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“At night I lay exhausted by such thoughts,
a deep sleep seized my body, but the tree
seemed always present—to my gaze distinct
with all its branches—I could even see
the birds among its leaves; and from its boughs,
that trembled in the still air, moving ants
were scattered to the ground in troops below;
and ever, as they touched the soil, they grew
larger and larger.—As they raised themselves,
they stood with upright bodies, and put off
their lean shapes; and absorbed their many feet:
and even as their dark brown color changed,
their rounded forms took on a human shape.

“When my strange dream departed, I awoke,
the vision vanished, I complained to Heaven
against the idle comfort of such dreams;
but as I voiced my own lament, I heard
a mighty murmur echoing through the halls
of my deserted palace, and a multitude
of voices in confusion; where the sound
of scarce an echo had disturbed the still
deserted chambers for so many days.

“All this I thought the fancy of my dream,
until my brave son Telamon, in haste
threw open the closed doorway, as he called,
‘Come quickly father, and behold a sight
beyond the utmost of your fondest dreams!’
I did go out, and there I saw such men
each in his turn, as I had seen transformed
in that weird vision of the moving ants.

“They all advanced, and hailed me as their king.
So soon as I had offered vows to Jove,
I subdivided the deserted farms,
and dwellings in the cities to these men
miraculously raised —which now are called
my Myrmidons, —the living evidence
of my strange vision. You have seen these men;
and since that day, their name has been declared,
‘Decisive evidence.’ They have retained
the well-known customs of the days before
their transformation. Patiently they toil;
they store the profits of their labor; which
they guard with valiant skill. They'll follow you
to any war, well matched in years and courage,
and I do promise, when this east wind turns,
this wind that favored you and brought you here,
and when a south wind favors our design,
then my brave Myrmidons will go with you.”

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load focus English (Arthur Golding, 1567)
load focus Latin (Hugo Magnus, 1892)
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