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to all invading storms; and Aetna's throat
with roar of frightful ruin thunders nigh.
Now to the realm of light it lifts a cloud
of pitch-black, whirling smoke, and fiery dust,
shooting out globes of flame, with monster tongues
that lick the stars; now huge crags of itself,
out of the bowels of the mountain torn,
its maw disgorges, while the molten rock
rolls screaming skyward; from the nether deep
the fathomless abyss makes ebb and flow.
Enceladus, his body lightning-scarred,
lies prisoned under all, so runs the tale:
o'er him gigantic Aetna breathes in fire
from crack and seam; and if he haply turn
to change his wearied side, Trinacria's isle
trembles and moans, and thick fumes mantle heaven.
That night in screen and covert of a grove
we bore the dire convulsion, unaware
whence the loud horror came. For not a star
its lamp allowed, nor burned in upper sky
the constellated fires, but all was gloom,
and frowning night confined the moon in cloud.
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