by John Dryden
When Heav'n had overturn'd the Trojan State,
And Priam 's Throne, by too severe a Fate:
When ruin'd Troy became the Grecians Prey,
And Ilium 's lofty Tow'rs in Ashes lay:
Warn'd by Cœlestial Omens, we retreat,
To seek in foreign Lands a happier Seat.
Near old Antandros , and at Ida 's foot,
The Timber of the sacred Groves we cut:
And build our Fleet; uncertain yet to find
What place the Gods for our Repose assign'd.
Friends daily flock; and scarce the kindly Spring
Began to cloath the Ground, and Birds to sing;
When old Anchises summon'd all to Sea:
The Crew, my Father and the Fates obey.
With Sighs and Tears I leave my native Shore,
And empty Fields, where Ilium stood before.
My Sire, my Son, our less, and greater Gods,
All sail at once; and cleave the briny Floods.
Against our Coast appears a spacious Land,
Which once the fierce Lycurgus did command:
Thracia the Name; the People bold in War;
Vast are their Fields, and Tillage is their Care.
A hospitable Realm while Fate was kind;
With Troy in friendship and Religion join'd.
I land; with luckless Omens, then adore
Their Gods, and draw a Line along the Shore:
I lay the deep Foundations of a Wall;
And Enos , nam'd from me, the City call.
To Dionæan Venus Vows are paid,
And all the Pow'rs that rising Labours aid;
A Bull on Jove 's Imperial Altar laid.
Not far, a rising Hillock stood in view;
Sharp Myrtles, on the sides, and Cornels grew.
There, while I went to crop the Silvan Scenes,
And shade our Altar with their leafy Greens;
I pull'd a Plant; (with horror I relate
A Prodigy so strange, and full of Fate.)
The rooted Fibres rose; and from the Wound,
Black bloody Drops distill'd upon the Ground.
Mute, and amaz'd, my Hair with Terrour stood;
Fear shrunk my Sinews, and congeal'd my Blood.
Man'd once again, another Plant I try;
That other gush'd with the same sanguine Dye.
Then, fearing Guilt, for some Offence unknown,
With Pray'rs and Vows the Driads I attone:
With all the Sisters of the Woods, and most
The God of Arms, who rules the Thracian Coast:
That they, or he, these Omens wou'd avert;
Release our Fears, and better signs impart.
Clear'd, as I thought, and fully fix'd at length
To learn the Cause, I tug'd with all my Strength;
I bent my knees against the Ground; once more
The violated Myrtle ran with Gore.
Scarce dare I tell the Sequel: From the Womb
Of wounded Earth, and Caverns of the Tomb,
A Groan, as of a troubled Ghost, renew'd
My Fright, and then these dreadful Words ensu'd.
Why dost thou thus my bury'd Body rend?
O spare the Corps of thy unhappy Friend!
Spare to pollute thy pious Hands with Blood:
The Tears distil not from the wounded Wood;
But ev'ry drop this living Tree contains,
Is kindred Blood, and ran in Trojan Veins:
O fly from this unhospitable Shore,
Warn'd by my Fate; for I am Polydore !
Here loads of Lances, in my Blood embru'd,
Again shoot upward, by my Blood renew'd.
My faultring Tongue, and shiv'ring Limbs declare
My Horror, and in Bristles rose my Hair.
When Troy with Grecian Arms was closely pent,
Old Priam , fearful of the Wars Event,
This hapless Polydore to Thracia sent.
Loaded with Gold, he sent his Darling, far
From Noise and Tumults, and destructive War:
Committed to the faithless Tyrant's Care.
Who, when he saw the Pow'r of Troy decline,
Forsook the weaker, with the strong to join.
Broke ev'ry Bond of Nature, and of Truth;
And murder'd, for his Wealth, the Royal Youth.
O sacred Hunger of pernicious Gold,
What bands of Faith can impious Lucre hold!
Now, when my Soul had shaken off her Fears,
I call my Father, and the Trojan Peers:
Relate the Prodigies of Heav'n; require
What he commands, and their Advice desire.
All vote to leave that execrable Shore,
Polluted with the Blood of Polydore .
But e're we sail, his Fun'ral Rites prepare;
Then, to his Ghost, a Tomb and Altars rear,
In mournful Pomp the Matrons walk the round:
With baleful Cypress, and blue Fillets crown'd;
With Eyes dejected, and with Hair unbound.
Then Bowls of tepid Milk and Blood we pour,
And thrice invoke the Soul of Polydore .
Now when the raging Storms no longer reign;
But Southern Gales invite us to the Main;
We launch our Vessels, with a prosp'rous Wind;
And leave the Cities and the Shores behind.
An Island in th' Ægean Main appears:
Neptune and wat'ry Doris claim it theirs.
It floated once, till Phœbus fix'd the sides
To rooted Earth, and now it braves the Tides.
Here, born by friendly Winds, we come ashore,
With needful ease our weary Limbs restore;
And the Sun's Temple, and his Town adore.
Anius the Priest, and King, with Lawrel crown'd,
His hoary Locks with purple Fillets bound.
Who saw my Sire the Delian Shore ascend,
Came forth with eager haste to meet his Friend.
Invites him to his Palace; and in sign
Of ancient Love, their plighted Hands they join.
Then to the Temple of the God I went;
And thus, before the Shrine, my Vows present.
Give, O Thymbræus , give a resting place,
To the sad Relicks of the Trojan Race:
A Seat secure, a Region of their own,
A lasting Empire, and a happier Town.
