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from his ethereal sky surveying clear
the seas all winged with sails, lands widely spread,
and nations populous from shore to shore,
paused on the peak of heaven, and fixed his gaze
on Libya. But while he anxious mused,
near him, her radiant eyes all dim with tears,
nor smiling any more, Venus approached,
and thus complained: “O thou who dost control
things human and divine by changeless laws,
enthroned in awful thunder! What huge wrong
could my Aeneas and his Trojans few
achieve against thy power? For they have borne
unnumbered deaths, and, failing Italy,
the gates of all the world against them close.
Hast thou not given us thy covenant
that hence the Romans when the rolling years
have come full cycle, shall arise to power
from Troy's regenerate seed, and rule supreme
the unresisted lords of land and sea?
O Sire, what swerves thy will? How oft have I
in Troy's most lamentable wreck and woe
consoled my heart with this, and balanced oft
our destined good against our destined ill!
But the same stormful fortune still pursues
my band of heroes on their perilous way.
When shall these labors cease, O glorious King?
Antenor, though th' Achaeans pressed him sore,
found his way forth, and entered unassailed
Illyria's haven, and the guarded land
of the Liburni. Straight up stream he sailed
where like a swollen sea Timavus pours
a nine-fold flood from roaring mountain gorge,
and whelms with voiceful wave the fields below.
He built Patavium there, and fixed abodes
for Troy's far-exiled sons; he gave a name
to a new land and race; the Trojan arms
were hung on temple walls; and, to this day,
lying in perfect peace, the hero sleeps.
But we of thine own seed, to whom thou dost
a station in the arch of heaven assign,
behold our navy vilely wrecked, because
a single god is angry; we endure
this treachery and violence, whereby
wide seas divide us from th' Hesperian shore.
Is this what piety receives? Or thus
doth Heaven's decree restore our fallen thrones?”
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