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and leave to speak, revered Ilioneus
with soul serene these lowly words essayed:
“O Queen, who hast authority of Jove
to found this rising city, and subdue
with righteous governance its people proud,
we wretched Trojans, blown from sea to sea,
beseech thy mercy; keep the curse of fire
from our poor ships! We pray thee, do no wrong
unto a guiltless race. But heed our plea!
No Libyan hearth shall suffer by our sword,
nor spoil and plunder to our ships be borne;
such haughty violence fits not the souls
of vanquished men. We journey to a land
named, in Greek syllables, Hesperia:
a storied realm, made mighty by great wars
and wealth of fruitful land; in former days
Oenotrians had it, and their sons, 't is said,
have called it Italy, a chieftain's name
to a whole region given. Thitherward
our ships did fare; but with swift-rising flood
the stormful season of Orion's star
drove us on viewless shoals; and angry gales
dispersed us, smitten by the tumbling surge,
among innavigable rocks. Behold,
we few swam hither, waifs upon your shore!
What race of mortals this? What barbarous land,
that with inhospitable laws ye thrust
a stranger from your coasts, and fly to arms,
nor grant mere foothold on your kingdom's bound?
If man thou scornest and all mortal power,
forget not that the gods watch good and ill!
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