Where shall we fix, where shall our Labours end,
Whom shall we follow, and what Fate attend?
Let not my Pray'rs a doubtful Answer find,
But in clear Auguries unveil thy Mind.
Scarce had I said, He shook the Holy Ground:
The Lawrels, and the lofty Hills around:
And from the Tripos rush'd a bellowing Sound.
Prostrate we fell; confess'd the present God,
Who gave this Answer from his dark Abode.
Undaunted Youths, go seek that Mother Earth
From which your Ancestors derive their Birth.
The Soil that sent you forth, her Ancient Race,
In her old Bosom, shall again embrace.
Through the wide World th' Æneian House shall reign,
And Childrens Children shall the Crown sustain.
Thus Phœbus did our future Fates disclose;
A mighty Tumult, mix'd with Joy, arose.
All are concern'd to know what place the God
Assign'd, and where determin'd our abode.
My Father, long revolving in his Mind,
The Race and Lineage of the Trojan Kind,
Thus answer'd their demands: Ye Princes, hear
Your pleasing Fortune; and dispel your fear.
The fruitful Isle of Crete well known to Fame,
Sacred of old to Jove 's Imperial Name,
In the mid Ocean lies, with large Command;
And on its Plains a hundred Cities stand.
Another Ida rises there; and we
From thence derive our Trojan Ancestry.
From thence, as 'tis divulg'd by certain Fame,
To the Rhœtean Shores old Teucrus came.
There fix'd, and there the Seat of Empire chose,
E're Ilium and the Trojan Tow'rs arose.
In humble Vales they built their soft abodes:
Till Cybele , the Mother of the Gods,
With tinckling Cymbals charm'd th' Idean Woods.
She, secret Rites and Ceremonies taught,
And to the Yoke, the salvage Lions brought.
Let us the Land, which Heav'n appoints, explore;
Appease the Winds, and seek the Gnossian Shore.
If Jove assists the passage of our Fleet,
The third propitious dawn discovers Creet .
Thus having said, the Sacrifices laid
On smoking Altars, to the Gods He paid.
A Bull, to Neptune an Oblation due,
Another Bull to bright Apollo slew:
A milk white Ewe the Western Winds to please;
And one cole black to calm the stormy Seas.
E're this, a flying Rumour had been spread,
That fierce Idomeneus from Crete was fled;
Expell'd and exil'd; that the Coast was free
From Foreign or Domestick Enemy:
We leave the Delian Ports, and put to Sea.
By Naxos , fam'd for Vintage, make our way:
Then green Donysa pass; and Sail in sight
Of Paros Isle, with Marble Quarries white.
We pass the scatter'd Isles of Cyclades ;
That, scarce distinguish'd, seem to stud the Seas.
The shouts of Sailors double near the shores;
They stretch their Canvass, and they ply their Oars.
All hands aloft, for Creet for Creet they cry,
And swiftly through the foamy Billows fly.
Full on the promis'd Land at length we bore,
With Joy descending on the Cretan Shore.
With eager haste a rising Town I frame,
Which from the Trojan Pergamus I name:
The Name it self was grateful; I exhort
To found their Houses, and erect a Fort.
Our Ships are haul'd upon the yellow strand,
The Youth begin to Till the labour'd Land.
And I my self new Marriages promote,
Give Laws: and Dwellings I divide by Lot.
When rising Vapours choak the wholesom Air,
And blasts of noisom Winds corrupt the Year:
The Trees, devouring Caterpillers burn:
Parch'd was the Grass, and blited was the Corn.
Nor scape the Beasts: for Syrius from on high,
With pestilential Heat infects the Sky:
My Men, some fall, the rest in Feavers fry.
Again my Father bids me seek the Shore
Of sacred Delos ; and the God implore:
To learn what end of Woes we might expect,
And to what Clime, our weary Course direct.
'Twas Night, when ev'ry Creature, void of Cares,
The common gift of balmy Slumber shares:
The Statues of my Gods, (for such they seem'd)
Those Gods whom I from flaming Troy redeem'd,
Before me stood; Majestically bright,
Full in the Beams of Phœbe 's entring light.
Then thus they spoke; and eas'd my troubled Mind:
What from the Delian God thou go'st to find,
He tells thee here; and sends us to relate:
Those Pow'rs are we, Companions of thy Fate,
Who from the burning Town by thee were brought;
Thy Fortune follow'd, and thy safety wrought.
Through Seas and Lands, as we thy Steps attend,
So shall our Care thy Glorious Race befriend.
An ample Realm for thee thy Fates ordain;
A Town, that o're the conquer'd World shall reign.
Thou, mighty Walls for mighty Nations build;
Nor let thy weary Mind to labours yield:
But change thy Seat; for not the Delian God,
Nor we, have giv'n thee Crete for our Abode.
A Land there is, Hesperia call'd of old,
The Soil is fruitful, and the Natives bold.
Th' Oenotrians held it once; by later Fame,
Now call'd Italia from the Leader's Name.
Jasius there, and Dardanus were born:
From thence we came, and thither must return.
Rise, and thy Sire with these glad Tidings greet;
Search Italy , for Jove denies thee Creet .
Astonish'd at their Voices, and their sight,
(Nor were they Dreams, but Visions of the Night;
I saw, I knew their Faces, and descry'd
In perfect View, their Hair with Fillets ty'd:)
I started from my Couch, a clammy Sweat
On all my Limbs, and shiv'ring Body sate.
To Heav'n I lift my Hands with pious haste,
And sacred Incense in the Flames I cast.
