You promis’d once, a progeny divine Of Romans, rising from the Trojan line, In after times should hold the world in awe, And to the land and ocean give the law.
Her father gave her, yet a spotless maid; Pygmalion then the Tyrian scepter sway’d: One who condemn’d divine and human laws.
A golden bowl, that shone with gems divine, The queen commanded to be crown’d with wine: The bowl that Belus us’d, and all the Tyrian line.
O sacred city, built by hands divine!
But we, descended from your sacred line, Entitled to your heav’n and rites divine, Are banish’d earth; and, for the wrath of one, Remov’d from Latium and the promis’d throne.
Sidonian Dido here with solemn state Did Juno’s temple build, and consecrate, Enrich’d with gifts, and with a golden shrine; But more the goddess made the place divine.
Then, thro’ the gate of iv’ry, he dismiss’d His valiant offspring and divining guest.
Above the rest, as chief of all the band, Was Picus plac’d, a buckler in his hand; His other wav’d a long divining wand.
T is madness to contend with strength divine.
And now the noble youths, of form divine, Advance before their fathers, in a line; The riders grace the steeds; the steeds with glory shine.
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From that auspicious day, with rites divine, We worship at the hero’s holy shrine.
Heav’n calls me to the war: th’ expected sign Is giv’n of promis’d aid, and arms divine.
The loaves were serv’d in canisters; the wine In bowls; the priest renew’d the rites divine: Broil’d entrails are their food, and beef’s continued chine.
Long labors, both by sea and land, he bore, And in the doubtful war, before he won The Latian realm, and built the destin’d town; His banish’d gods restor’d to rites divine, And settled sure succession in his line, From whence the race of Alban fathers come, And the long glories of majestic Rome.
All this with wond’ring eyes Aeneas view’d; Each varying object his delight renew’d: Eager to read the rest— Achates came, And by his side the mad divining dame, The priestess of the god, Deiphobe her name.
Aeneas here beheld, of form divine, A godlike youth in glitt’ring armor shine, With great Marcellus keeping equal pace; But gloomy were his eyes, dejected was his face.
Then Caesar from the Julian stock shall rise, Whose empire ocean, and whose fame the skies Alone shall bound; whom, fraught with eastern spoils, Our heav’n, the just reward of human toils, Securely shall repay with rites divine; And incense shall ascend before his sacred shrine.
My sire Anchises crown’d a cup with wine, And, off’ring, thus implor’d the pow’rs divine: ’Ye gods, presiding over lands and seas, And you who raging winds and waves appease, Breathe on our swelling sails a prosp’rous wind, And smooth our passage to the port assign’d!’
Deep in the palace, of long growth, there stood A laurel’s trunk, a venerable wood; Where rites divine were paid; whose holy hair Was kept and cut with superstitious care.
Can they securely trust their feeble wall, A slight partition, a thin interval, Betwixt their fate and them; when Troy, tho’ built By hands divine, yet perish’d by their guilt?
The rest stood trembling, struck with awe divine; Aeneas only, conscious to the sign, Presag’d th’ event, and joyful view’d, above, Th’ accomplish’d promise of the Queen of Love.
All on the Trojan gifts with wonder gaze, But view the beauteous boy with more amaze, His rosy-color’d cheeks, his radiant eyes, His motions, voice, and shape, and all the god’s disguise; Nor pass unprais’d the vest and veil divine, Which wand’ring foliage and rich flow’rs entwine.
The god was wroth, and at his temples threw A branch in Lethe dipp’d, and drunk with Stygian dew: The pilot, vanquish’d by the pow’r divine, Soon clos’d his swimming eyes, and lay supine.
Struck with the sight, and seiz’d with rage divine, The matrons prosecute their mad design: They shriek aloud; they snatch, with impious hands, The food of altars; fires and flaming brands.
But next behold the youth of form divine, Ceasar himself, exalted in his line; Augustus, promis’d oft, and long foretold, Sent to the realm that Saturn rul’d of old; Born to restore a better age of gold.
Now speedy death attends the guiltless youth, If my presaging soul divines with truth; Which, O!
This is the way to heav’n: the pow’rs divine From this beginning date the Julian line.
This is no mortal work, no cure of mine, Nor art’s effect, but done by hands divine.
Divine Aeneas, (and thou know’st it too,) Foredoom’d, to these celestial seats are due.
Yet from our lineage he derives his name, And, in the fourth degree, from god Pilumnus came; Yet he devoutly pays you rites divine, And offers daily incense at your shrine.
Like Eryx, or like Athos, great he shows, Or Father Apennine, when, white with snows, His head divine obscure in clouds he hides, And shakes the sounding forest on his sides.
Betwixt the ranks the proud commanders ride, Glitt’ring with gold, and vests in purple dyed; Here Mnestheus, author of the Memmian line, And there Messapus, born of seed divine.
