from the AENEID - Book II, ll.361-9
Virgil (P. Vergilius Maro) trans. Josephine Balmer
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quis cladem illius noctis, quis funera fando
explicet aut possit lacrimis aequare labores?
urbs antiqua ruit multos dominata per annos;
plurima perque uias sternuntur inertia passim
corpora perque domos et religiosa deorum
limina. nec soli poenas dant sanguine Teucri;
quondam etiam uictis redit in praecordia uirtus
uictoresque cadunt Danai. crudelis ubique
luctus, ubique pauor et plurima mortis imago.

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Who can list, who record that night's black toll
or level out its works with measured tears?
An ancient city rushes to its doom,
so long the master, keeper of the years;
now its streets and squares were strewn with corpses,
slumped in doors and alleys, rotting where they fell,
polluting the thresholds of our temples;
conquered, conquerors, the same blood-prices -
everywhere sorrow, everywhere ruin,
pain and fear, death in its many guises,
lamentation thick as smoke above the walls

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Copyright © Josephine Balmer 2004 - publ. Bloodaxe Books


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