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burst wide the doorway of the sooty den,
and unto Heaven and all the people showed
the stolen cattle and the robber's crimes,
and dragged forth by the feet the shapeless corpse
of the foul monster slain. The people gazed
insatiate on the grewsome eyes, the breast
of bristling shag, the face both beast and man,
and that fire-blasted throat whence breathed no more
the extinguished flame. 'T is since that famous day
we celebrate this feast, and glad of heart
each generation keeps the holy time.
Potitius began the worship due,
and our Pinarian house is vowed to guard
the rites of Hercules. An altar fair
within this wood they raised; 't is called ‘the Great,’
and Ara Maxima its name shall be.
Come now, my warriors, and bind your brows
with garlands worthy of the gift of Heaven.
Lift high the cup in every thankful hand,
and praise our people's god with plenteous wine.”
He spoke; and of the poplar's changeful sheen,
sacred to Hercules, wove him a wreath
to shade his silvered brow. The sacred cup
he raised in his right hand, while all the rest
called on the gods and pure libation poured.
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