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Thus to their wondering ears his word prolonged:
“Behold Marcellus, bright with glorious spoil,
In lifted triumph through his warriors move!
The Roman power in tumultuous days
He shall establish; he rides forth to quell
Afric and rebel Gaul; and to the shrine
Of Romulus the third-won trophy brings.”
Then spoke Aeneas, for he now could see
A beauteous youth in glittering dress of war,
Though of sad forehead and down-dropping eyes:
“Say, father, who attends the prince? a son?
Or of his greatness some remoter heir?
How his friends praise him, and how matchless he!
But mournful night Tests darkly o'er his brow.”
With brimming eyes Anchises answer gave:
“Ask not, 0 son, what heavy weight of woe
Thy race shall bear, when fate shall just reveal
This vision to the world, then yield no more.
0 gods above, too glorious did ye deem
The seed of Rome, had this one gift been sure?
The lamentation of a multitude
Arises from the field of Mars, and strikes
The city's heart. 0 Father Tiber, see
What pomp of sorrow near the new-made tomb
Beside thy fleeting stream! What Ilian youth
Shall e'er his Latin kindred so advance
In hope of glory? When shall the proud land
Of Romulus of such a nursling boast?
Ah, woe' is me! 0 loyal heart and true!
0 brave, right arm invincible! What foe
Had 'scaped his onset in the shock of arms,
Whether on foot he strode, or if he spurred
The hot flanks of his war-horse flecked with foam?
0 lost, lamented child! If thou evade
Thy evil star, Marcellus thou shalt be.
0 bring me lilies! Bring with liberal hand!
Sad purple blossoms let me throw—the shade
Of my own kin to honor, heaping high
My gifts upon his grave! So let me pay
An unavailing vow!”
Then, far and wide
Through spacious fields of air, they wander free,
Witnessing all; Anchises guides his son
From point to point, and quickens in his mind
Hunger for future fame. Of wars he tells
Soon imminent; of fair Laurentum's tribes;
Of King Latinus' town; and shows what way
Each task and hardship to prevent, or bear.
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