from the AENEID - Book X, ll.1-37
Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro)prose tr. W. F. Jackson Knight
Panditur interea domus omnipotentis Olympi,
conciliumque vocat divom pater atque hominum rex
sideream in sedem, terras unde arduus omnis
castraque Dardanidum adspectat populosque Latinos.
Meanwhile the gateway to Olympus, the seat of supreme power, was flung open wide and he who is Father of Gods and King over men called a council to his starry home on high whence he would often glance down on the whole world, on the camp of the Dardans, and on the people of Latium.
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.'
The gods took their seats in the double-entranced hall. Jupiter himself began to speak: 'Majestic dwellers in the skies, why has your decision been reversed? Why do you engage in so fierce a conflict of opposing wills? I had withheld my permission for Italy to meet Trojans in combat of war. Why is there this rebellion against my prohibition? What fears have induced one side or the other to follow the path of arms and to provoke the sword? The due time for battle will come; hasten it not. That day will be when fierce Carthage shall force an opening in the Alpine mass and release dreadful havoc on strongholds of Rome. Then will you have freedom to compete in rivalry of hatreds in a lawful use of force. But now, let be; and be glad to help me settle the compact which I have willed."
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
So, shortly, Jupiter spoke. But not short was the reply of golden Venus: 'O Father, O eternal Sovereignty over men and over all the world! There is no other power whom we can now entreat. Do you observe how the Rutulians insolently triumph and how Turnus in his glory drives his charging horses right through our Trojan ranks, swelling with pride at the favour shown him by Mars ? No longer now are the Trojans' own defences closed to protect them, for their enemy actually joins in turmoil of battle within their gates, fighting along the walled earthworks till the moats overflow with blood. Aeneas knows nothing of it, for he is away.
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?
............
............
Will you never grant them relief from siege? Once more an enemy and once more a hostile army threatens the walls of Troy just when she is to be born again; and Diomede starts forth a second time against the Trojans, coming now from Aetolian Arpi. For myself I might well believe that I must again be wounded in battle, and that even now, while I speak, I, your own daughter, am keeping some mortal warrior waiting for me. If it was without your consent and against your divine will that the Trojans steered for Italy, then let them atone for their offences, and you should cease to uphold them with your aid. If however they were in fact led here by all those oracles from the High Gods and the Nether Spirits, why should anyone now have power to annul your command, and start a quite different destiny for them? Surely I need not recall how their fleet was gutted by fire on the shore at Eryx, how the King of the Storms roused his raging winds to fly out from Aeolia, or how Iris was sent speeding down from the clouds.
............
............

Copyright © G. R. Wilson Knight, 1956, 1958 - publ. Penguin Classics


...buy this book
next
index
translator's next