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The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book III Chapter 17: Prophecy of Helenus (cont.)
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When wafted to that shore,
repair to Cumae's hill, and to the Lake
Avernus with its whispering grove divine.
There shalt thou [Note 1] see a frenzied prophetess,
who from beneath the hollow scarped crag
sings oracles, or characters on leaves
mysterious names. Whate'er the virgin writes,
on leaves inscribing the portentous song,
she sets in order, and conceals them well
in her deep cave, where they abide unchanged
in due array. Yet not a care has she,
if with some swinging hinge a breeze sweeps in,
to catch them as they whirl: if open door
disperse them flutterling through the hollow rock,
she will not link their shifted sense anew,
nor re-invent her fragmentary song.
Oft her unanswered votaries depart,
scorning the Sibyl's shrine. But deem not thou
thy tarrying too long, whate'er thy stay.
Though thy companions chide, though winds of power
invite thy ship to sea, and well would speed
the swelling sail, yet to that Sibyl go.
Pray that her own lips may sing forth for thee
the oracles, uplifting her dread voice
in willing prophecy. Her rede shall tell
of Italy, its wars and tribes to be,
and of what way each burden and each woe
may be escaped, or borne. Her favoring aid
will grant swift, happy voyages to thy prayer.
Such counsels Heaven to my [Note 2] lips allows.
arise, begone! and by thy glorious deeds
set Troy among the stars!"

Note 1: thou = Aeneas
Note 2: my = Helenus

Events: Prophecy of Helenus, The wanderings of Aeneas

huc ubi delatus Cumaeam accesseris urbem
diuinosque lacus et Auerna sonantia siluis,
insanam uatem aspicies, quae rupe sub ima
fata canit foliisque notas et nomina mandat.
quaecumque in foliis descripsit carmina uirgo
digerit in numerum atque antro seclusa relinquit:
illa manent immota locis neque ab ordine cedunt.
uerum eadem, uerso tenuis cum cardine uentus
impulit et teneras turbauit ianua frondes,
numquam deinde cauo uolitantia prendere saxo
nec reuocare situs aut iungere carmina curat:
inconsulti abeunt sedemque odere Sibyllae.
hic tibi ne qua morae fuerint dispendia tanti,
quamuis increpitent socii et ui cursus in altum
uela uocet, possisque sinus implere secundos,
quin adeas uatem precibusque oracula poscas
ipsa canat uocemque uolens atque ora resoluat.
illa tibi Italiae populos uenturaque bella
et quo quemque modo fugiasque ferasque laborem
expediet, cursusque dabit uenerata secundos.
haec sunt quae nostra liceat te uoce moneri.
uade age et ingentem factis fer ad aethera Troiam.'