Aeneid 6.1-211



Sic fatur lacrimans, classique immittit habenas
et tandem Euboicis Cumarum adlabitur oris.
Obuertunt pelago proras; tum dente tenaci
ancora fundabat navis et litora curvae
praetexunt puppes. Iuvenum manus emicat ardens 5
litus in Hesperium; quaerit pars semina flammae
abstrusa in venis silicis, pars densa ferarum
tecta rapit siluas inventaque flumina monstrat.


Thus he spoke, crying, and he slackened the reins for the fleet and finally
he glides into the Euboean shores of Cumae.
They turn the prows to the sea; then with a firm tooth, the anchor grounded the ships
and the sterns encircled the shore. A handful of young men, burning, darts out
onto the Italian shore; some search for seeds of fire, hidden in
the veins of flints, others snatches the leaves, which are thick roofs of the wild beasts,
and show the rivers that have been found.

At pius Aeneas arces quibus altus Apollo
praesidet horrendaeque procul secreta Sibyllae, 10
antrum immane, petit, magnam cui mentem animumque
Delius inspirat vates aperitque futura.
Iam subeunt Triviae lucos atque aurea tecta.


But pious Aeneas seeks the citadels, over which high Apollo rules, and
the secret places of the terrible Sibyl , far off in the distance, a huge cave,
to whom Delian Apollo (the priest) inspires the great mind and spirit, and opens the future.
Soon they arrive at the groves of Trivia (Hecate ) and her golden roofs.

Daedalus, ut fama est, fugiens Minoia regna
praepetibus pennis ausus se credere caelo 15
insuetum per iter gelidas enauit ad Arctos,
Chalcidicaque leuis tandem super astitit arce.
Redditus his primum terris tibi, Phoebe, sacravit
remigium alarum posuitque immania templa.


Daedalus , as the report goes, fleeing the kingdom of Minos, having dared to entrust
himself to the sky on swift wings, through the unaccustomed road (the sky), sailed to
the cold Ursa Major, and finally he stood on the Chalcidian citadel on his wings.
Having been restored to these lands, he consecrated first to you, Apollo, the
oarage of his wings, and established huge temples.

In foribus letum Androgeo; tum pendere poenas 20
Cecropidae iussi (miserum!) septena quotannis
corpora natorum; stat ductis sortibus urna.
Contra elata mari respondet Cnosia tellus:


On the gateway is the death of Androgeos ; then the sons of Cecrops (Athenians)
were ordered to pay the penalty (alas!), seven bodies of their children every year;
the urn stands (there) with the lots having been drawn.
On the other side, lifted up from the sea, the Cnossion (Cretian) shore answers:

NOTE: Cecrops is a mythical/legendary king of Athens.

Hic crudelis amor tauri suppostaque furto
Pasiphae mixtumque genus prolesque biformis 25
Minotaurus inest, Veneris monimenta nefandae,
hic labor ille domus et inextricabilis error;
magnum reginae sed enim miseratus amorem
Daedalus ipse dolos tecti ambagesque resolvit,
caeca regens filo vestigia. Tu quoque magnam 30
partem opere in tanto, sineret dolor, Icare, haberes.


Here is ([depicted]) the cruel love of the bull and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasiphaë|Pasiphae]] placed underneath secretly
and the mixed race and the double-shaped offspring, the Minotaur,
the reminder of unspeakable lust, here [is] the downfall of that house,
and the wanderings that you cannot solve (the labrynth);
but Daedalus himself, having taken pity on the great love of the queen, disclosed
the secrets of the house and the wanderings, guiding his blind steps with a thread.
You also, Icarus, would be having a great part in this work, if the pain should allow.

Bis conatus erat casus effingere in auro,
bis patriae cecidere manus. Quin protinus omnia
perlegerent oculis, ni iam praemissus Achates
adforet atque una Phoebi Triviaeque sacerdos, 35
Deiphobe Glauci, fatur quae talia regi:
'Non hoc ista sibi tempus spectacula poscit;
nunc grege de intacto septem mactare iuvencos
praestiterit, totidem lectas ex more bidentis.'


