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in patient sentry on a lofty hill, beheld
unterrified the conflict's rage. Yet when,
amid the frenzied shouts of soldiery,
she saw from far Camilla pay the doom
of piteous death, with deep-drawn voice of sight
she thus complained: “O virgin, woe is me!
Too much, too much, this agony of thine,
to expiate that thou didst lift thy spear
for wounding Troy. It was no shield in war,
nor any vantage to have kept thy vow
to chaste Diana in the thorny wild.
Our maiden arrows at thy shoulder slung
availed thee not! Yet will our Queen divine
not leave unhonored this thy dying day,
nor shall thy people let thy death remain
a thing forgot, nor thy bright name appear
a glory unavenged. Whoe'er he be
that marred thy body with the mortal wound
shall die as he deserves.” Beneath that hill
an earth-built mound uprose, the tomb
of King Dercennus, a Laurentine old,
by sombre ilex shaded: thither hied
the fair nymph at full speed, and from the mound
looked round for Arruns. When his shape she saw
in glittering armor vainly insolent,
“Whither so fast?” she cried. “This way, thy path!
This fatal way approach, and here receive
thy reward for Camilla! Thou shalt fall,
vile though thou art, by Dian's shaft divine.”
She said; and one swift-coursing arrow took
from golden quiver, like a maid of Thrace,
and stretched it on her bow with hostile aim,
withdrawing far, till both the tips of horn
together bent, and, both hands poising well,
the left outreached to touch the barb of steel,
the right to her soft breast the bowstring drew:
the hissing of the shaft, the sounding air,
Arruns one moment heard, as to his flesh
the iron point clung fast. But his last groan
his comrades heeded not, and let him lie,
scorned and forgotten, on the dusty field,
while Opis soared to bright Olympian air.
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