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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book VIII Chapter 5: Aeneas visits Evander
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But, lo! a sudden wonder met his eyes: |
white gleaming through the grove, with all her brood
white like herself, on the green bank the Sow
stretched prone. The good Aeneas slew her there,
Great Juno, for a sacrifice to thee,
himself the priest, and with the sucklings all
beside shine altar stood. So that whole night
the god [Note 1] of Tiber calmed his swollen wave,
ebbing or lingering in silent flow,
till like some gentle lake or sleeping pool
his even waters lay, and strove no more
against the oarsmen's toil. Upon their way
they speed with joyful sound; the well-oiled wood
slips through the watery floor; the wondering waves,
and all the virgin forests wondering,
behold the warriors in far-shining arms
their painted galleys up the current drive.
O'er the long reaches of the winding flood
their sturdy oars outweary the slow course
of night and day. Fair groves of changeful green
arch o'er their passage, and they seem to cleave
green forests in the tranquil wave below.
Now had the flaming sun attained his way
to the mid-sphere of heaven, when they discerned
walls and a citadel in distant view,
with houses few and far between; t was there,
where sovran Rome to-day has rivalled Heaven,
Evander's realm its slender strength displayed:
swiftly they turned their prows and neared the town.
Note 1: god = Tiberinus
Ecce autem subitum atque oculis mirabile monstrum,
candida per siluam cum fetu concolor albo
procubuit uiridique in litore conspicitur sus;
quam pius Aeneas tibi enim, tibi, maxima Iuno,
mactat sacra ferens et cum grege sistit ad aram.
Thybris ea fluuium, quam longa est, nocte tumentem
leniit, et tacita refluens ita substitit unda,
mitis ut in morem stagni placidaeque paludis
sterneret aequor aquis, remo ut luctamen abesset.
ergo iter inceptum celerant rumore secundo:
labitur uncta uadis abies; mirantur et undae,
miratur nemus insuetum fulgentia longe
scuta uirum fluuio pictasque innare carinas.
olli remigio noctemque diemque fatigant
et longos superant flexus, uariisque teguntur
arboribus, uiridisque secant placido aequore siluas.
sol medium caeli conscenderat igneus orbem
cum muros arcemque procul ac rara domorum
tecta uident, quae nunc Romana potentia caelo
aequauit, tum res inopes Euandrus habebat.
ocius aduertunt proras urbique propinquant.