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The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book XI Chapter 6: Lament over Pallas
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Now Rumor, herald of prodigious woe,
to king Evander hied, Evander's house
and city filling, where, but late, her word
had told in Latium Pallas' victory.
th' Arcadians thronging to the city-gates
bear funeral torches, the accustomed way;
in lines of flame the long street flashes far,
lighting the fields beyond. To meet them moves
a Phrygian company, to join with theirs
its lamentation loud. The Latin wives,
soon as they saw them entering, aroused
the whole sad city with shrill songs of woe.
No hand could stay Evander. Forth he flew
into the midmost tumult, and fell prone
on his dead Pallas, on the resting bier;
he clung to the pale corse with tears, with groans,
till anguish for a space his lips sealed:
Not this thy promise, Pallas, to thy sire,
to walk not rashly in the war-god's [Note 1] way.
I knew too well how honor' morning-star,
and sweet, foretasted glory tempt and woo
in a first battle. O first-fruit forlorn
of youth so fair! O prelude pitiless
of war approaching! O my vows and prayers,
which not one god would hear! My blessed wife [Note 2],
how happy was the death that spared thee not
to taste this bitterness! But I, the while,
by living longer lived to meet my doom, --
a father sole-surviving. Would I myself
had perished by the Rutule's cruel spear,
the Trojan's cause espousing! This breath of life
how gladly had I given! And O, that now
yon black solemnity were bearing home
myself, not Pallas, dead! Yet blame I not,
O Teucrians, the hallowed pact we made,
nor hospitable bond and clasp of hands.
This doom ye bring me was writ long ago,
for my old age. And though my child is fallen
untimely, I take comfort that he fell
where thousands of the Volscians slaughtered lie,
and into Latium led the Teucrian arms.
What brighter glory could I crave in death
for thee, my Pallas, than Aeneas brings,
and Phrygian princes, and Etrurian lords
with all Etruria's legions? Lo, they bear
yon glittering spoils of victims of thy sword!
Thou, Turnus, too, wert now an effigy
in giant armor clad, if but his years
and strength full ripe had been fair match for thine!
But now my woes detain the Trojan host
from battle. I beseech ye haste away,
and bear this faithful message to your king:
since I but linger out a life I loathe,
without my Pallas, nothing but thy sword
can bid me live. Then let thy sword repay
its debt to sire and son by Turnus slain!
Such deed alone may with thy honor fit,
and happier fortunes. But my life to me
has no joy left to pray for, save to bring
my son that solace in the shadowy land.

Note 1: war-god = Mars
Note 2: wife = Carmenta

Event: The Funeral of Pallas

Et iam Fama uolans, tanti praenuntia luctus,
Euandrum Euandrique domos et moenia replet,
quae modo uictorem Latio Pallanta ferebat.
Arcades ad portas ruere et de more uetusto
funereas rapuere faces; lucet uia longo
ordine flammarum et late discriminat agros.
contra turba Phrygum ueniens plangentia iungit
agmina. quae postquam matres succedere tectis
uiderunt, maestam incendunt clamoribus urbem.
at non Euandrum potis est uis ulla tenere,
sed uenit in medios. feretro Pallante reposto
procubuit super atque haeret lacrimansque gemensque,
et uia uix tandem uoci laxata dolore est:
'non haec, o Palla, dederas promissa parenti,
cautius ut saeuo uelles te credere Marti.
haud ignarus eram quantum noua gloria in armis
et praedulce decus primo certamine posset.
primitiae iuuenis miserae bellique propinqui
dura rudimenta, et nulli exaudita deorum
uota precesque meae! tuque, o sanctissima coniunx,
felix morte tua neque in hunc seruata dolorem!
contra ego uiuendo uici mea fata, superstes
restarem ut genitor. Troum socia arma secutum
obruerent Rutuli telis! animam ipse dedissem
atque haec pompa domum me, non Pallanta, referret!
nec uos arguerim, Teucri, nec foedera nec quas
iunximus hospitio dextras: sors ista senectae
debita erat nostrae. quod si immatura manebat
mors gnatum, caesis Volscorum milibus ante
ducentem in Latium Teucros cecidisse iuuabit.
quin ego non alio digner te funere, Palla,
quam pius Aeneas et quam magni Phryges et quam
Tyrrhenique duces, Tyrrhenum exercitus omnis.
magna tropaea ferunt quos dat tua dextera leto;
tu quoque nunc stares immanis truncus in aruis,
esset par aetas et idem si robur ab annis,
Turne. sed infelix Teucros quid demoror armis?
uadite et haec memores regi mandata referte:
quod uitam moror inuisam Pallante perempto
dextera causa tua est, Turnum gnatoque patrique
quam debere uides. meritis uacat hic tibi solus
fortunaeque locus. non uitae gaudia quaero,
nec fas, sed gnato manis perferre sub imos.'