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a ship stood fastened and at rest; her sides
showed ready bridge and stairway; she had brought
Osinius, king of Clusium. Thither came
Aeneas' counterfeit of flight and fear,
and dropped to darkness. Turnus, nothing loth,
gave close chase, overleaping every bar,
and scaling the high bridge; but scarce he reached
the vessel's prow, when Juno cut her loose,
the cables breaking, and along swift waves
pushed her to sea. Yet in that very hour
Aeneas to the battle vainly called
the vanished foe, and round his hard-fought path
stretched many a hero dead. No longer now
the mocking shadow sought to hide, but soared
visibly upward and was Iost in cloud,
while Turnus drifted o'er the waters wide
before the wind. Bewildered and amazed
he looked around him; little joy had he
in his own safety, but upraised his hands
in prayer to Heaven: “O Sire omnipotent!
Didst thou condemn me to a shame like this?
Such retribution dire? Whither now?
Whence came I here? What panic wafts away
this Turnus—if 't is he? Shall I behold
Laurentum's towers once more? But what of those
my heroes yonder, who took oath to me,
and whom—O sin and shame!—I have betrayed
to horrible destruction? Even now
I see them routed, and my ears receive
their dying groans. What is this thing I do?
Where will the yawning earth crack wide enough
beneath my feet? Ye tempests, pity me!
On rocks and reef—'t is Turnus' faithful prayer,
let this bark founder; fling it on the shoals
of wreckful isles, where no Rutulian eye
can follow me, or Rumor tell my shame.”
With such wild words his soul tossed to and fro,
not knowing if to hide his infamy
with his own sword and madly drive its blade
home to his heart, or cast him in the sea,
and, swimming to the rounded shore, renew
his battle with the Trojan foe. Three times
each fatal course he tried; but Juno's power
three times restrained, and with a pitying hand
the warrior's purpose barred. So on he sped
o'er yielding waters and propitious tides,
far as his father Daunus' ancient town.
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