THE THIRTEENTH BOOK OF VIRGIL.
THE great character Maphaeus Vegius bore among the learned, may be a sufficient reason for me to have attempted the following translation; in which I was the more encouraged, as I do not know of any other version but one by Thomas Twine, doctor of physic, printed in the year 1584; and he, I am sure, is no powerful antagonist. I shall not pretend to criticise upon my author; but shall only observe, by the way, that I think him too fond of repetitions, some of which I have hurried over, and others I have entirely struck out.
Maphaeus Vegius was born at Lodi, in the Milaneze, in the year 1407, and was secretary of the briefs to pope Martin the Fifth, and afterwards datary. He was like wise endowed with a canonry of St. Peter's, with which he was so well contented, that he refused a rich bishoprick. Pope Eugenius the Fourth, and Nicholas the Fifth, out of their regard for his learning, and affection to his person, continued him in his office of datary.
He died at Rome in the year 1459.
THE THIRTEENTH BOOK OF VIRGIL.
Turnus being slain by Eneas, the Rutuli submit to the conqueror, and are suffered to carry off their dead leader with all his armour, except the belt of Pallas, which īs to be sent back to Evander. Eneas sacrifices to the gods. Latinus deplores the death of Turnus. So does Daunus his father, who likewise laments a great conflagration, that lays his city in ashes, and is miraculously transformed into a bird called a heron. Latinus sends messengers to Eneas with proposals of peace, and a treaty of marriage with his daughter Lavinia, which are both accepted. He comes to Laurentum, marries the daughter of the king, and at his death succeeds him in the kingdom, having first founded a city of his own, which he names Lavinium. Venus interceeds with Jupiter to make her son a god, which he consents to. She flies with him to heaven, and he is afterwards worshipped by the Romans.
1 DEform'd in dust now Turnus press'd the ground,
2 The soul indignant rushing from the wound,
3 While eminent amid the gazing bands,
4 Like Mars himself, the Trojan victor stands;[Page 230]
5 Groans thick in consort from the Latians rise,
6 And ev'ry heart in every bosom dies.
7 As the tall wood bewails in hollow sound,
8 By storms impell'd, her honours on the ground:
9 Now, fix'd in earth their spears, the humbled foe
10 Rest on their swords, and targets from them throw;
11 Condemn the thirst of battle, and abhor
12 The dreaded fury of destructive war;
13 Submit to all the conqu'ror shall impose,
14 And pardon crave and end of all their woes.
15 As when two bulls, inflam'd with martial rage,
16 Impetuous in the bloody fight engage,
17 To each his herd inclines, who anxious wait
18 The dubious conflict, and their champion's fate;
19 But, one victorious, t'others dames in awe
20 From their foil'd chief their former faith withdraw:
21 They grieve indeed, but join with one accord
22 To share the fortunes of an happier lord.
23 So the Rutulians, struck with mighty dread,
24 Tho' deep their sorrow for their leader dead,
25 Yet now the Phrygians glorious arms would join,
26 Conducted by a leader so divine;
27 And a firm league of lasting peace implore,
28 That cruel war might vex their lives no more.
29 Then striding o'er the foe, the ghastly dead,
30 The Trojan chief expostulating said:
31 "What madness seiz'd thee, Daunian, in the thought,
32 That we by Heaven's appointment hither brought,
33 Here planted by the thunderer's decree,
34 Could from our mansions be expell'd by thee?
35 Oh rash, the will celestial to oppose,
36 To anger Jove, and make the gods thy foes.
37 At length the utmost of thy rage is done
38 'Gainst Teucer's race with breach of league begun:
39 Lo, future times from this instructive day
40 Almighty Jove shall fear to disobey;
41 And learn from dread example, to abhor
42 The crime of kindling, without cause, a war.
43 Now boast thy arms: a noble corse thou'rt laid;
44 Since such a price thou for Lavinia paid:
45 Nor yet shall fame to thy dishonour tell,
46 Thata thou defeated by Eneas fell.
47 But, oh Rutulians, bear away your chief,
48 Funereal rites perform, indulge your grief;
49 With all his arms your hero I restore,
50 Except the belt which erst young Pallas wore;
51 That, to his hoary sire I mean to send,
52 Perhaps some comfort may the gift attend:
53 The sullen joy that slak'd revenge bestows,
54 May sooth his soul, and mollify his woes.
55 And ye, Ausonians, under better stars
56 Shall lead your legions to successful wars,
57 If justice wield the sword. I never sought
58 To harm your friends, but self-defending fought,
59 To save my own the hostile steel I drew,
60 Fate crown'd my honest aim, and frown'd on you."
61 Eneas said, and sought with inward joy
62 The walls that hold the poor remains of Troy;
63 Mean while his troops their well-lov'd chief attend,
64 And with reproach the conquer'd hosts offend:
65 Their shouts triumphant eccho to the sky,
66 The mettl'd coursers neigh, and seem to fly.
67 The pious Trojan ere he light the fire
68 Due to his friends upon the sacred pyre,
69 By other flames begins his just returns,
70 And to the gods each holy altar burns;
71 Observant ever of his country's rites,
72 The mitred priest devoted heifers smites.
73 The clam'rous swine increase the heaps of slain,
74 And milk-white lambkins plead for life in vain.
75 Forth from each victim are the entrails torn,
76 And piece-meal cut, in sacred chargers borne.
77 They strip the fleecy mother of her pride,
78 And roasting fires th' attendant throngs provide:
79 From deep-mouth'd urns they pour upon the shrine
80 Their due libations to the god of wine.
81 With grateful incense they the pow'rs invoke,
82 And from each altar curls the fragrant smoke.
83 The choral bands the hymns appointed sing
84 To thee, O Venus, and to Heav'ns Great King;
85 Saturnian Juno heard her praise with joy,
86 Her rage abated tow'rd the sons of Troy.
87 Mars too was sung, and then the num'rous host
88 Of minor gods, who seats aetherial boast. [Page 233]
89 Eneas with his hands to Heaven address'd,
90 And folding young Iülus to his breast,
91 Bespoke the boy; "At length, my only son,
92 Our toils are o'er, the task of war is done,
93 At length approaches the long wish'd-for hour
94 To clasp soft quiet, now within our pow'r.
95 Soon as the morn shall ope the gates of day
96 To yon proud walls, O wing thy speedy way:"
97 Next to his friends he turn'd him graceful round,
98 "Ye sons of Ilion, ever-faithful found,
99 Too long, alas, we've strangers been to ease,
100 The brunt of battle, and the rage of seas
101 Have been our lot, a scene of endless pain
102 Involv'd us all, but better days remain;
103 Our pangs are past, our suff'rings all are o'er,
104 Peace, dove-ey'd Peace, salutes us on this shore;
105 For know, Lavinia shall be firmly mine,
106 And Trojan shall with Latian blood combine;
107 From whose great mixture shall a nation spring,
108 To give the world one universal king,
109 Whose wide domain shall stretch from pole to pole,
110 Where earth is seen, or mighty oceans roll.
111 Then, dear companions, with th'Ausonian band
112 In peace and concord share this happy land;
113 The good Latinus as your king obey,
114 For who more just, more fit for regal sway.
115 This have I fix'd; by me be taught to dare
116 The rough approaches of invasive war,
117 By me instructed, suffer as you ought,
118 Nor on the gods cast one unhallow'd thought;[Page 234]
119 By heav'n I swear, my friends so often try'd,
120 Now wanton Fortune combats on my side,
121 The toils you've suffered, and the dangers past,
122 Shall meet with ample usury at last."
123 So spoke the chief, revolving in his mind
124 The various fortunes that attend mankind,
125 Rejoic'd to see the objects of his care
126 Safe, thro' his means, from tempests, rage, and war.
127 As when a kite in many a whirling ring
128 Intent on blood, comes stooping on the wing,
129 The anxious hen, for her young brood in dread,
130 The fell destroyer hov'ring o'er their head,
131 Whets her sharp bill, th' invader to engage,
132 And urg'd by fondness conquers lawless rage;
133 The tyrant flies, nor yet her fears suppress'd,
134 She calls each feather'd wand'rer to her breast,
135 There shields them close, and counts them o'er and o'er,
136 And dangers over-past regards no more:
137 Anchises son thus to his bands of Troy
138 By former woe enhances present joy,
139 The perils past of battle, land and seas,
140 Are sweet rememb'rance to an heart at ease,
141 For which the hero grateful homage pays
142 To ev'ry god, and hymns the thund'rer's praise.
143 The sad Rutulians their dead leader bear,
144 And the last office for the chief prepare,
145 The clam'rous sorrow catches all around,
146 Latinus heard the melancholy sound;[Page 235]
147 Presaging fears his anxious breast divide:
148 But when he saw the wound in Turnus side,
149 He quickly caught the epidemic woe,
150 His bosom heav'd, his eyes in torrents flow,
151 In graceful guise he wav'd his scepter'd hand,
152 And order'd silence to th' intruding band,