Twice he had tried to fashion the misfortune out of gold,
twice the hands of the father fell. Indeed they would have read through
all with their eyes, unless Acates (who was) already appointed
was present and also the priestess of Apollo and Hecate,
Deiphobe, daughter of Glaucus, who spoke such things to the king:
"This time does not warrant these spectacles for you;
now it would be better to sacrifice seven young bulls from an untouched herd,
and (to sacrifice) as many two toothed (young) sheep the usual way."

Talibus adfata Aenean (nec sacra morantur 40
iussa viri) Teucros vocat alta in templa sacerdos.
Excisum Euboicae latus ingens rupis in antrum,
quo lati ducunt aditus centum, ostia centum,
unde ruunt totidem voces, responsa Sibyllae.


Having addressed Aeneas with such words (nor do the men delay
in the ordered rites), the priestess calls the Trojans into the high temple.
The huge side of a Euboean rock cut out into a cave,
where a hundred wide entrances lead, where a hundred mouths [lead],
where the same number of voices rush out the answers of the Sibyl.

Ventum erat ad limen, cum virgo 'Poscere fata 45
tempus' ait; 'deus ecce deus!' Cui talia fanti
ante fores subito non vultus, non color unus,
non comptae mansere comae; sed pectus anhelum,
et rabie fera corda tument, maiorque videri
nec mortale sonans, adflata est numine quando 50
iam propiore dei.


They came to the threshold, when the virgin said "It is time
to ask the fates; god look god!" To whom as she was speaking such things
before the threshold suddenly there was not the same face, nor the same color.
Her combed hair did not remain; but her heaving chest,
and wild heart were swelling with rage, and not sounding mortal
and greater in appearance, she is inflamed by the power of the god
as much as he is now nearer.

NOTE: "deus ecce deus!" -- the Sibyl apparently enters an altered state under Apollo's influence and sees a vision of the god approaching.

'Cessas in vota precesque,
Tros' ait 'Aenea? Cessas? neque enim ante dehiscent
attonitae magna ora domus.' Et talia fata
conticuit. Gelidus Teucris per dura cucurrit
ossa tremor, funditque preces rex pectore ab imo: 55


She says, "Do you delay in votive offerings and prayers,
Trojan Aeneas? Do you delay? Nor yet will the great face
of the thunderstruck house gape open." And having said such things,
she became silent. A cold shudder ran through the hard bones of the Trojans,
and the king (Aeneas) pours prayers from the depths of his chest:


'Phoebe, grauis Troiae semper miserate labores,
Dardana qui Paridis derexti tela manusque
corpus in Aeacidae, magnas obeuntia terras
tot maria intravi duce te penitusque repostas
Massylum gentis praetentaque Syrtibus arva: 60
iam tandem Italiae fugientis prendimus oras.


Phoebus (Apollo), you who have always taken pity at the grave struggles of Troy,
you who guided the Dardan weapons of Paris and his hands
atop the body of Achilles, I have crossed so many seas
which have bordered great lands, with you as leader, and the deeply secluded
peoples of Massylia (Libya) and the lands that stretch towards the Syrtis:
finally at last, we have grasped the shores of fleeing Italy.

Hac Troiana tenus fuerit fortuna secuta;
vos quoque Pergameae iam fas est parcere genti,
dique deaeque omnes, quibus obstitit Ilium et ingens
gloria Dardaniae. Tuque, o sanctissima vates, 65
praescia venturi, da (non indebita posco
regna meis fatis) Latio considere Teucros
errantisque deos agitataque numina Troiae.


Until now the Trojan fortune shall have been followed;
now, it is right for you, all the gods and goddesses, to spare
the people of Pergamum, for whom Troy and the huge glory of the Dardanian people
was an obstacle. And you also, O most sacred bard,
prescient of what is to come, give (that) the Trojans settle in Latium
(I ask for kingdoms not unowed to my fates)
and give that the wandering gods and the disturbed powers of Troy ([settle there]).

