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of Turnus, who groaned loud and from his heart
this utterance hurled: “O Drances, thou art rich
in large words, when the day of battle calls
for actions. If our senators convene
thou comest early. But the council hall
is not for swollen talk, such as thy tongue
in safety tosses forth; so long as walls
hold back thy foes, and ere the trenches flow
with blood of brave men slain. O, rattle on
in fluent thunder—thy habitual style!
Brand me a coward, Drances, when thy sword
has heaped up Trojan slain, and on the field
thy shining trophies rise. Now may we twain
our martial prowess prove. Our foe, forsooth,
is not so far to seek; around yon wall
he lies in siege: to front him let us fly!
Why art thou tarrying? Wilt thou linger here,
a soldier only in thy windy tongue,
and thy swift, coward heels? Defeated, I?
Foul wretch, what tongue that honors truth can tell
of my defeat, while Tiber overflows
with Trojan blood? while King Evander's house
in ruin dies, and his Arcadians lie
stripped naked on the field? O, not like thee
did Bitias or the giant Pandarus
misprize my honor; nor those men of Troy
whom this good sword to death and dark sent down,
a thousand in a day,—though I was penned
a prisoner in the ramparts of my foe.
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