|Do not fly Iberia
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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book V Chapter 7: Start of the game
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Fronting the surf-beat shore, far out at sea
rises a rock, which under swollen waves
lies buffeted unseen, when wintry storms
mantle the stars; but when the deep is calm,
lifts silently above the sleeping wave
its level field, -- a place where haunt and play
flocks of the sea-birds, lovers of the sun.
Here was the goal; and here Aeneas set
a green-leaved flex-tree, to be a mark
for every captain's eye, from whence to veer
the courses of their ships in sweeping curves
and speed them home. Now places in the line
are given by lot. Upon the lofty sterns
the captains ride, in beautiful array
of Tyrian purple and far-flaming gold;
the crews are poplar-crowned, the shoulders bare
rubbed well with glittering oil; their straining arms
make long reach to the oar, as on the thwarts
they sit attentive, listening for the call
of the loud trumpet; while with pride and fear
their hot hearts throb, impassioned for renown.
Soon pealed the signal clear; from all the line
instant the galleys bounded, and the air
rang to the rowers, shouting, while their arms
pulled every inch and flung the waves in foam;
deep cut the rival strokes; the surface fair
yawned wide beneath their blades and cleaving keels.
Not swifter scour the chariots o'er the plain,
sped headlong from the line behind their teams
of mated coursers, while each driver shakes
loose, rippling reins above his plunging pairs,
and o'er the lash leans far. With loud applause
vociferous and many an urgent cheer
the woodlands rang, and all the concave shores
back from the mountains took the Trojan cry
in answering song.
>Est procul in pelago saxum spumantia contra
litora, quod tumidis summersum tunditur olim
fluctibus, hiberni condunt ubi sidera Cauri;
tranquillo silet immotaque attollitur unda
campus et apricis statio gratissima mergis.
hic uiridem Aeneas frondenti ex ilice metam
constituit signum nautis pater, unde reuerti
scirent et longos ubi circumflectere cursus.
tum loca sorte legunt ipsique in puppibus auro
ductores longe effulgent ostroque decori;
cetera populea uelatur fronde iuuentus
nudatosque umeros oleo perfusa nitescit.
considunt transtris, intentaque bracchia remis;
intenti exspectant signum, exsultantiaque haurit
corda pauor pulsans laudumque arrecta cupido.
inde ubi clara dedit sonitum tuba, finibus omnes,
haud mora, prosiluere suis; ferit aethera clamor
nauticus, adductis spumant freta uersa lacertis.
infindunt pariter sulcos, totumque dehiscit
conuulsum remis rostrisque tridentibus aequor.
non tam praecipites biiugo certamine campum
corripuere ruuntque effusi carcere currus,
nec sic immissis aurigae undantia lora
concussere iugis pronique in uerbera pendent.
tum plausu fremituque uirum studiisque fauentum
consonat omne nemus, uocemque inclusa uolutant
litora, pulsati colles clamore resultant.