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while favoring breezes beckoned us to sea,
and swelled the waiting canvas as they blew.
Then to the prophet-priest I made this prayer:
“Offspring of Troy, interpreter of Heaven!
Who knowest Phoebus' power, and readest well
the tripod, stars, and vocal laurel leaves
to Phoebus dear, who know'st of every bird
the ominous swift wing or boding song,
o, speak! For all my course good omens showed,
and every god admonished me to sail
in quest of Italy's far-distant shores;
but lone Celaeno, heralding strange woe,
foretold prodigious horror, vengeance dark,
and vile, unnatural hunger. How elude
such perils? Or by what hard duty done
may such huge host of evils vanquished be?”
Then Helenus, with sacrifice of kine
in order due, implored the grace of Heaven,
unloosed the fillets from his sacred brow,
and led me, Phoebus, to thy temple's door,
awed by th' o'er-brooding godhead, whose true priest,
with lips inspired, made this prophetic song:
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