Page images
[blocks in formation]

His shining helm Euryalus betray'd.
On which the moon with full reflection play'd.
"Tis not for naught," cried Volscens from the
"These men go there:" then rais'd his voice
"Stand! stand why thus in arms? and whither
[sent ?"
From whence, to whom, and on what errand
Silent they scud away, and haste their flight
To neighb'ring woods, and trust themselves to

The speedy horse all passages belay,
And spur their smoking steeds to cross their

[blocks in formation]

Or desp❜rate should he rush and lose his life,
With odds oppress'd, in such unequal strife!
Resolv'd at length, his pointed spear he shook ;
And casting on the moon a mournful look:
"Guardian of groves, and goddess of the night!
Fair queen!" he said, "direct my dart aright.
If e'er my pious father for my sake,
Did grateful off'rings on thy altars make,
Or I increas'd them with my sylvan toils,
And hung the holy roofs with savage spoils,
Give me to scatter these." Then from his ear
He pois'd, and aim'd, and launch'd the trem-
bling spear.

The deadly weapon, hissing from the grove,
Impetuous on the back of Sulmo drove ;
Pierc'd his thin armour, drank his vital blood,
And in his body left the broken wood.
He staggers round: his eyeballs roll in death;
And, with short sobs, he gasps away his breath.
All stand amaz'd :—a second jav❜lin flies
With equal strength, and quivers through the

This through thy temples, Tagus, forc'd the way,

And in the brain-pan warmly buried lay. Fierce Volscens foams with rage, and, gazing round,

Descried not him who gave the fatal wound, Nor knew to fix revenge: "but thou," he cries "Shalt pay for both," and at the pris'ner flies With his drawn sword. Then, struck with deep despair,

That cruel sight the lover could not bear; But from his covert rush'd in open view, And sent his voice before him as he flew: "Me! me!" he cried-" turn all your swords alone

[blocks in formation]

Onward he press'd, and kept him still in sight, Then whirl'd aloft his sword with all his might: Th' unerring steel descended while he spoke, Pierc'd his wide mouth, and through his weazon broke.

Dying he slew; and stagg'ring on the plain,
With swimming eyes he sought his lover slain;
Then quiet on his bleeding bosom fell,
Content, in death, to be reveng'd so well.

O happy friends! for, if my verse can give Immortal life, your fame shall ever live. Fix'd as the Capitol's foundation lies, And spread, where'er the Roman eagle flies?

The conq'ring party first divide the prey, Then their slain leader to the camp convey. With wonder, as they went, the troops were fill'd,

To see such numbers whom so few had kill'd.
Sarranus, Rhamnes, and the rest they found:
Vast crowds the dying and the dead surround;
And the yet reeking blood o'erflows the ground.
All knew the helmet which Messapus lost,
But mourn'd a purchase that so dear had cost.
Now rose the ruddy morn from Tithon's bed,
And with the dawn of day the skies o'erspread:
Nor long the sun his daily course withheld,
But added colours to the world reveal'd;
When early Turnus, wak'ning with the light,
All clad in armour, calls his troops to fight;
His martial men with fierce harangues he fir'd,
And his own ardour in their souls inspir'd.
This done to give new terror to his foes,
The head of Nisus and his friend he shows,
Rais'd high on pointed spears-a ghastly sight!
Loud peals of shouts ensue, and barbarous de-

Meantime the Trojans run, where danger calls,

They line their trenches, and they man their walls:

In front extended to the left they stood:
Safe was the right, surrounded by the flood.
But, casting from their tow'rs a frightful view,
They saw the faces, which too well they knew,
Though then disguis'd in death, and smear'd all


With filth obscene, and dropping putrid gore.
Soon hasty fame through the sad city bears
The mournful message to the mother's ears.
An icy cold benumbs her limbs: she shakes:
Her cheeks the blood, her hand the web forsakes.
She runs the rampires round amidst the war,
Nor fears the flying darts: she rends her hair,
And fills with loud laments the liquid air.
"Thus then my lov'd Euryalus appears!
Thus looks the prop of my declining years!
Was 't on this face my famish'd eyes I fed?
Ah! how unlike the living is the dead!

