from the AENEID - Book VII, ll.1-24
Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) tr. A.S.Kline
Tu quoque litoribus nostris, Aeneia nutrix,
aeternam moriens famam, Caieta, dedisti;
et nunc servat honos sedem tuus ossaque nomen
Hesperia in magna, siqua est ea gloria, signat.
At pius exsequiis Aeneas rite solutis,
aggere composito tumuli, postquam alta quierunt
aequora, tendit iter velis portumque relinquit.
Adspirant aurae in noctem nec candida cursus
Luna negat, splendet tremulo sub lumine pontus.
Proxima Circaeae raduntur litora terrae,
dives inaccessos ubi Solis filia lucos
adsiduo resonat cantu tectisque superbis
urit odoratam nocturna in lumina cedrum,
arguto tenuis percurrens pectine telas.
Hinc exaudiri gemitus iraeque leonum
vincla recusantum et sera sub nocte rudentum,
saetigerique sues atque in praesaepibus ursi
saevire ac formae magnorum ululare luporum,
quos hominum ex facie dea saeva potentibus herbis
induerat Circe in voltus ac terga ferarum.
Quae ne monstra pii paterentur talia Troes
delati in portus neu litora dira subirent,
Neptunus ventis implevit vela secundis
atque fugam dedit et praeter vada fervida vexit.

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Caieta, Aeneas’s nurse, you too have granted
eternal fame to our shores in dying:
tributes still protect your grave, and your name
marks your bones in great Hesperia, if that is glory.
Now, as soon as the open sea was calm, having paid
the last rites due to custom, and raised a funeral mound,
Aeneas the good left the harbour and sailed on his way.
The breezes blew through the night, and a radiant moon was no
inhibitor to their voyage, the sea gleaming in the tremulous light.
The next shores they touched were Circe’s lands,
where that rich daughter of the sun makes the hidden groves
echo with continual chanting, and burns fragrant cedar
for nocturnal light in her proud palace, as she sets
her melodious shuttle running through the fine warp.
From there the angry roar of lions could be heard,
chafing at their ropes, and sounding late into the night,
and the rage of bristling wild-boars, and caged bears,
and the howling shapes of huge wolves,
whom Circe, cruel goddess, had altered from human appearance
to the features and forms of creatures, using powerful herbs.
But Neptune filled their sails with following winds, so that
Troy’s virtuous race should not suffer so monstrous a fate
entering the harbour, and disembarking on that fatal shore,
and carried them past the boiling shallows, granting them escape.

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Copyright © A. S. Kline 2004


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