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The Aeneid
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The Aeneid
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  • Which, O! if pity mortal minds can move, If there be faith below, or gods above, If innocence and truth can claim desert, Ye Trojans, from an injur’d wretch avert.’
  • Ulysses took th’ advantage of their fright; Call’d Calchas, and produc’d in open sight: Then bade him name the wretch, ordain’d by fate The public victim, to redeem the state.
  • The conscious wretch must all his acts reveal, (Loth to confess, unable to conceal), From the first moment of his vital breath, To his last hour of unrepenting death.
  • Thro’ Elis and the Grecian towns he flew; Th’ audacious wretch four fiery coursers drew: He wav’d a torch aloft, and, madly vain, Sought godlike worship from a servile train.
  • The wretch had hardly made his dungeon fast; The fierce avenger came with bounding haste; Survey’d the mouth of the forbidden hold, And here and there his raging eyes he roll’d.
  • She, for the fault of one offending foe, The bolts of Jove himself presum’d to throw: With whirlwinds from beneath she toss’d the ship, And bare expos’d the bosom of the deep; Then, as an eagle gripes the trembling game, The wretch, yet hissing with her father’s flame, She strongly seiz’d, and with a burning wound Transfix’d, and naked, on a rock she bound.
  • If Fortune please, and so the gods ordain, That nothing should of ruin’d Troy remain, And you conspire with Fortune to be slain, The way to death is wide, th’ approaches near: For soon relentless Pyrrhus will appear, Reeking with Priam’s blood— the wretch who slew The son (inhuman) in the father’s view, And then the sire himself to the dire altar drew.
  • Or, O ye pitying winds, a wretch relieve!
  • Branded the wretch, and be his name abhorr’d; But after ages shall thy praise record.
  • Or seems it just, the sister should restore A second sword, when one was lost before, And arm a conquer’d wretch against his conqueror?
  • If so the Fates ordain, Jove commands, Th’ ungrateful wretch should find the Latian lands, Yet let a race untam’d, and haughty foes, His peaceful entrance with dire arms oppose: Oppress’d with numbers in th’ unequal field, His men discourag’d, and himself expell’d, Let him for succor sue from place to place, Torn from his subjects, and his son’s embrace.
  • Then with disdain the haughty victor view’d Orodes flying, nor the wretch pursued, Nor thought the dastard’s back deserv’d a wound, But, running, gain’d th’ advantage of the ground: Then turning short, he met him face to face, To give his victor the better grace.
  • As, when the wolf has torn a bullock’s hide At unawares, or ranch’d a shepherd’s side, Conscious of his audacious deed, he flies, And claps his quiv’ring tail between his thighs: So, speeding once, the wretch no more attends, But, spurring forward, herds among his friends.
  • Exulting in bright arms, he braves the prince: With his protended lance he makes defense; Bears back his feeble foe; then, pressing on, Arrests his better hand, and drags him down; Stands o’er the prostrate wretch, and, as he lay, Vain tales inventing, and prepar’d to pray, Mows off his head: the trunk a moment stood, Then sunk, and roll’d along the sand in blood.
  • Next, under these, the bridal bed be plac’d, Where I my ruin in his arms embrac’d: All relics of the wretch are doom’d to fire; For so the priestess and her charms require."
  • But Nisus hit the turns with happier haste, And, thoughtless of his friend, the forest pass’d, And Alban plains, from Alba’s name so call’d, Where King Latinus then his oxen stall’d; Till, turning at the length, he stood his ground, And miss’d his friend, and cast his eyes around: "Ah wretch!" he cried, "where have I left behind Th’ unhappy youth? where shall I hope to find?
  • Or, if by dearer ties you may be won, By your dead sire, and by your living son, Redeem from this reproach my wand’ring ghost; Or with your navy seek the Velin coast, And in a peaceful grave my corpse compose; Or, if a nearer way your mother shows, Without whose aid you durst not undertake This frightful passage o’er the Stygian lake, Lend to this wretch your hand, and waft him o’er To the sweet banks of yon forbidden shore."

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  • Pity the poor wretch.
  • If you pay the blackmail, you will remain at the mercy of the unscrupulous wretch.

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