from the AENEID - Book X, ll.1-37
Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) tr. A.S.Kline
Panditur interea domus omnipotentis Olympi,
conciliumque vocat divom pater atque hominum rex
sideream in sedem, terras unde arduus omnis
castraque Dardanidum adspectat populosque Latinos.
Considunt tectis bipatentibus, incipit ipse:
'Caelicolae magni, quianam sententia vobis
versa retro tantumque animis certatis iniquis?
Abnueram bello Italiam concurrere Teucris.
Quae contra vetitum discordia? Quis metus aut hos
aut hos arma sequi ferrumque lacessere suasit?
Adveniet iustum pugnae, ne arcessite, tempus,
cum fera Karthago Romanis arcibus olim
exitium magnum atque Alpes immittet apertas:
tum certare odiis, tum res rapuisse licebit.
Nunc sinite et placitum laeti componite foedus.'
Iuppiter haec paucis; at non Venus aurea contra
pauca refert:
'O pater, O hominum rerumque aeterna potestas!
Namque aliud quid sit, quod iam implorare queamus?
Cernis ut insultent Rutulli Turnusque (feratur
per medios insignis equis tumidusque) secundo
Marte ruat? Non clausa tegunt iam moenia Teucros:
quin intra portas atque ipsis proelia miscent
aggeribus moerorum et inundant sanguine fossas.
Aeneas ignarus abest. Numquamne levari
obsidione sines? Muris iterum imminet hostis
nascentis Troiae (nec non exercitus alter;)
atque iterum in Teucros Aetolis surgit ab Arpis
Tydides. Equidem credo, mea volnera restant
et tua progenies mortalia demoror arma.
Si sine pace tua atque invito numine Troes
Italiam petiere, luant peccata neque illos
iuveris auxilio; sin tot responsa secuti,
quae superi manesque dabant: cur nunc tua quisquam
vertere iussa potest aut cur nova condere fata?
Quid repetem exustas Erycino in litore classes,
quid tempestatum regem ventosque furentis
Aeolia excitos aut actam nubibus Irim?

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Meanwhile the palace of all-powerful Olympus
was opened wide, and the father of the gods, and king of men,
called a council in his starry house, from whose heights
he gazed at every land, at Trojan camp, and Latin people.
They took their seats in the hall with doors at east and west,
and he began: 'Great sky-dwellers, why have you changed
your decision, competing now, with such opposing wills?
I commanded Italy not to make war on the Trojans.
Why this conflict, against my orders? What fear
has driven them both to take up arms and incite violence?
The right time for fighting will arrive (donít bring it on)
when fierce Carthage, piercing the Alps, will launch
great destruction on the Roman strongholds:
then it will be fine to compete in hatred, and ravage things.
Now let it alone, and construct a treaty, gladly, as agreed.í
Jupiterís speech was brief as this: but golden Venusís reply
was not:
'O father, eternal judge of men and things
(for who else is there I can make my appeal to now?)
you see how the Rutulians exult, how Turnus is drawn
by noble horses through the crowd, and, fortunate in war,
rushes on proudly. Barred defences no longer protect the Trojans:
rather they join battle within the gates, and on the rampart
walls themselves, and the ditches are filled with blood.
Aeneas is absent, unaware of this. Will you never let the siege
be raised? A second enemy once again menaces and harasses
new-born Troy, and again, from Aetolian Arpi, a Diomede rises.

I almost think the wound I had from him still awaits me:
your child merely delays the thrust of that mortalís weapon.
If the Trojans sought Italy without your consent, and despite
your divine will, let them expiate the sin: donít grant them help.
But if theyíve followed the oracles of powers above and below,
why should anyone change your orders now, and forge new
destinies?
Shall I remind you of their fleet, burned on the shores of Eryx?
Or the king of the storms and his furious winds roused
from Aeolia, or Iris sent down from the clouds?

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Copyright © A. S. Kline 2004


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