Tum Phoebo et Triviae solido de marmore templum
instituam festosque dies de nomine Phoebi. 70
te quoque magna manent regnis penetralia nostris:
hic ego namque tuas sortis arcanaque fata
dicta meae genti ponam, lectosque sacrabo,
alma, viros. Foliis tantum ne carmina manda,
ne turbata volent rapidis ludibria ventis; 75
ipsa canas oro.' Finem dedit ore loquendi.


Then I will establish a temple out of solid marble to Apollo and Trivia (Hecate/Diana)
and (establish) festival days in the name of Phoebus.
Great shrines remain in our kingdom for you also:
For here I shall place your divinations and the secret fates
dedicated for my race, and nurturing one, (I will dedicate) chosen men.
However, do not commit the songs to paper,
lest they should fly, in the rapid winds as stirred up playthings;
I pray that you sing yourself." He gave an end of speaking with his mouth.

NOTE: 69-70. Vergil here refers to the magnificent temple to Apollo built by Augustus on the Palantine, and to the Ludi Apollinares, a great Roman festival in honor of Apollo. These games, established during the 2nd Punic War, had fallen by the wayside in Vergil's time but were revived by Augustus in 17 B.C..

At Phoebi nondum patiens immanis in antro
bacchatur vates, magnum si pectore possit
excussisse deum; tanto magis ille fatigat
os rabidum, fera corda domans, fingitque premendo. 80
Ostia iamque domus patuere ingentia centum
sponte sua vatisque ferunt responsa per auras:


But the Sibyl, no longer enduring of huge Apollo, rages in the cave,
([seeking as]) if she were able to shake off the great god from her chest;
by so much more he tires out her rabid mouth, dominating her wild heart,
he molds ([her mouth]) by pressing on it. And already the hundred huge openings of the house
lie open spontaneously and they carry the responses of the bard through the air:


"O tandem magnis pelagi defuncte periclis
(sed terrae graviora manent), in regna Lauini
Dardanidae venient (mitte hanc de pectore curam), 85
sed non et venisse volent. Bella, horrida bella,
et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno.


"O you who have at last endured the great dangers of the sea
(but more serious ones remain on land), the Trojans shall come into
the kingdom of Lavinium (send away this care from your chest),
but they will wish that they had not even come. I discern wars, horrible wars,
and the Tiber foaming with much blood.


Non Simois tibi nec Xanthus nec Dorica castra
defuerint; alius Latio iam partus Achilles,
natus et ipse dea; nec Teucris addita Iuno 90
usquam aberit, cum tu supplex in rebus egenis
quas gentis Italum aut quas non oraueris urbes!
Causa mali tanti coniunx iterum hospita Teucris
externique iterum thalami.

Neither the Simois nor the Xanthus nor the Greek camps will be lacking;
another Achilles is already born in Latia, he himself born of a goddess;
nor shall Juno, who is ever-added (for the sake of harassing) to the Trojans, be absent,
when you on your knees in poverty, what peoples of Italy and what cities will you not pray to!
The cause of such a great evil is once again a spouse who is a host to the Trojans and also
once again foreign marriages.


Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito, 95
qua tua te Fortuna sinet. Via prima salutis
(quod minime reris) Graia pandetur ab urbe.'


You do not yield to evils, but go against them more daringly,
wherever your Fortune will allow you. The first path of safety
(which you think least) will be opened from a Greek city."


Talibus ex adyto dictis Cumaea Sibylla
horrendas canit ambages antroque remugit,
obscuris vera involvens: ea frena furenti 100
concutit et stimulos sub pectore vertit Apollo.
Ut primum cessit furor et rabida ora quierunt,
incipit Aeneas heros: 'Non ulla laborum,
o virgo, nova mi facies inopinave surgit;
omnia praecepi atque animo mecum ante peregi. 105


With such words, the Cumaen Sibyl sings the horrific wanderings
from the shrine, and she bellows, mixing truth with the obscure: Apollo shakes
the reins for the raging one (the Sibyl), and turns the whips under the chest.
As soon as the rage ceased and the mad mouths (Apollo's and the Sibyl's) calmed down,
Aeneas the hero began: "No new or unexpected face of struggles
rises for me, O virgin; I anticipated everything with my mind and
I have reviewed it all with myself beforehand.

