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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 VI Chapter 8: Aeneas finds the Golden Bough
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Aeneas oversees and shares the toil,
Cheers on his mates, and swings a woodman's steel.
But, sad at heart with many a doubt and care,
O'erlooks the forest wide; then prays aloud:
O, that the Golden Bough from this vast grove
Might o'er me shine! For, O Aeolides,
The oracle foretold thy fate, too well!
Scarce had he spoken, when a pair of doves
Before his very eyes flew down from heaven
To the green turf below; the prince of Troy
Knew them his mother's [Note 1] birds, and joyful cried,
O, guide me on, whatever path there be!
In airy travel through the woodland fly,
To where yon rare branch shades the blessed ground.
Fail thou not me, in this my doubtful hour,
O heavenly mother! So saying, his steps lie stayed,
Close watching whither they should signal give;
The lightly-feeding doves flit on and on,
Ever in easy ken of following eyes,
Till over foul Avernus' sulphurous throat
Swiftly they lift them through the liquid air,
In silent flight, and find a wished-for rest
On a twy-natured tree, where through green boughs
Flames forth the glowing gold's contrasted hue.
As in the wintry woodland bare and chill,
Fresh-budded shines the clinging mistletoe,
Whose seed is never from the parent tree
O'er whose round limbs its tawny tendrils twine, --
So shone th' out-leafing gold within the shade
Of dark holm-oak, and so its tinsel-bract
Rustled in each light breeze. Aeneas grasped
The lingering bough, broke it in eager haste,
And bore it straightway to the Sibyl's shrine.

Note 1: mother = Venus

Event: Aeneas visits the Underworld

Nec non Aeneas opera inter talia primus
hortatur socios paribusque accingitur armis.
atque haec ipse suo tristi cum corde uolutat
aspectans siluam immensam, et sic forte precatur:
'si nunc se nobis ille aureus arbore ramus
ostendat nemore in tanto! quando omnia uere
heu nimium de te uates, Misene, locuta est.'
uix ea fatus erat, geminae cum forte columbae
ipsa sub ora uiri caelo uenere uolantes,
et uiridi sedere solo. tum maximus heros
maternas agnouit auis laetusque precatur:
'este duces, o, si qua uia est, cursumque per auras
derigite in lucos ubi pinguem diues opacat
ramus humum. tuque, o, dubiis ne defice rebus,
diua parens.' sic effatus uestigia pressit
obseruans quae signa ferant, quo tendere pergant.
pascentes illae tantum prodire uolando
quantum acie possent oculi seruare sequentum.
inde ubi uenere ad fauces graue olentis Auerni,
tollunt se celeres liquidumque per aera lapsae
sedibus optatis gemina super arbore sidunt,
discolor unde auri per ramos aura refulsit.
quale solet siluis brumali frigore uiscum
fronde uirere noua, quod non sua seminat arbos,
et croceo fetu teretis circumdare truncos,
talis erat species auri frondentis opaca
ilice, sic leni crepitabat brattea uento.
corripit Aeneas extemplo auidusque refringit
cunctantem, et uatis portat sub tecta Sibyllae.