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to Juno speaks, as from an amber cloud
the strife she views: “My Queen, what end shall be?
What yet remains? Thou seest Aeneas' name
numbered with tutelary gods of power;
and well thou know'st what station in the sky
his starward destiny intends. What scheme
vexes thy bosom still? What stubborn hope,
fostered in cloud and cold? O, was it well
to desecrate a god with mortal wound;
or well (what were a nymph unhelped by thee?)
to give back Turnus his lost sword, and lend
strength unavailing to the fallen brave?
Give o'er, and to our supplication yield;
let not such grief thy voiceless heart devour;
nor from thy sweet lips let thy mournful care
so oft assail my mind. For now is come
the last decisive day. Thy power availed
to vex the Trojans upon land and sea,
to wake abominable war, bring shame
upon a royal house, and mix the songs
of marriage and the grave: but further act
I thee refuse.” Such was the word of Jove.
Thus Saturn's daughter answered, drooping low
her brows divine: “Because, great Jove, I knew
thy pleasure, I from yonder earth retired
and Turnus' cause, tho, with unwilling mind.
Else shouldst thou not behold me at this hour
Upon my solitary throne of air
enduring fair and foul; I should be found
flame-girded on the battle's deadly verge,
tempting the Teucrians to a hated war.
Yea, 't was my motion thrust Juturna forth
to help her hapless brother. I approved—
to save his life—that she should be too bold;
but bade no whirl of spear nor bending bow:
I swear it by th' inexorable fount
whence flow the Stygian rivers, the sole seat
where gods of light bow down in awful prayer.
I yield me now; heart-sick I quit the war.
But ask one boon, which in the book of fate
is not denied; for Latium's good I sue,
and high prerogatives of men that be
thy kith and kin: when happy wedlock vows
(aye, be it so!) shall join them by strong laws
of chartered peace, let not the Latins Iose
their ancient, native name. Bid them not pass
for Trojans, nor be hailed as Teucer's sons;
no alien speech, no alien garb impose.
Let it be Latium ever; let the lords
of Alba unto distant ages reign;
let the strong, master blood of Rome receive
the manhood and the might of Italy.
Troy perished: let its name and glory die!”
The Author of mankind and all that is,
smiling benignant, answered thus her plea:
“Jove's sister true, and Saturn's second child,
what seas of anger vex thy heart divine!
But come, relinquish thy rash, fruitless rage:
I give thee this desire, and yield to thee
free submission. The Ausonian tribes
shall keep the speech and customs of their sires;
the name remains as now; the Teucrian race,
abiding in the land, shall but infuse
the mixture of its blood. I will bestow
a league of worship, and to Latins give
one language only. From the mingled breed
a people shall come forth whom thou shalt see
surpass all mortal men and even outvie
the faithfulness of gods; for none that live
shall render to thy name an equal praise.”
So Juno bowed consent, and let her will
be changed, as with much comfort in her breast
she left Olympus and her haunt of cloud.
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