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For not with impious ghosts my soul remains, Nor suffers, with the damn'd, perpetual pains, But breathes the living air of soft Elysian plains. The chaste Sybilla shall your steps convey, And blood of offer'd victims free the way. There shall you know what realms the gods assign,
And learn the fates and fortunes of your line. But now farewell! I vanish with the night, And feel the blast of heav'n's approaching light."
He said, and mix'd with shades, and took his airy flight.
"Whither so fast?" the filial duty cried; "Ah why, ah! why the wish'd embrace denied ?"
He said, and rose: as holy zeal inspires,
He rakes hot embers, and renews the fires;
His country gods and Vesta then adores
With cakes and incense, and their aid im-
Next, for his friends and royal host he sent,
Reveal'd his vision, and the god's intent,
With his own purpose.-All, without delay,
The will of Jove, and his desires, obey.
They list with women each degen'rate name,
Who dares not hazard life for future fame.
These they cashier. The brave remaining few,
Oars, banks, and cables, half consum'd, renew.
The prince designs a city with the plough:
The lots their sev'ral tenements allow.
This part is nam'd from Ilium, that from Troy;
And the new king ascends the throne with joy:
A chosen senate from the people draws;
Appoints the judges, and ordains the laws.
Then, on the top of Eryx, they begin
A rising temple to the Paphian queen,
Anchises, last, is honour'd as a god:
A priest is added, annual gifts bestow'd;
groves are planted round his blest abode.
Nine days they pass in feasts, their temples
And fumes of incense in the fanes abound,
Then from the south arose a gentle breeze,
That curl'd the smoothness of the glassy seas:
The rising winds a ruffling gale afford,
And call the merry mariners aboard.
Now loud laments along the shores resound,
Of parting friends in close embraces bound.
The trembling women, the degen'rate train
Who shunn'd the frightful dangers of the main,
E'en those desire to sail, and take their share
Of the rough passage, and the promis'd war;
Whom good Æneas cheers; and recommends
To their new master's care his fearful friends:
On Eryx' altars three fat calves he lays;
A lamb-new-fallen to the stormy seas;
Then slips his halsers, and his anchors weighs.
She prosecutes the ghost of Troy with pains,
And gnaws, e'en to the bones, the last remains.
Let her the causes of her hatred tell;
But you can witness its effects too well.
You saw the storm she rais'd on Libyan floods,
That mix'd the mountain billows with the
When, bribing Æolus, she took the main,
And mov'd rebellion in your wat❜ry reign.
With fury she possess'd the Dardan dames,
To burn their fleet with execrable flames,
And forc'd Eneas, when his ships were lost,
To leave his followers on a foreign coast.
For what remains, your godhead I implore,
And trust my son to your protecting pow'r.
If neither Jove's nor Fate's decree withstand,
Secure his passage to the Latian land."
I spread a cloud before the victor's sight, Sustain'd the vanquish'd, and secur'd his flight
E'en then secur'd him, when I sought with joy
The vow'd destruction of ungrateful Troy.
My will's the same: fair goddess! fear no
Your fleet shall safely gain the Latian shore:
Their lives are giv'n: one destin'd head alone
Shall perish, and for multitudes atone." [mind,
Thus having arm'd with hopes her anxious
His finny team Saturnian Neptune join'd,
Then adds the foamy bridle to their jaws,
And to the loosen'd reins permits the laws.
High on the waves his azure car he guides:
Its axles thunder; and the sea subsides;
And the smooth ocean rolls her silent tides.
The tempests fly before their father's face;
Trains of inferior gods his triumph grace;
And monster whales before their master play,
And choirs of Tritons crowd the wat'ry way.
The marshall'd pow'rs in equal troops divide
To right and left: the gods his better side
Enclose; and, on the worse, the Nymphs and
Now smiling hope, with sweet vicissitude, Within the hero's mind his joys renew'd. He calls to raise the masts, the sheets display: The cheerful crew with diligence obey; They scud before the wind, and sail in open sea Ahead of all, the master pilot steers, And, as he leads, the following navy veers. The steeds of Night had travell'd half the sky The drowsy rowers on their benches lie; When the soft god of sleep, with easy flight, Descends, and draws behind a trail of light. Thou, Palinurus, art his destin'd prey; To thee alone he takes his fatal way. Dire dreams to thee, and iron sleep, he bears; And, lighting on thy prow, the form of Phordas wears.
Then thus the traitor god began his tale :
"The winds, my friend, inspire a pleasing gale;
The ships, without thy care, securely sail.
Now steal an hour of sweet repose; and I
Will take the rudder, and thy room supply."
