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(While o'er the isle my busy mariners
ploughed in new fields and took them wives once more, —
I giving homes and laws) when suddenly
a pestilence from some infectious sky
seized on man's flesh, and horribly exhaled
o'er trees and crops a fatal year of plague.
Some breathed their last, while others weak and worn
lived on; the dog-star parched the barren fields;
grass withered, and the sickly, mouldering corn
refused us life. My aged father then
bade us re-cross the waves and re-implore
Apollo's mercy at his island shrine;
if haply of our weariness and woe
he might vouchsafe the end, or bid us find
help for our task, or guidance o'er the sea.
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