Page images
PDF
EPUB

With sprightly grace, and equal beauty crown'd: Nisus, for friendship to the youth renown'd. Diores, next, of Priam's royal race,

But fortune's errours give me leave to mend,
At least to pity my deserving friend."
He said: and, from among the spoils, he draws

Then Salius; join'd with Patron, took their place: (Ponderous with shaggy mane and golden paws)
But Patron in Arcadia had his birth,
And Salius his from Acarnanian earth.

Then two Sicilian youths, the names of these,
Swift Helymus, and lovely Panopes,
Both jolly huntsmen, both in forest bred,
And owning old Acestes for their head.
With several others of ignobler name,
Whom time has not deliver'd o'er to fame.

To these the hero thus his thoughts explain'd:
In words, which general approbation gain'd:
"One common largess is for all design'd;
The vanquish'd and the victor shall be join'd.
Two darts of polish'd steel and Gnosian wood,
A silver-studded ax alike bestow'd.

The foremost three have olive wreaths decreed;
The first of these obtains a stately steed
Adorn'd with trappings; and the next in fame,
The quiver of an Amazonian dame,
With feather'd Thracian arrows well supply'd;
A golden belt shall gird his manly side,
Which with a sparkling diamond shall be ty'd:
The third this Grecian helmet shall content."
He said: to their appointed base they went:
With beating hearts th' expected sign receive,
And, starting all at once, the barrier leave.
Spread out, as on the winged winds, they flew,
And seiz'd the distant goal with greedy view.
Shot from the crowd, swift Nisus all o'er-pass'd;
Nor storms, nor thunder, equal half his haste.
The next, but though the next, yet far disjoin'd,
Came Salius, and Euryalus behind;
Then Helymus, whom young Diores ply'd,
Step after step, and almost side by side:
His shoulders pressing, and in longer space
Had won, or left at least a dubious race.

Now spent, the goal they almost reach at last;
When eager Nisus, hapless in his haste,
Slipp'd first, and, slipping, fell upon the plain,
Sok'd with the blood of oxen newly slain:
The careless victor had not mark'd his way;
But, treading where the treacherous puddle lay,
His heels flew up; and on the grassy floor
He fell, besmear'd with filth and holy gore.
Not mindless then, Euryalus, of thee,
Nor of the sacred bonds of amity,

He strove th' immediate rival's hope to cross,
And caught the foot of Salius as he rose :
So Salius lay extended on the plain;
Earyalus springs out, the prize to gain,

And leaves the crowd: applauding peals attend
The victor to the goal, who vanquish'd by his

friend.

Next Helymus, and then Diores came,
By two misfortunes made the third in fame.

But Salius enters; and, exclaiming loud
For justice, deafens and disturbs the crowd:
Urges his cause may in the court be heard;
And pleads, the prize is wrongfully preferr'd.
But favour for Euryalus appears;
His blooming beauty, with his tender years,
Had brib'd the judges for the promis'd prize;
Besides, Diores fills the court with cries:
Who vainly reaches at the last reward,
If the first palm on Salius be conferr'd.
Then thus the prince: "Let no disputes arise;
Where fortune plac'd it, I award the prize :

A lion's hide, to Salius this he gives;
Nisus with envy sees the gift, and grieves.
"If such rewards to vanquish'd men are due,"

He said, "and falling is to rise by you,
What prize may Nisus from your bounty claim,
Who merited the first rewards and fame?
In falling, both an equal fortune try'd ;
Would fortune for my fall so well provide!"
With this he pointed to his face, and show'd
His hands, and all his habit smear'd with blood.
Th' indulgent father of the people smil'd,
And caus'd to be produc'd an ample shield
Of wondrous art, by Didymaon wrought,
Long since from Neptune's bars in triumph brought,
This giv'n to Nisus, he divides the rest;
And equal justice in his gifts express'd.
The race thus ended, and rewards bestow'd,
Once more the prince bespeaks the attentive crowd:
"If there be here, whose dauntless courage dare
In gauntlet fight, with limbs and body bare,
His opposite sustain in open view,
Stand forth the champion, and the games renew.
Two prizes I propose, and thus divide:

A bull with gilded horns, and fillets ty'd,
Shall be the portion of the conquering chief;
A sword and helm shall cheer the loser's grief."
Then haughty Dares in the lists appears;
Stalking he strides, his head erected bears,
His nervous arms the weighty gauntlet wield,
And loud applauses echo through the field.
Dares alone in combat us'd to stand,
The match of mighty Paris hand to hand;
The same at Hector's funerals undertook
Gigantic Butes, of th' Amician stock;
And, by the stroke of his resistless hand,
Stretch'd the vast bulk upon the yellow sand.
Such Dares was; and such he strode along,
And drew the wonder of the gazing throng.
His brawny back, an ample breast he shows;
His lifted arms around his head he throws;
And deals in whistling air his empty blows.
His match is sought; but thro' the trembling band,
Not one dares answer to the proud demand.
Presuming of his force, with sparkling eyes,
Already he devours the promis'd prize.
He claims the bull with awless insolence;
And, having seiz'd his horns, accosts the prince:
"If none my matchless valour dares oppose,
How long shall Dares wait his dastard foes?
Permit me, chief, permit without delay,
To lead this uncontended gift away."
The crowd assents; and, with redoubled cries,
For the proud challenger demands the prize.
Acestes, fir'd with just disdain, to see
The palm usurp'd without a victory,
Reproach'd Entellus thus, who sate beside,
And heard, and saw unmov'd, the Trojan's pride:
"Once, but in vain, a champion of renown,
So tamely can you bear the ravish'd crown ?
A prize in triumph, borne before your sight,
And shun for fear the danger of the fight;
Where is our Eryx now, the boasted name,
The god who taught your thundering arm the
game?

Where now your baffled honour, where the spoil
That fill'd your house, and fame that fill'd our isle:?!'

Entellus, thus: "My soul is still the same;
Unmov'd with fear, and mov'd with martial fame :
But my chill blood is curdled in my veins,
And scarce the shadow of a man remains.
Oh, could I turn to that fair prime again,
That prime, of which this boaster is so vain!
The brave who this decrepit age defies,
Should feel my force, without the promis'd prize,"
He said; and, rising at the word, he threw
Two ponderous gauntlets down, in open view;
Gauntlets, which Eryx wont in fight to wield,
And sheath his hands with in the listed field.
With fear and wonder seiz'd, the crowd beholds
The gloves of death, with seven distinguish'd folds
Of tough bull hides; the space within is spread
With iron, or with loads of heavy lead.
Dares himself was daunted at the sight,
Renounc'd his challenge, and refus'd to fight.
Astonish'd at their weight the hero stands,
And pois'd the ponderous engines in his hands.
"What had your wonder," said Entellus, "been,
Had you the gauntlets of Alcides seen,

Or view'd the stern debate on this unhappy green!
These which I bear, your brother Eryx bore,
Still mark'd with batter'd brains and mingled gore,
With these he long sustain'd th' Herculean arm;
And these I wielded while my blood was warm:
This languish'd frame while better spirits fed,
Ere age unstrung my nerves, or time o'ersnow'd my
But, if the challenger these arms refuse, [head,
And cannot wield their weight, or dare not use;
If great Æneas and Acestes join

In his request, these gauntlets I resign:
Let us with equal arms perform the fight,

[ty'd;

