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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book III Chapter 24: Achaemenides
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When from the eastern waves the light of morn |
began to peer, and from the upper sky
Aurora flamed away the dark and dew,
out of the forest sprang a startling shape [Note 1]
of hunger-wasted misery; a man
in wretched guise, who shoreward came with hands
outstretched in supplication. We turned back
and scanned him well. All grime and foulness he,
with long and tangled beard, his savage garb
fastened with thorns; but in all else he seemed
a Greek, and in his country's league of arms
sent to the siege of Troy. Then he beheld
the Dardan habit, and our Trojan steel,
he somewhat paused, as if in dread dismay
such sight to see, and falteringly moved;
but soon with headlong steps he sought the shore,
ejaculating broken sobs and prayers:
“By stars above! By gods on high! O, hear!
By this bright heavenly air we mortals breathe,
save me, sweet Trojans! Carry me away
unto what land ye will! I ask no more.
I came, I know it, in the ships of Greece;
and I did war, t is true, with Ilium's gods.
O, if the crime deserve it, fling my corse
on yonder waves, and in the boundless brine
sink me forever! Give me in my death
the comfort that by human hands I die."
He clasped our knees, and writhing on his own
clung fast. We bid him tell his race and name,
and by what fate pursued. Anchises gave
his own right hand in swift and generous aid,
and by prompt token cheered the exile's heart,
who, banishing his fears, poured forth this tale :
Note 1: shape = Achaemenides
Event: The wanderings of Aeneas
Postera iamque dies primo surgebat Eoo
umentemque Aurora polo dimouerat umbram,
cum subito e siluis macie confecta suprema
ignoti noua forma uiri miserandaque cultu
procedit supplexque manus ad litora tendit.
respicimus. dira inluuies immissaque barba,
consertum tegimen spinis: at cetera Graius,
et quondam patriis ad Troiam missus in armis.
isque ubi Dardanios habitus et Troia uidit
arma procul, paulum aspectu conterritus haesit
continuitque gradum; mox sese ad litora praeceps
cum fletu precibusque tulit: 'per sidera testor,
per superos atque hoc caeli spirabile lumen,
tollite me, Teucri. quascumque abducite terras:
hoc sat erit. scio me Danais e classibus unum
et bello Iliacos fateor petiisse penatis.
pro quo, si sceleris tanta est iniuria nostri,
spargite me in fluctus uastoque immergite ponto;
si pereo, hominum manibus periisse iuuabit.'
dixerat et genua amplexus genibusque uolutans
haerebat. qui sit fari, quo sanguine cretus,
hortamur, quae deinde agitet fortuna fateri.
ipse pater dextram Anchises haud multa moratus
dat iuueni atque animum praesenti pignore firmat.
ille haec deposita tandem formidine fatur