This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
pursued a scattered few; but less his speed,
for less and less his worn steeds worked his will;
and now wind-wafted to his straining ear
a nameless horror came, a dull, wild roar,
the city's tumult and distressful cry.
“Alack,” he cried, “what stirs in yonder walls
such anguish? Or why rings from side to side
such wailing through the city?” Asking so,
he tightened frantic grasp upon the rein.
To him his sister, counterfeiting still
the charioteer Metiscus, while she swayed
rein, steeds, and chariot, this answer made:
“Hither, my Turnus, let our arms pursue
the sons of Troy. Here lies the nearest way
to speedy triumph. There be other swords
to keep yon city safe. Aeneas now
storms against Italy in active war;
we also on this Trojan host may hurl
grim havoc. Nor shalt thou the strife give o'er
in glory second, nor in tale of slain.”
Turnus replied, “O sister, Iong ago
I knew thee what thou wert, when guilefully
thou didst confound their treaty, and enlist
thy whole heart in this war. No Ionger now
thy craft divine deceives me. But what god
compelled thee, from Olympus fallen so far,
to bear these cruel burdens? Wouldst thou see
thy wretched brother slaughtered? For what else
is in my power? What flattering hazard still
holds forth deliverance? My own eyes have seen
Murranus (more than any now on earth
my chosen friend) who, calling on my name,
died like a hero by a hero's sword.
Ill-fated Ufens fell, enduring not
to Iook upon my shame; the Teucrians
divide his arms for spoil and keep his bones.
Shall I stand tamely, till my hearth and home
are levelled with the ground? For this would be
the only blow not fallen. Shall my sword
not give the lie to Drances' insolence?
Shall I take flight and let my country see
her Turnus renegade? Is death a thing
so much to weep for? O propitious dead,
O spirits of the dark, receive and bless
me whom yon gods of light have cast away!
Sacred and guiltless shall my soul descend
to join your company; I have not been
unworthy offspring of my kingly sires.”
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.