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lulled care in slumber, and each heart forgot
its load of toil and pain. But they who led
the Teucrian cause, with all their chosen brave,
took counsel in the kingdom's hour of need
what action to command or whom dispatch
with tidings to Aeneas. In mid-camp
on long spears leaning and with ready shield
to leftward slung, th' assembled warriors stood.
Thither in haste arrived the noble pair,
brave Nisus with Euryalus his friend,
and craved a hearing, for their suit, they said,
was urgent and well-worth a patient ear.
Iulus to the anxious striplings gave
a friendly welcome, bidding Nisus speak.
The son of Hyrtacus obeyed: “O, hear,
Princes of Teucria, with impartial mind,
nor judge by our unseasoned youth the worth
of what we bring. Yon Rutule watch is now
in drunken sleep, and all is silent there.
With our own eyes we picked out a good place
to steal a march, that cross-road by the gate
close-fronting on the bridge. Their lines of fire
are broken, and a murky, rolling smoke
fills all the region. If ye grant us leave
by this good luck to profit, we will find
Aeneas and the walls of Palatine,
and after mighty slaughter and huge spoil
ye soon shall see us back. Nor need ye fear
we wander from the way. Oft have we seen
that city's crest loom o'er the shadowy vales,
where we have hunted all day long and know
each winding of yon river.”
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