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And, rich in gaudy robes, amidst the strife,
His ill fate follows him; th' Egyptian wife.
Moving they fight: with oars, and forky prows,
The froth is gather'd, and the water glows.
It seems as if the Cyclades again
Were rooted up, and justled in the main;
Or floating mountains, floating mountains meet :
Such is the fierce encounter of the fleet.
Fire-balls are thrown; and pointed javelins fly :
The fields of Neptune take a purple dye.
The queen herself, amidst the loud alarms,
With cymbals toss'd her fainting soldiers warms.
Fool as she was; who had not yet divin'd
Her cruel fate; nor saw the snakes behind.
Her country gods, the monsters of the sky,
Great Neptune, Pallas, and love's queen, defy.
The dog Anubis barks, but barks in vain ;
Nor longer dares oppose th' ethereal train.
Mars, in the middle of the shining shield,
Is grav'd, and strides along the liquid field.
The Diræ souse from heaven, with swift descent:
And Discord, dy'd in blood, with garments rent,
Divides the peace: her steps Bellona treads,
And shakes her iron rod above their heads.
This seen, Apollo, from his Actian height,
Pours down his arrows: at whose winged flight
The trembling Indians and Egyptians yield:
And soft Sabæans quit the watery field.
The fatal mistress hoists her silken sails:
And, shrinking from the sight, invokes the gales.
Aghast she looks; and heaves her breast for breath:
Panting, and pale with fear of future death.
The god had figur'd her, as driven along
By winds and waves, and scudding through
Just opposite, sad Nilus opens wide
His arms, and ample bosom, to the tide,
And spreads his mantle o'er the winding coast;
In which he wraps his queen, and hides the flying
The victor, to the god his thanks express'd: And Rome triumphant, with his presence bless'd. Three hundred temples in the town he plac'd; With spoils and altars every temple grac'd. Three shining nights, and three succeeding days, The fields resound with shouts, the streets with
The domes with songs, the theatres with plays.
All altars flame: before each altar lies,
Drench'd in his gore, the destin'd sacrifice.
Great Cæsar sits sublime upon his throne;
Before Apollo's porch, of Parian stone:
Accepts the presents vow'd for victory;
And hangs the monumental crown on high,
Vast crowds of vanquish'd nations march along,
Various in arms, in habit, and in tongue.
Here Mulciber assigns the proper place
For Carians, and th' ungirt Numidian race;
Then ranks the Thracians in the second row;
And Scythians, expert in dart and bow.
And here the tand Euphrates humbly glides:
And there the Rhine submits her swelling tides.
And proud Araxes, whom no bridge could bind,
The Danes' unconquer'd offspring march behind;
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 tranformed into sca-nymphs) and assaults his camp. The Trojans, reduced to the last extremities, send Nisus and Euryalus to recal Æneas; which furnishes the poet with that admirable episode of their friendship, generosity, and the conclusion of their adventures.
WHILE these affairs in distant places pass'd,
The various Iris Juno sends with haste,
To find bold Turnus, who, with anxious thought,
The secret shade of his great grandsire sought.
Retir'd alone she found the daring nian:
`And op'd her rosy lips, and thus began:
"What none of all the gods could grant thy vows;
That, Turnus, this auspicious day bestows!
Æneas, gone to seek th' Arcadian prince,
Has left the Trojan camp without defence;
And, short of succours there, employs his pains
In parts remote to raise the Tuscan swains:
Now snatch an hour that favours thy designs,
Unite thy forces, and attack their lines."
This said, on equal wings she pois'd her weight,
And form'd a radiant rainbow in her flight.
The Daunian hero lifts his hands and eyes, And thus invokes the goddess as she flies: "Iris, the grace of Heaven, what power divine Has sent thee down, through dusky clouds to shine?
See, they divide! immortal day appears;
And glittering planets dancing in their spheres!
With joy, these happy omens I obey;
And follow to the war the god that leads the way."
Thus having said, as by the brook he stood, He scoop'd the water from the crystal flood; Then, with his hands, the drops to Heaven be throws,
And loads the powers above with offer'd vows.
Now march the bold confederates through the
Well hors'd, well clad, a rich and shining train:
Messapus leads the van; and in the rear,
The sons of Tyrrheus in bright arms appear.
In the main battle, with his flaming crest,
The mighty Turnus towers 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,
Blackening the fields, and thickening through the
Then, to his fellows, thus aloud he calls: [skies
"What rolling clouds, my friends, approach the
Arm, arm, and man the works: prepare your spears
And pointed darts; the Latian host appears;"
Thus warn'd, they shut their gates; with shouts
The bulwarks, and, secure, their foes attend.
