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wave-washed Plemmyrium, called in olden days
Ortygia; here Alpheus, river-god,
from Elis flowed by secret sluice, they say,
beneath the sea, and mingles at thy mouth,
fair Arethusa! with Sicilian waves.
Our voices hailed the great gods of the land
with reverent prayer; then skirted we the shore,
where smooth Helorus floods the fruitful plain.
Under Pachynus' beetling precipice
we kept our course; then Camarina rose
in distant view, firm-seated evermore
by Fate's decree; and that far-spreading vale
of Gela, with the name of power it takes
from its wide river; and, uptowering far,
the ramparts of proud Acragas appeared,
where fiery steeds were bred in days of old.
Borne by the winds, along thy coast I fled,
Selinus, green with palm! and past the shore
of Lilybaeum with its treacherous reef;
till at the last the port of Drepanum
received me to its melancholy strand.
Here, woe is me I outworn by stormful seas,
my sire, sole comfort of my grievous doom,
Anchises ceased to be. O best of sires!
Here didst thou leave me in the weary way;
through all our perils—O the bitter loss! —
borne safely, but in vain. King Helenus,
whose prophet-tongue of dark events foretold,
spoke not this woe; nor did Celeno's curse
of this forebode. Such my last loss and pain;
such, of my weary way, the destined goal.
From thence departing, the divine behest
impelled me to thy shores, O listening queen!
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