Thus to the Gods their perfect Honours done,
More chearful to my good old Sire I run:
And tell the pleasing News; in little space
He found his Error, of the double Race.
Not, as before he deem'd, deriv'd from Creet ;
No more deluded by the doubtful Seat.
Then said, O Son, turmoil'd in Trojan Fate;
Such things as these Cassandra did relate.
This Day revives within my mind, what she
Foretold of Troy renew'd in Italy ;
And Latian Lands: but who cou'd then have thought,
That Phrygian Gods to Latium should be brought;
Or who believ'd what mad Cassandra taught?
Now let us go, where Phœbus leads the way:
He said, and we with glad Consent obey.
Forsake the Seat; and leaving few behind,
We spread our sails before the willing Wind.
Now from the sight of Land, our Gallies move,
With only Seas around, and Skies above.
When o're our Heads, descends a burst of Rain;
And Night, with sable Clouds involves the Main:
The ruffling Winds the foamy Billows raise:
The scatter'd Fleet is forc'd to sev'ral Ways:
The face of Heav'n is ravish'd from our Eyes,
And in redoubl'd Peals the roaring Thunder flies.
Cast from our Course, we wander in the Dark;
No Stars to guide, no point of Land to mark.
Ev'n Palinurus no distinction found
Betwixt the Night and Day; such Darkness reign'd around.
Three starless Nights the doubtful Navy strays
Without Distinction, and three Sunless days.
The fourth renews the Light, and from our Shrowds
We view a rising Land like distant Clouds:
The Mountain tops confirm the pleasing Sight;
And curling Smoke ascending from their Height.
The Canvas falls; their Oars the Sailors ply;
From the rude strokes the whirling Waters fly.
At length I land upon the Strophades ;
Safe from the danger of the stormy Seas:
Those Isles are compass'd by th' Ionian Main;
The dire Abode where the foul Harpies reign:
Forc'd by the winged Warriors to repair
To their old Homes, and leave their costly Fare.
Monsters more fierce, offended Heav'n ne're sent
From Hell's Abyss, for Human Punishment.
With Virgin-faces, but with Wombs obscene,
Foul Paunches, and with Ordure still unclean:
With Claws for Hands, and Looks for ever lean.
We landed at the Port; and soon beheld
Fat Herds of Oxen graze the flow'ry Field:
And wanton Goats without a Keeper stray'd:
With Weapons we the welcome Prey invade:
Then call the Gods, for Partners of our Feast:
And Jove himself the chief invited Guest.
We spread the Tables, on the greensword Ground:
We feed with Hunger, and the Bowls go round.
When from the Mountain tops, with hideous Cry,
And clatt'ring Wings, the hungry Harpies fly:
They snatch the Meat; defiling all they find:
And parting leave a loathsom Stench behind.
Close by a hollow Rock, again we sit;
New dress the Dinner, and the Beds refit:
Secure from Sight, beneath a pleasing Shade;
Where tufted Trees a Native Arbour made.
Again the Holy Fires on Altars burn:
And once again the rav'nous Birds return:
Or from the dark Recesses where they ly,
Or from another Quarter of the Sky.
With filthy Claws their odious Meal repeat,
And mix their loathsom Ordures with their Meat.
I bid my Friends for Vengeance then prepare;
And with the Hellish Nation wage the War.
They, as commanded, for the Fight provide,
And in the Grass their glitt'ring Weapons hide:
Then, when along the crooked Shoar we hear
Their clatt'ring Wings, and saw the Foes appear;
Misenus sounds a charge: We take th' Alarm;
And our strong hands with Swords and Bucklers arm.
In this new kind of Combat, all employ
Their utmost Force, the Monsters to destroy.
In vain; the fated Skin is proof to Wounds:
And from their Plumes the shining Sword rebounds.
At length rebuff'd, they leave their mangled Prey,
And their stretch'd Pinions to the Skies display.
Yet one remain'd, the Messenger of Fate;
High on a craggy Cliff Celæno sate,
And thus her dismal Errand did relate.
What, not contented with our Oxen slain,
Dare you with Heav'n an impious War maintain,
And drive the Harpies from their Native Reign?
Heed therefore what I say; and keep in mind
What Jove decrees, what Phœbus has design'd:
And I, the Fury's Queen, from both relate:
You seek th' Italian Shores, foredoom'd by Fate:
Th' Italian Shores are granted you to find:
And a safe Passage to the Port assign'd,
But know, that e're your promis'd Walls you build,
My Curses shall severely be fulfill'd.
Fierce Famine is your Lot, for this Misdeed,
Reduc'd to grind the Plates on which you feed.
She said; and to the neigh'bring Forest flew:
Our Courage fails us, and our Fears renew.
Hopeless to win by War, to Pray'rs we fall:
And on th' offended Harpies humbly call.
And whether Gods, or Birds obscene they were,
Our Vows for Pardon, and for Peace prefer.
But old Anchises , off'ring Sacrifice,
And lifting up to Heav'n his Hands, and Eyes;
Ador'd the greater Gods: Avert, said he,
These Omens, render vain this Prophecy:
And from th' impending Curse, a Pious People free.
Thus having said, he bids us put to Sea;
We loose from Shore our Haulsers, and obey:
And soon with swelling sails, pursue the wat'ry Way.
Amidst our course Zacynthian Woods appear;
And next by rocky Neritos we steer:
We fly from Ithaca 's detested Shore,
And curse the Land which dire Ulysses bore.
At length Leucates cloudy top appears;
And the Sun's Temple, which the Sailor fears.
