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The morrow morn,
soon as the new beams of a golden day
had banished every star, Aeneas called
a council of his followers on the shore,
and from a fair green hillock gave this word:
“Proud sons of Dardanus, whose lofty line
none but the gods began! This day fulfils
the annual cycle of revolving time,
since the dear relics of my god-like sire
to earth we gave, and with dark offerings due
built altars sorrowful. If now I err not,
this is my day—ye gods have willed it so! —
for mourning and for praise. Should it befall
me exiled in Gaetulia's wilderness,
or sailing some Greek sea, or at the walls
of dire Mycenae, still would I renew
unfailing vows, and make solemnity
with thankful rites, and worshipful array,
at altars rich with gifts. But, lo, we come,
beyond all hope, where lie the very bones
of my great sire. Nor did it come to pass
without divine intent and heavenly power,
that on these hospitable shores we stand.
Up, then! For we will make a festal day,
imploring lucky winds! O, may his spirit
grant me to build my city, where his shrines
forever shall receive perpetual vows
made in his name! This prince of Trojan line,
Acestes, upon every ship bestows
a pair of oxen. To our offerings call
the powers that bless the altars and the fires
of our ancestral hearth; and join with these
the gods of good Acestes. Presently,
when the ninth dawn shall bring its beam benign
to mortal men, and show the radiant world,
or all my Teucrian people I ordain
a holiday of games; the flying ships
shall first contend; then swiftest runners try
a foot-race; after that the champions bold
who step forth for a cast of javelins,
or boast the soaring arrow; or fear not
the boxing-bout, with gauntlet of thick thongs.
This summons is for all; let all have hope
to earn some noble palm! And from this hour
speak but well-boding words, and bind your brows
with garlands green.”

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