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draw near, with Tuscan lords and cavalry
in numbered troops arrayed. Loud-footed steeds
prance o'er the field, to manage of the rein
rebellious, but turned deftly here or there.
The iron harvest of keen spears spreads far,
and all the plain burns bright with lifted steel.
Messapus and swift Latin cavalry,
Coras his brother, and th' attending train
of the fair maid Camilla, form their lines
in the opposing field. Their poised right hands
point the long lances forward, and light shafts
are brandished in the air; the warrior hosts
on steeds of fire come kindling as they ride.
One instant, at a spear-throw's space, each line
its motion stays; then with one sudden cry
they rush forth, spurring on each frenzied steed.
From-every side the multitudinous spears
pour down like snowflakes, mantling heaven in shade.
Now with contending spears and straining thews,
Tyrrhenus, and Aconteus, champion bold,
ride forward; with the onset terrible
loudly their armor rings; their chargers twain
crash breast to breast, and like a thunderbolt
Aconteus drops, or like a ponderous stone
hurled from a catapult; full length he falls,
surrend'ring to the winds his fleeting soul.
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