from the AENEID - Book III, ll.1-18
Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro)prose tr. David West
Postquam res Asiae Priamique evertere gentem
immeritam visum Superis, ceciditque superbum
Ilium, et omnis humo fumat Neptunia Troia,
diversa exsilia et desertas quaerere terras
auguriis agimur divom, classemque sub ipsa
Antandro et Phrygiae molimur montibus Idae,
incerti, quo fata ferant, ubi sistere detur,
contrahimusque viros. Vix prima inceperat aestas,
et pater Anchises dare fatis vela iubebat;
litora cum patriae lacrimans portusque relinquo
et campos, ubi Troia fuit: feror exsul in altum
cum sociis natoque Penatibus et magnis dis.
When the gods had seen fit to lay low the power of Asia and the innocent people of Priam, when proud Ilium had fallen and all Neptune's Troy lay smoking on the ground, we were driven by signs from heaven into distant exile to look for a home in some deserted land. There, hard by Antandros under the Phrygian mountain range of Ida, we were mustering men and building a fleet without knowing where the Fates were leading us or where we would be allowed to settle. The summer had barely started and Father Anchises was bidding us hoist sail and put ourselves in the hands of the Fates. I wept as I left the shores of my native land and her harbours and the plains where once had stood the city of Troy. I was an exile taking to the high seas with my comrades and my son, with the gods of our house and the great gods of our people.
Terra procul vastis colitur Mavortia campis,
Thraces arant, acri quondam regnata Lycurgo,
hospitium antiquum Troiae sociique Penates,
dum Fortuna fuit. Feror huc, et litore curvo
moenia prima loco, fatis ingressus iniquis,
Aeneadasque meo nomen de nomine fingo.
At some distance from Troy lay the land of Mars, a land of vast plains farmed by Thracians, once ruled by the savage Lycurgus. This people had ancient ties with Troy, while the fortunes of Troy remained, and our household gods were linked in alliance. Here I sailed, and using the name Aeneadae, formed after my own, I laid out my first walls on the curved shore.
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Copyright © David West, 1990 - publ. Penguin Classics


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