153 Who came in clusters thronging to the plain,
154 To view the features of the mighty slain.
155 As when the foaming boar, whom dogs surround,
156 Rips up their gen'rous chief with mortal wound,
157 The howling pack about the hunter throng,
158 And seem to call him to avenge the wrong;
159 The well known signals of his hand and voice
160 Reduce their tumult, and compose the noise:
161 Latinus silenc'd thus the clam'rous train,
162 And a dumb sorrow dwelt on all the plain;
163 The solemn pause the good old monarch broke,
164 And the big drops fell from him as he spoke.
165 "What scenes of various ills, of care, and strife,
166 Await poor mortals on this sea of life;
167 Pride finds in crowns her pleasures all compleat,
168 Deluded wretch to call a poison sweet;
169 Ambition hastens to the dusty field,
170 Can death, can dangers soft contentment yield?
171 Th' example now is recent to your eyes,
172 Young Turnus fate shou'd teach you to be wise.
173 Beneath the glitt'ring throne that bears a king
174 Are poniards hid, and aspies dart their sting:[Page 236]
175 Few, few alas, a monarch's cares behold,
176 He sighs in purple, and repines in gold,
177 Control'd to act against his own intent,
178 And when he sighs for peace, to war consent.
179 "Ah, what avail'd, mistaken Turnus say,
180 To urge my people to the lawless fray,
181 To break that knot which sacred faith had ty'd,
182 And war 'gainst those with whom th' immortals side?
183 'Twas with regret the sword of rage I drew,
184 For ah too well the consequence I knew.
185 Oft have I seen thee on thy bounding steed,
186 In burnish'd arms the willing nations lead,
187 As oft my prayers have sooth'd thee from the plain;
188 But sober prudence counsels rage in vain.
189 "My cities thinn'd, are nodding to their fall,
190 Each useless fortress weeps her ruin'd wall,
191 A sanguine dye, once happier rivers yield,
192 And Latian coursers whiten ev'ry field:
193 Ah me, what scenes attend Latinus' age,
194 Grief, devastation, war, despair, and rage!
195 "Farewel, once more. Ah, Turnus, where is now
196 That warmth for glory, and that awful brow?
197 That pleasing face, by youth more pleasing dress'd,
198 Now shocks the sight that once charm'd ev'ry breast.
199 Ah me! what horrors shall on Daunus wait,
200 When he shall hear his Turnus' rigid fate! [Page 237]
201 What stings of sorrow shall his bosom tear,
202 And Ardea's sons their monarch's grief shall share!
203 Yet soil'd with dust, and grim with clotted blood,
204 Cleanse the pale corse in yonder silver flood,
205 Perhaps some ease his father's heart may feel,
206 To know he sunk beneath an hero's steel."
207 He spake and wept, and turning to the train,
208 They raise the body off the dusty plain,
209 Plac'd on a bier, to Ardea's walls they tend,
210 A horrid present to a sire to send.
211 Shields, horses, swords, the prizes of the war,
212 Are borne aloft, next moves the rattling car,
213 Still wet with Phrygian blood. Metiscus now
214 Moves slowly on, and sorrow clouds his brow;
215 Metiscus, born to tame the gen'rous steed,
216 Doth in procession Turnus' courser lead.
217 The noble beast, who ne'er before knew fear,
218 Now shakes, and drops the sympathizing tear.
219 Full oft had he his daring master led,
220 Where the war thunder'd, and the nations bled,
221 To death, to danger, never known to yield,
222 The pride, the fear, the glory of the field.
223 Inverted arms the foll'wing legions bear,
224 And stuieks of sorrow pierce the yielding air.
225 Thro' night's dull shade they march, while Latium's king
226 Deep in his palace feels keen sorrow's sting,[Page 238]
227 Foresees strange horrors: widows, maids, and wives,
228 Young men and old, all anxious for their lives,
229 Join in one shrill complaint: thus surges roar,
230 When press'd by winds, they break upon the shore.
231 Nor yet had Daunus heard, his son no more
232 Should cheer his age, or what his army bore
233 In sullen pomp approaching Ardea's walls,
234 Another grief the pensive monarch calls:
235 For while the Latins had engag'd in fight,
236 And war-like Turnus glory'd in his might,
237 Involving flames had seiz'd his native land,
238 And Ardea's town was level'd to the sand.
239 Beyond the stars ascending sparkles fly,
240 And gleamy horror blazes thro' the sky.
241 So will'd the gods; perhaps the crumb'ling wall
242 In omen dread predicted Turnus fall;
243 Th' affrighted citizens in dread array,
244 Thro' flames and death pursue their dubious way;
245 The shrieks of matrons witness their despair,
246 And clouds of smoak involve the dark'ning air.
247 As careful ants for future wants provide,
248 Where an old oak presents her riven side,
249 But if the ax the shelt'ring timber wound,
250 Or bring its leafy honours to the ground,
251 Among the croud what cares tumultuous rise,
252 This way and that the sable cohort flies;
253 Or as the tortoise broiling on the fire,
254 When on her back, unable to retire,[Page 239]
255 With head, with feet, with tail declares her pain,
256 And tries all strength and stratagem in vain:
257 Thus Ardea's sons, beset with perils round,
258 And wild confusion, no deliv'rance found;
259 When from amid the flames was seen to rise
260 With clapping wings, a fowl that cuts the skies:
261 'Twas Ardea*
* Ardea, the Latin name for a heron or hern., but transform'd, and she e'er while
