|Religion||Subjects||Images||Queries||Links||Contact||Do not fly Iberia|
Display Latin text
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book I Chapter 28: Images of the Trojan war
Return to index
So saying, he received into his heart |
that visionary scene, profoundly sighed,
and let his plenteous tears unheeded flow.
There he beheld the citadel of Troy
girt with embattled foes; here, Greeks in flight
some Trojan onset 'scaped; there, Phrygian bands
before tall-plumed Achilles' chariot sped.
The snowy tents of Rhesus spread hard by
(he sees them through his tears), where Diomed
in night's first watch burst o'er them unawares
with bloody havoc and a host of deaths;
then drove his fiery coursers o'er the plain
before their thirst or hunger could be stayed
on Trojan corn or Xanthus' cooling stream.
Here too was princely Troilus, despoiled,
routed and weaponless, O wretched boy!
Ill-matched against Achilles! His wild steeds
bear him along, as from his chariot's rear
he falls far back, but clutches still the rein;
his hair and shoulders on the ground go trailing,
and his down-pointing spear-head scrawls the dust.
Elsewhere, to Pallas' ever-hostile shrine,
daughters of Ilium, with unsnooded hair,
and lifting all in vain her hallowed pall,
walked suppliant and sad, beating their breasts,
with outspread palms. But her unswerving eyes
the goddess fixed on earth, and would not see.
Achilles round the Trojan rampart thrice
had dragged the fallen Hector, and for gold
was making traffic of the lifeless clay.
Aeneas groaned aloud, with bursting heart,
to see the spoils, the car, the very corpse
of his lost friend, -- while Priam for the dead
stretched forth in piteous prayer his helpless hands.
There too his own presentment he could see
surrounded by Greek kings; and there were shown
hordes from the East, and black-browed Memnon's arms;
her band of Amazons, with moon-shaped shields,
Penthesilea led; her martial eye
flamed on from troop to troop; a belt of gold
beneath one bare, protruded breast she bound --
a warrior-virgin braving mail-clad men.
Sic ait, atque animum pictura pascit inani,
multa gemens, largoque umectat flumine voltum.
Namque videbat, uti bellantes Pergama circum
hac fugerent Graii, premeret Troiana iuventus,
hac Phryges, instaret curru cristatus Achilles.
Nec procul hinc Rhesi niveis tentoria velis
adgnoscit lacrimans, primo quae prodita somno
Tydides multa vastabat caede cruentus,
ardentisque avertit equos in castra, prius quam
pabula gustassent Troiae Xanthumque bibissent.
Parte alia fugiens amissis Troilus armis,
infelix puer atque impar congressus Achilli,
fertur equis, curruque haeret resupinus inani,
lora tenens tamen; huic cervixque comaeque trahuntur
per terram, et versa pulvis inscribitur hasta.
Interea ad templum non aequae Palladis ibant
crinibus Iliades passis peplumque ferebant,
suppliciter tristes et tunsae pectora palmis;
diva solo fixos oculos aversa tenebat.
Ter circum Iliacos raptaverat Hectora muros,
exanimumque auro corpus vendebat Achilles.
Tum vero ingentem gemitum dat pectore ab imo,
ut spolia, ut currus, utque ipsum corpus amici,
tendentemque manus Priamum conspexit inermis.
Se quoque principibus permixtum adgnovit Achivis,
Eoasque acies et nigri Memnonis arma.
Ducit Amazonidum lunatis agmina peltis
Penthesilea furens, mediisque in milibus ardet,
aurea subnectens exsertae cingula mammae,
bellatrix, audetque viris concurrere virgo.