Latin Verse Translation

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But father Aeneas, hearing Turnus' name, leaves the walls and leaves the lofty fortresses, thrusts aside all delays, breaks off all tasks, and, exultant with joy, thunders terribly on his arms: as greats as Athos, as great as Eryx or as great as father Apennine himself, when he roars with his quivering oaks and joyously lifts his snowy head to the skies. Now indeed, everyone turned their eyes eagerly – Rutulians, and Trojans and Italians, both those who held the high walls and those who were battering the bottom of the walls with their ram – and they put down the weapons from their shoulders. Latinus himself is amazed that these mighty men, born in different parts of the world, meet amongst men and resolve the issue with the sword. And they, when the fields lie open on the empty plain, dash swiftly forward, hurling their spears from afar, and join in combat with bronze shields that clash. The earth groans; then, with the sword, they shower blow on blow, chance and valour blending into one. And just as when, in mighty Sila or on Taburnus' height, two bulls charge into hate-filled battle, brow to brow; the terrified cowmen retreat; the whole herd stands silent with fear and the heifers stand perplexed as to who will rule over the forest pasture and whom all the herds will follow. They trade mutual blows with mighty force and they gore, straining their horns, and they bathe their neck and shoulders in streaming blood; all the woodland re-echoes with the bellowing: just so Trojan Aeneas and the Daunian hero clash shield on shield; the mighty crash fills the sky. Jupiter himself holds up two scales in even balance and puts in the different fates of the two of them, whom the struggle dooms and with whose weight death sinks down. Now Turnus springs forward, thinking it safe, and rises on high with his whole body and strikes with his raised sword. The Trojans and nervous Latins shout out – the battle-lines of both on tiptoes with excitement. But the treacherous sword breaks and fails its hot-tempered master in mid-blow, if flight did not come to the rescue. He flees swifter than the East wind, when he notices an unknown hilt in his unarmed right hand. The rumour is than in his headlong haste, when he mounted the harnessed horses to begin the combat, he left his father's sword in his haste, and grabbed the steel of his charioteer Metiscus. For a long time that sword was adequate, while the straggling Trojans retreated: but when it met the god-wrought armour of Vulcan, the mortal blade, like brittle ice, shattered at the blow; the fragments glitter on the yellow sand. So Turnus madly flees over distant parts of the plain, and now this way and that he traces aimless circuits; for on all sides the Trojans enclosed him in a crowded ring, and here a vast swamp, there steep ramparts surround him. And no less…


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