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Meanwhile Aeneas his assaulting line
moved forward. The ill tidings wildly sped
from royal hall to hall, and filled the town
with rumors dark: for now the Trojan host
o'er the wide plains from Tiber's wave was spread
in close array of war. The people's soul
was vexed and shaken, and its martial rage
rose to the stern compulsion. Now for arms
their terror calls; the youthful soldiery
clamor for arms; the sires of riper days
weep or repress their tears. On every side
loud shouts and cries of dissonant acclaim
trouble the air, as when in lofty grove
legions of birds alight, or by the flood
of Padus' fishy stream the shrieking swans
far o'er the vocal marish fling their song.
Then, seizing the swift moment, Turnus cried:
“Once more, my countrymen,—ye sit in parle,
lazily praising peace, while yonder foe
speeds forth in arms our kingdom to obtain.”
He spoke no more, but hied him in hot haste,
and from the housetop called, “Volusus, go!
Equip the Volscian companies! Lead forth
my Rutules also! O'er the spreading plain,
ye brothers Coras and Messapus range
our host of cavalry! Let others guard
the city's gates and hold the walls and towers:
I and my followers elsewhere oppose
the shock of arms.”
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