Resolv'd to breath a while from Labour past,
Our crooked Anchors from the Prow we cast;
And joyful to the little City haste.
Here safe beyond our Hopes, our Vows we pay
To Jove , the Guide and Patron of our way.
The Customs of our Country we pursue;
And Trojan Games on Actian Shores renew.
Our Youth, their naked Limbs besmear with Oyl;
And exercise the Wrastlers noble Toil.
Pleas'd to have sail'd so long before the Wind;
And left so many Grecian Towns behind.
The Sun had now fulfill'd his Annual Course,
And Boreas on the Seas display'd his Force:
I fix'd upon the Temples lofty Door,
The brazen Shield which vanquish'd Abas bore:
The Verse beneath, my Name and Action speaks,
These Arms, Æneas took from Conqu'ring Greeks .
Then I command to weigh; the Seamen ply
Their sweeping Oars, the smokeing Billows fly.
The sight of high Phæacia soon we lost:
And skim'd along Epirus rocky Coast.
Then to Chaonia 's Port our Course we bend,
And landed, to Buthrotus heights ascend.
Here wond'rous things were loudly blaz'd by Fame;
How Helenus reviv'd the Trojan Name;
And raign'd in Greece : That Priam 's captive Son
Succeeded Pyrrhus in his Bed and Throne.
And fair Andromache , restor'd by Fate,
Once more was happy in a Trojan Mate.
I leave my Gallies riding in the Port;
And long to see the new Dardanian Court.
By chance, the mournful Queen, before the Gate,
Then solemniz'd her former Husband's Fate.
Green Altars rais'd of Turf, with Gifts she Crown'd;
And sacred Priests in order stand around;
And thrice the Name of hapless Hector sound.
The Grove it self resembles Ida 's Wood;
And Simois seem'd the well dissembl'd Flood.
But when, at nearer distance, she beheld
My shining Armour, and my Trojan Shield;
Astonish'd at the sight, the vital Heat
Forsakes her Limbs, her Veins no longer beat:
She faints, she falls, and scarce recov'ring strength,
Thus, with a falt'ring Tongue, she speaks at length.
Are you alive, O Goddess born! she said,
Or if a Ghost, then where is Hector 's Shade?
At this, she cast a loud and frightful Cry:
With broken words, I made this brief Reply.
All of me that remains, appears in sight,
I live; if living be to loath the Light.
No Phantome; but I drag a wretched life;
My Fate resembling that of Hector 's Wife.
What have you suffer'd since you lost your Lord,
By what strange blessing are you now restor'd!
Still are you Hector 's, or is Hector fled,
And his Remembrance lost in Pyrrhus Bed?
With Eyes dejected, in a lowly tone,
After a modest pause, she thus begun.
Oh only happy Maid of Priam 's Race,
Whom death deliver'd from the Foes embrace!
Commanded on Achilles Tomb to die,
Not forc'd, like us, to hard Captivity:
Or in a haughty Master's Arms to lie.
In Grecian Ships unhappy we were born:
Endur'd the Victor's Lust, sustain'd the Scorn:
Thus I submitted to the lawless pride
Of Pyrrhus , more a Handmaid than a Bride.
Cloy'd with Possession, He forsook my Bed,
And Helen 's lovely Daughter sought to wed.
Then me, to Trojan Helenus resign'd:
And his two Slaves in equal Marriage join'd.
Till young Orestes , pierc'd with deep despair,
And longing to redeem the promis'd Fair,
Before Appollo 's Altar slew the Ravisher.
By Pyrrhus death the Kingdom we regain'd:
At least one half with Helenus remain'd;
Our part, from Chaon , He Chaonia calls:
And names, from Pergamus , his rising Walls.
But you, what Fates have landed on our Coast,
What Gods have sent you, or what Storms have tost?
Does young Ascanius life and health enjoy,
Sav'd from the Ruins of unhappy Troy !
O tell me how his Mothers loss he bears,
What hopes are promis'd from his blooming years,
How much of Hector in his Face appears?
She spoke: and mix'd her Speech with mournful Cries:
And fruitless Tears came trickling from her Eyes.
At length her Lord descends upon the Plain;
In Pomp, attended with a num'rous Train:
Receives his Friends, and to the City leads;
And Tears of Joy amidst his Welcome sheds.
Proceeding on, another Troy I see;
Or, in less compass, Troy 's Epitome.
A Riv'let by the name of Xanthus ran:
And I embrace the Scæan Gate again.
My Friends in Portico's were entertain'd;
And Feasts and Pleasures through the City reign'd.
The Tables fill'd the spacious Hall around:
And Golden Bowls with sparkling Wine were crown'd.
Two days we pass'd in mirth, till friendly Gales,
Blown from the South, supply'd our swelling Sails.
Then to the Royal Seer I thus began:
O thou who know'st beyond the reach of Man,
The Laws of Heav'n, and what the Stars decree,
Whom Phœbus taught unerring Prophecy,
From his own Tripod, and his holy Tree:
Skill'd in the wing'd Inhabitants of Air,
What Auspices their notes, and flights declare:
O say; for all Religious Rites portend
A happy Voyage, and a prosp'rous End:
And ev'ry Pow'r and Omen of the Sky,
Direct my Course for destin'd Italy :
But only dire Celæno , from the Gods,
A dismal Famine fatally fore-bodes:
O say what Dangers I am first to shun:
What Toils to Vanquish, and what Course to run.