Then, with his god possess’d, before the shrine, These words proceeded from his mouth divine: ’O goddess-born, (for Heav’n’s appointed will, With greater auspices of good than ill, Foreshows thy voyage, and thy course directs; Thy fates conspire, and Jove himself protects,) Of many things some few I shall explain, Teach thee to shun the dangers of the main, And how at length the promis’d shore to gain.
To these the Sibyl thus her speech address’d, And first to him surrounded by the rest (Tow’ring his height, and ample was his breast): "Say, happy souls, divine Musaeus, say, Where lives Anchises, and where lies our way To find the hero, for whose only sake We sought the dark abodes, and cross’d the bitter lake?"
Two snowy coursers Turnus’ chariot yoke, And in his hand two massy spears he shook: Then issued from the camp, in arms divine, Aeneas, author of the Roman line; And by his side Ascanius took his place, The second hope of Rome’s immortal race.
He shakes the pointed spear, and longs to try The plated cuishes on his manly thigh; But most admires the shield’s mysterious mold, And Roman triumphs rising on the gold: For these, emboss’d, the heav’nly smith had wrought (Not in the rolls of future fate untaught) The wars in order, and the race divine Of warriors issuing from the Julian line.
But, if my juster arms prevail in fight, (As sure they shall, if I divine aright,) My Trojans shall not o’er th’ Italians reign: Both equal, both unconquer’d shall remain, Join’d in their laws, their lands, and their abodes; I ask but altars for my weary gods.
…and shew’d the gate, Since call’d Carmental by the Roman state; Where stood an altar, sacred to the name Of old Carmenta, the prophetic dame, Who to her son foretold th’ Aenean race, Sublime in fame, and Rome’s imperial place: Then shews the forest, which, in after times, Fierce Romulus for perpetrated crimes A sacred refuge made; with this, the shrine Where Pan below the rock had rites divine: Then tells of Argus’ death, his murder’d guest, Whose grave and tomb his innocence attest.
Now, when the following morn had chas’d away The flying stars, and light restor’d the day, Aeneas call’d the Trojan troops around, And thus bespoke them from a rising ground: "Offspring of heav’n, divine Dardanian race!
The Daunian hero lifts his hands eyes, And thus invokes the goddess as she flies: "Iris, the grace of heav’n, what pow’r divine Has sent thee down, thro’ dusky clouds to shine?
By her and him from whom thy breath began, Who form’d thee thus divine, I beg thee, spare This forfeit life, and hear thy suppliant’s pray’r."
Yet, what I can, I grant; when, wafted o’er, The chief is landed on the Latian shore, Whatever ships escape the raging storms, At my command shall change their fading forms To nymphs divine, and plow the wat’ry way, Like Dotis and the daughters of the sea."
His mother goddess, with her hands divine, Had form’d his curling locks, and made his temples shine, And giv’n his rolling eyes a sparkling grace, And breath’d a youthful vigor on his face; Like polish’d ivory, beauteous to behold, Or Parian marble, when enchas’d in gold: Thus radiant from the circling cloud he broke, And thus with manly modesty he spoke: "He whom you seek am I; by tempests toss’d, And sav’d from shipwreck on your Libyan coast; Presenting, gracious queen, before your…
…he heard a fugitive could move The Tyrian princess, who disdain’d his love, His breast with fury burn’d, his eyes with fire, Mad with despair, impatient with desire; Then on the sacred altars pouring wine, He thus with pray’rs implor’d his sire divine: "Great Jove! propitious to the Moorish race, Who feast on painted beds, with off’rings grace Thy temples, and adore thy pow’r divine With blood of victims, and with sparkling wine, Seest thou not this? or do we fear in vain Thy boasted…
…Tyrian princess, who disdain’d his love, His breast with fury burn’d, his eyes with fire, Mad with despair, impatient with desire; Then on the sacred altars pouring wine, He thus with pray’rs implor’d his sire divine: "Great Jove! propitious to the Moorish race, Who feast on painted beds, with off’rings grace Thy temples, and adore thy pow’r divine With blood of victims, and with sparkling wine, Seest thou not this? or do we fear in vain Thy boasted thunder, and thy thoughtless reign?
The queen herself, inspir’d with rage divine, Shook high above her head a flaming pine; Then roll’d her haggard eyes around the throng, And sung, in Turnus’ name, the nuptial song: "Io, ye Latian dames! if any here Hold your unhappy queen, Amata, dear; If there be here," she said, who dare maintain My right, nor think the name of mother vain; Unbind your fillets, loose your flowing hair, And orgies and nocturnal rites prepare."
Then thus replied the prophetess divine: "O goddess-born of great Anchises’ line, The gates of hell are open night and day; Smooth the descent, and easy is the way: But to return, and view the cheerful skies, In this the task and mighty labor lies.