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Quote of the day: And that he might also soften the rememb
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The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book III Chapter 2: Omens
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Unto Dione's daughter [Note 1], and all gods
who blessed our young emprise, due gifts were paid;
and unto the supreme celestial King [Note 2]
I slew a fair white bull beside the sea.
But haply near my place of sacrifice
a mound was seen, and on the summit grew
a copse of corner and a myrtle tree,
with spear-like limbs outbranched on every side.
This I approached, and tried to rend away
from its deep roots that grove of gloomy green,
and dress my altars in its leafy boughs.
But, horrible to tell, a prodigy
smote my astonished eyes: for the first tree,
which from the earth with broken roots I drew,
dripped black with bloody drops, and gave the ground
dark stains of gore. Cold horror shook my frame,
and every vein within me froze for fear.
Once more I tried from yet another stock
the pliant stem to tear, and to explore
the mystery within, -- but yet again
the foul bark oozed with clots of blackest gore!
From my deep-shaken soul I made a prayer
to all the woodland nymphs and to divine
Gradivus, patron of the Thracian plain,
to bless this sight, to lift its curse away.
But when at a third sheaf of myrtle spears
I fell upon my knees, and tugged amain
against the adverse (ground (I dread to tell!),
a moaning and a wail from that deep grave
burst forth and murmured in my listening ear:
"Why wound me, great Aeneas, in my woe?
O, spare the dead, nor let thy holy hands
do sacrilege and sin! I, Trojan-born,
was kin of thine. This blood is not of trees.
Haste from this murderous shore, this land of greed.
O, I am Polydorus! Haste away!
Here was I pierced; a crop of iron spears
has grown up o'er my breast, and multiplied
to all these deadly javelins, keen and strong."
Then stood I, burdened with dark doubt and fear
I quailed, my hair rose and my utterance choked.

Note 1: daughter = Venus
Note 2: King = Jupiter

Events: The wanderings of Aeneas, Polymestor and Polydorus

litora cum patriae lacrimans portusque relinquo
et campos ubi Troia fuit. feror exsul in altum
cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis.
Terra procul uastis colitur Mauortia campis
(Thraces arant) acri quondam regnata Lycurgo,
hospitium antiquum Troiae sociique penates
dum fortuna fuit. feror huc et litore curuo
moenia prima loco fatis ingressus iniquis
Aeneadasque meo nomen de nomine fingo
sacra Dionaeae matri diuisque ferebam
auspicibus coeptorum operum, superoque nitentem
caelicolum regi mactabam in litore taurum.
forte fuit iuxta tumulus, quo cornea summo
uirgulta et densis hastilibus horrida myrtus.
accessi uiridemque ab humo conuellere siluam
conatus, ramis tegerem ut frondentibus aras,
horrendum et dictu uideo mirabile monstrum.
nam quae prima solo ruptis radicibus arbos
uellitur, huic atro liquuntur sanguine guttae
et terram tabo maculant. mihi frigidus horror
membra quatit gelidusque coit formidine sanguis.
rursus et alterius lentum conuellere uimen
insequor et causas penitus temptare latentis;
ater et alterius sequitur de cortice sanguis.
multa mouens animo Nymphas uenerabar agrestis
Gradiuumque patrem, Geticis qui praesidet aruis,
rite secundarent uisus omenque leuarent.
tertia sed postquam maiore hastilia nisu
adgredior genibusque aduersae obluctor harenae,
(eloquar an sileam?) gemitus lacrimabilis imo
auditur tumulo et uox reddita fertur ad auris:
'quid miserum, Aenea, laceras? iam parce sepulto,
parce pias scelerare manus. non me tibi Troia
externum tulit aut cruor hic de stipite manat.
heu fuge crudelis terras, fuge litus auarum:
nam Polydorus ego. hic confixum ferrea texit
telorum seges et iaculis increuit acutis.'
tum uero ancipiti mentem formidine pressus
obstipui steteruntque comae et uox faucibus haesit.