262 With turrets crown'd, and many a stately pile,
263 Now, giv'n the city's name and mark to bear,
264 On ample pinions flits around in air.
265 Fix'd with dismay th' astonish'd vulgar gaze,
266 Nor further fly to shun the dreadful blaze;
267 But who a monarch's sorrows can relate,
268 A monarch trembling for his country's fate,
269 Doom'd tales of fresh affliction soon to know,
270 Doom'd to a sad variety of woe.
271 The solemn train approaches now too near,
272 And Turnus corse beheld upon the bier;
273 Black torches, so their country's rites demand,
274 Each sad attendant carries in his hand;
275 A gen'ral sorrow seizes all the croud,
276 The tim'rous matrons, in afflictions loud,
277 Pierce heav'ns blue arch, their flowing garments tear,
278 Beat their soft breasts, and rend their flowing hair.
279 But when the father heard his Turnus slain,
280 He seem'd a statue fix'd upon the plain:
281 But soon his sorrows found a diff'rent way,
282 He flies like light'ning where the body lay,[Page 240]
283 The breathless corse he held in grapples fast,
284 And, tongue-ty'd long by grief, found words at last.
285 "My son, my son! my age's last relief,
286 Thy fire's late glory, now his cause of grief;
287 Prop of my age, and guardian of my throne,
288 Which totters to its fall now thou art gone:
289 Comfort no more her healing balm will shed,
290 My Turnus falls, and Daunus peace is fled.
291 Are these the trophies of thy vast renown?
292 Are these the glories of an added crown?
293 Are these the honours of extended pow'r,
294 O Fortune, giddy as the whirling hour?
295 Man builds up schemes for her to over-turn,
296 We grasp at sceptres, and possess an urn:
297 And thou, who, lately a whole nation's joy,
298 Didst drive thy thunders on the sons of Troy,
299 Now ly'st an empty form of lifeless clay,
300 Our hope no longer, nor the foe's dismay.
301 No more that tongue shall list'ning crouds persuade,
302 No more that face shall charm each gazing maid,
303 No more that form shall catch th' admiring view,
304 Those eyes no more their lustre shall renew;
305 Thy port majestic no one now shall prize,
306 In arts of peace, ah, Turnus. vainly wise;
307 Mars crop'd thy honours in their vernal bloom,
308 And ev'ry virtue withers on thy tomb.
309 Urg'd on to war, too eager in thy hate,
310 Thou rush'd to sight, and half-way met thy fate. [Page 241]
311 O Death, relentless, thy unerring blow
312 Strikes down the great, and lays the haughty low;
313 Kings, princes, people, his dread rigor fear,
314 And shrink to dust when he approaches near.
315 Insatiate pow'r, among the old and young,
316 Each day o'er whom thy sable stole is flung,
317 Could not thy hand arrest-one single dart,
318 That thro' a son's has riv'd a parent's heart?
319 Amata happy! now at endless rest,
320 Thy slaughter'd son moves not thy quiet breast.
321 Say, say, ye pow'rs! have I yet more to dread?
322 What drive ye next on this devoted head?
323 Ye crop'd my blossom in his earliest spring,
324 And blazing Ardea flutters on the wing.
325 Yet what is Ardea? for my child I moan.
326 The loss of him is ev'ry loss in one;
327 Some woe superior was for me decreed,
328 I have it now, and am a wretch indeed.
329 When once the Fates have mark'd their destin'd prey,
330 Each various ill pursues him on his way;
331 This way and that the fainting wretch is hurl'd,
332 The sport of heav'n, and pity of the world."
333 No more he said, but down his rev'rend cheeks,
334 In scalding streams, the briny torrent breaks;
335 Thick groans distend his breast, his eye-balls stare,
336 And all his looks are horror and despair.
337 So when a fawn is from th'embow'ring grove,
338 Truss'd by the bird of thunder-bearing Jove,[Page 242]
339 The hapless mother shakes with deadly fear,
340 And gives what aid she can, a fruitless tear.
341 Now from the portals of the rosy sky
342 The morn arising, earth born vapours fly;
343 When good Latinus, finding that 'twas vain
344 To try the fortunes of the warlike plain,
345 (For his pale legions shudder'd at the word,
346 And almost wish'd to call Eneas, lord,)
347 He much revolv'd of former breach of vows,
348 The truce infring'd, and long-disputed spouse.
349 At length a solemn embassy is sent,
350 A thousand men select for that intent;
351 Commission'd these the virtuous chief t'implore,
352 To waste Laurentum with his arms no more;
353 To quiet hostile rage amongst the bands,
354 And visit friendly old Latinus' lands.
355 With these went sages vers'd in Wisdom's lore,
356 Well skill'd to plead, and princes stand before:
357 Instructed to declare their king's desire,
358 To accomplish what the awful gods require;
359 And as they will'd, that Troy and Latium's blood
360 Should flow commingl'd in one common flood,
361 He yielded gladly to their wise decree,
362 And wish'd the Dardans and their chief to see.
363 Mean while Latinus cheers the anxious crew,
364 Relates his measures, and his pious view;[Page 243]
365 Hope swells their bosoms, and expels their fears,
366 The news in transport all Ausonia hears.
367 Now the glad city rings with peals of joy,
368 And all prepare to meet the sons of Troy,
369 Not in the plain in warfare to contend,
370 But as to meet a brother or a friend.
371 The royal court is deck'd with double care,
372 Worthy the chief who shall be shortly there.
373 The appointed envoys reach the camp design'd,
374 Their reverend heads fair olive-branches bind,
375 Of peace the token, and their tongues no less
376 Of friendly talk the full intent profess.
377 Within his palace, Venus' god-like son
378 With kind demeanor welcomes ev'ry one;
379 To whom thus Drances, Drances, first in age,
380 And who 'gainst Turnus nourish'd endless rage:
381 "O Trojan chief! thy Phrygia's chiefest boast,
382 In virtue first, and mightiest of the host,
383 Our royal master swears by all the pow'rs,
384 (Hear me, immortals, in your heav'nly bow'rs)
