from the AENEID - Book VII, ll.1-24
Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro)prose tr. W.F.Jackson Knight
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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You, Caieta, Aeneas' old nurse, have in your death enriched the shores of Italy with another legend to last for ever. To this day our reverence for you guards your resting-place, and your buried bones mark the spot with your name in our great Western Land, if in that there is any glory. So Aeneas the True correctly paid the demands of her funeral, and firmly he built her burial-mound. Afterwards, when the ocean's depth had peace, he left harbour and sailed steadily on his way. Favouring breezes blew onwards into the night, and a radiant moon blessed their voyage; the sea sparkled under her quivering beam. They next coasted, close in, past the land of Circe, the wealthy daughter of the Sun, who never lets her secluded grove cease ringing to her music, and who keeps the scented cedar-wood burning in her proud palace to illumine the night as her singing shuttle flashes through the gossamer warp. From the palace was clearly heard the angry growl of lions, chafing under their confinement and roaring with the late night above them; and heard too was the fury of bristled boars and bears penned like sheep, and howls from the shadowy shapes of large wolves, all transformed by the pitiless goddess's potent herbs from human shape and now wearing the countenances and skins of beasts. But to save the righteous Trojans from sailing into harbour and suffering this magical change, and even prevent them from drawing near to the uncanny shore, Neptune filled their canvas with favouring winds, carried them past the seething shallows, and gave them swift escape.
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Copyright © G. R. Wilson Knight, 1956, 1958 - publ. Penguin Classics


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