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Scarce had I spoke
when sudden trembling through the laurels ran
and smote the holy portals; far and wide
the mighty ridges of the mountain shook,
and from the opening shrine the tripod moaned.
Prostrate to earth we fall, as on our ears
this utterance breaks: “O breed of iron men,
ye sons of Dardanus! the self-same land
where bloomed at first your far-descended stem
shall to its bounteous bosom draw ye home.
Seek out your ancient Mother! There at last
Aeneas' race shall reign on every shore,
and his sons' sons, and all their house to be.”
So Phoebus spoke; and mighty joy uprose
from all my thronging people, who would know
where Phoebus' city lay, and whitherward
the god ordained the wandering tribe's return.
Then spake my father, pondering olden days
and sacred memories of heroes gone:
“Hear, chiefs and princes, what your hopes shall be!
The Isle of Crete, abode of lofty Jove,
rests in the middle sea. Thence Ida soars;
there is the cradle of our race. It boasts
a hundred cities, seats of fruitful power.
Thence our chief sire, if duly I recall
the olden tale, King Teucer sprung, who first
touched on the Trojan shore, and chose his seat
of kingly power. There was no Ilium then
nor towered Pergama; in lowly vales
their dwelling; hence the ancient worship given
to the Protectress of Mount Cybele,
mother of Gods, what time in Ida's grove
the brazen Corybantic cymbals clang,
or sacred silence guards her mystery,
and lions yoked her royal chariot draw.
Up, then, and follow the behests divine!
Pour offering to the winds, and point your keels
unto that realm of Minos. It is near.
if Jove but bless, the third day's dawn should see
our ships at Cretan land.” So, having said,
he slew the victims for each altar's praise.
A bull to Neptune, and a bull to thee,
o beauteous Apollo! A black lamb
unto the clouds and storms; but fleece of snow
to the mild zephyrs was our offering.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 20.307
    • Charles Simmons, The Metamorphoses of Ovid, Books XIII and XIV, 13.665
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