And let him leave to fear, since I resign my right."
This said, Entellus for the strife prepares;
Stript of his quilted coat, his body bares :
Compos'd of mighty bones and brawn he stands,
A goodly towering object, on the sands.
Then just ueas equal arms supply'd,
Which round their shoulders to their wrists they
Both on the tiptoe stand, at full extent;
Their arms aloft, their bodies inly bent;
Their heads from aiming blows they bear afar;
With clashing gauntlets then provoke the war.
One on his youth and pliant limbs relies;
One on his sinews and his giant size.
The last is stiff with age, his motion slow,
He heaves for breath: he staggers to and fro;
And clouds of issuing smoke his nostrils loudly blow.
Yet, equal in success, they ward, they strike;
Their ways are different, but their art alike.
Before, behind, the blows are dealt; around
Their hollow sides the rattling thumps resound:
A storm of strokes well-meant with fury flies,
And errs about their temples, ears, and eyes:
Nor always errs; for oft the gauntlet draws
A sweeping stroke, along the crackling jaws.
Heavy with age, Entellus stands his ground,
But, with his warping body, wards the wound:
His hand and watchful eye keep even pace;
While Dares traverses, and shifts his place;
And, like a captain, who beleaguers round
Some strong-built castle,' on a rising ground,
Views all th' approaches with observing eyes,
This, and that other part, in vain he tries;
And more on industry than force relies,
With hands on high, Entellus threats the foe;
But Dares watch'd the motion from below, [blow.
And slipt aside, and shunn'd the long-descending

| Entellus wastes his forces on the wind;
And thus deluded of the stroke design'd,
Headlong and heavy fell: his ample breast,
And weighty limbs, his ancient mother press'd,
So falls a hollow pine, that long had stood
On Ida's height, or Erymanthus' wood,
Torn from the roots: the differing nations rise,
And shouts, and mingled murmurs, rend the skies,
Acestes runs, with eager haste, to raise
The fall'n companion of his youthful days:
Dauntless he rose, and to the fight return'd,
With shame his glowing cheeks, his eyes with fury
burn'd:

Disdain and conscious virtue fir'd his breast,
And, with redoubled force, his foe he press'd.
He lays on load with either hand, amain,
And headlong drives the Trojan o'er the plain,
Nor stops, nor stays; nor rest nor breath allows,
But storms of strokes descend about his brows;
A rattling tempest, and a hail of blows.
But now the prince, who saw the wild increase
Of wounds, commands the combatants to cease:
And bounds Entellus' wrath, and bids the peace.
First on the Trojan, spent with toil, he came,
And sooth'd his sorrow for the suffer'd shame.
"What fury seiz'd my friend? the gods," said
he,

"To him propitious, and averse to thee,
Have giv'n his arm superior force to thine;
'Tis madness to contend with strength divine."
The gauntlet fight thus ended, from the shore
His faithful friends unhappy Dares bore:
His mouth and nostrils pour'd a purple flood;
And pounded teeth came rushing with his blood.
Faintly he stagger'd through the hissing throng;
And hung his head, and trail'd his legs along.
The sword and casque are carry'd by his train;
But with his foe the palm and ox remain.

The champion, then, before Æneas came;
Proud of his prize, but prouder of his fame:
"O goddess-born! and you, Dardanian host,
Mark with attention, and forgive my boast:
Learn what I was, by what remains; and know
From what impending fate, you sav'd my foe."
Sternly he spoke; and then confronts the bull;
And, on his ample forehead, aiming full,

The deadly stroke descending, pierc'd the skull. Down drops the beast: nor needs the second wound; But sprawls in pangs of death, and spurns the

ground.

Then thus. "In Dares' stead I offer this;
Eryx, accept a nobler sacrifice:
Take the last gift my wither'd arms can yield;
Thy gauntlets I resign, and here renounce the field."
This done, Æneas orders, for the close,
The strife of archers with contending bows.
The mast, Sergesthus' shatter'd galley bore,
With his own hands he raises on the shore:
A fluttering dove upon the top they tie,
The living mark at which their arrows By.
The rival archers in a line advance;
Their turn of shooting to receive from chance.
A helmet holds their names. The lots are drawn; ·
On the first scroll was read Hippocoon:
The people shout; upon the next was found
Young Mnestheus, late with naval honours crown'd:
The third contain'd Eurytion's noble name,
Thy brother, Pandarus, and next in fame:
Whom Pallas urg'd the treaty to confound,
And send among the Greeks a feather'd wound

[ocr errors]

Acestes in the bottom last remain'd; Whom not his age from youthful sports restrain'd. Soon all with vigour bend their trusty bows, And, from the quiver, each his arrow chose: Hippocoon's was the first: with forceful sway It flew, and, whizzing, cut the liquid way. Fix'd in the mast the feather'd weapon stands; The fearful pigeon flutters in her bands; And the tree trembled; and the shouting cries Of the pleas'd people rend the vaulted skies. Then Mnestheus to the head his arrow drove, With lifted eyes, and took his aim above; But made a glancing shot, and miss'd the dove. Yet miss'd so narrow, that he cut the cord Which fasten'd, by the foot, the flitting bird. The captive thus releas'd, away she flies, And beats, with clapping wings, the yielding skies. His bow already bent, Eurytion stood, And, having first invok'd his brother god, His winged shaft with eager haste he sped; The fatal message reach'd her as she fled: She leaves her life aloft: she strikes the ground, And renders back the weapon in the wound. Acestes, grudging at his lot, remains Without a prize to gratify his pains. Yet shooting upward, sends his shaft, to show An archer's art, and boast his twanging bow. The feather'd arrow gave a dire portent: And latter augurs judge from this event. Chaf'd by the speed, it fir'd; and, as it flew, A trail of following flames ascending drew: Kindling they mount, and mark the shiny way Across the skies, as falling meteors play, And vanish into wind, or in a blaze decay. The Trojans and Sicilians wildly stare; And, trembling, turn their wonder into prayer. The Dardan prince put on a smiling face, And strain'd Acestes with a close embrace: Then, honouring him with gifts above the rest, Turn'd the bad omen, nor his fears confess'd. "The gods," said he, "this miracle have wrought; And order'd you the prize without the lot. Accept this goblet rough with figur'd gold, Which Thracian Cisseus gave my sire of old: This pledge of ancient amity receive, Which to my second sire I justly give." He said; and, with the trumpet's cheerful sound, Proclaim'd him victor, and with laurel crown'd. Nor good Eurytion envy'd him the prize; Though he transfix'd the pigeon in the skies. Who cut the line, with second gifts was grac'd; The third was his, whose arrow pierc'd the mast. The chief, before the games were wholly done, Call'd Periphantes, tutor to his son; And whisper'd thus: "With speed Ascanius find, And if his childish troop be ready join'd, On horseback let him grace his grandsire's day; And lead his equals arm'd in just array." He said; and, calling out, the cirque he clears: The crowd withdrawn, an open plain appears. And now the noble youths, of form divine, Advance before their fathers in a line:

Three graceful troops they form'd upon the green; Three graceful leaders at their head were seen; Twelve follow'd every chief, and left a space be

tween.

The first young Priam led; a lovely boy,
Whose grandsire was th' unhappy king of Troy
His race, in after-time, was known to fame,
New honours adding to the Latian name;
And well the royal boy his Thracian steed became.
White were the fetlocks of his feet before,
And on his front a snowy star he bore:
Then beauteous Atis, with Iülus bred,
Of equal age, the second squadron led,
The last in order, but the first ia place,
First in the lovely features of his face,
Rode fair Ascanius on a fiery steed,
Queen Dido's gift, and of the Tyrian breed.
Sure coursers for the rest the king ordains,
With golden bits adorn'd, and purple reius.

The pleas'd spectators peals of shouts renew
And all the parents in the children view:
Their make, their motions, and their sprightly
grace:

And hopes and fears alternate in their face.

Th' unfledg'd commanders, and their martial
First make the circuit of the sandy plain, [train,
Around their sires: and, at th' appointed sign,
Drawn up in beauteous order, form a line.
The second signal sounds: the troop divides
In three distinguish'd parts, with three distinguish'd
guides.

