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Ilioneus. But King Latinus gazed
unanswering on the ground, all motionless
save for his musing eyes. The broidered pall
of purple, and the sceptre Priam bore,
moved little on his kingly heart, which now
pondered of giving to the bridal bed
his daughter dear. He argues in his mind
the oracle of Faunus:—might this be
that destined bridegroom from an alien land,
to share his throne, to get a progeny
of glorious valor, which by mighty deeds
should win the world for kingdom? So at last
with joyful brow he spoke: “Now let the gods
our purpose and their own fair promise bless!
Thou hast, O Trojan, thy desire. Thy gifts
I have not scorned; nor while Latinus reigns
shall ye lack riches in my plenteous land,
not less than Trojan store. But where is he,
Aeneas' self? If he our royal love
so much desire, and have such urgent mind
to be our guest and friend, let him draw near,
nor turn him from well-wishing looks away!
My offering and pledge of peace shall be
to clasp your monarch's hand. Bear back, I pray,
this answer to your King: my dwelling holds
a daughter, whom with husband of her blood
great signs in heaven and from my father's tomb
forbid to wed. A son from alien shores
they prophesy for Latium's heir, whose seed
shall lift our glory to the stars divine.
I am persuaded this is none but he,
that man of destiny; and if my heart
be no false prophet, I desire it so.”
Thus having said, the sire took chosen steeds
from his full herd, whereof, well-groomed and fair,
three hundred stood within his ample pale.
Of these to every Teucrian guest he gave
a courser swift and strong, in purple clad
and broidered housings gay; on every breast
hung chains of gold; in golden robes arrayed,
they champed the red gold curb their teeth between.
For offering to Aeneas, he bade send
a chariot, with chargers twain of seed
ethereal, their nostrils breathing fire:
the famous kind which guileful Circe bred,
cheating her sire, and mixed the sun-god's team
with brood-mares earthly born. The sons of Troy,
such gifts and greetings from Latinus bearing,
rode back in pomp his words of peace to bring.
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