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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book VII Chapter 10: The palace of Latinus
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Large and majestical the castle rose: |
a hundred columns lifted it in air
upon the city's crown -- the royal keep
of Picus of Laurentum; round it lay
deep, gloomy woods by olden worship blest.
Here kings took sceptre and the fasces proud
with omens fair; the selfsame sacred place
was senate-house and temple; here was found
a hall for hallowed feasting, where a ram
was offered up, and at long banquet-boards
the nation's fathers sat in due array.
Here ranged ancestral statues roughly hewn
of ancient cedar-wood: King Italus;
Father Sabinus, planter of the vine,
a curving sickle in his sculptured hand;
gray-bearded Saturn; and the double brow
of Janus' head; and other sires and kings
were wardens of the door, with many a chief
wounded in battle for his native land.
Trophies of arms in goodly order hung
along the columns: chariots of war
from foeman taken, axes of round blade,
plumed helmets, bolts and barriers of steel
from city-gates, shields, spears, and beaks of bronze
from captured galleys by the conqueror torn.
Here, wielding his Quirinal augur-staff,
girt in scant shift, and bearing on his left
the sacred oval shield, appeared enthroned
Picus, breaker of horses, whom his bride,
enamoured Circe, smote with golden wand,
and, raining o'er him potent poison-dew,
changed to a bird of pied and dappled wings.
Event: Picus and Circe
Tectum augustum, ingens, centum sublime columnis
urbe fuit summa, Laurentis regia Pici,
horrendum siluis et religione parentum.
hic sceptra accipere et primos attollere fascis
regibus omen erat; hoc illis curia templum,
hae sacris sedes epulis; hic ariete caeso
perpetuis soliti patres considere mensis.
quin etiam ueterum effigies ex ordine auorum
antiqua e cedro, Italusque paterque Sabinus
uitisator curuam seruans sub imagine falcem,
Saturnusque senex Ianique bifrontis imago
uestibulo astabant, aliique ab origine reges,
Martiaque ob patriam pugnando uulnera passi.
multaque praeterea sacris in postibus arma,
captiui pendent currus curuaeque secures
et cristae capitum et portarum ingentia claustra
spiculaque clipeique ereptaque rostra carinis.
ipse Quirinali lituo paruaque sedebat
succinctus trabea laeuaque ancile gerebat
Picus, equum domitor, quem capta cupidine coniunx
aurea percussum uirga uersumque uenenis
fecit auem Circe sparsitque coloribus alas.