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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book XII Chapter 30: The weapons are restored
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But haply in that place a sacred tree, |
a bitter-leaved wild-olive, once had grown,
to Faunus dear, and venerated oft
by mariners safe-rescued from the waves,
who nailed their gifts thereon, or hung in air
their votive garments to Laurentum's god.
But, heeding not, the Teucrians had shorn
the stem away, to clear the field for war.
T was here Aeneas' lance stuck fast; its speed
had driven it firmly inward, and it clave
to the hard, clinging root. Anchises' son
bent o'er it, and would wrench his weapon free,
and follow with a far-flung javelin
the swift out-speeding foe. But Turnus then,
bewildered and in terror, cried aloud:
O Faunus, pity me and heed my prayer!
Hold fast his weapon, O benignant Earth!
If ere these hands have rendered offering due,
where yon polluting Teucrians fight and slay.
He spoke; invoking succor of the god,
with no lost prayer. For tugging valiantly
and laboring long against the stubborn stem,
Aeneas with his whole strength could but fail
to loose the clasping tree. While fiercely thus
he strove and strained, Juturna once again,
wearing the charioteer Metiscus' shape,
ran to her brother's aid, restoring him
his own true sword. But Venus, wroth to see
what license to the dauntless nymph was given,
herself came near, and plucked from that deep root
the javelin forth. So both with lofty mien
strode forth new-armed, new-hearted: one made bold
by his good sword, the other, spear in hand,
uptowered in wrath, and with confronting brows
they set them to the war-god's [Note 1] breathles game.
Note 1: war-god = Mars
Forte sacer Fauno foliis oleaster amaris
hic steterat, nautis olim uenerabile lignum,
seruati ex undis ubi figere dona solebant
Laurenti diuo et uotas suspendere uestis;
sed stirpem Teucri nullo discrimine sacrum
sustulerant, puro ut possent concurrere campo.
hic hasta Aeneae stabat, huc impetus illam
detulerat fixam et lenta radice tenebat.
incubuit uoluitque manu conuellere ferrum
Dardanides, teloque sequi quem prendere cursu
non poterat. tum uero amens formidine Turnus
'Faune, precor, miserere' inquit 'tuque optima ferrum
Terra tene, colui uestros si semper honores,
quos contra Aeneadae bello fecere profanos.'
dixit, opemque dei non cassa in uota uocauit.
namque diu luctans lentoque in stirpe moratus
uiribus haud ullis ualuit discludere morsus
roboris Aeneas. dum nititur acer et instat,
rursus in aurigae faciem mutata Metisci
procurrit fratrique ensem dea Daunia reddit.
quod Venus audaci nymphae indignata licere
accessit telumque alta ab radice reuellit.
olli sublimes armis animisque refecti,
hic gladio fidens, hic acer et arduus hasta,
adsistunt contra certamina Martis anheli.