The Aeneid (Vintage Classics)
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Virgil's great epic transforms the Homeric tradition into a triumphal statement of the Roman civilizing mission. Translated by Robert Fitzgerald.
not for the victory now Am I, Mnestheus, contending; though I wish— But let the winners be your choices, Neptune!— 255 Only, to come in last, that’s shameful. Fellows, Win just this, keep us from that disgrace!” They stretched ahead for strokes and pulled their hearts out, Making the beaked hull shake at every stroke, And sheets of sea were yanked, it seemed, from under them. 260 Panting racked them, dry-mouthed, and the sweat Ran down in streams. But actually, chance Brought
saying rule fell to the Trojans; 795 Italians were to mix with Phrygian stock; He had been turned away from the king’s door. The kin, then, of those mothers in ecstasy Who danced for Bacchus in the wilderness— Amata’s name no light encouragement— 800 Came in from everywhere with cries for Mars. Nothing would do but that, against the omens, Against the oracles, by a power malign They pled for frightful war. And they all thronged, Outshouting one another, round the palace. 805
Horses with hooves are banned from Trivia’s shrine And all her sacred groves: that on the shore In fright from sea-beasts they had wrecked the chariot And killed the man Hippolytus. Even so, 1075 Over the plain behind a fiery team His son rode in a chariot to war. Turnus himself came on, a mighty figure Moving among the captains blade in hand And by a head the tallest. His high helm 1080 With triple plume bore a Chimaera’s head Exhaling Aetnean fires—raging the more With savage
the other gods in festival Outside the town, in a green grove. With him Were his son Pallas and his leading men And homespun senate. They made offerings Of incense while hot blood fumed on the altars. 145 When they caught sight of the tall ships and saw The strangers gliding through the woodland shade, Rowing in silence, they were caught by fear At the sudden apparition, and all sprang up, Leaving the feast. But Pallas with high heart 150 Forbade them to disrupt the ritual.
the day The old man closed his glazing eyes in death 575 The Parcae took the son in hand, to be Cut down, blood sacrifice, by Evander’s spear. Thus it was that Pallas prayed before He threw against him: “Grant, O Father Tiber, 580 Luck to the steel of this shaft I let fly, A passage through the hard chest of Halaesus. Then these arms that I shall strip from him Shall be your oak’s to hold.” This the god heard, 585 For while Halaesus held his shield for Imaon, He left his