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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book XII Chapter 17: Aeneas' wound is treated, but to no avail
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While thus afield |
victorious Turnus dealt out death and doom,
Mnestheus, Achates true, and by their side
Ascanius, have carried to the camp
Aeneas, gashed and bleeding, whose long lance
sustained his limping step. With fruitless rage
he struggled with the spear-head's splintered barb,
and bade them help him by the swiftest way
to carve the wound out with a sword, to rip
the clinging weapon forth, and send him back
to meet the battle. Quickly to his side
came Iapyx, dear favorite and friend
of Phoebus, upon whom the god bestowed
his own wise craft and power, love-impelled.
The gifts of augury were given, and song,
with arrows of swift wing: he when his sire [Note 1]
was carried forth to die, deferred the doom
for many a day, by herbs of virtue known
to leechcraft; and without reward or praise
his silent art he plied. Aeneas stood,
bitterly grieving, propped upon his spear;
a throng of warriors were near him, and
Iulus, sorrowing. The aged man
gathered his garments up as leeches do,
and with skilled hand and Phoebus' herbs of power
bustled in vain; in vain his surgery
pried at the shaft, and with a forceps strong
seized on the buried barb. But Fortune gave
no remedy, nor did Apollo aid
his votary. So more and more grim fear
stalks o'er the field of war, and nearer hies
the fatal hour; the very heavens are dust;
the horsemen charge, and in the midmost camp
a rain of javelins pours. The dismal cry
of men in fierce fight, and of men who fall
beneath relentless Mars, rends all the air.
Note 1: sire = Iasus
Event: Renewal of the war.
Atque ea dum campis uictor dat funera Turnus,
interea Aenean Mnestheus et fidus Achates
Ascaniusque comes castris statuere cruentum
alternos longa nitentem cuspide gressus.
saeuit et infracta luctatur harundine telum
eripere auxilioque uiam, quae proxima, poscit:
ense secent lato uulnus telique latebram
rescindant penitus, seseque in bella remittant.
iamque aderat Phoebo ante alios dilectus Iapyx
Iasides, acri quondam cui captus amore
ipse suas artis, sua munera, laetus Apollo
augurium citharamque dabat celerisque sagittas.
ille, ut depositi proferret fata parentis,
scire potestates herbarum usumque medendi
maluit et mutas agitare inglorius artis.
stabat acerba fremens ingentem nixus in hastam
Aeneas magno iuuenum et maerentis Iuli
concursu, lacrimis immobilis. ille retorto
Paeonium in morem senior succinctus amictu
multa manu medica Phoebique potentibus herbis
nequiquam trepidat, nequiquam spicula dextra
sollicitat prensatque tenaci forcipe ferrum.
nulla uiam Fortuna regit, nihil auctor Apollo
subuenit, et saeuus campis magis ac magis horror
crebrescit propiusque malum est. iam puluere caelum
stare uident: subeunt equites et spicula castris
densa cadunt mediis. it tristis ad aethera clamor
bellantum iuuenum et duro sub Marte cadentum.