Unum oro: quando hic inferni ianua regis
dicitur et tenebrosa palus Acheronte refuso,
ire ad conspectum cari genitoris et ora
contingat; doceas iter et sacra ostia pandas.


I pray one thing: since the door of the king of the underworld is said to be here,
and the dark swamp with Acheron pouring into it as well,
then may it befall me to go to the sight and the face of my beloved father;
may you teach the way and ([may you]) open the sacred entrances.

Illum ego per flammas et mille sequentia tela 110
eripui his umeris medioque ex hoste recepi;
ille meum comitatus iter maria omnia mecum
atque omnis pelagique minas caelique ferebat,
inualidus, viris ultra sortemque senectae.


I snatched him through the flames and through the thousand following spears
on these shoulders and I rescued him from the middle of the enemy;
he, accompanying my journey, endured all the seas with me
and all of the threats of the sea and the sky, although weak,
and beyond the lot of his power and old age.

Quin, ut te supplex peterem et tua limina adirem, 115
idem orans mandata dabat. Gnatique patrisque,
alma, precor, miserere (potes namque omnia, nec te
nequiquam lucis Hecate praefecit Auernis),


Indeed, the same one, praying, was giving [me] orders that I beseech
you on my knees and that I approach your threshold. Nourishing one, I pray,
take pity on both the son and the father (and for you can do everything,
nor did Hecate put you in charge of the Avernian groves in vain),


Si potuit manis accersere coniugis Orpheus
Threicia fretus cithara fidibusque canoris, 120
si fratrem Pollux alterna morte redemit
itque reditque viam totiens. Quid Thesea, magnum
quid memorem Alciden? Et mi genus ab Iove summo.'


If Orpheus was able to approach the shades of his spouse relying on his
Thracian lyre and his lyre of song, if Pollux redeemed his brother
with an alternating death, and so often went back and returned on that road.
Why should I recall Theseus , why should I recall great Hercules ?
Even for me, my race is from highest Jupiter."


Talibus orabat dictis arasque tenebat,
cum sic orsa loqui vates: 'Sate sanguine divum, 125
Tros Anchisiade, facilis descensus Auerno:
noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis;


He was praying these things with such words and was holding the alters,
when thus the bard began to speak: "[You,] sewn from the blood of the gods,
Trojan son of Anchises, the descent to Hades is easy:
([all]) night and day does the door of dark Hades lie open;


(So if you want to go to the underworld, all you gotta do is ask, and throw around names of famous people.)

Sed reuocare gradum superasque euadere ad auras,
hoc opus, hic labor est. Pauci, quos aequus amavit
Iuppiter aut ardens euexit ad aethera virtus, 130
dis geniti potuere. Tenent media omnia silvae,
Cocytusque sinu labens circumuenit atro.


But to retrace your step and to come out to the airs above,
this is the feat, this is the toil. Few, whom favorable Jupiter loved,
or whom burning virtue lifted through the air,
children of the gods were able. Forests hold all of the middle (of the place),
and Cocytus , sliding, surrounds everything with its black cloak.

Quod si tantus amor menti, si tanta cupido est
bis Stygios innare lacus, bis nigra videre
Tartara, et insano iuvat indulgere labori, 135
accipe quae peragenda prius. Latet arbore opaca
aureus et foliis et lento vimine ramus,
Iunoni infernae dictus sacer; hunc tegit omnis
lucus et obscuris claudunt convallibus umbrae.


But if there is such a love in your mind, if there is such a passion
to swim through the Stygian lakes twice and to twice see black Tartarus
and if it is pleasing [to you] to indulge in insane labor, then,
accept those things which must be accomplished beforehand. There lies hidden
a golden bough on a dark tree with leaves and a fine branch,
said to be sacred to the Juno of the underworld (Persephone); the whole grove
covers this and the shades enclose it in an obscure valley.

