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Across his path
Camilla with her Volscian escort came,
and at the city-gate the royal maid
down from her charger leaped; while all her band
at her example glided to the ground,
their horses leaving. Thus the virgin spoke:
“Turnus, if confidence beseem the brave,
I have no fear; but of myself do vow
to meet yon squadrons of Aeneadae
alone, and front me to the gathered charge
of Tuscan cavalry. Let me alone
the war's first venture-prove. Take station, thou,
here at the walls, this rampart to defend.”
With fixed eyes on the terror-striking maid,
Turnus replied, “O boast of Italy,
O virgin bold! What praise, what gratitude
can words or deeds repay? But since thy soul
so large of stature shows, I bid thee share
my burden and my war. Our spies bring news
that now Aeneas with pernicious mind
sends light-armed horse before him, to alarm
the plains below, while through the wilderness
he climbs the steep hills, and approaches so
our leaguered town. But I in sheltered grove
a stratagem prepare, and bid my men
in ambush at a mountain cross-road lie.
Meet thou the charge of Tuscan cavalry
with all thy banners. For auxiliar strength
take bold Messapus with his Latin troop
and King Tiburtus' men: but the command
shall be thy task and care.” He spoke, and urged
with like instruction for the coming fray
Messapus and his captains; then advanced
to meet the foe.

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