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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book VII Chapter 20: Turnus summons his army
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So kindled he Alecto's wrath to flame; |
and even as he spoke a shudder thrilled
the warrior's body, and his eyeballs stood
stonily staring at the hydra hair
which hissed and writhed above the grisly head
of the large-looming fiend. With eyes of fire
horribly rolling, she repelled him far,
while he but faltered speechless. She upraised
two coiling snakes out of her tresses, cracked
the lashes of her scourge, and wrathfully,
with raving lips replied: “Look well on me,
gone to decay and dotage of old age!
And mocked with foolish fear while kings contend!
Wilt hearken now! Behold me, hither flown
from where my sister-furies dwell! My hands
bring bloody death and war.” She spoke, and hurled
her firebrand at the hero, thrusting deep
beneath his heart her darkly smouldering flame.
Then horror broke his sleep, and fearful sweat
dripped from his every limb. He shrieked aloud
for arms; and seized the ready arms that lay
around his couch and hall. Then o'er his soul
the lust of battle and wild curse of war
broke forth in angry power, as when the flames
of faggots round the bubbling cauldron sing,
and up the waters leap; the close-kept flood
brims over, streaming, foaming, breaking bound,
and flings thick clouds in air. He, summoning
his chieftains, bade them on Latinus move,
break peace, take arms, and, over Italy
their shields extending, to thrust forth her foe:
himself for Teucrian with Latin joined
was more than match. He called upon the gods
in witness of his vows: while, nothing loth,
Rutulia's warriors rushed into array;
some by his youth and noble beauty moved,
some by his kingly sires and fame in arms.
Events: The Gods interfere in the Aeneid, Preparations for war between the Trojans and Latium.
Talibus Allecto dictis exarsit in iras.
at iuueni oranti subitus tremor occupat artus,
deriguere oculi: tot Erinys sibilat hydris
tantaque se facies aperit; tum flammea torquens
lumina cunctantem et quaerentem dicere plura
reppulit, et geminos erexit crinibus anguis,
uerberaque insonuit rabidoque haec addidit ore:
'en ego uicta situ, quam ueri effeta senectus
arma inter regum falsa formidine ludit.
respice ad haec: adsum dirarum ab sede sororum,
bella manu letumque gero.'
sic effata facem iuueni coniecit et atro
lumine fumantis fixit sub pectore taedas.
olli somnum ingens rumpit pauor, ossaque et artus
perfundit toto proruptus corpore sudor.
arma amens fremit, arma toro tectisque requirit;
saeuit amor ferri et scelerata insania belli,
ira super: magno ueluti cum flamma sonore
uirgea suggeritur costis undantis aeni
exsultantque aestu latices, furit intus aquai
fumidus atque alte spumis exuberat amnis,
nec iam se capit unda, uolat uapor ater ad auras.
ergo iter ad regem polluta pace Latinum
indicit primis iuuenum et iubet arma parari,
tutari Italiam, detrudere finibus hostem;
se satis ambobus Teucrisque uenire Latinisque.
haec ubi dicta dedit diuosque in uota uocauit,
certatim sese Rutuli exhortantur in arma.
hunc decus egregium formae mouet atque iuuentae,
hunc ataui reges, hunc claris dextera factis.