Again they close, and once again disjoin,
And troop to troop oppos'd, and line to line.
They meet, they wheel, they throw their darts afar
With harmless rage, and well-dissembled war.
Then in a round the mingled bodies run;
Flying they follow, and pursuing shun.
Broken they break, and rallying, they renew,
In other forms, the military shew.
At last, in order, undiscern'd they join;
And march together, in a friendly line.
And, as the Cretan labyrinth of old,
With wandering ways, and many a winding fold,
Involv'd the weary feet, without redress,
In a round errour, which deny'd recess;
So fought the Trojan boys in warlike play,
Turn'd, and return'd, and still a different way.
Thus dolphins, in the deep, each other chase,
In circles, when they swim around the watery race.
This game, these carousals, Ascanius taught;
And, building Alba, to the Latins brought;
Show'd what he learn'd: the Latin sires impart,
To their succeeding sons, the graceful art:
From these imperial Rome receiv'd the game;
Which Troy, the youths the Trojan troop, they

name.

Thus far the sacred sports they celebrate :
But Fortune soon resum'd her ancient hate:
For while they pay the dead his annual dues,
Those envy'd rites Saturnian Juno views;
And sends the goddess of the various bow,
To try new methods of revenge below:

The riders grace the steeds; the steeds with glory Supplies the winds to wing her airy way;

[blocks in formation]

Where in the port secure the navy lay.
Swiftly fair Iris down her arch descends;
And, undiscern'd, her fatal voyage ends.

She saw the gathering crowd; and gliding thence,
The desert shore, and fleet without defence.
The Trojan matrons on the sands alone,
With sighs and tears, Anchises' death bemoan.

Then, turning to the sea their weeping eyes,
Their pity to themselves renews their cries.
"Alas!" said one, "what oceans yet remain
For us to sail! what labours to sustain !"
All take the word; and, with a general groan,
Implore the gods for peace; and places of their

Own.

The goddess, great in mischief, views their pains;
And, in a woman's form, her heavenly limbs re-
strains.

In face and shape, old Beroë she became,
Doriclus' wife, a venerable dame;

[lands,

Once bless'd with riches, and a mother's name.
Thus chang'd, amidst the crying crowd she ran,
Mix'd with the matrons, and these words began:
"O wretched we, whom not the Grecian power,
Nor flames destroy'd, in Troy's unhappy hour!
O wretched we, reserv'd by cruel fate,
Beyond the ruins of the sinking state!
Now seven revolving years are wholly run,
Since this improsperous voyage we begun:
Since toss'd from shores to shores, from lands to
Inhospitable rocks and barren sands;
Wandering in exile, through the stormy sea,
We search in vain for flying Italy.
Now cast by fortune on this kindred land,
What should our rest, and rising walls, withstand?
Or hinder here to fix our banish'd band?
9, country lost! and gods redeem'd in vain,
If still in endless exile we remain !
Shall we no more the Trojan walls renew,
Or streams of some dissembled Simois view?
Haste, join with me, th' unhappy fleet consume:
Cassandra bids, and I declare her doom.
In sleep I saw her; she supply'd my hands
(For this I more than dreamt) with flaming brands:
With these," said she, "these wandering ships de-
stroy;

These are your fatal seats, and this your Troy.
Time calls you now, the precious hour employ.
Slack not the good presage, while Heaven inspires
Our minds to dare, and gives the ready fires.
See Neptune's altars minister their brands;
The god is pleas'd; the god supplies our hands."
Then, from the pile, a flaming fir she drew,
And, toss'd in air, amidst the gallies threw.
Wrapp'd in amaze, the matrons wildly stare:
Then Pyrgo, reverenc'd for her hoary hair,
Pyrgo, the nurse of Priam's numerous race,
"No Beroë this, though she belies her face:
What terrours from her frowning front arise!
Behold a goddess in her ardent eyes!

