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The Æneids of Virgil Done into English Verse   By: (70 BC - 19 BC)

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THE ÆNEIDS OF VIRGIL

DONE INTO ENGLISH VERSE

BY

WILLIAM MORRIS

AUTHOR OF 'THE EARTHLY PARADISE'

THIRD IMPRESSION

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON NEW YORK AND BOMBAY

1900

THE ÆNEIDS OF VIRGIL.

BOOK I.

ARGUMENT.

ÆNEAS AND HIS TROJANS BEING DRIVEN TO LIBYA BY A TEMPEST, HAVE GOOD WELCOME OF DIDO, QUEEN OF CARTHAGE.

Lo I am he who led the song through slender reed to cry, And then, come forth from out the woods, the fields that are thereby In woven verse I bade obey the hungry tillers' need: Now I, who sang their merry toil, sing Mars and dreadful deed.

I sing of arms, I sing of him, who from the Trojan land Thrust forth by Fate, to Italy and that Lavinian strand First came: all tost about was he on earth and on the deep By heavenly might for Juno's wrath, that had no mind to sleep: And plenteous war he underwent ere he his town might frame And set his Gods in Latian earth, whence is the Latin name, And father folk of Alba town, and walls of mighty Rome.

Say, Muse, what wound of godhead was whereby all this must come, How grieving, she, the Queen of Gods, a man so pious drave To win such toil, to welter on through such a troublous wave: 10 Can anger in immortal minds abide so fierce and fell?

There was a city of old time where Tyrian folk did dwell, Called Carthage, facing far away the shores of Italy And Tiber mouth; fulfilled of wealth and fierce in arms was she, And men say Juno loved her well o'er every other land, Yea e'en o'er Samos: there were stored the weapons of her hand, And there her chariot: even then she cherished the intent To make her Lady of all Lands, if Fate might so be bent; Yet had she heard how such a stem from Trojan blood should grow, As, blooming fair, the Tyrian towers should one day overthrow, 20 That thence a folk, kings far and wide, most noble lords of fight, Should come for bane of Libyan land: such web the Parcæ dight. The Seed of Saturn, fearing this, and mindful how she erst For her beloved Argive walls by Troy the battle nursed Nay neither had the cause of wrath nor all those hurts of old Failed from her mind: her inmost heart still sorely did enfold That grief of body set at nought in Paris' doomful deed, The hated race, and honour shed on heaven rapt Ganymede So set on fire, that Trojan band o'er all the ocean tossed, Those gleanings from Achilles' rage, those few the Greeks had lost, 30 She drave far off the Latin Land: for many a year they stray Such wise as Fate would drive them on by every watery way. Lo, what there was to heave aloft in fashioning of Rome!

Now out of sight of Sicily the Trojans scarce were come And merry spread their sails abroad and clave the sea with brass, When Juno's heart, who nursed the wound that never thence would pass, Spake out: "And must I, vanquished, leave the deed I have begun, Nor save the Italian realm a king who comes of Teucer's son? The Fates forbid it me forsooth? And Pallas, might not she Burn up the Argive fleet and sink the Argives in the sea 40 For Oileus' only fault and fury that he wrought? She hurled the eager fire of Jove from cloudy dwelling caught, And rent the ships and with the wind the heaped up waters drew, And him a dying, and all his breast by wildfire smitten through, The whirl of waters swept away on spiky crag to bide. While I, who go forth Queen of Gods, the very Highest's bride And sister, must I wage a war for all these many years With one lone race? What! is there left a soul that Juno fears Henceforth? or will one suppliant hand gifts on mine altar lay?"

So brooding in her fiery heart the Goddess went her way 50 Unto the fatherland of storm, full fruitful of the gale, Æolia hight, where Æolus is king of all avail, And far adown a cavern vast the bickering of the winds And roaring tempests of the world with bolt and fetter binds: They set the mountains murmuring much, a growling angrily About their bars, while Æolus sits in his burg on high, And, sceptre holding, softeneth them, and strait their wrath doth keep: Yea but for that the earth and sea, and vault of heaven the deep, They eager swift would roll away and sweep adown of space: For fear whereof the Father high in dark and hollow place 60 Hath hidden them, and high above a world of mountains thrown And given them therewithal a king, who, taught by law well known, Now draweth, and now casteth loose the reins that hold them in: To whom did suppliant Juno now in e'en such words begin:

"The Father of the Gods and men hath given thee might enow, O Æolus, to smooth the sea, and make the storm wind blow... Continue reading book >>




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