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remained, last rival, though the victor's palm
to him was Iost; yet did the aged sire,
to show his prowess and resounding bow,
hurl forth one shaft in air; then suddenly
all eyes beheld such wonder as portends
events to be (but when fulfilment came,
too late the fearful seers its warning sung):
for, soaring through the stream of cloud, his shaft
took fire, tracing its bright path in flame,
then vanished on the wind,—as oft a star
will fall unfastened from the firmament,
while far behind its blazing tresses flow.
Awe-struck both Trojan and Trinacrian stood,
calling upon the gods. Nor came the sign
in vain to great Aeneas. But his arms
folded the blest Acestes to his heart,
and, Ioading him with noble gifts, he cried:
“Receive them, sire! The great Olympian King
some peerless honor to thy name decrees
by such an omen given. I offer thee
this bowl with figures graven, which my sire,
good gray Anchises, for proud gift received
of Thracian Cisseus, for their friendship's pledge
and memory evermore.” Thereon he crowned
his brows with garland of the laurel green,
and named Acestes victor over all.
Nor could Eurytion, noble youth, think ill
of honor which his own surpassed, though he,
he only, pierced the bird in upper air.
Next gift was his whose arrow cut the cord;
last, his whose light shaft clove the lofty pine.
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