The Prophet first with Sacrifice adores
The greater Gods; their Pardon then implores:
Unbinds the Fillet from his holy Head;
To Phœbus next, my trembling Steps he led:
Full of religious Doubts and awful dread.
Then with his God possess'd, before the Shrine,
These words proceeded from his Mouth Divine.
O Goddess-born, (for Heav'n's appointed Will,
With greater Auspices of good than ill,
Fore-shows thy Voyage, and thy course directs;
Thy Fates conspire, and Jove himself protects:)
Of many things, some few I shall explain,
Teach thee to shun the dangers of the Main,
And how at length the promis'd Shore to gain.
The rest the Fates from Helenus conceal;
And Juno 's angry Pow'r forbids to tell.
First then, that happy Shore, that seems so nigh,
Will far from your deluded Wishes fly:
Long tracts of Seas divide your hopes from Italy .
For you must cruise along Sicilian Shoars;
And stem the Currents with your struggling Oars:
Then round th' Italian Coast your Navy steer;
And after this to Circe 's Island veer.
And last, before your new Foundations rise,
Must pass the Stygian Lake, and view the neather Skies.
Now mark the Signs of future Ease and Rest;
And bear them safely treasur'd in thy Breast.
When in the shady Shelter of a Wood,
And near the Margin of a gentle Flood,
Thou shalt behold a Sow upon the Ground,
With thirty sucking young encompass'd round;
The Dam and Off-spring white as falling Snow:
These on thy City shall their Name bestow:
And there shall end thy Labours and thy Woe.
Nor let the threatned Famine fright thy Mind,
For Phœbus will assist; and Fate the way will find.
Let not thy Course to that ill Coast be bent,
Which fronts from far th' Epirian Continent;
Those parts are all by Grecian Foes possess'd:
The salvage Locrians here the Shores infest:
There fierce Idomeneus his City builds,
And guards with Arms the Salentinian Fields.
And on the Mountains brow Petilia stands,
Which Philoctetes with his Troops commands.
Ev'n when thy Fleet is landed on the Shore,
And Priests with holy Vows the Gods adore;
Then with a Purple Veil involve your Eyes,
Lest hostile Faces blast the Sacrifice.
These Rites and Customs to the rest commend;
That to your Pious Race they may descend.
When parted hence, the Wind that ready waits
For Sicily , shall bear you to the Streights:
Where proud Pelorus opes a wider way,
Tack to the Larboord, and stand off to Sea:
Veer Star-board Sea and Land. Th' Italian Shore,
And fair Sicilia 's Coast were one, before
An Earthquake caus'd the Flaw, the roaring Tides
The Passage broke, that Land from Land divides:
And where the Lands retir'd, the rushing Ocean rides.
Distinguish'd by the Streights, on either hand,
Now rising Cities in long order stand;
And fruitful Fields: (So much can Time invade
The mouldring Work, that beauteous Nature made.)
Far on the right, her Dogs foul Scylla hides:
Charibdis roaring on the left presides;
And in her greedy Whirl-pool sucks the Tides:
Then Spouts them from below; with Fury driv'n,
The Waves mount up, and wash the face of Heav'n.
But Scylla from her Den, with open Jaws,
The sinking Vessel in her Eddy draws;
Then dashes on the Rocks: A Human Face,
And Virgin Bosom, hides her Tails disgrace.
Her Parts obscene below the Waves descend,
With Dogs inclos'd; and in a Dolphin end.
Tis safer, then, to bear aloof to Sea,
And coast Pachynus , though with more delay;
Than once to view mishappen Scylla near,
And the loud yell of watry Wolves to hear.
Besides, if Faith to Helenus be due,
And if Prophetick Phœbus tell me true;
Do not this Precept of your Friend forget;
Which therefore more than once I must repeat.
Above the rest, great Juno 's Name adore:
Pay Vows to Juno; Juno 's Aid implore.
Let Gifts be to the mighty Queen design'd;
And mollify with Pray'rs her haughty Mind.
Thus, at the length, your Passage shall be free,
And you shall safe descend on Italy .
Arriv'd at Cumæ , when you view the Flood
Of black Avernus , and the sounding Wood,
The mad prophetick Sibyl you shall find,
Dark in a Cave, and on a Rock reclin'd.
She sings the Fates, and in her frantick Fitts,
The Notes and Names inscrib'd, to Leafs commits.
What she commits to Leafs, in order laid,
Before the Caverns Entrance are display'd:
Unmov'd they lie, but if a blast of Wind
Without, or Vapours issue from behind,
The leafs are born aloft in liquid Air,
And she resumes no more her Museful Care:
Nor gathers from the Rocks her scatter'd Verse;
Nor sets in order what the Winds disperse.
Thus, many not succeeding, most upbraid
The Madness of the visionary Maid;
And with loud Curses leave the mystick Shade.
Think it not loss of time a while to stay;
Though thy Companions chide thy long delay:
Tho' summon'd to the Seas, tho' pleasing Gales
Invite thy Course, and stretch thy swelling Sails.
But beg the sacred Priestess to relate
With willing Words, and not to write thy Fate.
The fierce Italian People she will show;
And all thy Wars, and all thy Future Woe;
And what thou may'st avoid, and what must undergo.
She shall direct thy Course, instruct thy Mind;
And teach thee how the happy Shores to find.
This is what Heav'n allows me to relate:
Now part in Peace; pursue thy better Fate,
And raise, by strength of Arms, the Trojan State.
This, when the Priest with friendly Voice declar'd,
He gave me Licence, and rich Gifts prepar'd:
Bounteous of Treasure, he supply'd my want
With heavy Gold, and polish'd Elephant.