Sed non ante datur telluris operta subire 140
auricomos quam quis decerpserit arbore fetus.
Hoc sibi pulchra suum ferri Proserpina munus
instituit. Primo avulso non deficit alter
aureus, et simili frondescit virga metallo.


It is not given (allowed) to approach the arcane/obscure parts of the land (underworld)
until someone shall have plucked off the golden offspring from the tree.
Persephone established that this, her own gift, be carried to her.
The first one having been torn off (the first branch), another one does not fail (grows back),
golden, and the branch sprouts leaves with similar metal [gold].

Ergo alte vestiga oculis et rite repertum 145
carpe manu; namque ipse volens facilisque sequetur,
si te fata vocant; aliter non viribus ullis
vincere nec duro poteris conuellere ferro.
praeterea iacet exanimum tibi corpus amici
(heu nescis) totamque incestat funere classem, 150
dum consulta petis nostroque in limine pendes.


Therefore, investigate carefully/deeply with your eyes and
seize the thing which has been properly found [with ceremony]
with your hand; for the branch itself willingly and easily will follow,
if the fates call you; otherwise, with no power will you be able to conquer
it nor will you be able to tear it away with a hard sword (metonymy from iron).
Furthermore, there lies a dead body of a friend of yours (alas, you don't know [this]!)
and he defiled the whole fleet with his death,
while you are seeking answers and while you are hanging in our threshold.

NOTE: The Sibyl is saying that if it's not fate that Aeneas should go to the underworld, the bough will not tear from the branch.

Sedibus hunc refer ante suis et conde sepulcro.
Duc nigras pecudes; ea prima piacula sunto.
Sic demum lucos Stygis et regna invia vivis
aspicies.' Dixit, pressoque obmutuit ore. 155
Aeneas maesto defixus lumina vultu
ingreditur linquens antrum, caecosque volutat
eventus animo secum. Cui fidus Achates
it comes et paribus curis vestigia figit.


Bring this one (dead body) back to his seats (home) and bury him in a tomb before (you go to the underworld).
Bring black sheep, these shall be the first atonement.
Thus at last you shall see the groves of Styx and the kingdoms trackless for the living."
So she spoke, and she grows silent with her mouth closed.
Aeneas, having fixed his eyes downward, with a sad face
steps on/walks on, leaving the cave, and he turns the blind events in his mind privately.
To whom (him) trusty Achates goes as a comrade and fixes his footsteps with equal cares.


Multa inter sese vario sermone serebant, 160
quem socium exanimum vates, quod corpus humandum
diceret. Atque illi Misenum in litore sicco,
ut venere, vident indigna morte peremptum,
Misenum Aeoliden, quo non praestantior alter
aere ciere viros Martemque accendere cantu. 165


They discussed much between themselves with different opinions,
what dead ally or what body to be buried [that] the bard was talking about.
And they saw, when they came, Misenus on the dry shore,
who had been destroyed by an unworthy death.
Misenus the son of Aeolus, than whom there was no one else more outstanding
at summoning men by means of the bronze or kindling up Mars by means of song.


Hectoris hic magni fuerat comes, Hectora circum
et lituo pugnas insignis obibat et hasta.
Postquam illum vita victor spoliavit Achilles,
Dardanio Aeneae sese fortissimus heros
addiderat socium, non inferiora secutus.
170


This one had been a comrade of great Hector, and around Hector
he met the battles outstanding in both his trumpet and his spear.
After the victorious Achilles robbed him (Hector) of life,
this bravest hero had added himself as a comrade to Dardanian Aeneas
having follwed things that were not inferior.


Sed tum, forte cava dum personat aequora concha,
demens, et cantu vocat in certamina divos,
aemulus exceptum Triton, si credere dignum est,
inter saxa virum spumosa immerserat unda.


But then, by chance while he made the ocean resound with his hollow sea-shell,
out of his mind, and he calls into a contest the gods with his song,
Triton , jealous, if it is worthy to believe,
has immersed the man from the frothing waves into the rocks.


