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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book XII Book XII Chapter 14: The fight continues
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Some leaped to horse or chariot and rode |
with naked swords in air. Messapus, wild
to break the truce, assailed the Tuscan king,
Aulestes, dressed in kingly blazon fair,
with fearful shock of steeds; the Tuscan dropped
helplessly backward, striking as he fell
his head and shoulders on the altar-stone
that lay behind him. But Messapus flew,
infuriate, a javelin in his hand,
and, towering o'er the suppliant, smote him strong
with the great beam-like spear, and loudly cried:
Down with him! Ah! no common victim he
to give the mighty gods! Italia's men
despoiled the dead man ere his limbs were cold.
Then Corynaeus snatched a burning brand
out of the altar, and as Ebysus
came toward him for to strike, he hurled the flame
full in his face: the big beard quickly blazed
with smell of singeing; while the warrior bold
strode over him, and seized with firm left hand
his quailing foe's long hair; then with one knee
he pushed and strained, compelled him to the ground --
and struck straight at his heart with naked steel.
The shepherd Alsus in the foremost line
came leaping through the spears; when o'er him towered
huge Podalirius with a flashing sword
in close pursuit; the mighty battle-axe
clove him with swinging stroke from brow to chin,
and spilt along his mail the streaming gore:
so stern repose and iron slumber fell
upon that shepherd's eyes, and sealed their gaze
in endless night.
Event: Renewal of the war.
infrenant alii currus aut corpora saltu
subiciunt in equos et strictis ensibus adsunt.
Messapus regem regisque insigne gerentem
Tyrrhenum Aulesten, auidus confundere foedus,
aduerso proterret equo; ruit ille recedens
et miser oppositis a tergo inuoluitur aris
in caput inque umeros. at feruidus aduolat hasta
Messapus teloque orantem multa trabali
desuper altus equo grauiter ferit atque ita fatur:
'hoc habet, haec melior magnis data uictima diuis.'
concurrunt Itali spoliantque calentia membra.
obuius ambustum torrem Corynaeus ab ara
corripit et uenienti Ebyso plagamque ferenti
occupat os flammis: olli ingens barba reluxit
nidoremque ambusta dedit. super ipse secutus
caesariem laeua turbati corripit hostis
impressoque genu nitens terrae applicat ipsum;
sic rigido latus ense ferit. Podalirius Alsum
pastorem primaque acie per tela ruentem
ense sequens nudo superimminet; ille securi
aduersi frontem mediam mentumque reducta
dissicit et sparso late rigat arma cruore.
olli dura quies oculos et ferreus urget
somnus, in aeternam conduntur lumina noctem.