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with palm-crowned chariot and victorious steeds,
rode forth well-moulded Aventinus, sprung
from shapely Hercules; upon the shield
his blazon was a hundred snakes, and showed
his father's hydra-cincture serpentine;
him deep in Aventine's most secret grove
the priestess Rhea bore—a mortal maid
clasped in a god's embrace the wondrous day
when, flushed with conquest of huge Geryon,
the lord of Tiryns to Laurentum drove,
and washed in Tiber's wave th' Iberian kine.
His followers brandished pointed pikes and staves,
or smooth Sabellian bodkin tipped with steel;
but he, afoot, swung round him as he strode
a monstrous lion-skin, its bristling mane
and white teeth crowning his ferocious brow:
for garbed as Hercules he sought his King.
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