A gen’rous ardor boils within my breast, Eager of action, enemy to rest: This urges me to fight, and fires my mind To leave a memorable name behind.
His martial men with fierce harangue he fir’d, And his own ardor in their souls inspir’d.
The wish’d insult the Latine troops embrace, And meet their ardor in the middle space.
I warn’d thee, but in vain; for well I knew What perils youthful ardor would pursue, That boiling blood would carry thee too far, Young as thou wert in dangers, raw to war!
Betwixt the broken ranks the Tuscan rides, And these encourages, and those he chides; Recalls each leader, by his name, from flight; Renews their ardor, and restores the fight.
Meantime, by Jove’s impulse, Mezentius arm’d, Succeeding Turnus, with his ardor warm’d His fainting friends, reproach’d their shameful flight, Repell’d the victors, and renew’d the fight.
Messapus next, (great Neptune was his sire,) Secure of steel, and fated from the fire, In pomp appears, and with his ardor warms A heartless train, unexercis’d in arms: The just Faliscans he to battle brings, And those who live where Lake Ciminia springs; And where Feronia’s grove and temple stands, Who till Fescennian or Flavinian lands.
Forced by this hostile act, and fir’d with spite, That flying Turnus still declin’d the fight, The Prince, whose piety had long repell’d His inborn ardor, now invades the field; Invokes the pow’rs of violated peace, Their rites and injur’d altars to redress; Then, to his rage abandoning the rein, With blood and slaughter’d bodies fills the plain.