To whom the yawning pilot, half asleep :
"Me dost thou bid to trust the treach'rous deep,
The harlot-smiles of her dissembling face,
And to her faith commit the Trojan race?
Shall I believe the Syren South again,
And, oft betray'd, not know the monster main ?”
He said; his fasten'd hands the rudder keep;
And fix'd on heaven, his eyes repel invading
The god was wroth, and at his temples threw A branch in Lethe dipp'd, and drunk with Stygian dew:
The pilot, vanquish'd by the pow'r divine,
Soon clos'd his swimming eyes, and lay supine.
Scarce were his limbs extended at their length;
The god, insulting with superior strength,
Fell heavy on him, plung'd him in the sea,
And, with the stern, the rudder tore away.
Headlong he fell, and struggling in the main,
Cried out for helping hands, but cried in vain.
The victor demon mounts obscur'd in air;
While the ship sails without the pilot's care.
On Neptune's faith the floating fleet relies :
But what the man forsook, the god supplies;
And o'er the dang'rous deep, secure the navy
Glides by the Syren's cliffs, a shelfy coast,
Long infamous for ships and sailors lost,
And white with bones. Th' impetuous ocean
And rocks rebellow from the sounding shores. The watchful hero felt the knocks; and found The tossing vessel sail'd on shoaly ground, Sure of his pilot's loss, he takes himself The helm, and steers aloof, and shuns the shelf. Inly he griev'd, and, groaning from the breast, Deplor'd his death; and thus his pain express'd: "For faith repos'd on seas, and on the flatt'ring sky, Thy naked corse is doom'd on shores unknown to lie."
The Sibyl foretells Æneas the adventures he should meet with in Italy. She attends him to hell; describing to him the various scenes of that place, and conducting him to his father Anchises, who instructs him in those sublime mysteries, of the soul of the world, and the transmigration; and shows him that glorious race of heroes, which was to descend from him and his posterity
He said, and wept; then spread his sails before The winds, and reach'd at length the Cuman shore:
Their anchors dropp'd, his crew the vessels
They turn their heads to sea, their sterns to land,
And greet with greedy joy th' Italian strand.
Some strike from clashing flints their fiery seed;
Some gather sticks, the kindled flames to feed,
Or search for hollow trees, and fell the wood,
Or trace through valleys the discover'd flood.
Thus while their sev'ral charges they fulfil,
The pious prince ascends the sacred hill
Where Phoebus is ador'd; and seeks the shade,
Which hides from sight his venerable maid.
Deep in a cave the Sibyl makes abode ;
Thence full of fate returns, and of the god.
Through Trivia's grave they walk, and now
And enter now, the temple roof'd with gold.
When Daedalus, to fly the Cretan shore,
His heavy limbs, on jointed pinions bore,
(The first who sail'd in air,) 't is sung by Fame,
To the Cumaan coast, at length he came,
And here alighting, built this costly frame.
Inscrib'd to Phoebus, here he hung on high
The steerage of his wings, that cut the sky :
Then o'er the lofty gate, his art emboss'd
Androgeos' death, and (off'rings to his ghost)
Sev'n youths from Athens, yearly sent to meet,
The fate appointed by revengeful Crete.
And next to these the dreadful urn was plac'd,
In which the destin'd names by lots were cast:
The mournful parents stand around in tears;
And rising Crete against their shore appears.
There too, in living sculpture, might be seen
The mad affection of the Cretan queen;
Then how she cheats her bellowing lover's eye;
The rushing leap, the doubtful progeny-
The lower part a beast, a man above-
The monument of their polluted love.
Nor far from thence he grav'd the wondrous
A thousand doors, a thousand winding ways:
Here dwells the monster hid from human view,
Not to be found but by the faithful clue ;
Till the kind artist, mov'd with pious grief,
Lent to the loving maid this last relief,
And all those erring paths describ'd so well
That Theseus conquer'd, and the monster
Here hapless Icarus had found his part,
Had not the father's grief restrain'd his art.
He twice essay'd to cast his son in gold;
Twice from his hands he dropp'd the forming
All this with wond'ring eyes Eneas view'd: Each varying object his delight renew'd. Eager to read the rest-Achates came, And by his side the mad divining dame, The priestess of the god, Deïphobe her name. "Time suffers not," she said, "to feed your eyes
With empty pleasures: haste the sacrifice.
Sev'n bullocks, yet unyok'd, for Phoebus choose,
And for Diana sev'n unspotted ewes."
This said, the servants urge the sacred rites,
While to the temple she the prince invites.
A spacious cave, within its farmost part,
Was hew'd and fashion'd by laborious art,
Through the hill's hollow sides: before the
A hundred doors a hundred entries grace:
As many voices issue, and the sound
Of Sibyl's words as many times rebound.
