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There in the middle court a shadowy elm Its ancient branches spreads, and in its leaves Deluding visions ever haunt and cling. Then come strange prodigies of bestial kind : Centaurs are stabled there, and double shapes Like Scylla, or the dragon Lerna bred, With hideous scream; Briareus clutching far His hundred hands, Chimaera girt with flame, A crowd of Gorgons, Harpies of foul wing, And giant Geryon's triple-monstered shade. Aeneas, shuddering with sudden fear, Drew sword and fronted them with naked steel; And, save his sage conductress bade him know These were but shapes and shadows sweeping by, His stroke had cloven in vain the vacant air.
Not o'er domain so wide Alcides passed, Although the brazen-footed doe he slew And stilled the groves of Erymanth, and bade The beast of Lerna at his arrows quail. Nor half so far triumphant Baechus drove, With vine-entwisted reins, his frolic team Of tigers from the tall-topped Indian hill. “Still do we doubt if heroes' deeds can fill A realm so wide? Shall craven fear constrain Thee or thy people from Ausonia's shore? Look, who is he I may discern from far By olive-branch and holy emblems known? His flowing locks and hoary beard, behold! Fit for a Roman king! By hallowed laws He shall found Rome anew—from mean estate In lowly Cures led to mightier sway. But after him arises one whose reign Shall wake the land from slumber: Tullus then Shall stir slack chiefs to battle, rallying His hosts which had forgot what triumphs be. Him boastful Ancus follows hard upon, o'erflushed with his light people's windy praise. Wilt thou see Tarquins now? And haughty hand Of vengeful Brutus seize the s