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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book XI Chapter 32: Turnus leaves the ambush
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Meanwhile th' unpitying messenger had flown |
to Turnus in the wood; the warrior heard
from Acca of the wide confusion spread,
the Volscian troop destroyed, Camilla slain,
the furious foe increasing, and, with Mars
to help him, grasping all, till in that hour
far as the city-gates the panic reigned.
Then he in desperate rage ( cruel power
decreed it) from the ambushed hills withdrew
and pathless wild. He scarce had passed beyond
to the bare plain, when forth Aeneas marched
along the wide ravine, climbed up the ridge,
and from the dark, deceiving grove stood clear.
Then swiftly each with following ranks of war
moved to the city-wall, nor wide the space
that measured 'twixt the twain. Aeneas saw
the plain with dust o'erclouded, and the lines
of the Laurentian host extending far;
Turnus, as clearly, saw the war array
of dread Aeneas, and his ear perceived
loud tramp of mail-clad men and snorting steeds.
Soon had they sped to dreadful shock of arms,
hazard of war to try; but Phoebus now,
glowing rose-red, had dipped his wearied wheel
deep in Iberian seas, and brought back night
above the fading day. So near the town
both pitch their camps and make their ramparts strong.
Interea Turnum in siluis saeuissimus implet
nuntius et iuueni ingentem fert Acca tumultum:
deletas Volscorum acies, cecidisse Camillam,
ingruere infensos hostis et Marte secundo
omnia corripuisse, metum iam ad moenia ferri.
ille furens (et saeua Iouis sic numina poscunt)
deserit obsessos collis, nemora aspera linquit.
uix e conspectu exierat campumque tenebat,
cum pater Aeneas saltus ingressus apertos
exsuperatque iugum siluaque euadit opaca.
sic ambo ad muros rapidi totoque feruntur
agmine nec longis inter se passibus absunt;
ac simul Aeneas fumantis puluere campos
prospexit longe Laurentiaque agmina uidit,
et saeuum Aenean agnouit Turnus in armis
aduentumque pedum flatusque audiuit equorum.
continuoque ineant pugnas et proelia temptent,
ni roseus fessos iam gurgite Phoebus Hibero
tingat equos noctemque die labente reducat.
considunt castris ante urbem et moenia uallant.