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made answer. “Dost thou bid me here profane
the silence of my heart, and gossip forth
of secret griefs? What will of god or man
impelled Aeneas on his path of war,
or made him foeman of the Latin King?
Fate brought him to Italia? Be it so!
Cassandra's frenzy he obeyed. What voice —
say, was it mine?—urged him to quit his camp,
risk life in storms, or trust his war, his walls,
to a boy-captain, or stir up to strife
Etruria's faithful, unoffending sons?
What god, what pitiless behest of mine,
impelled him to such harm? Who traces here
the hand of Juno, or of Iris sped
from heaven? Is it an ignoble stroke
that Italy around the new-born Troy
makes circling fire, and Turnus plants his heel
on his hereditary earth, the son
of old Pilumnus and the nymph divine,
Venilia? For what offence would Troy
bring sword and fire on Latium, or enslave
lands of an alien name, and bear away
plunder and spoil? Why seek they marriages,
and snatch from arms of love the plighted maids?
An olive-branch is in their hands; their ships
make menace of grim steel. Thy power one day
ravished Aeneas from his Argive foes,
and gave them shape of cloud and fleeting air
to strike at for a man. Thou hast transformed
his ships to daughters of the sea. What wrong
if I, not less, have lent the Rutuli
something of strength in war? Aeneas, then,
is far away and knows not! Far away
let him remain, not knowing! If thou sway'st
Cythera, Paphos, and Idalium,
why rouse a city pregnant with loud wars,
and fiery hearts provoke? That fading power
of Phrygia, do I, forsooth, essay
to ruin utterly? O, was it I
exposed ill-fated Troy to Argive foe?
For what offence in vast array of arms
did Europe rise and Asia, for a rape
their peace dissolving? Was it at my word
th' adulterous Dardan shepherd came to storm
the Spartan city? Did my hand supply
his armament, or instigate a war
for Cupid's sake? Then was thy decent hour
to tremble for thy children; now too late
the folly of thy long lament to Heaven,
and objurgation vain.”
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