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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book VII Chapter 9: Aeneas visits Latinus
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Soon as the morrow with the lamp of dawn |
looked o'er the world, they took their separate ways,
exploring shore and towns; here spread the pools
and fountain of Numicius; here they see
the river Tiber, where bold Latins dwell.
Anchises' son chose out from his brave band
a hundred envoys, bidding them depart
to the king's sacred city, each enwreathed
with Pallas' silver leaf; and gifts they bear
to plead for peace and friendship at his throne.
While on this errand their swift steps are sped,
Aeneas, by a shallow moat and small,
his future city shows, breaks ground, and girds
with mound and breastwork like a camp of war
the Trojans' first abode. Soon, making way
to where the Latin citadel uprose,
the envoys scanned the battlements, and paused
beneath its wall. Outside the city gates
fair youths and striplings in life's early bloom
course with swift steeds, or steer through dusty cloud
the whirling chariot, or stretch stout bows,
or hurl the seasoned javelin, or strive
in boxing-bout and foot-race: one of these
made haste on horseback to the aged king,
with tidings of a stranger company
in foreign garb approaching. The good king [Note 1]
bade call them to his house, and took his seat
in mid-court on his high, ancestral throne.
Note 1: king = Latinus
Event: Aeneas comes to Latium
Postera cum prima lustrabat lampade terras
orta dies, urbem et finis et litora gentis
diuersi explorant: haec fontis stagna Numici,
hunc Thybrim fluuium, hic fortis habitare Latinos.
tum satus Anchisa delectos ordine ab omni
centum oratores augusta ad moenia regis
ire iubet, ramis uelatos Palladis omnis,
donaque ferre uiro pacemque exposcere Teucris.
haud mora, festinant iussi rapidisque feruntur
passibus. ipse humili designat moenia fossa
moliturque locum, primasque in litore sedes
castrorum in morem pinnis atque aggere cingit.
iamque iter emensi turris ac tecta Latinorum
ardua cernebant iuuenes muroque subibant.
ante urbem pueri et primaeuo flore iuuentus
exercentur equis domitantque in puluere currus,
aut acris tendunt arcus aut lenta lacertis
spicula contorquent, cursuque ictuque lacessunt:
cum praeuectus equo longaeui regis ad auris
nuntius ingentis ignota in ueste reportat
aduenisse uiros. ille intra tecta uocari
imperat et solio medius consedit auito.