For their wise general, with foreseeing care,
Had charg'd them, not to tempt the doubtful war:
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 pye-ball'd steed of Thracian strain he press'd;
His helm of massy gold; and crimson was his crest.
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, sparring 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 every post; and every passage tries.
So roams the nightly wolf about the fold,
Wet with descending showers, and stiff with cold;
He howls for hunger, and he grins for pain;
His gaasbing 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 furious 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, every soul is warm'd,
And every hand with kindled fire is arm'd.
From the fir'd pines the scattering sparkles fly;
Fat vapours mix'd with flames involve the sky.
What power, 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.
'Tis said that, when the chief prepar'd his flight,
And fell'd his timber from Mount Ida's height,
The grandam goddess then approach'd her son,
And with a mother's majesty begun :
"Grant me," she said, "the sole request I bring,
Since conquer'd Heaven 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 worship'd with religious love;
These woods, that holy grove, my long delight,
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 entomb,
The floating forests of the sacred pine;
But let it be their safety to be mine."
Then thus reply'd her awful son; who rolls
The radiant stars, and Heaven and Earth controls:
"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
To nymphs divine; and plough the watery way,
Like Doris and the daughters of the sea."
To seal his sacred vow, by Styx he swore,
The lake with 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 nod.
And now, at length, the number'd hours were
Prefix'd by fate's irrevocable doom, [come,
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 sing'd the Heavens, and shot along;
Then from a cloud, fring'd round with golden fires,
Were timbrels heard, and Berecynthian choirs:
And last a voice, with more than mortal sounds,
Both hosts, in arms oppos'd, with equal horrour
"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, Loos'd from your crooked anchors, lanch at large,
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 hausers break;
And, strange to tell, like dolphins in the main,
They plunge their prows, and dive, and spring
As many beauteous 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 Tiber 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 Trojan's fate are meant,
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;
Heaven shuts the seas, and we secure the coast.
Theirs is no more than that small spot of ground,
Which myriads of our martial men surround.
Their fates I fear not; or vain oracles;
"Tis given to Venus, they should cross the seas;
And land secure upon the Latian plains:
Their promis'd hour is pass'd, and mine remains,
"Tis in the fate of Turnus to destroy,
With sword and fire, the faithless race of Troy.
Shall such affronts as these alone inflame
The Grecian brothers, and the Grecian name?
My cause and theirs is one; a fatal strife,
And final ruin, for a ravish'd wife.
Was't not enough, that, punish'd for the crime,
They fell; but will they fall a second time?
One would have thought they paid enough before,
To curse the costly sex; and durst offend no more.
Can they securely trust their feeble wall,
A slight partition, a thin interval,
Betwixt their fate and them; when Troy, though built
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 tardy
Now, since the Sun is rolling to the west,
Give me 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 seven Rutulian captains ready stand:
And twice seven hundred horse their 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
They laugh, they sing, the jolly bowls go round:
With lights and cheerful fires renew the day;
And 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 explore;
Join works to works with bridges; tower to tower:
Thus all things needful for defence abound;
Mnestheus and brave Seresthus 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 Hyrticus of noble blood;
His mother was a huntress of the wood;
And sent him to the wars; well could be 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 checks begun; One was their care, and their delight was one. 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 generous 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 flaming flaggon ply:
All hush around. Now hear what I revolve;
A thought unripe, and scarcely yet resolve.
Our absent prince both camp and council moura;
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 bill, I have espy'd
A way that safely will my passage guide."
Euryalus stood listening while he spoke;
With love of praise, and noble envy struck;
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 matter 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 war; If one should reach my head, there let it fall, And spare thy life; I would not perish all. Thy bloomy 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 funeral rites bestow. Or, if hard fortune shall those dues deny, Thou canst at least an empty tomb supply. O let me not 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 every 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 wake The nodding watch; each to his office takes. The guard reliev'd, the generous 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 sat In nightly council for th' 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 their clamour, and secure from foes, On their left arms their ample shields they bear, Their right reclin'd upon the bending spear. Now Nisus and his friend approach the guard, And beg admission, eager to be heard, Th' affair important, not to be deferr'd, Ascanius bids them be conducted in ; Ordering the more experienc'd to begin. Then Nisus thus: "Ye fathers, lend your ears, 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, Covering the plain, and curling to the skies,
Betwixt two paths, which at the gate divide, Close by the sea, a passage we have spy'd, 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 every 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 aud best, you can receive,
The gods, and your own conscious worth, will give.
