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A spreading bay is there, impregnable to all invading storms; and Aetna's throat with roar of frightful ruin thunders nigh. Now to the realm of light it lifts a cloud of pitch-black, whirling smoke, and fiery dust, shooting out globes of flame, with monster tongues that lick the stars; now huge crags of itself, out of the bowels of the mountain torn, its maw disgorges, while the molten rock rolls screaming skyward; from the nether deep the fathomless abyss makes ebb and flow. Enceladus, his body lightning-scarred, lies prisoned under all, so runs the tale: o'er him gigantic Aetna breathes in fire from crack and seam; and if he haply turn to change his wearied side, Trinacria's isle trembles and moans, and thick fumes mantle heaven. That night in screen and covert of a grove we bore the dire convulsion, unaware whence the loud horror came. For not a star its lamp allowed, nor burned in upper sky the constellated fires, but all was gloom, and frowning night confined the moon in cloud.
Then good Aeneas, the ship-contest o'er, turned to a wide green valley, circled round with clasp of wood-clad hills, wherein was made an amphitheatre; entering with a throng of followers, the hero took his seat in mid-arena on a lofty mound. For the fleet foot-race, now, his summons flies, — he offers gifts, and shows the rewards due. The mingling youth of Troy and Sicily hastened from far. Among the foremost came the comrades Nisus and Euryalus, Euryalus for beauty's bloom renowned, Nisus for loyal love; close-following these Diores strode, a prince of Priam's line; then Salius and Patron, who were bred in Acarnania and Arcady; then two Sicilian warriors, Helymus and Panopes, both sylvan bred and born, comrades of King Acestes; after these the multitude whom Fame forgets to tell. Aeneas, so surrounded, thus spake forth: “Hear what I purpose, and with joy receive! of all your company, not one departs with empty hand. The Cretan javelins bright-tipped with burnished steel, and battle-ax
But with a brow severe Acestes to Entellus at his side addressed upbraiding words, where they reclined on grassy bank and couch of pleasant green: “O my Entellus, in the olden days bravest among the mighty, but in vain! Endurest thou to see yon reward won without a blow? Where, prithee, is that god who taught thee? Are thy tales of Eryx vain? Does all Sicilia praise thee? Is thy roof with trophies hung?” The other in reply: “My jealous honor and good name yield not to fear. But age, so cold and slow to move, makes my blood laggard, and my ebbing powers in all my body are but slack and chill. O, if I had what yonder ruffian boasts— my own proud youth once more! I would not ask the fair bull for a prize, nor to the lists in search of gifts come forth.” So saying, he threw into the mid-arena a vast pair of ponderous gauntlets, which in former days fierce Eryx for his fights was wont to bind on hand and arm, with the stiff raw-hide thong. All marvelled; for a weight of seven bulls' hid
But smitten sore by this mischance, Aeneas doubtfully weighs in his heart its mighty load of cares, and ponders if indeed he may abide in Sicily, not heeding prophet-songs, or seek Italian shores. Thereon uprose Nautes, an aged sire, to whom alone Tritonian Pallas of her wisdom gave and made his skill renowned; he had the power to show celestial anger's warning signs, or tell Fate's fixed decree. The gifted man thus to Aeneas comfortably spoke: “O goddess-born, we follow here or there, as Fate compels or stays. But come what may, he triumphs over Fortune, who can bear whate'er she brings. Behold, Acestes draws from Dardanus his origin divine! Make him thy willing friend, to share with thee thy purpose and thy counsel. Leave with him the crews of the lost ships, and all whose hearts repine at thy high task and great emprise: the spent old men, the women ocean-weary, whate'er is feeble found, or faint of heart in danger's hour,—set that apart, and give such weary ones within this friend