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Thus briefly, Jove. But golden Venus made
less brief reply. “O Father, who dost hold
o'er Man and all things an immortal sway!
Of what high throne may gods the aid implore
save thine? Behold of yonder Rutuli
th' insulting scorn! Among them Turnus moves
in chariot proud, and boasts triumphant war
in mighty words. Nor do their walls defend
my Teucrians now. But in their very gates,
and on their mounded ramparts, in close fight
they breast their foes and fill the moats with blood.
Aeneas knows not, and is far away.
Will ne'er the siege have done? A second time
above Troy's rising walls the foe impends;
another host is gathered, and once more
from his Aetolian Arpi wrathful speeds
a Diomed. I doubt not that for me
wounds are preparing. Yea, thy daughter dear
awaits a mortal sword! If by thy will
unblest and unapproved the Trojans came
to Italy, for such rebellious crime
give them their due, nor lend them succor, thou,
with thy strong hand! But if they have obeyed
unnumbered oracles from gods above
and sacred shades below, who now has power
to thwart thy bidding, or to weave anew
the web of Fate? Why speak of ships consumed
along my hallowed Erycinian shore?
Or of the Lord of Storms, whose furious blasts
were summoned from Aeolia? Why tell
of Iris sped from heaven? Now she moves
the region of the shades (one kingdom yet
from her attempt secure) and thence lets loose
Alecto on the world above, who strides
in frenzied wrath along th' Italian hills.
No more my heart now cherishes its hope
of domination, though in happier days
such was thy promise. Let the victory fall
to victors of thy choice! If nowhere lies
the land thy cruel Queen would deign accord
unto the Teucrian people,—O my sire,
I pray thee by yon smouldering wreck of Troy
to let Ascanius from the clash of arms
escape unscathed. Let my own offspring live!
Yea, let Aeneas, tossed on seas unknown,
find some chance way; let my right hand avail
to shelter him and from this fatal war
in safety bring. For Amathus is mine,
mine are Cythera and the Paphian hills
and temples in Idalium. Let him drop
the sword, and there live out inglorious days.
By thy decree let Carthage overwhelm
Ausonia's power; nor let defence be found
to stay the Tyrian arms! What profits it
that he escaped the wasting plague of war
and fled Argolic fires? or that he knew
so many perils of wide wilderness
and waters rude? The Teucrians seek in vain
new-born Troy in Latium. Better far
crouched on their country's ashes to abide,
and keep that spot of earth where once was Troy!
Give back, O Father, I implore thee, give
Xanthus and Simois back! Let Teucer's sons
unfold once more the tale of Ilium's woe!”

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load focus Notes (Georgius Thilo, 1881)
load focus Notes (John Conington, 1876)
load focus Latin (J. B. Greenough, 1900)
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