Here was the Martian beast, the nurse of Roman dominion
Suckling with life-giving dew, that issued from udders distended,
Children divinely begotten, who sprang from the loins of the War God;
Stricken by lightning she toppled to earth, bearing with her the children;
Torn from her station, she left the prints of her feet in descending.Then what diviner, in turning the records and tomes of the augurs,
Failed to relate the mournful forecasts the Etruscans had written?
Seers all advised to beware the monstrous destruction and slaughter,
Plotted by Romans who traced their descent from a noble ancestry;
Or they proclaimed the law's overthrow with voices insistent,
Bidding us rescue the city from flames, and the deities' temples;
Fearful they bade us become of horrible chaos and carnage;
These, by a rigorous Fate, would be certainly fixed and determined,
Were not a sacred statue of Jove, one comely of figure,
High on a column erected beforehand, with eyes to the eastward;
Then would the people and venerable senate be able to fathom
Hidden designs, when that statue—its face to the sun at its rising—
Should behold from its station the seats of the people and Senate.
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