The rest our grateful general 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 wonted presence I can only mourn,
Your common gift shall two large goblets be,
Of silver, wrought with curious imagery;
And high embost, which, when old Priam reign'd,
My conquering 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 obtain,
Thou 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
Twelve labouring slaves, twelve handmaids young
And 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 ally'd,
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, oue 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 reply'd:
"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 from 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 name:
Whom 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 atteinpt 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 ivory scabbard sheath'd the blade:
This was his gift: great Muestheus gave bis friend
A lion's hide, his body to defend :
And good Alethes furnish'd him beside,
With his own trusty helm, of temper try'd.
Thus arm'd they went. The noble Trojans wait
Their issuing forth, and follow to the gate.
With prayers and vows, above the rest appears
Ascanius, manly far beyond his years.
And messages committed to their care,
Which all in winds were lost, and flitting air. [way
The trenches first they pass'd; then took their
Where their proud foes in pitch'd pavilions lay;
To many fatal, ere themselves were slain : [plain,
They found the careless host dispers'd upon the
Who, gorg'd, and drunk with wine, supinely snore :
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 Rhamnes
His head rais'd high, on tapestry beneath, [lay:
And heaving from his breast, he drew his breath:
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 Rhemus, with his rich retinue, lies:
His armour-bearer first, and next be kills
His charioteer, entrench'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:
Ev'n then he dreamt 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 Rhætus slew.
Oppress'd with heavy sleep the former fall,
But Rhætus, 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 Messa pus quarter'd they arrive;
The fires were fainting there, and just alive.
The warrior-borses 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 :
Th' unhappy youth? where shall I hope to find?
Or what way take !" Again he ventures back:
And treads the mazes of his former track.
He winds the wood, and listening hears the noise
Of trampling coursers, and the rider's voice.
The sound approach'd, and suddenly he view'd
The foes enclosing, and his friend pursu'd:
Forelay'd and taken, while he strove, in vain,
The shelter of the friendly shades to gain.
What should he next attempt? What arms employ?
What fruitless force to free the captive boy!
Or desperate should he rush, and lose his life,
With odds oppress, in such unequal strife?
Resolv'd at length, his pointed spear he took;
And, casting on the Moon a mournful look,
"Guardian of groves, and goddess of the night,
A lane through slaughter'd bodies we have made :" Fair queen," he said, "direct my dart aright:
The bold Euryalus, though loth, 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 Cedicus 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 conquering Ardean troops opprest,
He fell; and they the glorious gift possess'd.
These glittering spoils (now made the victor's gain)
He to his body suits; but suits in vain.
Messapus' helm be finds among the rest,
And laces on, and wears the waving crest.
Proud of their conquest, prouder of their prey,
They leave the camp, and take the ready way.
But far they had not pass'd, before they spy'd
Three hundred horse, with Volscens for their guide.
The queen a legion to king Turnus sent,
But the swift horse the slower foot prevent:
And now, advancing, sought the leader's tent.
They saw the pair; for, thro' the doubtful shade,
His shining helm Euryalus betray'd,
On which the Moon with full reflection play'd..
"'Tis not for nought," cry'd Volscens, from the
"These men go there ;" then rais'd his voice aloud:
"Stand, stand! why thus in arms, and whither
If e'er my pious father, for my sake,
Did grateful offerings 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 lanch'd the trembling
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 eye-balls roll in death,
And with short sobs he gasps away his breath.
All stand amaz'd; a second javelin flies
With equal strength, and quivers through the skies:
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,
Descry'd not him who gave the fatal wound :
Nor knew to fix revenge: "But thou," he cries,
"Shalt pay for both!" and at the prisoner dies
With his drawn sword. Then, struck with deep
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 cry'd, "turn all your swords alone
On me! the fact confest, the fault my own.
He neither could, nor durst, the guiltless youth;
Ye Moon and Stars, bear witness to the truth!
His only crime (if friendship can offend)
Is too much love to his unhappy friend."
Too late he speaks; the sword, which fury guides,
Driven with full force had pierc'd his tender sides.
Down fell the beauteous youth; the yawning
Gush'd out a purple stream, and stain'd the ground.
His snowy neck reclines upon his breast,
Like a fair flower by the keen share oppress'd:
Like a white poppy sinking on the plain,
Whose heavy head is overcharg'd with rain.
Despair, and rage, and vengeance justly vow'd,
Drove Nisus headlong on the hostile crowd: