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.
This text is part of:
Search the Perseus Catalog for:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.