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Its ancient branches spreads, and in its leaves
Deluding visions ever haunt and cling.
Then come strange prodigies of bestial kind :
Centaurs are stabled there, and double shapes
Like Scylla, or the dragon Lerna bred,
With hideous scream; Briareus clutching far
His hundred hands, Chimaera girt with flame,
A crowd of Gorgons, Harpies of foul wing,
And giant Geryon's triple-monstered shade.
Aeneas, shuddering with sudden fear,
Drew sword and fronted them with naked steel;
And, save his sage conductress bade him know
These were but shapes and shadows sweeping by,
His stroke had cloven in vain the vacant air.
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