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but half upon the passing breeze he threw:
granting his votary he should confound
Camilla by swift death; but 't was denied
the mountain-fatherland once more to see,
or safe return,—that prayer th' impetuous winds
swept stormfully away. Soon as the spear
whizzed from his hand, straight-speeding on the air,
the Volscians all turned eager thought and eyes
toward their Queen. She only did not heed
that windy roar, nor weapon dropped from heaven,
till in her bare, protruded breast the spear
drank, deeply driven, of her virgin blood.
Her terror-struck companians swiftly throng
around her, and uplift their sinking Queen.
But Arruns, panic-stricken more than all,
makes off, half terror and half joy, nor dares
hazard his lance again, nor dares oppose
a virgin's arms. As creeps back to the hills
in pathless covert ere his foes pursue,
from shepherd slain or mighty bull laid low,
some wolf, who, now of his bold trespass ware,
curls close against his paunch a quivering tail
and to the forest tries: so Arruns speeds
from sight of men in terror, glad to fly,
and hides him in the crowd. But his keen spear
dying Camilla from her bosom drew,
though the fixed barb of deeply-wounding steel
clung to the rib. She sank to earth undone,
her cold eyes closed in death, and from her cheeks
the roses fled. With failing breath she called
on Acca—who of all her maiden peers
was chiefly dear and shared her heart's whole pain—
and thus she spoke: “O Acca, sister mine,
I have been strong till now. The cruel wound
consumes me, and my world is growing dark.
Haste thee to Turnus! Tell my dying words!
'T is he must bear the battle and hold back
the Trojan from our city wall. Farewell!”
So saying, her fingers from the bridle-rein
unclasped, and helpless to the earth she fell;
then, colder grown, she loosed her more and more
out of the body's coil; she gave to death
her neck, her drooping head, and ceased to heed
her war-array. So fled her spirit forth
with wrath and moaning to the world below.
Then clamor infinite uprose and smote
the golden stars, as round Camilla slain
the battle newly raged. To swifter charge
the gathered Trojans ran, with Tuscan lords
and King Evander's troops of Arcady.
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