Ergo omnes magno circum clamore fremebant, 175
praecipue pius Aeneas. Tum iussa Sibyllae,
haud mora, festinant flentes aramque sepulcri
congerere arboribus caeloque educere certant.
Itur in antiquam silvam, stabula alta ferarum;
procumbunt piceae, sonat icta securibus ilex 180
fraxineaeque trabes cuneis et fissile robur
scinditur, advolvunt ingentis montibus ornos.


And so, all were roaring around with great shouts,
Especially pious Aeneas. Then [with] no delay, they hurry,
weeping, and compete to bring together the altar of the tomb
from the trees, and struggle to lead it up to the sky, [as per/in accordance with the] orders of the Sibyl.
They go into the ancient forest, the deep haunts of beasts;
The spruces fall down, the holm-oak struck by an axe rings out
and the ash beams and the easily split oak is split by wedges
and they (the men) roll down the huge ash trees from the mountains.


Nec non Aeneas opera inter talia primus
hortatur socios paribusque accingitur armis.
atque haec ipse suo tristi cum corde volutat 185
aspectans silvam immensam, et sic forte precatur:
'Si nunc se nobis ille aureus arbore ramus
ostendat nemore in tanto! Quando omnia vere
heu nimium de te vates, Misene, locuta est.'


And also Aeneas, first among such works,
urges his friends and girds himself with equal arms.
And he himself turns these things with his own sad heart,
beholding the immense forest, and thus he prays by chance:
"If only that golden branch should show itself now to us on its tree
in such a grove! Since the bard (Sibyl) spoke all things
truly, all too truly concerning you, Misenus."


Vix ea fatus erat, geminae cum forte columbae 190
ipsa sub ora viri caelo venere volantes,
et viridi sedere solo. Tum maximus heros
maternas agnouit auis laetusque precatur:
'Este duces, o, si qua via est, cursumque per auras
derigite in lucos ubi pinguem dives opacat 195
ramus humum. Tuque, o, dubiis ne defice rebus,
diva parens.' Sic effatus vestigia pressit
obseruans quae signa ferant, quo tendere pergant.


Barely had he spoken this, when by chance twin doves
themselves came flying in front of the face of the man, from the sky
and sat on on a green ground. Then the great hero
recognized the maternal birds and happily prayed:
"Be leaders, O, if there is a path, and direct your step through the airs
into the groves, where the rich branch obscures the fertile soil
And you, my holy parent, do not be deficient
in doubtful circumstances." Thus having spoken, he presses his tracks
looking what signs they are bringing, and where they begin to head.

Pascentes illae tantum prodire volando
quantum acie possent oculi seruare sequentum. 200
Inde ubi venere ad fauces graue olentis Auerni,
tollunt se celeres liquidumque per aera lapsae
sedibus optatis gemina super arbore sidunt,
discolor unde auri per ramos aura refulsit.


They, feeding, advance so much in their flights
as much as the eyes of the followers are able to observe
with their line of sight. From here, when they have come to the crags
of ill-smelling Avernus, the lift themselves swiftly and gliding through liquid air
they sit above a twinned tree on their chosen realm (seat), where, through the branches of gold,
the differently colored breeze shines.

Quale solet silvis brumali frigore viscum 205
fronde virere nova, quod non sua seminat arbos,
et croceo fetu teretis circumdare truncos,
talis erat species auri frondentis opaca
ilice, sic leni crepitabat brattea vento.
Corripit Aeneas extemplo avidusque refringit
210
cunctantem, et vatis portat sub tecta Sibyllae.

Just as in the wintry frost, the mistle-toe is accustomed to
become green with a new leaf (leaves) in the woods,
which its own tree does not plant/nourish (epiphytically ), and is accustomed to
surround the slender trunks with its yellow offpsring - such was the appearance of the gold
sprouting on the dark holm-oak, thus the sheet (of gold) creaked in the gentle breeze.
Aeneas rapidly snatches it up and greedily breaks it off, though it was delaying,
and the brings it under the roof of the prophet Sibyl.