385 That 'gainst his will the treaties sworn, he broke,
386 Or did to fight your valiant bands provoke;
387 But inly wish'd to gratify the choice
388 The gods had made, by his assenting voice;
389 To give his daughter to thy longing arms,
390 Lavinia, fam'd for virtue, as for charms. [Page 244]
391 But if stern rage has turn'd his view aside,
392 If seas of blood have flow'd on either side;
393 If madding fury, reason over came,
394 O powerful chief, let Turnus bear the blame;
395 His busy mind disdain'd all peace and rest,
396 And floods of gall o'erflow'd his ranc'rous breast.
397 Long our Latinus stedfastly deny'd
398 To lend his troops, and 'gainst his will comply'd:
399 Ev'n then our armies wish'd the frantic boy
400 Would yield obedience to the chief of Troy.
401 Our monarch too requesting nations join'd;
402 But say, can Reason bend the stubborn mind?
403 Can human reason hope for weight or force,
404 When not the gods could turn his impious course?
405 In dire portents they spoke their will in vain,
406 His rage renews, he hurries to the plain,
407 Where his reward the daring caitiff found;
408 O'erborn by thee, he bites the bloody ground.
409 Ah, wicked youth! in Tartarus' black shade
410 Contract new nuptials with some Stygian maid;
411 If rage and fury still be thy delight,
412 In Acheron display thy skill in fight.
413 But thou, the happy heir of Latium's throne,
414 Whom all our people their protector own;
415 Whose ample praises are with rapture sung,
416 Whose glorious deeds untie the infant's tongue;
417 Our youth, our sages, and each sober dame,
418 With one accord all celebrate thy name:
419 That Turnus fell by thee we all rejoice,
420 Believe not me, but hear a nation's voice;[Page 245]
421 On thee, the Latians turn an eye of joy,
422 Latinus waits thee. O thou son of Troy,
423 Forbear a while to seek the shades of night,
424 In full expectance of the nuptial rite;
425 So shall th' Italian and the Phrygian race
426 Join in one stock, which time shall ne'er efface.
427 Then haste, great chief! thy conduct be our care,
428 To gain those honours thou wast born to wear."
429 He said; the shouting bands his sense approve,
430 And former hate gives way to new-born love:
431 To which the pious hero smiling kind,
432 Thus spoke the gentle dictates of his mind:
433 "The rage of combats, and past scenes of woe,
434 Ye and your king are guiltless of I know:
435 Turnus alone provok'd the martial strife,
436 Lavish of blood, and prodigal of life;
437 A raging passion for delusive fame
438 Too oft we find the youthful breast inflame;
439 Then tell your king his will shall be obey'd,
440 With rapture I embrace the Latian maid,
441 And peace eternal swear. Nor till the pow'rs
442 Have stopp'd the course of good Latinus' hours,
443 Shall his imperial sceptres grace these hands;
444 But, born a king, he still shall rule these lands.
445 Another city shall my Trojans found,
446 Where added houshold gods shall bless the ground;
447 Lavinia's name shall grace the rising town,
448 And equal laws united bands shall own:[Page 246]
449 May love and friendship spread thro' all the host,
450 And Troy and Latium in one name be lost.
451 What now remains but with a pious care
452 To burn those corses that infect the air,
453 Sad victims of the war, whose rav'nous hand
454 Smites mighty heroes, and destroys a land?
455 That bus'ness done, to-morrow's sun shall guide
456 The happy lover to his blooming bride."
457 He said; th' attentive people round him gaze,
458 His virtues charm them, and they shout his praise.
459 Now see the busy legions all around,
460 Trees crack'ling fall, and axes loud resound;
461 With holy zeal they shape the diff'rent pyres,
462 And high to heav'n ascend the curling fires;
463 Thick clouds of smoke mount slowly to the sky,
464 A thousand sheep, appointed victims, die;
465 The blood of swine impurples all the plain,
466 And in the flames they cast the heifers slain:
467 No more the field is loaded with the dead,
468 And noisy shouts around the plain are spread;
469 At length the sun diffus'd his golden ray,
470 And all prepar'd to hasten on their way.
471 Eneas first his fiery steed bestrode,
472 And at his side the rev'rend Drances rode,
473 Who much bespoke the chief; the next to sight
474 Ascanius came, in youthful honours bright:
475 The good Aletes, deeply worn with age,
476 Ilioneus, and Mnestheus, worthy sage;[Page 247]
477 Serestus and Sergestus pass'd along,
478 And valiant Gyas, and Cloanthus strong.
479 In bands commix'd, the foll'wing troops succeed,
480 For so the friendly leaders had decreed.
481 Now on Laurentum's wall, a gaping train
482 View'd the procession moving o'er the plain;
483 Each citizen exults with inward joy,
484 To think the sword no longer shall destroy.
485 Latinus from the town, a certain way
486 With chosen friends, to meet the Trojan, lay:
487 Nor could the croud the god-like chief conceal,
488 The mighty prince his actions all reveal;
489 High o'er the rest in graceful pomp he trod,
490 Each action spoke the offspring of a god.
491 Thus met, the leader of the Latian band
492 Address'd the chief, and press'd his friendly hand:
493 "At length, thou glory of the Trojan race,
