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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book II Chapter 28: Aeneas tries to convince his father
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Such fixed resolve he [Note 1] uttered o'er and o'er, |
and would not yield, though with my tears did join
my spouse Creusa, fair Ascanius,
and our whole house, imploring the gray sire
not with himself to ruin all, nor add
yet heavier burdens to our crushing doom.
He still cried, “No!” and clung to where he sat
and to the same dread purpose. I [Note 2] once more
back to the fight would speed. For death alone
I made my wretched prayer. What space was left
for wisdom now? What chance or hope was given?
“Didst thou, dear father, dream that I could fly
sundered from thee? Did such an infamy
fall from a father's lips? If Heaven's decree
will of this mighty nation not let live
a single soul, if thine own purpose be
to cast thyself and thy posterity
into thy country's grave, behold, the door
is open to thy death! Lo, Pyrrhus comes
red-handed from King Priam! He has slain
a son before a father's eyes, and spilt
a father's blood upon his own hearthstone.
Was it for this, O heavenly mother mine,
that thou hast brought me safe through sword and fire?
that I might see these altars desecrate
by their worst foes? that I might look upon
my sire, my wife, and sweet Ascanius
dead at my feet in one another's blood?
To arms, my men, to arms! The hour of death
now beckons to the vanquished. Let me go
whither the Greeks are gathered; let me stand
where oft revives the flagging stroke of war:
Not all of us die unavenged this day!"
Talia perstabat memorans fixusque manebat.
nos contra effusi lacrimis coniunxque Creusa
Ascaniusque omnisque domus, ne uertere secum
cuncta pater fatoque urgenti incumbere uellet.
abnegat inceptoque et sedibus haeret in isdem.
rursus in arma feror mortemque miserrimus opto.
nam quod consilium aut quae iam fortuna dabatur?
'mene efferre pedem, genitor, te posse relicto
sperasti tantumque nefas patrio excidit ore?
si nihil ex tanta superis placet urbe relinqui,
et sedet hoc animo perituraeque addere Troiae
teque tuosque iuuat, patet isti ianua leto,
iamque aderit multo Priami de sanguine Pyrrhus,
natum ante ora patris, patrem qui obtruncat ad aras.
hoc erat, alma parens, quod me per tela, per ignis
eripis, ut mediis hostem in penetralibus utque
Ascanium patremque meum iuxtaque Creusam
alterum in alterius mactatos sanguine cernam?
arma, uiri, ferte arma; uocat lux ultima uictos.
reddite me Danais; sinite instaurata reuisam
proelia. numquam omnes hodie moriemur inulti.'