Now to the mouth they come. Aloud she
"This is the time! inquire your destinies !
He comes! behold the god!" Thus while she
(And shiv'ring at the sacred entry stay'd,) Her colour chang'd; her face was not the
And hollow groans from her deep spirit came. Her hair stood up; convulsive rage possess'd Her trembling limbs, and heav'd her lab'ring
Greater than human kind she seem'd to look, And with an accent more than mortal spoke. Her staring eyes with sparkling fury roll, When all the god came rushing on her soul. Swiftly she turn'd, and, foaming as she spoke, "Why this delay?" she cried-"the pow'rs invoke.
Thy pray'rs alone can open this abode :
Else vain are my demands, and dumb the god."
She said no more. The trembling Trojans
O'erspread with a damp sweat, and holy fear. The prince himself, with awful dread possess'd, His vows to great Apollo thus address'd:
Indulgent god! propitious pow'r to Troy. Swift to relieve, unwilling to destroy ! Directed by whose hand, the Dardan dart, Pierc'd the proud Grecian's only mortal part! Thus far, by Fate's decrees, and thy commands, Through ambient seas, and through devouring sands, [ground: Our exil'd crew has sought th' Ausonian And now, at length, the flying coast is found. Thus far the fate of Troy, from place to place, With fury has pursu'd her wand'ring race. Here cease, ye pow'rs, and let your vengeance end:
Troy is no more, and can no more offend.
And thou, O sacred maid, inspir'd to see
The event of things in dark futurity;
Give me what heav'n has promis'd to my fate,
To conquer and command the Latian state;
To fix my wand'ring gods, and find a place
For the long exiles of the Trojan race:
Then shall my grateful hands a temple rear
To the twin gods, with vows and solemn pray❜r;
And annual rites, and festivals, and games,
Shall be perform'd to their auspicious names.
Nor shalt thou want thy honours in my land:
For there thy faithful oracles shall stand,
Preserv'd in shrines: and ev'ry sacred lay
Which by thy mouth Apollo shall convey-
All shall be treasur'd by a chosen train
Of holy priests, and ever shall remain.
But oh! commit not thy prophetic mind
To fitting leaves, the sport of ev'ry wind,
Lest they disperse in air our empty fate.
Write not, but what the pow'rs ordain relate."
Struggling in vain, impatient of her load,
And lab'ring underneath the pond'rous god,
The more she strove to shake him from her
With more and far superior force he press'd;
Commands his entrance, and without control,
Usurps her organs, and inspires her soul.
Now, with a furious blast, the hundred doors
Ope of themselves; a rushing whirlwind roars
Within the cave, and Sibyl's voice restores :
"Escap'd the dangers of the wat'ry reign,
Yet more and greater iils by land remain,
The coast, so long desir'd, (nor doubt th' event.)
Thy troops shall reach, but, having reach'd
Wars, horrid wars, I view-a field of blood,
And Tyber rolling with a purple flood.
Simois nor Xanthus shall be wanting there :
A new Achilles shall in arms appear,
And he, too, goddess-born. Fierce Juno's hate,
Added to hostile force, shall urge thy fate.
To what strange nation shalt not thou resort,
Driv'n to solicit aid at every court!
His hand upon the holy altar laid.
Then thus replied the prophetess divine:
The cause the same which Ilium once op- "O goddess-born, of great Anchises' line!
The gates of hell are open night and day;
Smooth the descent, and easy is the way
But, to return, and view the cheerful skies—
In this the task and mighty labour lies.
To few great Jupiter imparts this grace,
And those of shining worth, and heav'nly race.
Betwixt those regions and our upper light,
Deep forests and impenetrable night
Possess the middle space: th' infernal bounds
Cocytus, with his sable waves, surrounds.
But, if so dire a love your soul invades,
As twice below to view the trembling shades;
If you so hard a toil will undertake,
As twice to pass th' innavigable lake;
Receive my counsel. In the neighb'ring grove
There stands a tree: the queen of Stygian Jove
Claims it her own: thick woods and gloomy
A foreign mistress, and a foreign guest.
But thou, secure of soul, unbent with woes,
The more thy fortune frowns, the more oppose.
The dawnings of thy safety shall be shown,
From-whence thou least shall hope-a Gre-
Thus, from the dark recess, the Sibyl spoke;
And the resisting air the thunder broke;
The cave rebellow'd, and the temple shook.
Th' ambiguous god, who rul'd her lab'ring
He. for my sake, the raging ocean tried,
And wrath of heav'n, (my still auspicious guide,)
And bore, beyond the strength decrepit age
Oft since he breath'd his last, in dead of night,
His rev'rend image stood before my sight;
Enjoin'd to seek, below, his holy shade—
Conducted there by your unerring aid.
