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Soon as the breaking dawn its glory threw
along the hills, and from the sea's profound
leaped forth the horses of the sun-god's car,
from lifted nostrils breathing light and fire,
then Teucrian and Rutulian measured out
a place for duel, underneath the walls
of the proud city. In the midst were set
altars of turf and hearth-stones burning bright
in honor of their common gods. Some brought
pure waters and the hallowed flame, their thighs
in priestly skirt arrayed, and reverend brows
with vervain bound. Th' Ausonians, spear in hand,
out from the city's crowded portals moved
in ordered column: next the Trojans all,
with Tuscan host in various martial guise,
equipped with arms of steel, as if they heard
stern summons to the fight. Their captains, too,
emerging from the multitude, in pride
of gold and purple, hurried to and fro:
Mnestheus of royal stem, Asilas brave;
and Neptune's offspring, tamer of the steed,
Messapus. Either host, at signal given,
to its own ground retiring, fixed in earth
the long shafts of the spears and stacked the shields.
Then eagerly to tower and rampart fly
the women, the infirm old men, the throng
of the unarmed, and sit them there at gaze,
or on the columned gates expectant stand.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), HASTA
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