What rays around her heavenly face are seen,
Mark her majestic voice, and more than mortal
mien !

Beroë but now I left; whom, pin'd with pain,
Her age and anguish from these rites detain."
She said; the matrons, seiz'd with new amaze,
Roll their malignant eyes, and on the navy gaze:
They fear, and hope, and neither part obey:
They hope the fated land, but fear the fatal way.
The goddess, having done her task below,
Mounts up on equal wings, and bends her painted
bow.

Struck with the sight, and seiz'd with rage divine,
The matrons prosecute their mad design:
They shriek aloud, they snatch, with impious hands,
The food of altars, firs, and flaming brands.
Green boughs, and saplings, mingled in their haste;
And smoking torches on the ships they cast.

The flame, unstopp'd at first, more fury gains;
And Vulcan rides at large with loosen'd reins:
Triumphant to the painted sterns he soars,
And seizes in his way the banks and crackling oars.
Eumelus was the first the news to bear,
While yet they crowd the rural theatre.
Then what they hear, is witness'd by their eyes:
A storm of sparkles and of flames arise.
Ascanius took th' alarm, while yet he led
His early warriors on his prancing steed.
And spurring on, his equals soon o'erpass'd,
Nor could his frighted friends reclaim his haste.
Soon as the royal youth appear'd in view,
He sent his voice before him as he flew :
"What madness moves you, matrons, to destroy
The last remainders of unhappy Troy ?
Not hostile fleets, but your own hopes you burn,
And on your friends your fatal fury turn,
Behold your own Ascanius:" while he said,
He drew his glittering helmet from bis head;
In which the youths to sportful arms he led.
By this, Æneas and his train appear;
And now the women, seiz'd with shame and fear,
Dispers'd, to woods and caverns take their flight;
Abhor their actions, and avoid the light:
Their friends acknowledge, and their errour find;
And shake the goddess from their alter'd mind.
Not so the raging fires their fury cease;
But lurking in the seams, with seeming peace,
Work on their way, amid the smouldering tow,
Sure in destruction, but in motion slow.
The silent plague through the green timber eats,
And vomits out a tardy flame by fits.

Down to the keels, and upward to the sails,
The fire descends, or mounts; but still prevails:
Nor buckets pour'd, nor strength of human hand,
Can the victorious element withstand.

The pious hero rends his robe, and throws

To Heaven his hands, and with his hands his vows: "O Jove!" he cry'd, "if prayers can yet have

place;

If thou abhorr'st not all the Dardan race;
If any spark of pity still remain;

If gods are gods, and not invok'd in vain ;
Yet spare the relics of the Trojan train.
Yet from the flames our burning vessels free:
Or let thy fury fall alone on me.

At this devoted head thy thunder throw,
And send the willing sacritice below."

Scarce had he said, when southern storms arise;
From pole to pole the forky lightning flies;
Loud rattling shakes the mountains and the plain;
Heaven bellies downward, and descends in rain;
Whole sheets of water from the clouds are sent,
Which, hissing through the planks, the flames

prevent:

And stop the fiery pest: four ships alone
Burn to the waste, and for the fleet atone.

But doubtful thoughts the hero's heart divide;
If he should still in Sicily reside,
Forgetful of his fates; or tempt the main,
In hope the promis'd Italy to gain.
Then Nautes, old and wise, to whom alone
The will of Heaven by Pallas was fore-shown;
Vers'd in portents, experienc'd and inspir'd
To tell events, and what the fates requir'd:
Thus while he stood, to neither part inclin'd,
With cheerful words reliev'd his labouring mind:
"O goddess-born, resign'd in every state,
With patience bear, with prudence push your fats.

[ocr errors]

By suffering well, our fortune we subdue;
Fly when she frowns, and when she calls pursue.
Your friend Acestes is of Trojan kind;
To him disclose the secrets of your mind:
Trust in his hands your old and useless train,
Too numerous for the ships which yet remaio:
The feeble, old, indulgent of their ease,
The dames who dread the dangers of the seas,
With all their dastard crew, who dare not stand
The shock of battle with your foes by land;
Here you may build a common town for all;
And, from Acestes' name, Acesta call."