494 My hope's compleat, for I behold thy face.
495 To me at length the happy hour is giv'n,
496 To clasp the choicest fav'rite of heav'n;
497 With joy to yield to the divine decree,
498 That here hath fix'd a resting place for thee.
499 Long toss'd thro' perils, here thy rigors cease,
500 These lands, these happy lands, enjoy in peace.
501 Tho' furious rage that knows not e'er to yield,
502 Tho' Jove should frown, has drench'd with blood the field,[Page 248]
503 Tho' lawless licence arm'd her harpy claws,
504 And wildly boasted violated laws;
505 Yet I, alas, unwillingly comply'd,
506 With tears, not blood, Latinus' steel was dy'd:
507 Deceiv'd my legions fought, and he who most,
508 In Jove's despight, attack'd thy pious host,
509 Now lies a carcass on the barren sand,
510 Victim of heav'n, and of thy mighty hand.
511 No more the trumpet shall awake to arms
512 Thy martial soul, that bends to Hymen's charms.
513 Some realms I have, and towns my own I call,
514 Fit for defence, and girdl'd with a wall:
515 Yet of all objects that my soul engage,
516 Lavinia's chief, the comfort of my age;
517 She and her charms, O mighty son, be thine,
518 In this embrace I the sweet maid resign.
519 Dear to my soul, thy virtues I adore,
520 Sprung from my loins, I could not love thee more."
521 To whom Eneas, "When that rev'rend head
522 Meets my glad sight, by hoary Time o'erspread,
523 I soon conclude that battle's stubborn rage
524 Was ne'er the option of thy prudent age;
525 If thou hast fears, oh, give them to the wind,
526 In thee, oh monarch, I a father find;
527 Believe thy son, when'er that form I view,
528 The thoughts of good Anchises rise anew;
529 Again his figure in full sight appears,
530 And filial duty melts me into tears."
531 Now to the palace hastes the royal pair,
532 The Latian crowd confess the strangers fair;
533 Maids, women, boys, and hoary sires combine
534 To praise the beauties of their guests divine.
535 But chief Eneas struck their wond'rous eyes:
536 His fair demeanour, and superior size,
537 Caught ev'ry gazer, and sincere their praise
538 Attends the chief who bless with peace their days.
539 As when long rains have drench'd the genial plain,
540 In gloomy sadness sits each pensive swain;
541 With arms infolded, and dejected brow,
542 The farmer weeps his unavailing plow:
543 But clad in splendor should the sun arise,
544 And pour his golden glories thro' the skies,
545 They haste exulting to their honest care,
546 And wound earth's bosom with the crooked share:
547 So the Ausonians lull'd their mind to ease,
548 And shout and revel at the approach of peace.
549 Latinus now had reach'd the palace gate,
550 Eneas joins, Iülus swells the state;
551 Trojans, Italians, march in pomp along,
552 And the court brightens with a noble throng:
553 By matrons circled, and by virgins led
554 Appear'd the partner of Eneas bed;
555 Her eyes like stars diffus'd a lustre round,
556 Her modest eyes she rivets to the ground.
557 Soon as the Trojan saw the beauteous maid,
558 He gaz'd, he lov'd, and thus in secret said:[Page 250]
559 "I blame not, Turnus, thy ambitious rage,
560 For such a prize who'd not in war engage?
561 To taste such beauties, such transcendent charms,
562 Kings rouse the nations, and the world's in arms."
563 The sacred priest fast by the altar stands,
564 And joins in marriage-bond their plighted hands:
565 With peals of joy the vaulted roofs resound,
566 And Hymeneal songs are wafted all around.
567 And now Achates, by his prince fore-taught,
568 From out the camp the various presents brought.
569 Vests work'd with gold which Hector's consort gave,
570 Ere yet the Greeks had cross'd the briny wave;
571 A collar too, whose gems emitted flame,
572 And once the honour of the princely dame:
573 Nor was forgot a bowl insculptur'd high,
574 Pond'ious to bear, and beauteous to the eye,
575 Which on Anchises' board did whilom blaze,
576 The gift of Priam in his happier days.
577 This for Latinus good Achates brings,
578 Such royal presents kings may send to kings:
579 But the gay robes, and collar's radiant pride,
580 Are justly destin'd for the blooming bride.
581 Now converse sweet, and joy without allay,
582 Deceives the winged hours, and closes day;
583 The genial feast is serv'd in sumptuous state,
584 For luxury, at times, becomes the great.
585 On purple couches all the nobles lie,
586 The taught attendants wait attentive by;[Page 251]
587 From chrystal urns are living waters pour'd,
588 And every dainty loads the regal board.
589 Bright Ceres here provides her gifts divine,
590 And the red god bestows his choicest wine.
591 With eye attentive ev'ry waiter stands,
592 And flies to execute each guest's commands.
593 This serves the chargers, that the mantling bowl,
594 And crowds in billows seem to wave, and roll.
595 Latinus near Iülus at the board,
596 Heard him with transport, and devour'd each word;
597 For in the godlike youth at once combin'd,
598 The grace of feature with the worth of mind;
599 His manly talk, his observations sage,
600 Bespoke a judgment riper than his age.
601 Nor could the king with-hold his honest praise,
602 "Take this embrace, thou wonder of thy days:
603 Thrice bless'd Eneas, sure the gods conspire
604 To make each son add lustre to the sire."
605 The banquet ended, some their talk employ
606 On Grecian battles, and the fall of Troy:
607 Now of Laurentum's broils, what shrinking bands
608 Fled from the foe, or dar'd opposers hands;
609 Who first broke thro' the ranks with furious force,
610 And thro' the slaughter urg'd his foaming horse.
611 But much Eneas and Latinus told
612 Of Latium's ancient deeds, and hero's old;
613 How Saturn flying from his offspring's rage,
614 In fair Hesperia hid his hoary age,[Page 252]
615 Hence Latium call'd: he taught to raise the vine,
616 And the forc'd earth her bounties to resign;
617 A wand'ring race, and mountain-bred he tam'd,
618 By arts improv'd them, and with laws reclaim'd.
619 Again Jove seeks his father's realms, to taste
620 Electra's beauties, and the dame embrac'd,
621 Whence Dardanus was born: his brothers slain
622 By his own hand, he fled across the main.
623 From Corythus he fled, with num'rous bands,
624 And safely settled on the Phrygian lands.
625 Proud of his birth, he in his banner bore
626 The bird of Jove, which after, Hector wore.
627 Much fame he won, which time shall ne'er destroy,
628 Th' immortal founder of imperial Troy.
629 To choral airs the high-roof'd palace rings,
630 The torches blaze, the minstrel sweeps the strings;
631 Trojan and Latians to the sound advance,
632 And mingle friendly in the mazy dance.
633 For thrice three days in revelry and joy
634 They drown'd their cares: at length the chief of Troy
635 To other tasks directs his curious eyes,
636 Mark'd out by plows shall destin'd cities rise;
637 Here form they trenches, there dig ditches wide,
638 When, strange to say, the Phrygian leader spy'd
639 A blazing glory round Lavinia's head,
640 Which to the sky its flamy honours spread.
641 He stood aghast, nor knew what meant the sign;
642 But thus his pray'r address'd: "O king divine,
643 Of men and gods! if e'er my Trojan bands
644 Have unrepining follow'd thy commands,[Page 253]
645 Still thro' all perils or by land or sea
646 To thee have pray'd, have sacrific'd to thee;
647 If I have led them to these pious deeds,
648 Explain this omen that belief exceeds.
649 Ah may no dire portent our peace oppose,
650 Be ended here, O Jove! our various woes."
651 While thus he pray'd, his mother lay conceal'd
652 Behind a cloud; but, soon to sight reveal'd,
653 Thus sooths her son: "Thy doubts and cares give o'er,
654 Interpret right the happiness in store
655 The gods predict. Peace spreads her olive wand,
656 And buxom plenty crowns the laughing land.
657 The lambient glories round Lavinia seen,
658 Portend the god-like issue of the queen;
659 From her a mighty race of chiefs shall rise,
660 Whose fame immortal shall ascend the skies;
661 The vanquish'd world with pride shall wear their chain,
662 Realms far divided by the seas in vain.
663 This flame, great Jove from high Olympus sent;
664 Fame yet reserv'd is mark'd by this portent;
665 Her share of honours let Lavinia claim,
666 Call thy new city by her happy name.
667 Thy houshold gods, escap'd from burning Troy,
668 Shall in these walls a double peace enjoy;
669 With pious awe their kindly love revere,
