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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book XII Chapter 4: Turnus prepares for the duel
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So saying, he hied him to his lordly halls, |
summoned his steeds, and with pleased eye surveyed
their action proud: them Orithyia, bride
of Boreas, to Sire Pilumnus gave,
which in their whiteness did surpass the snow
in speed the wind. The nimble charioteers
stood by and smote with hollowed hand and palm
the sounding chests, or combed the necks and manes.
But he upon his kingly shoulders clasped
his corselet, thick o'erlaid with blazoned gold
and silvery orichalch; he fitted him
with falchion, shield, and helm of purple plume,
that falchion which the Lord of Fire [Note 1] had made
for Daunus, tempering in the Stygian wave
when white it glowed; next grasped he the good spear
which leaned its weight against a column tall
in the mid-court, Auruncan Actor's spoil,
and waved it wide in air with mighty cry:
O spear, that ne'er did fail me when I called,
the hour is come! Once mighty Actor's hand,
but now the hand of Turnus is thy lord.
Grant me to strike that carcase to the ground,
and with strong hand the corselet rip and rend
from off that Phrygian eunuch: let the dust
befoul those tresses, tricked to curl so fine
with singeing steel and sleeked with odorous oil.
Such frenzy goads him: his impassioned brow
is all on flame, the wild eyes flash with fire.
Thus, bellowing loud before the fearful fray,
some huge bull proves the fury of his horns,
pushing against a tree-trunk; his swift thrusts
would tear the winds in pieces; while his hoofs
toss up the turf and sand, rehearsing war.
Note 1: Lord of Fire = Vulcan
Haec ubi dicta dedit rapidusque in tecta recessit,
poscit equos gaudetque tuens ante ora frementis,
Pilumno quos ipsa decus dedit Orithyia,
qui candore niues anteirent, cursibus auras.
circumstant properi aurigae manibusque lacessunt
pectora plausa cauis et colla comantia pectunt.
ipse dehinc auro squalentem alboque orichalco
circumdat loricam umeris, simul aptat habendo
ensemque clipeumque et rubrae cornua cristae,
ensem quem Dauno ignipotens deus ipse parenti
fecerat et Stygia candentem tinxerat unda.
exim quae mediis ingenti adnixa columnae
aedibus astabat, ualidam ui corripit hastam,
Actoris Aurunci spolium, quassatque trementem
uociferans: 'nunc, o numquam frustrata uocatus
hasta meos, nunc tempus adest: te maximus Actor,
te Turni nunc dextra gerit; da sternere corpus
loricamque manu ualida lacerare reuulsam
semiuiri Phrygis et foedare in puluere crinis
uibratos calido ferro murraque madentis.'
his agitur furiis, totoque ardentis ab ore
scintillae absistunt, oculis micat acribus ignis,
mugitus ueluti cum prima in proelia taurus
terrificos ciet aut irasci in cornua temptat
arboris obnixus trunco, uentosque lacessit
ictibus aut sparsa ad pugnam proludit harena.