Then Dodonæan Caldrons put on Board,
And ev'ry Ship with Sums of Silver stor'd.
A trusty Coat of Mail to me he sent,
Thrice chain'd with Gold, for Use and Ornament:
The Helm of Pyrrhus added to the rest,
That flourish'd with a Plume and waving Crest.
Nor was my Sire forgotten, nor my Friends:
And large Recruits he to my Navy sends;
Men, Horses, Captains, Arms, and Warlike Stores:
Supplies new Pilots, and new sweeping Oars.
Mean time, my Sire commands to hoist our Sails;
Lest we shou'd lose the first auspicious Gales.
The Prophet bless'd the parting Crew: and last,
With Words like these, his ancient Friend embrac'd.
Old happy Man, the Care of Gods above,
Whom Heav'nly Venus honour'd with her Love,
And twice preserv'd thy Life, when Troy was lost;
Behold from far the wish'd Ausonian Coast:
There land; but take a larger Compass round;
For that before is all forbidden Ground.
The Shore that Phœbus has design'd for you,
At farther distance lies, conceal'd from view.
Go happy hence, and seek your new Abodes;
Bless'd in a Son, and favour'd by the Gods:
For I with useless words prolong your stay;
When Southern Gales have summon'd you away.
Nor less the Queen our parting thence deplor'd;
Nor was less bounteous than her Trojan Lord.
A noble Present to my Son she brought,
A Robe with Flow'rs on Golden Tissue wrought;
A Phrygian Vest; and loads, with Gifts beside
Of precious Texture, and of Asian Pride.
Accept, she said, these Monuments of Love;
Which in my Youth with happier Hands I wove:
Regard these Trifles for the Giver's sake;
'Tis the last Present Hector 's Wife can make.
Thou call'st my lost Astyanax to mind:
In thee his Features, and his Form I find.
His Eyes so sparkled with a lively Flame;
Such were his Motions, such was all his Frame;
And ah! had Heav'n so pleas'd, his Years had been the same.
With Tears I took my last adieu, and said,
Your Fortune, happy pair, already made,
Leaves you no farther Wish: My diff'rent state,
Avoiding one, incurs another Fate.
To you a quiet Seat the Gods allow,
You have no Shores to search, no Seas to plow,
Nor Fields of flying Italy to chase:
(Deluding Visions, and a vain Embrace!)
You see another Simois , and enjoy
The labour of your Hands, another Troy ;
With better Auspice than her ancient Tow'rs:
And less obnoxious to the Grecian Pow'rs.
If e're the Gods, whom I with Vows adore,
Conduct my Steps to Tiber 's happy Shore:
If ever I ascend the Latian Throne,
And build a City I may call my own,
As both of us our Birth from Troy derive,
So let our Kindred Lines in Concord live:
And both in Acts of equal Friendship strive.
Our Fortunes, good or bad, shall be the same,
The double Troy shall differ but in Name:
That what we now begin, may never end;
But long, to late Posterity descend.
Near the Ceraunean Rocks our Course we bore:
(The shortest passage to th' Italian shore:)
Now had the Sun withdrawn his radiant Light,
And hills were hid in dusky Shades of Night:
We land; and on the bosom of the Ground
A safe Retreat, and a bare Lodging found;
Close by the Shore we lay; the Sailors keep
Their watches, and the rest securely sleep.
The Night proceeding on with silent pace,
Stood in her noon; and view'd with equal Face,
Her steepy rise, and her declining Race.
Then wakeful Palinurus rose, to spie
The face of Heav'n, and the Nocturnal Skie;
And listen'd ev'ry breath of Air to try:
Observes the Stars, and notes their sliding Course,
The Pleiads, Hyads , and their wat'ry force;
And both the Bears is careful to behold;
And bright Orion arm'd with burnish'd Gold.
Then when he saw no threat'ning Tempest Nigh,
But a sure promise of a settled Skie;
He gave the Sign to weigh; we break our sleep;
Forsake the pleasing Shore, and plow the Deep.
And now the rising Morn, with rosie light
Adorns the Skies, and puts the Stars to flight:
When we from far, like bluish Mists, descry
The Hills, and then the Plains of Italy .
Achates first pronounc'd the Joyful Sound;
Then Italy the chearful Crew rebound.
My Sire Anchises crown'd a Cup with Wine:
And off'ring, thus implor'd the Pow'rs Divine.
Ye Gods, presiding over Lands and Seas,
And you who raging Winds and Waves appease,
Breath on our swelling Sails a prosp'rous Wind:
And smooth our Passage to the Port assign'd.
The gentle Gales their flagging force renew;
And now the happy Harbour is in view.
Minerva 's Temple then salutes our sight;
Plac'd, as a Land-mark, on the Mountains height:
We furl our Sails, and turn the Prows to shore;
The curling Waters round the Galleys roar:
The Land lies open to the raging East,
Then, bending like a Bow, with Rocks compress'd,
Shuts out the Storms; the Winds and Waves complain,
And vent their malice on the Cliffs in vain.
The Port lies hid within; on either side
Two Tow'ring Rocks the narrow mouth divide.
The Temple, which aloft we view'd before,
To distance flies, and seems to shun the Shore.
Scarce landed, the first Omens I beheld
Were four white Steeds that crop'd the flow'ry Field.
War, War is threaten'd from this Forreign Ground,
(My Father cry'd) where warlike Steeds are found.
