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But now athwart the darkening air of heaven
came Venus gleaming bright, to bring her son
the gifts divine. In deep, sequestered vale
she found him by a cooling rill retired,
and hailed him thus: “Behold the promised gift,
by craft and power of my Olympian spouse
made perfect, that my son need never fear
Laurentum's haughty host, nor to provoke
fierce Turnus to the fray.” Cythera's Queen
so saying, embraced her son, and hung the arms,
all glittering, on an oak that stood thereby.
The hero, with exultant heart and proud,
gazing unwearied at his mother's gift,
surveys them close, and poises in his hands
the helmet's dreadful crest and glancing flame,
the sword death-dealing, and the corselet strong,
impenetrable brass, blood-red and large,
like some dark-lowering, purple cloud that gleams
beneath the smiting sun and flashes far
its answering ray; and burnished greaves were there,
fine gold and amber; then the spear and shield —
the shield—of which the blazonry divine
exceeds all power to tell. Thereon were seen
Italia's story and triumphant Rome,
wrought by the Lord of Fire, who was not blind
to lore inspired and prophesying song,
fore-reading things to come. He pictured there
Iulus' destined line of glorious sons
marshalled for many a war.

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