The reasons, with his friend's experience join'd,
Encourag'd much, but more disturb'd his mind.
'Twas dead of night; when to his slumbering eyes,
His father's shade descended from the skies;
And thus he spoke : "O more than vital breath,
Lov'd while I liv'd, and dear ev'n after death;
O son! in various toils and troubles tost,
The king of Heaven employs my careful ghost
On his commands; the god who sav'd from fire
Your flaming fleet, and heard your just desire:
The wholesome counsel of your friend receive;
And here the coward train, and women, leave:
The chosen youth, and those who nobly dare
Transport, to tempt the dangers of the war.
The steru Italians with their courage try;
Rough are their manners, and their minds are high.
But first to Pluto's palace you should go,

And seek my shade among the blest below.
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 Sibylla 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 Heaven's approaching light."
He said, and mix'd with shades, and took his airy
flight.

"Whither so fast?" the filial duty cry'd,
"And why, ah why! the wish'd embrace deny'd!"
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 implores.
Next for his friends and royal host he sent,
Reveal'd his vision and the gods' intent,
With his own purpose. All, without delay,
The will of Jove and his desires obey.
They list with women each degenerate 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 several 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;
And groves are planted round his blest abode.
Nine days they pass in feasts, their temples crown'd;
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 on board.

Now loud laments along the shores resound,
Of parting friends, in close embraces bound.
The trembling women, the degenerate train,
Who shunn'd the frightful dangers of the main,
Ev'n 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 hausers, and his anchors weighs.
High on the deck the god-like hero stands;
With olive crown'd; a charger in his hands;
Then cast the reeking entrails in the brine,
And pour'd the sacrifice of purple wine.
Fresh gales arise, with equal strokes they vie,
And brush the buxom seas, and o'er the billows fly.
Meantime the mother goddess, full of fears,
To Neptune thus address'd, with tender tears:
"The pride of Jove's imperious queen, the rage,
The malice, which no sufferings can assuage,
Compel me to these prayers: since neither fate,
Nor time, nor pity, can remove her hate.
Ev'n Jove is thwarted by his haughty wife;
Still vanquish'd, yet she still renews the strife.
As if 'twere little to consume the town
Which aw'd the world, and wore th' imperial crown ;
She prosecutes the ghost of Troy with pains;
And gnaws, ev'n 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 storms she rais'd on Lybian floods,
That mix'd the mountain billows with the clouds;
When, bribing Folus, she shook the main,
And moy'd rebellion in your watery reign.
With fury she possess'd the Dardan dames
To burn their fleet with execrable flames:
And fore'd Æneas, 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 power.
If neither Joye's nor fate's decree withstand,
Secure his passage to the Latian land.”

Then thus the mighty ruler of the main : "What may not Venus hope, from Neptune's reign My kingdom claims your birth: my late defence Of your endanger'd fleet may claim your confi

dence.

Nor less by land than sea my deeds declare
How much your lov'd Æneas is my care.
Thee, Xanthus, and thee, Simois, I attest:
Your Trojan troops when proud Achilles press'd,
And drove before him headlong on the plain,
And dash'd against their walls the trembling train,
When floods were fill'd with bodies of the slain :
When crimson Xanthus, doubtful of his way,
Stood up on ridges to behold the sea;
New heaps came tumbling in, and chok'd his way:
When your Æneas fought, but fought with odds,
Of force unequal, and unequal gods ;.***
I spread a cloud before the victor's sight,
Sustain❜d the vanquish'd, and secur'd his flight.
Ev'n 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 more,
Your fleet shall safely gain the Latian shore:
Their lives are given; one destin'd head alone
Shall perish, and for multitudes atone."

« PreviousContinue »