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Quote of the day: The aspect of Italy would have struck hi
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The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book VI Chapter 5: Aeneas asks permission to see his father
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Thus from her shrine Cumaea's prophetess [Note 1]
Chanted the dark decree; the dreadful sound
Reverberated through the bellowing cave,
Commingling truth with ecstasies obscure.
Apollo, as she raged, flung loosened rein,
And thrust beneath her heart a quickening spur.
When first her madness ceased, and her wild lips
Were still at last, the hero thus began :
No tribulations new, O Sibyl blest,
Can now confront me; every future pain
I have foretasted; my prophetic soul
Endured each stroke of fate before it fell.
One boon I ask. If of th' infernal king
This be the portal where the murky wave
Of swollen Acheron o'erflows its bound,
Here let me enter and behold the face
Of my loved sire [Note 2]. Thy hand may point the way;
Thy word will open wide yon holy doors.
My father through the flames and falling spears,
Straight through the centre of our foes, I bore
Upon these shoulders. My long flight he shared
From sea to sea, and suffered at my side
The anger of rude waters and dark skies, --
Though weak -- O task too great for old and gray!
Thus as a suppliant at thy door to stand,
Was his behest and prayer. On son and sire,
O gracious one, have pity, -- for thy rule
Is over all; no vain authority
Hadst thou from Trivia o'er th' Avernian groves.
If Orpheus could call back his loved one's shade,
Emboldened by the lyre's melodious string :
If Pollux by the interchange of death
Redeemed his twin, and oft repassed the way :
If Theseus -- but why name him? why recall
Alcides' task? I, too, am sprung from Jove.

Note 1: prophetess = Deiphobe
Note 2 sire = Anchises

Events: Aeneas visits the Underworld, Orpheus and Eurydice

Talibus ex adyto dictis Cumaea Sibylla
horrendas canit ambages antroque remugit,
obscuris uera inuoluens: ea frena furenti
concutit et stimulos sub pectore uertit Apollo.
ut primum cessit furor et rabida ora quierunt,
incipit Aeneas heros: 'non ulla laborum,
o uirgo, noua mi facies inopinaue surgit;
omnia praecepi atque animo mecum ante peregi.
unum oro: quando hic inferni ianua regis
dicitur et tenebrosa palus Acheronte refuso,
ire ad conspectum cari genitoris et ora
contingat; doceas iter et sacra ostia pandas.
illum ego per flammas et mille sequentia tela
eripui his umeris medioque ex hoste recepi;
ille meum comitatus iter maria omnia mecum
atque omnis pelagique minas caelique ferebat,
inualidus, uiris ultra sortemque senectae.
quin, ut te supplex peterem et tua limina adirem,
idem orans mandata dabat. gnatique patrisque,
alma, precor, miserere (potes namque omnia, nec te
nequiquam lucis Hecate praefecit Auernis),
si potuit manis accersere coniugis Orpheus
Threicia fretus cithara fidibusque canoris,
si fratrem Pollux alterna morte redemit
itque reditque uiam totiens. quid Thesea, magnum
quid memorem Alciden? et mi genus ab Ioue summo.'