Aeneas oversees and shares the toil,
Cheers on his mates, and swings a woodman's steel.
But, sad at heart with many a doubt and care,
O'erlooks the forest wide; then prays aloud :
“0, that the Golden Bough from this vast grove
Might o'er me shine! For, 0 Aeolides,
The oracle foretold thy fate, too well!”
Scarce had he spoken, when a pair of doves
Before his very eyes flew down from heaven
To the green turf below; the prince of Troy
Knew them his mother's birds, and joyful cried,
“0, guide me on, whatever path there be!
In airy travel through the woodland fly,
To where yon rare branch shades the blessed ground.
Fail thou not me, in this my doubtful hour,
0 heavenly mother!” So saying, his steps lie stayed,
Close watching whither they should signal give;
The lightly-feeding doves flit on and on,
Ever in easy ken of following eyes,
Till over foul Avernus' sulphurous throat
Swiftly they lift them through the liquid air,
In silent flight, and find a wished-for rest
On a twy-natured tree, where through green boughs
Flames forth the glowing gold's contrasted hue.
As in the wintry woodland bare and chill,
Fresh-budded shines the clinging mistletoe,
Whose seed is never from the parent tree
O'er whose round limbs its tawny tendrils twine,—
So shone th' out-leafing gold within the shade
Of dark holm-oak, and so its tinsel-bract
Rustled in each light breeze. Aeneas grasped
The lingering bough, broke it in eager haste,
And bore it straightway to the Sibyl's shrine.
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