Yet, since reclaim'd to Chariots they submit,
And bend to stubborn Yokes, and champ the Bitt,
Peace may succeed to War. Our way we bend
To Pallas , and the sacred Hill ascend.
There, prostrate to the fierce Virago pray;
Whose Temple was the Land-Mark of our way.
Each with a Phrygian Mantle veil'd his Head;
And all Commands of Helenus obey'd;
And pious Rites to Grecian Juno paid.
These dues perform'd, we stretch our Sails, and stand
To Sea, forsaking that suspected Land.
From hence Tarentum 's Bay appears in view;
For Hercules renown'd, if Fame be true.
Just opposite, Lacinian Juno stands;
Caulonian Tow'rs and Scylacæan Strands,
For Shipwrecks fear'd: Mount Ætna thence we spy,
Known by the smoaky Flames which Cloud the Skie.
Far off we hear the Waves, with surly sound
Invade the Rocks, the Rocks their groans rebound.
The Billows break upon the sounding Strand;
And rowl the rising Tide, impure with Sand.
Then thus Anchises , in Experience old,
'Tis that Charibdis which the Seer foretold:
And those the promis'd Rocks; bear off to Sea:
With haste the frighted Mariners obey.
First Palinurus to the Larboor'd veer'd;
Then all the Fleet by his Example steer'd.
To Heav'n aloft on ridgy Waves we ride;
Then down to Hell descend, when they divide.
And thrice our Gallies knock'd the stony ground,
And thrice the hollow Rocks return'd the sound,
And thrice we saw the Stars, that stood with dews around.
The flagging Winds forsook us, with the Sun;
And weary'd, on Cyclopean Shores we run.
The Port capacious, and secure from Wind,
Is to the foot of thundring Etna joyn'd.
By turns a pitchy Cloud she rowls on high;
By turns hot Embers from her entrails fly;
And flakes of mounting Flames, that lick the Skie.
Oft from her Bowels massy Rocks are thrown,
And shiver'd by the force come piece-meal down.
Oft liquid Lakes of burning Sulphur flow,
Fed from the fiery Springs that boil below.
Enceladus they say, transfix'd by Jove ,
With blasted Limbs came tumbling from above:
And, where he fell, th' Avenging Father drew
This flaming Hill, and on his Body threw:
As often as he turns his weary sides,
He shakes the solid Isle, and smoke the Heavens hides.
In shady Woods we pass the tedious Night,
Where bellowing Sounds and Groans our Souls affright.
Of which no Cause is offer'd to the sight.
For not one Star was kindled in the Skie;
Nor cou'd the Moon her borrow'd Light supply:
For misty Clouds involv'd the Firmament;
The Stars were muffled, and the Moon was pent.
Scarce had the rising Sun the day reveal'd;
Scarce had his heat the pearly dews dispell'd;
When from the Woods there bolts, before our sight,
Somewhat, betwixt a Mortal and a Spright.
So thin, so ghastly meager, and so wan,
So bare of flesh, he scarce resembled Man.
This thing, all tatter'd, seem'd from far t' implore,
Our pious aid, and pointed to the Shore.
We look behind; then view his shaggy Beard;
His Cloaths were tagg'd with Thorns, and Filth his Limbs besmear'd:
The rest, in Meen, in habit, and in Face,
Appear'd a Greek and such indeed he was.
He cast on us, from far, a frightfull view,
Whom soon for Trojans and for Foes he knew:
Stood still, and paus'd; then all at once began
To stretch his Limbs, and trembled as he ran.
Soon as approach'd, upon his Knees he falls,
And thus with Tears and Sighs for pity calls.
Now by the Pow'rs above, and what we share
From Nature's common Gift, this vital Air,
O Trojans take me hence: I beg no more,
But bear me far from this unhappy Shore.
'Tis true I am a Greek , and farther own,
Among your Foes besieg'd th' Imperial Town;
For such Demerits if my death be due,
No more for this abandon'd life I sue:
This only Favour let my Tears obtain,
To throw me headlong in the rapid Main:
Since nothing more than Death my Crime demands,
I die content, to die by human Hands.
He said, and on his Knees my Knees embrac'd,
I bad him boldly tell his Fortune past;
His present State, his Lineage and his Name;
Th' occasion of his Feats, and whence he came.
The good Anchises rais'd him with his Hand;
Who, thus encourag'd, answer'd our Demand:
From Ithaca my Native Soil I came
To Troy , and Achæmenides my Name.
Me, my poor Father, with Ulysses sent;
(Oh had I stay'd, with Poverty content!)
But fearful for themselves, my Country-men
Left me forsaken in the Cyclop 's Den.
The Cave, though large, was dark, the dismal Flore
Was pav'd with mangled Limbs and putrid Gore.
Our monstrous Host, of more than Human Size,
Erects his Head, and stares within the Skies.
Bellowing his Voice, and horrid is his Hue.
Ye Gods, remove this Plague from Mortal View!
The Joynts of slaughter'd Wretches are his Food:
And for his Wine he quaffs the streaming Blood.
These Eyes beheld, when with his spacious Hand
He seiz'd two Captives of our Grecian Band;
Stretch'd on his Back, he dash'd against the Stones
Their broken Bodies, and their crackling Bones:
With spouting Blood the Purple Pavement swims,
While the dire Glutton grinds the trembling Limbs.
Not unreveng'd, Ulysses bore their Fate,
Nor thoughtless of his own unhappy State:
For, gorg'd with Flesh, and drunk with Human Wine,
While fast asleep the Giant lay supine;
Snoaring aloud, and belching from his Maw
His indigested Foam, and Morsels raw:
We pray, we cast the Lots, and then surround
The monstrous Body, stretch'd along the Ground:
Each, as he cou'd approach him, lends a hand
To bore his Eyeball with a flaming Brand:
Beneath his frowning Forehead lay his Eye,
(For only one did the vast Frame supply;)
But that a Globe so large, his Front it fill'd,
Like the Sun's disk, or like a Grecian Shield.
The Stroke succeeds; and down the Pupil bends;
This Vengeance follow'd for our slaughter'd Friends.
But haste, unhappy Wretches, haste to fly;
Your Cables cut, and on your Oars rely.
Such, and so vast as Polypheme appears,
A hundred more this hated Island bears:
Like him in Caves they shut their woolly Sheep,
Like him, their Herds on tops of Mountains keep;
Like him, with mighty Strides, they stalk from Steep to Steep.
And now three Moons their sharpen'd Horns renew,
Since thus in Woods and Wilds, obscure from view,
I drag my loathsom Days with mortal Fright;
And in deserted Caverns lodge by Night.
Oft from the Rocks a dreadful Prospect see,
Of the huge Cyclops , like a walking Tree:
From far I hear his thund'ring Voice resound;
And trampling Feet that shake the solid Ground.
Cornels, and salvage Berries of the Wood,
And Roots and Herbs have been my meagre Food.
While all around my longing Eyes I cast,
I saw your happy Ships appear at last.
On those I fix'd my hopes, to these I run,
'Tis all I ask this cruel Race to shun:
What other Death you please your selves, bestow.
Scarce had he said, when on the Mountain's brow,
We saw the Giant-Shepherd stalk before
His following Flock, and leading to the Shore.
A monstrous Bulk, deform'd, depriv'd of Sight,
His Staff a trunk of Pine, to guide his steps aright.
His pondrous Whistle from his Neck descends;
His woolly Care their pensive Lord attends:
This only Solace his hard Fortune sends.
Soon as he reach'd the Shore, and touch'd the Waves,
From his bor'd Eye the gutt'ring Blood he laves:
He gnash'd his Teeth and groan'd; thro' Seas he strides,
And scarce the topmost billows touch'd his sides.
Seiz'd with a sudden Fear, we run to Sea,
The Cables cut, and silent haste away:
The well deserving Stranger entertain;
Then, buckling to the Work, our Oars divide the Main.
The Giant harken'd to the dashing sound:
But when our Vessels out of reach he found,
He strided onward; and in vain essay'd
Th' Ionian Deep, and durst no farther wade.
With that he roar'd aloud; the dreadful Cry
Shakes Earth, and Air, and Seas; the Billows fly
Before the bellowing Noise, to distant Italy .
The neighb'ring Ætna trembling all around;
The winding Caverns eccho to the sound.
His brother Cyclops hear the yelling Roar;
And, rushing down the Mountains, crowd the Shoar:
We saw their stern distorted looks, from far,
And one ey'd Glance, that vainly threatned War.
A dreadful Council, with their heads on high;
The misty Clouds about their Foreheads fly:
Not yielding to the tow'ring Tree of Jove ;
Or tallest Cypress of Diana 's Grove.
New Pangs of mortal Fear our Minds assail,
We tug at ev'ry Oar, and hoist up ev'ry Sail;
And take th' Advantage of the friendly Gale.
Forewarn'd by Helenus , we strive to shun
Charibdis Gulph, nor dare to Scylla run.
An equal Fate on either side appears;
We, tacking to the left, are free from Fears.
For from Pelorus Point, the North arose,
And drove us back where swift Pantagias flows.
His Rocky Mouth we pass; and make our Way
By Thapsus , and Megara 's winding Bay;
This Passage Achæmenides had shown,
Tracing the Course which he before had run.
Right o're-against Plemmyrium 's watry Strand,
There lies an Isle once call'd th' Ortygian Land:
Alpheus , as Old Fame reports, has found
From Greece a secret Passage under-ground:
By Love to beauteous Arethusa led,
And mingling here, they rowl in the same Sacred Bed.
As Helenus enjoyn'd, we next adore
Diana 's Name, Protectress of the Shore.
With prosp'rous Gales we pass the quiet Sounds
Of still Elorus and his fruitful Bounds.
Then doubling Cape Pachynus , we survey
The rocky Shore extended to the Sea.
The Town of Camarine from far we see;
And fenny Lake undrain'd by Fates decree.
In sight of the Geloan Fields we pass,
And the large Walls, where mighty Gela was:
Then Agragas with lofty Summets crown'd;
Long for the Race of warlike Steeds renown'd:
We pass'd Selinus , and the Palmy Land,
And widely shun the Lilybæan Strand,
Unsafe, for secret Rocks, and moving Sand.
At length on Shore the weary Fleet arriv'd;
Which Drepanum 's unhappy Port receiv'd.
Here, after endless Labours, often tost
By raging Storms, and driv'n on ev'ry Coast,
My dear, dear Father, spent with Age I lost.
Ease of my Cares, and Solace of my Pain,
Sav'd through a thousand Toils, but sav'd in vain:
The Prophet, who my future Woes reveal'd,
Yet this, the greatest and the worst, conceal'd.
And dire Celæno , whose foreboding Skill
Denounc'd all else, was silent of this Ill:
This my last Labour was. Some friendly God,
From thence convey'd us to your blest Abode.
Thus to the listning Queen, the Royal Guest
His wand'ring Course, and all his Toils express'd;
And here concluding, he retir'd to rest.
Last updated November 20, 2022