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Quote of the day: One Musonius Rufus, a man of equestrian
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The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book II Chapter 32: Aeneas finds Creusa's ghost
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The walls and gloomy gates whence forth I [Note 1] came
I first revisit, and retrace my way,
searching the night once more. On all sides round
horror spread wide; the very silence breathed
a terror on my soul. I hastened then
back to my fallen home, if haply there
her feet had strayed; but the invading Greeks
were its possessors, though the hungry fire
was blown along the roof-tree, and the flames
rolled raging upward on the fitful gale.
To Priam's house I haste, and climb once more
the citadel; in Juno's temple there,
the chosen guardians of her wasted halls,
Phoenix and dread Ulysses watched the spoil.
Here, snatched away from many a burning fane,
Troy's treasures lay, -- rich tables for the gods,
thick bowls of messy gold, and vestures rare,
confusedly heaped up, while round the pile
fair youths and trembling virgins stood forlorn.
Yet oft my voice rang dauntless through the gloom,
from street to street I cried with anguish vain;
and on Creusa piteously calling,
woke the lamenting echoes o'er and o'er.
While on this quest I roamed the city through,
of reason reft there rose upon my sight --
O shape of sorrow! -- my Creusa's ghost,
hers truly, though a loftier port it wore.
I quailed, my hair rose, and I gasped for fear;
but thus she spoke, and soothed my grief away:
“Why to these frenzied sorrows bend thy soul,
O husband ever dear! The will of Heaven
hath brought all this to pass. Fate doth not send
Creusa the long journeys thou shalt take,
or hath th' Olympian King so given decree.
Long is thy banishment; thy ship must plough
the vast, far-spreading sea. Then shalt thou come
unto Hesperia, whose fruitful plains
are watered by the Tiber, Lydian stream,
of smooth, benignant Bow. Thou shalt obtain
fair fortunes, and a throne and royal bride.
For thy beloved Creusa weep no more!
No Myrmidon's proud palace waits me now;
Dolopian shall not scorn, nor Argive dames
command a slave of Dardan's royal stem
and wife to Venus' son. On these loved shores
the Mother of the Gods compels my stay.
Farewell! farewell! O, cherish evermore
thy son and mine!" Her utterance scarce had ceased,
when, as I strove through tears to make reply,
she left me, and dissolved in empty air.
Thrice would my frustrate arms her form enfold;
thrice from the clasp of hand that vision fled,
like wafted winds and like a fleeting dream.

Note 1: I = Aeneas

Events: The Sack of Troy, The Flight of Aeneas


principio muros obscuraque limina portae,
qua gressum extuleram, repeto et uestigia retro
obseruata sequor per noctem et lumine lustro:
horror ubique animo, simul ipsa silentia terrent.
inde domum, si forte pedem, si forte tulisset,
me refero: inruerant Danai et tectum omne tenebant.
ilicet ignis edax summa ad fastigia uento
uoluitur; exsuperant flammae, furit aestus ad auras.
procedo et Priami sedes arcemque reuiso:
et iam porticibus uacuis Iunonis asylo
custodes lecti Phoenix et dirus Vlixes
praedam adseruabant. huc undique Troia gaza
incensis erepta adytis, mensaeque deorum
crateresque auro solidi, captiuaque uestis
congeritur. pueri et pauidae longo ordine matres
stant circum.
ausus quin etiam uoces iactare per umbram
impleui clamore uias, maestusque Creusam
nequiquam ingeminans iterumque iterumque uocaui.
quaerenti et tectis urbis sine fine ruenti
infelix simulacrum atque ipsius umbra Creusae
uisa mihi ante oculos et nota maior imago.
obstipui, steteruntque comae et uox faucibus haesit.
tum sic adfari et curas his demere dictis:
'quid tantum insano iuuat indulgere dolori,
o dulcis coniunx? non haec sine numine diuum
eueniunt; nec te comitem hinc portare Creusam
fas, aut ille sinit superi regnator Olympi.
longa tibi exsilia et uastum maris aequor arandum,
et terram Hesperiam uenies, ubi Lydius arua
inter opima uirum leni fluit agmine Thybris.
illic res laetae regnumque et regia coniunx
parta tibi; lacrimas dilectae pelle Creusae.
non ego Myrmidonum sedes Dolopumue superbas
aspiciam aut Grais seruitum matribus ibo,
Dardanis et diuae Veneris nurus;
sed me magna deum genetrix his detinet oris.
iamque uale et nati serua communis amorem.'
haec ubi dicta dedit, lacrimantem et multa uolentem
dicere deseruit, tenuisque recessit in auras.
ter conatus ibi collo dare bracchia circum;
ter frustra comprensa manus effugit imago,
par leuibus uentis uolucrique simillima somno.