o the Centaurs, those
strange mortals double-limbed, bathed in the stream
wounds which club-bearing Hercules had made
with his strong bow.—Yes, does not Hypanis
descending fresh from mountains of Sarmatia,
become embittered with the taste of salt?
“Antissa, Pharos, and Phoenician Tyre,
were once surrounded by the wavy sea:
they are not islands now. Long years ago
Leucas was mainland, if we can believe
what the old timers there will tell, but now
the waves sweep round it. Zancle was a part
of Italy, until the sea cut off
the neighboring land with strong waves in between.
Should you seek Helice and Buris, those
two cities of Achaea, you will find
them underneath the waves, where sailors point
to sloping roofs and streets in the clear deep.
“Near Pittheaan Troezen a steep, high hill,
quite bare of trees, was once a level plain,
but now is a hill, for (dreadful even to tell)
the raging power of winds, long pent in deep,
dark caverns, tried to find a proper vent,
long struggling to attain <
countenance he placed
his mighty body in the Ausonian ship,
which plainly showed the great weight of the god.
The glad descendants of Aeneas all
rejoiced, and they sacrificed a bull beside
the harbor, wreathed the ship with flowers, and loosed
the twisted hawsers from the shore. As a soft breeze
impelled the ship, within her curving stern
the god reclined, his coils uprising high,
and gazed down on the blue Ionian waves.
So wafted by the favoring winds, they came
in six days to the shores of Italy.
There he was borne past the Lacinian Cape,
ennobled by the goddess Juno's shrine,
and Scylacean coasts. He left behind
Iapygia; then he shunned Amphrysian rocks
upon the left and on the other side
escaped Cocinthian crags. He passed, near by,
Romechium and Caulon and Naricia;
crossed the Sicilian sea; went through the strait;
sailed by Pelorus and the island home
of Aeolus and by the copper mines
of Temesa. He turned then toward Leucosia
and toward mild Paestum, famous for the rose.
and in that one point disobeyed his will.
And so great Atreus yields to greater fame
of Agamemnon, Aegeus yields to Theseus,
and Peleus to Achilles, or, to name
a parallel befitting these two gods,
so Saturn yields to Jove. Now Jupiter
rules in high heavens and is the suzerain
over the waters and the world of shades,
and now Augustus rules in all the lands—
so each is both a father and a god.
Gods who once guarded our Aeneas, when
both swords and fire gave way, and native gods
of Italy, and Father Quirinus—
patron of Rome, and you Gradivus too—
the sire of Quirinus the invincible,
and Vesta hallowed among Caesar's gods,
and Phoebus ever worshipped at his hearth,
and Jupiter who rules the citadel
high on Tarpeia's cliff, and other gods—
all gods to whom a poet rightfully
and with all piety may make appeal;
far be that day—postponed beyond our time,
when great Augustus shall foresake the earth
which he now governs, and mount up to heaven,
from that far height to hear his