And couldst thou leave me, cruel, thus alone?
Not one kind kiss from a departing son!
No look, no last adieu before he went,
In an ill-boding hour to slaughter sent!
Cold on the ground, and pressing foreign clay,
To Latian dogs and fowls he lies a prey!
Nor was I near to close his dying eyes,
To wash his wounds, to weep his obsequies;
To call about his corpse his crying friends,
Or spread the mantle (made for other ends)
On his dear body, which I wove with care,
Nor did my daily pains or nightly labour spare.
Where shall I find his corpse? what earth sus-

His trunk dismember'd, and his cold remains?
For this, alas! I left my needful ease,
Expos'd my life to winds, and winter seas!
If any pity touch Rutulian hearts,
Here empty all your quivers, all your darts:
Or, if they fail, thou, Jove, conclude my wo,
And send me thunder-struck to shades below."
Her shrieks and clamours pierce the Trojans'

Unman their courage, and augment their fears:
Nor young Ascanius could the sight sustain,
Nor old Ilioneus his tears restrain;
But Actor and Idæus jointly sent,
To bear the madding mother to her tent.
And now the trumpets terribly, from far,
With rattling clangour rouse the sleepy war.
The soldiers' shouts succeed the brazen sounds;
And heav'n from pole to pole the noise re-
The Volscians bear their shields upon their
And, rushing forward, form a moving shed:
These fill the ditch; those pull the bulwarks

Some raise the ladders; others scale the town.
But, where void spaces on the walls appear,
Or thin defence, they pour their forces there.
With poles and missive weapons, from afar
The Trojans kept aloof the missive war;
Taught by their ten years' siege defensive fight,
And roll down ribs of rocks, an unresisted

To break the penthouse with the pond'rous blow,

Which yet the patient Volscians undergo-
But could not bear th' unequal combat long;
For, where the Trojans find the thickest throng,
The ruin falls: their shatter'd shields give way,
And their crush'd heads become an easy prey.
They shrink for fear, abated of their rage,
Nor longer dare in a blind fight engage-
Contented now to gall them from below,
With darts and slings, and with the distant bow.
Elsewhere Mezentius, terrible to view,
A blazing pine within the trenches threw.

But brave Messapus, Neptune's warlike son,
Broke down the palisades, the trenches won,
And loud for ladders calls, to scale the town.
Calliope, begin! ye sacred Nine,
Inspire your poet in his high design,
To sing what slaughter manly Turnus made,
What souls he sent below the Stygian shade,
What fame the soldiers with their captain share,
And the vast circuit of the fatal war:
For you, in singing martial facts, excel;
You best remember, and alone can tell.

There stood a tower amazing to the sight, Built up of beams, and of stupendous height: Art, and the nature of the place, conspir'd, To furnish all the strength that war requir'd. To level this the bold Italians join; The wary Trojans obviate their design; With weighty stones o'erwhelm their troops below, [throw. Shoot through the loopholes, and sharp jav'lins Turnus the chief toss'd from his thund'ring hand, Against the wooden walls, a flaming brand: It stuck, the fiery plague: the winds were high, The planks were season'd and the timber dry. Contagion caught the posts; it spread along, Scorch'd, and to distance drove, the scatter'd throng.

The Trojans fled; the fire pursued amain,
Still gath'ring fast upon the trembling train ;
Till, crowding to the corners of the wall,
Down the defence and the defenders fall.
The mighty flaw makes heav'n itself resound:
The dead and dying Trojans strew the ground.
The tow'r, that follow'd on the fallen crew,
Whelm'd o'er their heads, and buried whom it

Some stuck upon the darts themselves had sent, All the same equal ruin underwent.

Young Lycus and Helenor only 'scape; Say'd-how, they know not-from the steepy leap.

Helenor, elder of the two; by birth,
On one side royal, one a son of earth;
Whom to the Lydian king Lycimnia bare,
And sent her boasted bastard to the war:
(A privilege which none but freemen share.)
Slight were his arms, a sword and silver shield
No marks of honour charg'd its empty field.
Light as he fell, so light the youth arose,
And, rising, found himself amidst his foes;
Nor flight was left, nor hopes to force his way.
Imbolden'd by despair, he stood at bay;
And like a stag, whom all the troop surrounds
Of eager huntsmen and invading hounds-
Resolv'd on death, he dissipates his fears,
And bounds aloft against the pointed spears:
So dares the youth, secure of death; and throws
His dying body on his thickest foes.

But Lycus, swifter of his feet by far, Runs, doubles, winds, and turns, amidst the war: Springs to the walls, and leaves his foes behind, And snatches at the beam he first can find; Looks up, and leaps aloft at all the stretch, In hopes the helping hand of some kind friend to reach.

But Turnus follow'd hard his hunted prey, (His spear had almost reach'd him in the way, Short of his reins, and scarce a span behind.) "Fool!" said the chief," though fleeter than the wind, [sue?" Couldst thou presume to 'scape, when I purHe said, and downward by the feet he drew The trembling dastard: at the tug he falls: Vast ruins come along, rent from the smoking walls.

Thus on some silver swan, or tim❜rous hare,
Jove's bird comes sousing down from upper air;
Her crooked talons truss the fearful prey :
Then out of sight she soars, and wings her way.
So seizes the grim wolf the tender lamb,
In vain lamented by the bleating dam.
Then rushing onward with a barbarous cry,
The troops of Turnus to the combat fly.
The ditch with fagots fill'd, the daring foe
Toss'd firebrands to the steepy turrets throw.
Ilioneus, as bold Lucetius came

To force the gate, and feed the kindling flame,
Roll'd down the fragment of a rock so right,
It crush'd him double underneath the weight.
Two more young Liger and Asylus slew:
To bend the bow young Liger better knew;
Asylus best the pointed jav'lin threw.
Brave Cæneus laid Ortygus on the plain;
The victor Cæneus was by Turnus slain.
By the same hand, Clonius and Itys fall,
Sagar, and Idas standing on the wall.
From Capys' arms, his fate Privernus found:
Hurt by Themilla first-but slight the wound,—
His shield thrown by, to mitigate the smart,
He clapp'd his hand upon the wounded part:
The second shaft came swift and unespied,
And pierc'd his hand and nail'd it to his side,
Transfix'd his bleeding lungs, and beating heart;
The soul came issuing out, and hiss'd against
the dart.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

You shall not find the sons of Atreus here,
Nor need the frauds of sly Ulysses fear.
Strong from the cradle, of a sturdy brood,
We bear our new-born infants to the flood;
There bath'd amid the stream, our boys we

With winter harden'd, and inur'd to cold.
They wake before the day to range the wood,
Kill ere they eat, nor taste unconquer❜d food.
No sports, but what belong to war they know-
To break the stubborn colt, to bend the bow.
Our youth, of labour patient, earn their bread;
Hardly they work, with frugal diet fed.

From ploughs and harrows sent to seek re-

They fight in fields, and storm the shaken town.
No part of life from toils of war is free,
No change in age or diff'rence in degree.
We plough and till in arms : our oxen feel,
Instead of goads, the spur and pointed steel:
The inverted lance makes furrows in the plain.
E'en time, that changes all, yet changes us in

Sing, dance, and howl, by turns, in Ida's shade: Resign the war to men, who know the martial trade."


We live by plunder, and delight in prey.
Your vests embroider'd with rich purple shine;
In sloth you glory, and in dances join.
Your vests have sweeping sleeves; with female

Your turbans underneath your chins are tied.
Go, Phrygians, to your Dindymus again!
Go, less than women, in the shapes of men!
Go! mix'd with eunuchs in the mother's rites,
(Where with unequal sound the flute invites,)

This foul reproach Ascanius could not bear
With patience, or a vow'd revenge forbear.
At the full stretch of both his hands, he drew
And almost join'd the horns of the tough yew.
But first before the throne of Jove he stood,
And thus with lifted hands invok'd the god :
"My first attempt, great Jupiter, succeed!
An annual offering in thy grove shall bleed,
A snow-white steer, before thy altar led,
Who, like his mother, bears aloft his head,
Butts with his threat'ning brows, and bellowing

And dares the fight, and spurns the yellow

Jove bow'd the heav'ns, and lent a gracious


And thunder'd on the left, amidst the clear.
Sounded at once the bow; and swiftly flies
The feather'd death, and hisses through the

The steel through both his temples forc'd the

Extended on the ground, Numanus lay.
"Go now, vain boaster! and true valour scorn!
The Phrygians, twice subdu'd, yet make this
third return.'

Ascanius said no more. The Trojans shake The heav'ns with shouting, and new vigour take,

Apollo then bestrode a golden cloud,

To view the feats of arms, and fighting crowd;
And thus the beardless victor he bespoke aloud:
"Advance, illustrious youth! increase in fame,
And wide from east to west, extend thy name-
Offspring of gods thyself; and Rome shall owe
To thee a race of demigods below.
This is the way to heav'n: the pow'rs divine
From this beginning date the Julian line.
To thee, to them, and their victorious heirs,
The conquer'd war is due; and the vast world
is theirs.

The body, not the mind-nor can control
'Th' immortal vigour, or abate the soul.

Troy is too narrow for thy name." He said,
And plunging downward shot his radiant head;

Our helms defend the young, disguise the Dispell'd the breathing air, that broke his flight:

Shorn of his beams, a man to mortal sight.
Old Butes' form he took, Anchises' squire,
Now left to rule Ascanius, by his sire;
His wrinkled visage, and his hoary hairs,
His mien, his habit, and his arms he wears,
And thus salutes the boy, too forward for his

"Suffice it thee, thy father's worthy son,
The warlike prize thou hast already won.
The god of archers gives thy youth a part
Of his own praise, nor envies equal art.

Now tempt the war no more." He said, and


Obscure in air, and vanish'd from their view. The Trojans, by his arms, their patron know, And hear the twanging of his heavenly bow. Then duteous force they use, and Phoebus'


To keep from fight the youth too fond of fame. Undaunted, they themselves no dangers shun: From wall to wall, the shouts and clamours run: They bend their bows; they whirl their slings around:

Heaps of spent arrows fall, and strew the

And helms, and shields, and rattling arms re-
The combat thickens, like the storm that flies
From westward, when the show'ry Kids arise;
Or patt'ring hail comes pouring on the main,
When Jupiter descends in harden'd rain,
Or bellowing clouds burst with a stormy sound,
And with an armed winter strew the ground.

Pand'rus and Bitias, thunder-bolts of war,
Whom Hiera to bold Alcanor bore,

On Ida's top-two youths of height and size
Like firs that on their mother-mountain rise-
Presuming on their force, the gates unbar,
And of their own accord invite the war,
With fates averse, against their king's com-

Arm❜d, on the right and on the left, they stand,
And flank the passage: shining steel they wear,
And waving crests above their heads appear.
Thus two tall oaks, that Padus' banks adorn,
Lift up to heav'n their leafy heads unshorn,
And, ever press'd with nature's heavy load,
Dance to the whistling winds, and at each other

[blocks in formation]

Sarpedon's son) he slew: the deadly dart Found passage through his breast, and pierc'd his heart.

Fix'd in the wound th' Italian cornel stood,
Warm'd in his lungs, and in his vital blood.
Aphidnus next, and Erymanthus dies,
And Meropes, and the gigantic size
Of Bitias, threat'ning with his ardent eyes;
Not by the feeble dart he fell oppress'd,
(A dart were lost within his roomy breast,)
But from a knotted lance, large, heavy, strong,
Which roar'd like thunder as it whirl'd along:
Not two bull-hides th' impetuous force withhold,
Nor coat of double mail, with scales of gold.
Down sunk the monster bulk, and press'd the

(His arms and clatt'ring shield on the vast body sound.)

Not with less ruin than the Baian mole,
Rais'd on the seas, the surges to control-
At once comes tumbling down the rocky wall,
Prone to the deep; the stones disjointed fall
Of the vast pile; the scatter'd ocean flies;
Black sands, discolour'd froth, and mingled mud,

In flows a tide of Latians, when they see
The gates set open, and the passage
Bold Quercens, with rash Tmarus rushing on,
Equicolus, who in bright armour shone,
And Hæmon first: but soon repuls'd they fly,
Or in the well-defended pass they die.
These with success are fir'd, and those with Fool as he was, and frantic in his care,

Some happier friends within the walls enclos'd;
The rest shut out, to certain death expos'd;

The frighted billows roll, and seek the shores: Then trembles Prochyta, then Ischia roars : Typhoeus, thrown beneath by Jove's command, Astonish'd at the flaw that shakes the land, Soon shifts his weary side, and, scarce awake, With wonder feels the weight press lighter on

his back.

The warrior god the Latian troops inspir'd, And strung their sinews, and their courage fir'd, But chills the Trojan hearts with cold affright: Then black despair precipitates their flight.

When Pandarus beheld his brother kill'd, The town with fear and wild confusion fill'd, He turns the hinges of the heavy gate With both his hands, and adds his shoulders to the weight;

T'admit young Turnus, and include the war;
He thrust amid the crowd, securely bold,
Like a fierce tiger pent amid the fold.
Too late his blazing buckler they descry,
And sparkling fires that shot from either eye,
His mighty members, and his ample breast,
His rattling armour, and his crimson crest.
Far from that hated face the Trojans fly,
All but the fool who sought his destiny. [vow'd
Mad Pandarus steps forth, with vengeance
For Bitias' death, and threatens thus aloud:
"These are not Ardea's walls, nor this the


Amata proffers with Lavinia's crown:

« EelmineJätka »