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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book X Chapter 20: Pallas against Turnus
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Now Turnus' goddess-sister [Note 1] bids him haste |
to Lausus' help. So he, in wheeling car,
cut through the lines; and when his friends he saw,
Let the fight stop! he cried, for none but I
may strike at Pallas; unto me alone
the prize of Pallas falls. I would his sire
stood by to see. He spake: his troop withdrew
a fitting space. But as they made him room,
the young prince, wondering at the scornful words,
looked upon Turnus, glancing up and down
that giant frame, and with fierce-frowning brows
scanned him from far, hurling defiant words
in answer to the king's. My honor now
shall have the royal trophy of this war,
or glorious death. For either fortune fair
my sire is ready. Threaten me no more!
So saying, to the midmost space he strode,
and in Arcadian hearts the blood stood still.
Swift from his chariot Turnus leaped, and ran
to closer fight. As when some lion sees
from his far mountain-lair a raging bull
that sniffs the battle from the grassy field,
and down the steep he flies -- such picture showed
grim Turnus as he came. But when he seemed
within a spear's cast, Pallas opened fight,
expecting Fortune's favor to the brave
in such unequal match; and thus he prayed:
O, by my hospitable father's roof,
where thou didst enter as a stranger-guest,
hear me, Alcides, and give aid divine
to this great deed. Let Turnus see these hands
strip from his half-dead breast the bloody spoil!
and let his eyes in death endure to see
his conqueror! Alcides heard the youth:
but prisoned in his heart a deep-drawn sigh,
and shed vain tears; for Jove, the King and Sire,
spoke with benignant accents to his son:
To each his day is given. Beyond recall
man's little time runs by: but to prolong
life's glory by great deeds is virtue's power.
Beneath the lofty walls of fallen Troy
fell many a son of Heaven. Yea, there was slain
Sarpedon, my own offspring. Turnus too
is summoned to his doom, and nears the bounds
of his appointed span. So speaking, Jove
turned from Rutulia's war his eyes away.
But Pallas hurled his lance with might and main,
and from its hollow scabbard flashed his sword.
The flying shaft touched where the plated steel
over the shoulders rose, and worked its way
through the shield's rim -- then falling, glanced aside
from Turnus' giant body.
Note 1: goddess-sister = Juturna
Interea soror alma monet succedere Lauso
Turnum, qui uolucri curru medium secat agmen.
ut uidit socios: 'tempus desistere pugnae;
solus ego in Pallanta feror, soli mihi Pallas
debetur; cuperem ipse parens spectator adesset.'
haec ait, et socii cesserunt aequore iusso.
at Rutulum abscessu iuuenis tum iussa superba
miratus stupet in Turno corpusque per ingens
lumina uoluit obitque truci procul omnia uisu,
talibus et dictis it contra dicta tyranni:
'aut spoliis ego iam raptis laudabor opimis
aut leto insigni: sorti pater aequus utrique est.
tolle minas.' fatus medium procedit in aequor;
frigidus Arcadibus coit in praecordia sanguis.
desiluit Turnus biiugis, pedes apparat ire
comminus; utque leo, specula cum uidit ab alta
stare procul campis meditantem in proelia taurum,
aduolat, haud alia est Turni uenientis imago.
hunc ubi contiguum missae fore credidit hastae,
ire prior Pallas, si qua fors adiuuet ausum
uiribus imparibus, magnumque ita ad aethera fatur:
'per patris hospitium et mensas, quas aduena adisti,
te precor, Alcide, coeptis ingentibus adsis.
cernat semineci sibi me rapere arma cruenta
uictoremque ferant morientia lumina Turni.'
audiit Alcides iuuenem magnumque sub imo
corde premit gemitum lacrimasque effundit inanis.
tum genitor natum dictis adfatur amicis:
'stat sua cuique dies, breue et inreparabile tempus
omnibus est uitae; sed famam extendere factis,
hoc uirtutis opus. Troiae sub moenibus altis
tot gnati cecidere deum, quin occidit una
Sarpedon, mea progenies; etiam sua Turnum
fata uocant metasque dati peruenit ad aeui.'
sic ait, atque oculos Rutulorum reicit aruis.
At Pallas magnis emittit uiribus hastam
uaginaque caua fulgentem deripit ensem.
illa uolans umeri surgunt qua tegmina summa
incidit, atque uiam clipei molita per oras
tandem etiam magno strinxit de corpore Turni.