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hailed the good omen with consenting cry,
and grasped the sword and shield. Tolumnius
the augur spake first: “Lo, the sign I sought
with many a prayer! I welcome and obey
the powers divine. Take me for captain, me!
And draw your swords, ye wretches, whom th' assault
of yonder foreign scoundrel puts in fear
like feeble birds, and with his violence
lays waste your shore. He too shall fly away,
spreading his ships' wings on the distant seas.
Close up your ranks—one soul in all our breasts!
Defend in open war your stolen King.”
So saying, he hurled upon th' opposing foe
his javelin, running forward. The strong shaft
of corner whistled shrill, and clove the air
unerring. Instantly vast clamor rose,
and all th' onlookers at the spectacle
leaped up amazed, and every heart beat high.
The spear sped flying to the foeman's line,
where stood nine goodly brethren, pledges all
of one true Tuscan mother to her lord,
Gylippus of Arcadia; it struck full
on one of these at his gold-belted waist,
and where the clasp clung, pierced the rib clean through.
And stretched the fair youth in his glittering arms
full length and lifeless on the yellow sand.
His brothers then, bold band to wrath aroused
by sorrow, seize the sword or snatch the spear
and blindly charge. Opposing them, the host
Laurentine makes advance, and close-arrayed
the Trojans like a torrent pour, enforced
by Tuscans and the gay-accoutred clans
of Arcady. One passion moved in all
to try the judgment of the sword. They tore
the altars down: a very storm of spears
rose angrily to heaven, in iron rain
down-pouring: while the priests bore far away
the sacrificial bowls and sacred fires.
Even Latinus fled; his stricken gods
far from his violated oath he bore.
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