670 For know they ever shall inhabit here.
671 With such affection for these realms they burn,
672 That forc'd from hence again they shall return;
673 No other climes their godheads deign to bless,
674 Then, my best son, thy happiness confess. [Page 254]
675 O'er Trojan bands thy legal sway maintain,
676 'Till good Latinus seeks the Elysian plain;
677 Then double scepters shall my offspring grace,
678 Ruler of Troy, and Latium's hardy race:
679 One common law shall bind them all in one,
680 No fell division, and distinction none.
681 Yet mark, O mark, what still remains for thee,
682 The gods consenting fix'd the kind decree,
683 Thy days spun out, thou shalt not mix with earth,
684 More honours claim thy virtues and thy birth;
685 'Tis thine to enter in the bless'd abodes,
686 Vanquish proud Fate, and mingle with the gods."
687 She spoke, and quickly darting from the sight,
688 Streak'd the thin ether with a trail of light.
689 The hero stood revolving in his mind
690 The various bounties which the pow'rs design'd;
691 Peace crown'd his days, Latinus yields to Fate,
692 The pious Trojan rules the happy state,
693 Full wide extends his undisputed sway,
694 And all alike one common king obey;
695 Their rites, their customs, and their will the same,
696 As citizens they share one gen'ral name.
697 And now the mother of each smiling love,
698 Prostrate, and trembling at the throne of Jove,
699 Bespoke the god: "Almighty sire of Heav'n!
700 To whom the ruling of the world is giv'n,
701 Who read'st mankind, and seest the heart's intent,
702 Ere yet the lips have giv'n the secret vent,[Page 255]
703 Thy sacred promise let a goddess claim,
704 A goddess pleading for the Trojan name:
705 Didst thou not vow in pity of their woes,
706 To ease their suff'rings by a blest repose?
707 Nor can I tax thy promise made in vain,
708 Three years hath peace beheld this happy plain;
709 Yet think, O Jove, to sooth a mother's care,
710 There yet remains a seat in heav'n to spare
711 For great Eneas, who transcends all praise:
712 Speak thy decree, thine humbler suppliant raise.
713 Past mortal strength his growing virtues rise,
714 Too great for earth, he ripens for the skies."
715 To whom the mighty pow'r with looks serene.
716 But first he rais'd, and kiss'd the Cyprian queen:
717 "Thy mighty son and all his pow'rful bands
718 That much I love, bear witness sea and lands,
719 My arm hath snatch'd them from each peril near,
720 And at their suff'rings Jove has shed a tear
721 For thy fair sake. My Juno now relents,
722 And to my grant, o'ercome, at length consents.
723 Then 'tis decreed, his virtues shall prevail,
724 Purge off each part that makes the mortal frail,
725 Then add him to the stars; should others rise
726 Of equal merit, they shall share the skies."
727 The gods assent, and Juno vex'd no more,
728 Requests the boon she often cross'd before.
729 Quick from the starry pole fair Venus glides,
730 And where Numicus rolls thro' reeds his tides,[Page 256]
731 She dips her son, and washes well away
732 Each grosser particle of mortal clay;
733 The part divine to heav'n the goddess bears,
734 And the just prince aetherial honours shares.
735 Him as their god the Julian race invoke,
736 For him do temples rise, and sacred altars smoke.