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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book XII Chapter 29: Aeneas chases Turnus
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But lo! Aeneas -- though the arrow's wound |
still slackens him and oft his knees refuse
their wonted step -- pursues infuriate
his quailing foe, and dogs him stride for stride.
As when a stag-hound drives the baffled roe
to torrent's edge (or where the flaunting snare
of crimson feathers fearfully confines)
and with incessant barking swift pursues;
while through the snared copse or embankment high
the frightened creature by a thousand ways
doubles and turns; but that keen Umbrian hound
with wide jaws, undesisting, grasps his prey,
or, thinking that he grasps it, snaps his teeth
cracking together, and deludes his rage,
devouring empty air: then peal on peal
the cry of hunters bursts; the lake and shore
reecho, and confusion fills the sky: --
such was the flight of Turnus, who reviled
the Rutules as he fled, and loudly sued
of each by name to fetch his own lost sword.
Aeneas vowed destruction and swift death
to all who dared come near, and terrified
their trembling souls with menace that his power
would raze their city to the ground. Straightway,
though wounded, he gave chase, and five times round
in circles ran; then winding left and right
coursed the swift circles o'er. For, lo! the prize
is no light laurel or a youthful game:
for Turnus' doom and death their race is run.
Nec minus Aeneas, quamquam tardata sagitta
interdum genua impediunt cursumque recusant,
insequitur trepidique pedem pede feruidus urget:
inclusum ueluti si quando flumine nactus
ceruum aut puniceae saeptum formidine pennae
uenator cursu canis et latratibus instat;
ille autem insidiis et ripa territus alta
mille fugit refugitque uias, at uiuidus Vmber
haeret hians, iam iamque tenet similisque tenenti
increpuit malis morsuque elusus inani est;
tum uero exoritur clamor ripaeque lacusque
responsant circa et caelum tonat omne tumultu.
ille simul fugiens Rutulos simul increpat omnis
nomine quemque uocans notumque efflagitat ensem.
Aeneas mortem contra praesensque minatur
exitium, si quisquam adeat, terretque trementis
excisurum urbem minitans et saucius instat.
quinque orbis explent cursu totidemque retexunt
huc illuc; neque enim leuia aut ludicra petuntur
praemia, sed Turni de uita et sanguine certant.