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with fair Iulus, under spreading boughs
of one great tree made resting-place, and set
the banquet on. Thin loaves of altar-bread
along the sward to bear their meats were laid
(such was the will of Jove), and wilding fruits
rose heaping high, with Ceres' gift below.
Soon, all things else devoured, their hunger turned
to taste the scanty bread, which they attacked
with tooth and nail audacious, and consumed
both round and square of that predestined leaven.
“Look, how we eat our tables even!” cried
Iulus, in a jest. Such was the word
which bade their burdens fall. From his boy's lip
the father caught this utterance of Fate,
silent with wonder at the ways of Heaven;
then swift he spoke: “Hail! O my destined shore,
protecting deities of Ilium, hail!
Here is our home, our country here! This day
I publish the mysterious prophecy
by Sire Anchises given: ‘My son,’ said he,
‘When hunger in strange lands shall bid devour
the tables of thy banquet gone, then hope
for home, though weary, and take thought to build
a dwelling and a battlement.’ Behold!
This was our fated hunger! This last proof
will end our evil days. Up, then! For now
by morning's joyful beam we will explore
what men, what cities, in this region be,
and, leaving ship, our several errands ply.
Your gift to Jove outpour! Make thankful prayer
unto Anchises' shade! To this our feast
bring back the flowing wine!”
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