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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book X Chapter 18: Further actions of Pallas
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Next Pallas pierced |
the flying Rhoetus in his car; this gained
for Ilus respite and delay, for him
the stout spear aimed at; but its flight was stopped
by Rhoetus, as in swift retreat he rode,
by the two high-born brothers close pursued,
Teuthras and Tyres: from his car he rolled,
making deep furrows with his lifeless heels
along the Rutule plain. Oft when the winds
of summer, long awaited, rise and blow,
a shepherd fires the forest, and the blaze
devours the dense grove, while o'er the fields,
in that one moment, swift and sudden spread
grim Vulcan's serried flames; from some high seat
on distant hill, the shepherd peering down
sees, glad at heart, his own victorious fires:
so now fierce valor spreads, uniting all
in one confederate rage, neath Pallas' eyes.
But the fierce warrior Halaesus next
led on the charge, behind his skilful shield
close-crouching. Ladon and Demodocus
and Pheres he struck down; his glittering blade
cut Strymon's hand, which to his neck was raised,
sheer off; with one great stone he crushed the brows
of Thoas, scattering wide the broken skull,
bones, brains, and gore. Halaesus' prophet-sire,
foreseeing doom, had hid him in dark groves;
but when the old man's fading eyes declined
in death, the hand of Fate reached forth and doomed
the young life to Evander's sword; him now
Pallas assailed, first offering this prayer:
O Father Tiber, give my poising shaft
through stout Halaesus' heart its lucky way!
The spoil and trophy of the hero slain
on thine own oak shall hang. The god received
the vow, and while Halaesus held his shield
over Imaon, his ill-fated breast
lay naked to th' Arcadian's hungry spear.
Tum Pallas biiugis fugientem Rhoetea praeter
traicit. hoc spatium tantumque morae fuit Ilo;
Ilo namque procul ualidam derexerat hastam,
quam medius Rhoeteus intercipit, optime Teuthra,
te fugiens fratremque Tyren, curruque uolutus
caedit semianimis Rutulorum calcibus arua.
ac uelut optato uentis aestate coortis
dispersa immittit siluis incendia pastor,
correptis subito mediis extenditur una
horrida per latos acies Volcania campos,
ille sedens uictor flammas despectat ouantis:
non aliter socium uirtus coit omnis in unum
teque iuuat, Palla. sed bellis acer Halaesus
tendit in aduersos seque in sua colligit arma.
hic mactat Ladona Pheretaque Demodocumque,
Strymonio dextram fulgenti deripit ense
elatam in iugulum, saxo ferit ora Thoantis
ossaque dispersit cerebro permixta cruento.
fata canens siluis genitor celarat Halaesum;
ut senior leto canentia lumina soluit,
iniecere manum Parcae telisque sacrarunt
Euandri. quem sic Pallas petit ante precatus:
'da nunc, Thybri pater, ferro, quod missile libro,
fortunam atque uiam duri per pectus Halaesi.
haec arma exuuiasque uiri tua quercus habebit.'
audiit illa deus; dum texit Imaona Halaesus,
Arcadio infelix telo dat pectus inermum.