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He spoke. The god a prompt obedience gave
to his great sire's command. He fastened first
those sandals of bright gold, which carry him
aloft o'er land or sea, with airy wings
that race the fleeting wind; then lifted he
his wand, wherewith he summons from the grave
pale-featured ghosts, or, if he will, consigns
to doleful Tartarus; or by its power
gives slumber or dispels; or quite unseals
the eyelids of the dead: on this relying,
he routs the winds or cleaves th' obscurity
of stormful clouds. Soon from his flight he spied
the summit and the sides precipitous
of stubborn Atlas, whose star-pointing peak
props heaven; of Atlas, whose pine-wreathed brow
is girdled evermore with misty gloom
and lashed of wind and rain; a cloak of snow
melts on his shoulder; from his aged chin
drop rivers, and ensheathed in stiffening ice
glitters his great grim beard. Here first was stayed
the speed of Mercury's well-poising wing;
here making pause, from hence he headlong flung
his body to the sea; in motion like
some sea-bird's, which along the levelled shore
or round tall crags where rove the swarming fish,
flies Iow along the waves: o'er-hovering so
between the earth and skies, Cyllene's god
flew downward from his mother's mountain-sire,
parted the winds and skimmed the sandy merge
of Libya. When first his winged feet
came nigh the clay-built Punic huts, he saw
Aeneas building at a citadel,
and founding walls and towers; at his side
was girt a blade with yellow jaspers starred,
his mantle with the stain of Tyrian shell
flowed purple from his shoulder, broidered fair
by opulent Dido with fine threads of gold,
her gift of love; straightway the god began:
“Dost thou for lofty Carthage toil, to build
foundations strong? Dost thou, a wife's weak thrall,
build her proud city? Hast thou, shameful loss!
Forgot thy kingdom and thy task sublime?
From bright Olympus, I. He who commands
all gods, and by his sovran deity
moves earth and heaven—he it was who bade
me bear on winged winds his high decree.
What plan is thine? By what mad hope dost thou
linger so Iong in lap of Libyan land?
If the proud reward of thy destined way
move not thy heart, if all the arduous toil
to thine own honor speak not, Iook upon
Iulus in his bloom, thy hope and heir
Ascanius. It is his rightful due
in Italy o'er Roman lands to reign.”
After such word Cyllene's winged god
vanished, and e'er his accents died away,
dissolved in air before the mortal's eyes.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), LAENA
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), SECE´SPITA
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