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The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book II Chapter 17: Fight about Cassandra
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But woe is me [Note 1]! If gods their help withhold,
t is impious to be brave. That very hour
the fair Cassandra passed us, bound in chains,
King Priam's virgin daughter, from the shrine
and altars of Minerva; her loose hair
had lost its fillet; her impassioned eyes
were lifted in vain prayer, -- her eyes alone!
For chains of steel her frail, soft hands confined.
Coroebus' eyes this horror not endured,
and, sorrow-crazed, he plunged him headlong in
the midmost fray, self-offered to be slain,
while in close mass our troop behind him poured.
But, at this point, the overwhelming spears
of our own kinsmen rained resistless down
from a high temple-tower; and carnage wild
ensued, because of the Greek arms we bore
and our false crests. The howling Grecian band,
crazed by Cassandra's rescue, charged at us
from every side; Ajax of savage soul,
the sons of Atreus, and that whole wild horde
Achilles from Dolopian deserts drew.
T was like the bursting storm, when gales contend,
west wind and South, and jocund wind of morn
upon his orient steeds -- while forests roar,
and foam-flecked Nereus with fierce trident stirs
the dark deep of the sea. All who did hide
in shadows of the night, by our assault
surprised, and driven in tumultuous flight,
now start to view. Full well they now can see
our shields and borrowed arms, and clearly note
our speech of alien sound; their multitude
o'erwhelms us utterly. Coroebus first
at mailed Minerva's altar prostrate lay,
pierced by Peneleus, blade; then Rhipeus fell;
we deemed him of all Trojans the most just,
most scrupulously righteous; but the gods
gave judgment otherwise. There Dymas died,
and Hypanis, by their compatriots slain;
nor thee, O Panthus, in that mortal hour,
could thy clean hands or Phoebus' priesthood save.
O ashes of my country! funeral pyre
of all my kin! bear witness that my breast
shrank not from any sword the Grecian drew,
and that my deeds the night my country died
deserved a warrior's death, had Fate ordained.
But soon our ranks were broken; at my side
stayed Iphitus and Pelias; one with age
was long since wearied, and the other bore
the burden of Ulysses' crippling wound.
Straightway the roar and tumult summoned us
to Priam's palace.

Note 1: me = Aeneas

Event: The fall of Troy

Heu nihil inuitis fas quemquam fidere diuis!
ecce trahebatur passis Priameia uirgo
crinibus a templo Cassandra adytisque Mineruae
ad caelum tendens ardentia lumina frustra,
lumina, nam teneras arcebant uincula palmas.
non tulit hanc speciem furiata mente Coroebus
et sese medium iniecit periturus in agmen;
consequimur cuncti et densis incurrimus armis.
hic primum ex alto delubri culmine telis
nostrorum obruimur oriturque miserrima caedes
armorum facie et Graiarum errore iubarum.
tum Danai gemitu atque ereptae uirginis ira
undique collecti inuadunt, acerrimus Aiax
et gemini Atridae Dolopumque exercitus omnis:
aduersi rupto ceu quondam turbine uenti
confligunt, Zephyrusque Notusque et laetus Eois
Eurus equis; stridunt siluae saeuitque tridenti
spumeus atque imo Nereus ciet aequora fundo.
illi etiam, si quos obscura nocte per umbram
fudimus insidiis totaque agitauimus urbe,
apparent; primi clipeos mentitaque tela
agnoscunt atque ora sono discordia signant.
ilicet obruimur numero, primusque Coroebus
Penelei dextra diuae armipotentis ad aram
procumbit; cadit et Rhipeus, iustissimus unus
qui fuit in Teucris et seruantissimus aequi
(dis aliter uisum); pereunt Hypanisque Dymasque
confixi a sociis; nec te tua plurima, Panthu,
labentem pietas nec Apollinis infula texit.
Iliaci cineres et flamma extrema meorum,
testor, in occasu uestro nec tela nec ullas
uitauisse uices, Danaum et, si fata fuissent
ut caderem, meruisse manu. diuellimur inde,
Iphitus et Pelias mecum (quorum Iphitus aeuo
iam grauior, Pelias et uulnere tardus Vlixi),
protinus ad sedes Priami clamore uocati.