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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book I Chapter 25: Venus disappears
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She ceased and turned away. A roseate beam |
from her bright shoulder glowed; th' ambrosial hair
breathed more than mortal sweetness, while her robes
fell rippling to her feet. Each step revealed
the veritable goddess. Now he knew
that vision was his mother, and his words
pursued the fading phantom as it fled:
Why is thy son deluded o'er and o'er
with mocking dreams, -- another cruel god?
Hast thou no hand-clasp true, nor interchange
of words unfeigned betwixt this heart and thine?
Such word of blame he spoke, and took his way
toward the city's rampart. Venus then
o'erveiled them as they moved in darkened air, --
a liquid mantle of thick cloud divine, --
that viewless they might pass, nor would any
obstruct, delay, or question why they came.
To Paphos then she soared, her loved abode,
where stands her temple, at whose hundred shrines
garlands of myrtle and fresh roses breathe,
and clouds of orient sweetness waft away.
Dixit, et avertens rosea cervice refulsit,
ambrosiaeque comae divinum vertice odorem
spiravere, pedes vestis defluxit ad imos,
et vera incessu patuit dea. Ille ubi matrem
adgnovit, tali fugientem est voce secutus:
'Quid natum totiens, crudelis tu quoque, falsis
ludis imaginibus? Cur dextrae iungere dextram
non datur, ac veras audire et reddere voces?'
Talibus incusat, gressumque ad moenia tendit:
at Venus obscuro gradientes aere saepsit,
et multo nebulae circum dea fudit amictu,
cernere ne quis eos, neu quis contingere posset,
molirive moram, aut veniendi poscere causas.
Ipsa Paphum sublimis abit, sedesque revisit
laeta suas, ubi templum illi, centumque Sabaeo
ture calent arae, sertisque recentibus halant.