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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book IX Chapter 13: Nisus and Euryalis killed
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In frenzy rose |
Volscens, but nowhere could espy what hand
the shaft had hurled, nor whither his wild rage
could make reply. But thou, he cried, shalt feed
with thy hot blood my honor and revenge
for both the slain. Then with a sword unsheathed
upon Euryalus he fell. Loud shrieked
Nisus, of reason reft, who could not bear
such horror, nor in sheltering gloom of night
longer abide: T is I, t is I! he said.
look on the man who slew them! Draw on me
your swords, Rutulians! The whole stratagem
was mine, mine only, and the lad ye slay
dared not, and could not. O, by Heaven above
and by the all-beholding stars I swear,
he did but love his hapless friend too well.
But while he spoke, the furious-thrusting sword
had pierced the tender body, and run through
the bosom white as snow. Euryalus
sank prone in death; upon his goodly limbs
the life-blood ran unstopped, and low inclined
the drooping head; as when some purpled flower,
cut by the ploughshare, dies, or poppies proud
with stem forlorn their ruined beauty bow
before the pelting storm. Then Nisus flew
straight at his foes; but in their throng would find
Volscens alone, for none but Volscens stayed:
they gathered thickly round and grappled him
in shock of steel with steel. But on he plunged,
swinging in ceaseless circles round his head
his lightning sword, and thrust it through the face
of shrieking Volscens, with his own last breath
striking his foeman down; then cast himself
upon his fallen comrade's breast; and there,
stabbed through, found tranquil death and sure repose.
Event: Sortie of Nisus and Euryalis
saeuit atrox Volcens nec teli conspicit usquam
auctorem nec quo se ardens immittere possit.
'tu tamen interea calido mihi sanguine poenas
persolues amborum' inquit; simul ense recluso
ibat in Euryalum. tum uero exterritus, amens,
conclamat Nisus nec se celare tenebris
amplius aut tantum potuit perferre dolorem:
'me, me, adsum qui feci, in me conuertite ferrum,
o Rutuli! mea fraus omnis, nihil iste nec ausus
nec potuit; caelum hoc et conscia sidera testor;
tantum infelicem nimium dilexit amicum.'
talia dicta dabat, sed uiribus ensis adactus
transadigit costas et candida pectora rumpit.
uoluitur Euryalus leto, pulchrosque per artus
it cruor inque umeros ceruix conlapsa recumbit:
purpureus ueluti cum flos succisus aratro
languescit moriens, lassoue papauera collo
demisere caput pluuia cum forte grauantur.
at Nisus ruit in medios solumque per omnis
Volcentem petit, in solo Volcente moratur.
quem circum glomerati hostes hinc comminus atque hinc
proturbant. instat non setius ac rotat ensem
fulmineum, donec Rutuli clamantis in ore
condidit aduerso et moriens animam abstulit hosti.
tum super exanimum sese proiecit amicum
confossus, placidaque ibi demum morte quieuit.