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Display Latin text
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book XII Chapter 1: Turnus agrees on a duel with Aeneas
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When Turnus marks how much the Latins quail |
in adverse war, how on himself they call
to keep his pledge, and with indignant eyes
gaze all his way, fierce rage implacable
swells his high heart. As when on Libyan plain
a lion, gashed along his tawny breast
by the huntsman's grievous thrust, awakens him
unto his last grim fight, and gloriously
shaking the great thews of his maned neck,
shrinks not, but crushes the despoiler's spear
with blood-sprent, roaring mouth, -- not less than so
burns the wild soul of Turnus and his ire.
Thus to the King [Note 1] he spoke with stormful brow:
The war lags not for Turnus' sake. No cause
constrains the Teucrian cowards and their King
to eat their words and what they pledged refuse.
On his own terms I come. Bring forward, sire,
the sacrifice, and seal the pact I swear:
either to deepest hell this hand shall fling
yon Trojan runaway -- the Latins all
may sit at ease and see! -- and my sole sword
efface the general shame; or let him claim
the conquest, and Lavinia be his bride.
Note 1: King = Latinus
Turnus ut infractos aduerso Marte Latinos
defecisse uidet, sua nunc promissa reposci,
se signari oculis, ultro implacabilis ardet
attollitque animos. Poenorum qualis in aruis
saucius ille graui uenantum uulnere pectus
tum demum mouet arma leo, gaudetque comantis
excutiens ceruice toros fixumque latronis
impauidus frangit telum et fremit ore cruento:
haud secus accenso gliscit uiolentia Turno.
tum sic adfatur regem atque ita turbidus infit:
'nulla mora in Turno; nihil est quod dicta retractent
ignaui Aeneadae, nec quae pepigere recusent:
congredior. fer sacra, pater, et concipe foedus.
aut hac Dardanium dextra sub Tartara mittam
desertorem Asiae (sedeant spectentque Latini),
et solus ferro crimen commune refellam,
aut habeat uictos, cedat Lauinia coniunx.'