready fires.
See! Neptune's altars minister their brands:
The god is pleas'd; the god supplies our hands."
Then from the pile a flaming fire she drew,
And, toss'd in air, amidst the galleys threw.
Rapt in amaze, the matrons wildly stare :
Then Pyrgo, reverenc'd for her hoary hair,
Pyrgo, the nurse of Priam's num'rous race,
"No Beroe this, though she belies her face
What terrors from her frowning front arise
Behold a goddess in her ardent eyes!
What rays around her heavenly face are seen!
Mark her majestic voice, and more than mor-
Beroe but now I left, whom, pin'd with pain, Her age and anguish from these rites detain." She said. The matrons, seiz'd with new
Roll their malignant eyes, and on the navy gaze, They fear, and hope, and neither part obey: They hope the fated land, but fear the fatal way. The goddess, having done her task below, Mounts up on equal wings, and bends her painted bow. [vine, Struck with the sight, and seiz'd with rage diThe matrons prosecute their mad design: They shriek aloud; they snatch, with impious hands,
The food of altars, firs and flaming brands,
Green boughs and saplings, mingled in their
And smoking torches, on the ships they cast.
The flame, unstopp'd at first, more fury gains;
And Vulcan rides at large with loosen'd reins :
Triumphant to the painted stern he soars,
And seizes, in his way, the banks, and crackling
Eumelus was the first the news to bear,
While yet they crowd the rural theatre.
Then, what they hear, is witness'd by their
But doubtful thoughts the hero's heart divide,
If he should still in Sicily reside,
Forgetful of the fates,-or tempt the main,
In hope the promis'd Italy to gain.
A storm of sparkles, and of flames, arise.
Ascanius took th' alarm, while yet he led,
His early warriors on his prancing steed,
And, spurring on, his equals soon o'erpass'd;
Nor could his frighted friends reclaim his haste.
Soon as the royal youth appear'd in view,
He sent his voice before him as he flew :
"What madness moves you, matrons! to de- To tell events, and what the Fates requir'd,
When Nautes old and wise-to whom alone
The will of heav'n by Pallas was foreshown—
Vers'd in portents, experienc'd and inspir'd
Thus while he stood, to neither part inclin'd,
With cheerful words reliev'd his lab'ring mind:
"O goddess-born! resign'd in ev'ry state,
With patience bear, with prudence push your
The last remainders of unhappy Troy?
Not hostile fleets, but your own hopes you burn,
And on your friends your fatal fury turn.
Behold your own Ascanius!"-While he said,
He drew his glitt'ring helmet from his head,
In which the youths to sportful arms he led.
By this, Æneas and his train appear;
And now the women, seiz'd with shame and
Dispers'd, to woods and caverns take their flight,
Abhor their actions, and avoid the light;
Their friends acknowledge, and their error find,
And shake the goddess from their alter'd mind.
Not so the raging fires their fury cease,
But, lurking in the seams, with seeming peace,
Work on their way amid the smould❜ring tow,
Sure in destruction, but in motion slow.
The silent plague through the green timber
And vomits out a tardy flame by fits,
Down to the keels, and upward to the sails,
The fire descends, or mounts, but still prevails;
Nor buckets pour'd, nor strength of human hand,
Can the victorious element withstand.
The pious hero rends his robe, and throws To heav'n his hands, and with his hands, his
Scarce had he said, when southern storms arise:
From pole to pole, the forky lightning flies : Loud rattling shakes the mountains and the plain:
Heav'n bellies downward, and descends in rain. Whole sheets of water from the clouds are sent,
"O Jove! (he cried,) if pray'rs can yet have
If thou abhor'st not all the Dardan race;
If any spark of pity still remain ;
If gods are gods, and not invok'd in vain ;
Yet spare the relics of the Trojan train!
Yet from the flames our burning vessels free!
Or let thy fury fall alone on me;
At this devoted head thy thunder throw,
And send the willing sacrifice below."
Which hissing through the planks the flames
And stop the fiery pest. Four ships alone
Burn to the waist, and four the fleet atone.
By suff'ring well, our fortune we subdue;
Fly when she frowns; and when she calls pur-
Your friend Acestes is of Trojan kind;
To him disclose the secrets of your mind;
Trust in his hands your old and useless train,
Too num'rous for the ships which yet remain―
The feeble, old, indulgent of their ease,
The dames who dread the dangers of the seas,
With all the dastard crew who dare not stand
The shock of battle with your foes by land.
Here you may build a common town for all,
And, from Acestes' name, Acesta call."
The reason, with his friend's experience join'd,
Encourag'd much, but more disturb'd his mind.
"T was dead of night; when to his slumb❜ring
His father's shade descended from the skies;
And thus he spoke ; “ O, more than vital breath,
Lov'd while I liv'd, and dear ev'n after death!
son, in various toils and troubles toss'd!
The king of heav'n employs my careful ghost
On his commands-the god who sav'd from fire
Your flaming fleet, and heard your just desire,
The wholesome counsel of your friend receive,
And here the coward train and women leave;
The chosen youth, and those who nobly dare,
Transport, to tempt the dangers of the war.
The stern Italians will their courage try;
Rough are their manners, and their minds are
But first to Pluto's palace you shall go,
And seek my shade among the blest below: