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The Danes' unconquer'd offspring march be- In the main battle, with his flaming crest,
The mighty Turnus tow'rs above the rest.
Silent they move, majestically slow,
Like ebbing Nile, or Ganges in his flow.
The Trojans view the dusty cloud from far,
And the dark menace of the distant war.
Caïcus from the rampire saw it rise,
Black'ning the fields, and thick' ning through the
Then to his fellows thus aloud he calls:
"What rolling clouds, my friends, approach
Arm! arm! and man the works! prepare your
And pointed darts! the Latian host appears.
Thus warn'd, they shut their gates; with
The bulwarks, and, secure, their foes attend:
For their wise general, with foreseeing care,
Had charg'd them not to tempt the doubtful
And Morini, the last of human kind.
These figures on the shield divinely wrought,
By Vulcan labour'd, and by Venus brought,
With joy and wonder fill the hero's thought.
Unknown the names, he yet admires the grace,
And bears aloft the fame and fortune of his race.
Turnus takes advantage of Æneas's absence, fires some of his ships (which are transformed into sea nymphs, and assaults his camp. The Trojans, reduced to the last extremities, send Nisus and Euryalus to recall Eneas; which furnishes the poet with that admirable episode of their friendship, generosity, and the conclusion of their ad
Nor, though provok'd, in open fields advance,
But close within their lines attend their chance.
Unwilling, yet they keep the strict command,
And sourly wait in arms the hostile band.
The fiery Turnus flew before the rest:
A piebald steed of Tracian strain he press'd;
His helm of massy gold; and crimson was his
With twenty horse to second his designs,
An unexpected foe, he fac'd the lines.
"Is there (he said) in arms who bravely dare
His leader's honour and his danger share?"
Then spurring on, his brandish'd dart he threw,
In sign of war ;-applauding shouts ensue.
Amaz'd to find a dastard race that run
Behind the rampires, and the battle shun,
He rides around the camp with rolling eyes,
And stops at ev'ry post, and ev'ry passage tries.
So roams the nightly wolf about the fold:
Wet with descending show'rs, and stiff with
He howls for hunger, and he grins for pain,
(His gnashing teeth are exercis'd in vain,)
And, impotent of anger, finds no way
In his distended paws to grasp the prey.
The mothers listen; but the bleating lambs
Securely swig the dug, beneath the dams.
Thus ranges eager Turnus o'er the plain,
Sharp with desire, and furicus with disdain ;
Surveys each passage with a piercing sight,
To force his foes in equal field to fight.
Thus while he gazes round, at length he spies,
Where, fenc'd with strong redoubts, their navy
Close underneath the walls: the washing tide
Secures from all approach this weaker side.
He takes the wish'd occasion, fills his hand
With ready fires, and shakes a flaming brand.
Urg'd by his presence, ev'ry soul is warm'd, And ev'ry hand with kindled fires is arm'd. From the fir'd pines, the scatt'ring sparkles fly; Fat vapours, mix'd with flames, involve the sky. What pow'r, O Muses, could avert the flame, Which threaten'd, in the fleet, the Trojan name?
Tell: for, the fact, through length of time obscure,
Is hard to faith; yet shall the fame endure. "T is said, that when the chief prepar'd his flight,
And fell'd his timber from mount Ida's height, The grandame-goddess then approach'd her
And with a mother's majesty begun : "Grant me (she said) the sole request I bring, Since conquer'd heav'n has own'd you for its king.
On Ida's brows, for ages past, there stood,
With firs and maples fill'd, a shady wood;
And on the summit rose a sacred grove,
Where I was worshipp'd with religious love.
These woods, that holy grove, my long delight,
I gave the Trojan prince, to speed his flight.
Now, fill'd with fear, on their behalf I come ;
Let neither winds o'erset, nor waves intomb,
The floating forest of the sacred pine;
But let it be their safety to be mine."
Then thus replied her awful son, who rolls
The radiant stars, and heav'n and earth con-
How dare you, mother, endless date demand, For vessels moulded by a mortal hand? What then is Fate ? shall bold Æneas ride, Of safety certain, on th' uncertain tide ? Yet, what I can, I grant: when, wafted o'er, The chief is landed on the Latian shore, Whatever ships escape the raging storms, At my command shall change their fading forms
And, last, a voice, with more than mortal sound,
Both hosts, in arms oppos'd, with equal horror wound :
"O Trojan race! your needless aid forbear; And know, my ships are my peculiar care. With greater ease, the bold Rutulian may With hissing brands attempt to burn the sea, Than singe my sacred pines. But you, my charge, [large, Loos'd from your crooked anchors, launch at Exalted each a nymph: forsake the sand, And swim the seas, at Cybele's command. No sooner had the goddess ceas'd to speak, When, lo! th' obedient ships their halsers break;
To nymphs divine, and plough the wat'ry way,
Like Doto and the Daughters of the sea."
To seal his sacred vow, by Styx he swore,
The lake of liquid pitch, the dreary shore,
And Phlegethon's innavigable flood,
And the black regions of his brother-god.
He said; and shook the skies with his imperial
And now at length the number'd hours were
Prefix'd by Fate's irrevocable doom,
When the great mother of the gods was free
To save her ships, and finish Jove's decree.
First from the quarter of the morn, there sprung
A light that sign'd the heav'ns, and shot along;
Then from a cloud, fring'd round with golden
Were timbrels heard, and Berecynthian choirs;
And strange to tell, like dolphins, in the main They plunge their prows, and dive, and spring again:
many beauteons maids the billows sweep,
As rode before tall vessels on the deep.
The foes, surpris'd with wonder, stood aghast;
Messapus curb'd his fiery courser's haste:
Old Tyber roar'd, and raising up his head,
Call'd back his waters to their oozy bed.
Turnus alone, undaunted, bore the shock,
And with these words his trembling troops be-
"These monsters for the Trojans' fate are
And are by Jove for black presages sent.
He takes the cowards' last relief away;
For fly they cannot, and, constrain'd to stay,
Must yield unfought, a base inglorious prey.
The liquid half of all the globe is lost;
Heav'n shuts the seas; and we secure the
Can they securely trust their feeble wall,
A slight partition, a thin interval,
Betwixt their fate and them; when Troy, though
By hands divine, yet perish'd by their guilt? Lend me, for once, my friends, your valiant hands,
To force from out their lines these dastard bands.
Less than a thousand ships will end this war;
Nor Vulcan needs his fated arms prepare.
Let all the Tuscans, all th' Arcadians, join!
Nor these, nor those, shall frustrate my design.
Let them not fear the treasons of the night,
The robb'd Palladium, the pretended flight:
Our onset shall be made in open light.
No wooden engine shall their town betray:
Fires they shall have around, but fires by day.
No Grecian babes before their camp appear,
Whom Hector's arms detain'd to the tenth tar-
Now, since the sun is rolling to the west,
Give we the silent night to needful rest:
Refresh your bodies, and your arms prepare:
The morn shall end the small remains of war."
The post of honour to Messapus falls, To keep the nightly guard ; to watch the walls; To pitch the fires at distances around, And close the Trojans in their scanty ground. Twice sev'n Rutulian captains ready stand; And twice sev'n hundred horse these chiefs command:
All clad in shining arms the works invest; Each with a radiant helm and waving crest. Stretch'd at their length, they press the grassy ground;
They laugh; they sing; (the jolly bowls go round ;)
With lights and cheerful fires renew the day,
pass the wakeful night in feasts and play.
The Trojans from above their foes beheld,
And with arm'd legions all the rampires fill'd.
Seiz'd with affright, their gates they first ex-
Join works to works with bridges, tow'r to
Thus all things needful for defence abound:
Mnestheus and brave Serestus walk the round,
Commission'd by their absent prince to share
The common danger, and divide the care.
The soldiers draw their lots, and, as they fall,
By turns relieve each other on the wall.
Nigh where the foes their utmost guards advance,
To watch the gate, was warlike Nisus' chance.
His father Hyrtacus of noble blood;
His mother was a huntress of the wood,
And sent him to the wars. Well could he bear
His lance in fight, and dart the flying spear;
But better skill'd unerring shafts to send:
Beside him stood Euryalus, his friend-
Euryalus, than whom the Trojan host
No fairer face, or sweeter air, could boast.
Scarce had the down to shade his cheeks begun,
One was their care, and their delight was
One common hazard in the war they shar'd; And now were both by choice upon the guard.
Then Nisus thus: "Or do the gods inspire This warmth, or make we gods of our desire? A gen'rous ardour boils within my breast, Eager of action, enemy to rest:
This urges me to fight, and fires my mind,
To leave a memorable name behind.
Thou seest the foe secure; how faintly shine
Their scatter'd fires! the most, in sleep supine,
Along the ground, an easy conquest lie.
The wakeful few the fuming flagon ply:
All hush'd around. Now hear what I revolve-
A thought unripe-and scarcely yet resolve.
Our absent prince both camp and council mourn;
By message both would hasten his return:
If they confer what I demand on thee,
(For fame is recompense enough for me,)
Methinks, beneath yon hill, I have espied
A way that safely will my passage guide."
Euryalus stood listening while he spoke;
With love of praise, and noble
Then to his ardent friend expos'd his mind:
"All this alone, and leaving me behind!
Am I unworthy, Nisus, to be join'd?
Think'st thou I can my share of glory yield,
Or send thee unassisted to the field?
Not so my father taught my childhood arms→→→→
Born in a siege, and bred among alarms
Nor is my youth unworthy of my friend,
Nor of the heaven-born hero I attend.
The thing call'd life, with ease I can disclaim,
And think it over-sold to purchase fame."
Then Nisus thus: "Alas! thy tender years Would minister new matters to my fears: So
may the gods, who view this friendly strife, Restore me to thy lov'd embrace with life. Condemn'd to pay my vows, (as sure I trust,) This thy request is cruel and unjust. But if some chance-as many chances are, And doubtful hazards, in the deeds of warIf one should reach my head, there let it fall, And spare thy life: I would not perish all, Thy blooming youth deserves a longer date : Live thou to mourn thy love's unhappy fate, To bear my mangled body from the foe, Or buy it back, and fun'ral rites bestow. Or if hard fortune shall those dues deny, Thou canst at least an empty tomb supply. O! let not me the widow's tears renew; Nor let a mother's curse my name pursue
Thy pious parent, who, for love of thee,
Forsook the coasts of friendly Sicily,
Her age committing to the seas and wind,
When ev'ry weary matron stay'd behind."
To this, Euryalus: " You plead in vain,
And but protract the cause you cannot gain.
No more delays! but haste!" With that he
The nodding watch: each to his office takes.
The guard reliev'd, the gen'rous couple went
To find the council at the royal tent.
All creatures else forgot their daily care,
And sleep, the common gift of nature, share ;
Except the Trojan peers, who wakeful sate
In nightly council for the endanger'd state.
They vote a message to their absent chief,
Show their distress, and beg a swift relief.
Amid the camp a silent seat they chose,
Remote from clamour, and secure from foes.
On their left arms their ample shields they bear,
Their right inclin'd upon the bending spear.
Now Nisus and his friend approach'd the
And beg admission, eager to be heard-
Th' affair important, not to be deferr❜d.
Ascanius bids them be conducted in,
Ord'ring the more experienc'd to begin.
Then Nisus thus: "Ye fathers, lend your
Nor judge our bold attempt beyond our years.
The foe, securely drench'd in sleep and wine,
Neglect their watch; the fires but thinly shine
And, where the smoke in cloudy vapours flies,
Cov'ring the plain, and curling to the skies,
Betwixt two paths which at the gate divide,
Close by the sea a passage we have spied,
Which will our way to great Æneas guide.
Expect each hour to see him safe again,
Loaded with spoils of foes in battle slain.
Snatch we the lucky minute while we may :
Nor can we be mistaken in the way;
For, hunting in the vales, we both have seen
The rising turrets, and the stream between;
And know the winding course, with ev'ry ford."
He ceas'd: and old Alethes took the word.
"Our country gods, in whom our trust we place,
Will yet from ruin save the Trojan race,
While we behold such dauntless worth appear
In dawning youth, and souls so void of fear."
Then into tears of joy the father broke ;
Each in his longing arms by turns he took;
Panted and paus'd; and thus again he spoke :
"Ye brave young men, what equal gifts can we,
In recompense of such desert, decree?
The greatest sure, and best you can receive,
The gods and your own conscious worth will
The rest our grateful gen'ral will bestow,
And young Ascanius, till his manhood, owe."
"And I, whose welfare in my father lies,"
Ascanius adds, "by the great deities,
By my dear country, by my household gods,
By hoary Vesta's rites and dark abodes,
Adjure you both-(on you my fortune stands
That and my faith I plight into your hands)—
Make me but happy in his safe return,
Whose wanted presence I can only mourn;
Your common gift shall two large goblets be
Of silver, wrought with curious imagery,
And high emboss'd, which when old Priam
My conqu❜ring sire at sack'd Arisba gain'd: And, more, two tripods cast in antique mould, With two great talents of the finest gold; Beside a costly bowl, engrav'd with art, Which Dido gave, when first she gave her heart.
But, if in conquer'd Italy we reign,
When spoils by lot the victor shall obtainThou saw'st the courser by proud Turnus press'd,
That, Nisus, and his arms, and nodding crest, And shield, from chance exempt, shall be thy share;
Twelve lab'ring slaves, twelve handmaids young and fair,
All clad in rich attire, and train'd with care:
And, last, a Latian field with fruitful plains,
And a large portion of the King's domains.
But thou whose years are more to mine allied,
No fate my vow'd affection shall divide
From thee, heroic youth! Be wholly mine:
Take full possession: all my soul is thine,
One faith, one fame, and fate, shall both attend:
My life's companion, and my bosom friend→→→→
My peace shall be committed to thy care;
And to thy conduct, my concerns in war,'
Then thus the young Euryalus replied: "Whatever fortune, good or bad, betide, The same shall be my age, as now my youth: No time shall find me wanting to my truth. This only form your goodness let me gain(And, this ungranted, all rewards are vain ;) Of Priam's royal race my mother came→→ And sure the best that ever bore the nameWhom neither Troy nor Sicily could hold From me departing, but, o'erspent and old, My fate she follow'd. Ignorant of this (Whatever) danger, neither parting kiss Nor pious blessing taken, her I leave, And in this only act of all my life deceive. By this right hand, and conscious night I swear, My soul so sad a farewell could not bear. Be you her comfort; fill my vacant place? (Permit me to presume so great a grace :)
Support her age, forsaken and distress'd.
That hope alone will fortify my breast
Against the worst of fortunes, and of fears."
He said. The mov'd assistants melt in tears.
Then thus Ascanius, wonder-struck to see
That image of his filial piety:
"So great beginnings, in so green an age,
Exact the faith which I again engage.
Thy mother all the dues shall justly claim
Creusa had, and only want the name.
Whate'er event thy bold attempt shall have,
'Tis merit to have borne a son so brave.
Now by my head, a sacred oath, I swear,
(My father us'd it,) what, returning here
Crown'd with success, I for thyself prepare,
That, if thou fail, shall thy lov'd mother share."
He said, and weeping while he spoke the word,
From his broad belt he drew a shining sword,
Magnificent with gold. Lycaon made,
And in an iv'ry scabbard sheath'd the blade.
This was his gift. Great Mnestheus gave his
A lion's hide, his body to defend ;
And good Alethes furnish'd him beside,
With his own trusty helm, of temper tried.
Thus arm'd they went. The noble Trojans
Their issuing forth, and follow to the gate With prayers and vows. Above the rest ap
Ascanius, manly far beyond his years;
And messages committed to their care,
Which all in winds were lost, and flitting air.
The trenches first they pass'd; then took
Where their proud foes in pitch'd pavilions lay;
To many fatal, ere themselves were slain.
They found the careless host dispers'd upon
Who gorg'd and drunk with wine, supinely
Unharness'd chariots stand along the shore:
Amidst the wheels and reins, the goblet by,
A medley of debauch and war, they lie.
Observing Nisus show'd his friend the sight:
"Behold a conquest gain'd without a fight.
Occasion offers; and I stand prepar'd:
There lies our way: be thou upon the guard,
And look around, while I securely go,
And hew a passage through the sleeping foe."
Softly he spoke; then, striding, took his way,
With his drawn sword, where haughty Rham-
His head rais'd high on tapestry beneath,
And heaving from his breast, he drew his
A king and prophet, by king Turnus lov'd; But fate by prescience cannot be remov'd.
Him and his sleeping slaves he slew; then spies
Where Remus, with his rich retinue, lies.
His armour-bearer first, and next he kills
His charioteer, intrench'd betwixt the wheels
And his lov'd horses; last invades their lord:
Full on his neck he drives the fatal sword:
The gasping head flies off; a purple flood
Flows from the trunk, that welters in the blood,
Which, by the spurning heels dispers'd around,
The bed besprinkles, and bedews the ground.
Lamus the bold, and Lamyrus the strong,
He slew, and then Serranus fair and young.
From dice and wine the youth retir'd to rest,
And puff'd the fumy god from out his breast:
E'en then he dream'd of drink and lucky play-
More lucky, had it lasted till the day.
The famish'd lion thus, with hunger bold,
O'erleaps the fences of the nightly fold,
And tears the peaceful flocks: with silent awe
Trembling they lie, and pant beneath his paw.
Nor with less rage Euryalus employs The wrathful sword, or fewer foes destroys: But on th' ignoble crowd his fury flew : He Fadus, Hebesus, and Rhœtus slew. Oppress'd with heavy sleep the former fall, But Rhotus wakeful, and observing all: Behind a spacious jar he slink'd for fear : The fatal iron found and reach'd him there; For, as he rose, it pierc'd his naked side, And, reeking, thence return'd in crimson dy'd. The wound pours out a stream of wine and blood:
The purple soul comes floating in the flood.
Now, where Messapus quarter'd, they arrive. The fires were fainting there, and just alive: The warrior-horses, tied in order, fed. Nisus observ'd the discipline, and said: "Our eager thirst of blood may both betray; And see the scatter'd streaks of dawning day, Foe to nocturnal thefts. No more, my friend: Here let our glutted execution end.
A lane through slaughter'd bodies we have made."
The bold Euryalus, though loath, obey'd.
Of arms and arras, and of plate, they find
A precious load; but these they leave behind.
Yet, fond of gaudy spoils, the boy would stay
To make the rich caparison his prey,
Which on the steed of conquer'd Rhamnes lay.
Nor did his eyes less longingly behold
The girdle-belt, with nails of burnish'd gold.
This present Codicus the rich bestow'd
On Remulus, when friendship first they vow'd,
And, absent, join'd in hospitable ties:
He, dying, to his heir bequeath'd the prize;
Till by the conqu'ring Ardean troops oppress'd,
He fell; and they the glorious gift possess'd.