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Father Anchises in a pleasant vale
Stood pondering, while his eyes and thought surveyed
A host of prisoned spirits, who there abode
Awaiting entrance to terrestrial air.
And musing he reviewed the legions bright
Of his own progeny and offspring proud—
Their fates and fortunes, virtues and great deeds.
Soon he discerned Aeneas drawing nigh
o'er the green slope, and, lifting both his hands
In eager welcome, spread them swiftly forth.
Tears from his eyelids rained, and thus he spoke:
“Art here at last? Hath thy well-proven love
Of me thy sire achieved yon arduous way?
Will Heaven, beloved son, once more allow
That eye to eye we look? and shall I hear
Thy kindred accent mingling with my own?
I cherished long this hope. My prophet-soul
Numbered the lapse of days, nor did my thought
Deceive. 0, o'er what lands and seas wast driven
To this embrace! What perils manifold
Assailed thee, 0 my son, on every side!
How long I trembled, lest that Libyan throne
Should work thee woe!”
Aeneas thus replied:
“Thine image, sire, thy melancholy shade,
Came oft upon my vision, and impelled
My journey hitherward. Our fleet of ships
Lies safe at anchor in the Tuscan seas.
Come, clasp my hand! Come, father, I implore,
And heart to heart this fond embrace receive!”
So speaking, all his eyes suffused with tears;
Thrice would his arms in vain that shape enfold.
Thrice from the touch of hand the vision fled,
Like wafted winds or likest hovering dreams.
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