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oracular wisdom of his sacred sire,
Faunus, the fate-revealer, where the groves
stretch under high Albunea, and her stream
roars from its haunted well, exhaling through
vast, gloomful woods its pestilential air.
Here all Oenotria's tribes ask oracles
in dark and doubtful days: here, when the priest
has brought his gifts, and in the night so still,
couched on spread fleeces of the offered flock,
awaiting slumber lies, then wondrously
a host of flitting shapes he sees, and hears
voices that come and go: with gods he holds
high converse, or in deep Avernian gloom
parleys with Acheron. Thither drew near
Father Latinus, seeking truth divine.
Obedient to the olden rite, he slew
a hundred fleecy sheep, and pillowed lay
upon their outstretched skins. Straightway a voice
out of the lofty forest met his prayer.
“Seek not in wedlock with a Latin lord
to join thy daughter, O my son and seed!
Beware this purposed marriage! There shall come
sons from afar, whose blood shall bear our name
starward; the children of their mighty loins,
as far as eve and morn enfold the seas,
shall see a subject world beneath their feet
submissive lie.” This admonition given
Latinus hid not. But on restless wing
rumor had spread it, when the men of Troy
along the river-bank of mounded green
their fleet made fast.
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