But you, if pious minds by pray'rs are won,
Oblige the father, and protect the son.
Yours is the pow'r; nor Proserpine in vain
Has made you priestess of her nightly reign.
If Orpheus, arm'd with his enchanting lyre,
The ruthless king with pity could inspire,
And from the shades below redeem his wife,
If Pollux, off ring his alternate life,
Could free his brother, and can daily go
By turns aloft, by turns descend below;—
Why name I Theseus, or his greater friend,
Who trod the downward path, and upward
Not less than theirs, from Jove my lineage
My mother greater, my descent the same.'
So pray'd the Trojan prince, and, while he
In these mysterious words his mind express'd,
Some truths reveal'd, in terms involv'd the rest.
At length her fury fell; her foaming ceas'd,
And, ebbing in her soul, the god decreas'd.
Then thus the chief: "No terror to my view
No frightful face of danger can be new.
Inur'd to suffer, and resolv'd to dare,
The Fates, without my pow'r, shall be without
This let me crave- since near your grove the
To hell lies open, and the dark abode,
Which Acheron surrounds, th' innavigable
Conduct me through the regions void of light,
And lead me longing to my father's sight.
For him, a thousand dangers I have sought,
And, rushing where the thickest Grecians fought,
Safe on my back the sacred burden brought.
Conceal the happy plant from human sight.
One bough it bears; but (wond'rous to behold)
The ductile rind and leaves of radiant gold:
This from the vulgar branches must be torn,
And to fair Proserpine the present borne,
Ere leave be giv'n to tempt the nether skies.
The first thus rent, a second will arise;
And the same metal the same room supplies.
Look round the wood with lifted eyes, to see
The lurking gold upon the fatal tree:
Then rend it off, as holy rites command
The willing metal will obey thy hand,
Following with ease, if, favoured by thy fate,
Thou art foredoom'd to view the Stygian state:
If not, no labour can the tree constrain;
And strength of stubborn arins, and steel, are
Besides, you know not, while you here attend,
Th' unworthy fate of your unhappy friend :
Breathless he lies: and his unburied ghost,
Depriv'd of fun'ral rites, pollutes your host.
Pay first his pious dues; and, for the dead,
Two sable sheep around his hearse be led;
Then, living turfs upon his body lay:
This done, securely take the destin'd way,
To find the regions destitute of day."
She said, and held her peace.-Æneas went
Sad from the cave, and full of discontent,
Unknowing who the sacred Sibyl meant;
Achates, the companion of his breast,
Goes grieving by his side, with equal cares op-
Walking, they talk'd, and fruitlessly divin'd, What friend the priestess by those words design'd.
But soon they found an object to deplore:
Misenus lay extended on the shore-
Son of the god of winds-none so renown'd,
The warrior trumpet in the field to sound,
With breathing brass, to kindle fierce alarms,
And rouse to dare their fate in honourable arms.
He serv❜d great Hector, and was ever near,
Not with his trumpet only, but his spear.
But, by Pelides' arm when Hector fell,
He chose Eneas; and he chose as well.
Swoln with applause, and aiming still at more,
He now provokes the seagods from the shore.
With envy, Triton heard the martial sound,
And the bold champion, for his challenge,
Then cast his mangled carcass on the strand.—
The gazing crowd around the body stand.
All weep: but most Eneas mourns his fate,
And hastens to perform the fun'ral state,
In altar-wise, a stately pile they rear;
The basis broad below, and top advanc'd in air.
An ancient wood, fit for the work design'd,
(The shady covert of the savage kind,)
The Trojans found: the sounding axe is plied:
Firs, pines, and pitch-trees, and the tow'ring
Of forest ashes, feel the fatal stroke;
And piercing wedges cleave the stubborn oak.
Huge trunks of trees, fell'd from the steepy
Of the bare mountains, roll with ruin down.
Arm'd like the rest the Trojan prince appears,
And by his pious labour, urges theirs.
Thus while he wrought, revolving in his mind
The ways to compass what his wish design'd,
He cast his eyes upon the gloomy grove,
And then with vows implor'd the queen of love:
"O may thy pow'r, propitious still to me,
Conduct my steps to find the fatal tree
In this deep forest, since the Sibyl's breath
Foretold, alas! too true, Misenus' death."
Scarce had he said, when, full before his sight,
Two doves descending from their airy flight,
Secure upon the grassy plain alight.
He knew his mother's birds, and thus he pray'd:
"Be you my guides with your auspicious aid;
And lead my footsteps till the branch be found,
Whose glitt'ring shadow gilds the sacred