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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book V Chapter 25: Ascanius averts the spell
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Swift to the tomb |
of Sire Anchises, to the circus-seats,
the messenger Eumelus flew, to bring
news of the ships on fire; soon every eye
the clouds of smoke and hovering flame could see.
Ascanius, who had led with smiling brow
his troops of horse, accoutred as he was,
rode hot-haste to the turmoil of the camp,
nor could his guards restrain. What madness now?
What is it ye would do? he cried. Alas!
ill-fated women! Not our enemies,
nor the dread bulwarks of the Greek ye burn,
but all ye have to hope for. Look at me,
your own Ascanius! His helmet then
into their midst he flung, which he had worn
for pageantry of war. Aeneas, too,
with Trojan bands sped thither. But far off,
the women, panic-scattered on the shore,
fled many ways, and deep in caverned crags
or shadowed forests hid them, for they loathed
their deed and life itself; their thoughts were changed;
they knew their kin and husbands, and their hearts
from Juno were set free.
furit immissis Volcanus habenis
transtra per et remos et pictas abiete puppis.
Nuntius Anchisae ad tumulum cuneosque theatri
incensas perfert nauis Eumelus, et ipsi
respiciunt atram in nimbo uolitare fauillam.
primus et Ascanius, cursus ut laetus equestris
ducebat, sic acer equo turbata petiuit
castra, nec exanimes possunt retinere magistri.
'quis furor iste nouus? quo nunc, quo tenditis' inquit
'heu miserae ciues? non hostem inimicaque castra
Argiuum, uestras spes uritis. en, ego uester
Ascanius!'—galeam ante pedes proiecit inanem,
qua ludo indutus belli simulacra ciebat.
accelerat simul Aeneas, simul agmina Teucrum.
ast illae diuersa metu per litora passim
diffugiunt, siluasque et sicubi concaua furtim
saxa petunt; piget incepti lucisque, suosque
mutatae agnoscunt excussaque pectore Iuno est.