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Virgil - Pallas

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Latin Set Text – Virgil The Aeneid
1-4. Meanwhile, the rising Dawn left the Ocean: Although his worries urge him to give time to
burying his companions and his mind is troubled by thoughts of death, Aeneas the victor was
fulfilling the vows of the gods at first light.
5-11. He set the huge oak-tree upright, with its branches chopped on all sides, on a mound, and he
decorated it in gleaming armour. The spoils of the leader Mezentius, as a trophy to you, o great one,
o god of war. He fastens the crest dripping with blood, and the man’s broken spear, and the
breastplate attacked and pierced in twelve places, and he binds the bronze-shield to the left side,
and he suspends the ivory-hilted sword from its neck.
12-16. Then he encouraged the rejoicing comrades (for all of the tightly packed crowd of leaders
was surrounding him) beginning thus ‘The greatest deed has been accomplished, men, let all fear be
absent in respect to what remains. These are the spoils and the first fruits of war, taken from an
arrogant king, this is Mezentius, fashioned by my hands.
17-23. Now we must make a journey to the king and the Latin walls. Prepare your weapons, with
confidence and hope anticipate the war, lest any delay impede us unawares, when at first the gods
above should beckon us to pull up our standards and lead our young adults out of the camp, or lest
any wavering purpose delay us through fear. Meanwhile let us commit our allies and their unburied
bodies to the earth, which is the only honour down in the depths of the underworld.
24-28. ‘Go’ He says “Honour with the last rites these outstanding spirits, who have procured the
homeland for us with their own blood, and first let Pallas be sent to Evander’s mourning city, whom,
not lacking in courage, a dismal day has stolen and engulfed in bitter death.
29-41. Thus he spoke lamenting and retraced his steps to the entrance where the lifeless body of
Pallas was laid out, watched over by old Acoetes, who had been the armour-bearer of the Arcadian
Evander but then under less favourable auspices, set out as the guardian for his dear companion. All
the group of servants and the crowd of Trojans were standing around, and the Trojan women,
according to custom, let down their hair in mourning. When, indeed, Aeneas carried himself into the
tall entrance they raised a huge cry to the heavens, with their breasts having been beaten, the
palace resounded with sorrowful lamentation. When he saw the snowy-white face and head of
Pallas propped up and the wound gaping open his smooth chest by the Ausonian spear, thus he
spoke, tears arising.
42-54. ‘Unhappy child,’ he said ‘when she came, happy, was it Fortune who begrudged you to me,
lest you would see our kingdom, to ride, as a victor, to your father’s home? This was not the promise
I, upon leaving, had given your father, Evander, about you, when he, having embraced me as I left,
sent me to win a great empire, and warned me, scared, that the enemy were warlike, a tough race, a
battle. And now he indeed, completely deceived by empty hopes, is perhaps making vows and piling
the altars high with gifts, while we sadly accompany the dead young man in vain honour, and he now
owes no debt to any gods. Unhappy one, you will see the cruel funeral of your son! Is this our return
and expected triumph?
55-66. Is this what my great promise amounted to? Yet, Evander, you will not see him struck down
with shameful wounds, nor be a father praying for dreadful death, accursed because your son came
home alive. Alas, how great was the protector, who is lost to you Ausonia, and to your Iulus.’ When
he had wept over these things, he ordered the wretched body to be raised, and he sent a thousand
men, chosen from the whole army to attend the last rites and to share the father’s tears, a meagre
solace for a huge grief, but owed to a miserable father. Others, without delay, weave the frame of a
bier both with twigs of arbutus wood and twigs of oak, and shade the constructed beds with a
canopy of foliage.
67-75. Here they place the young man, high up on the rustic bed, like a flower plucked by a
maiden’s thumb either a tender violet or a drooping hyacinth for which neither yet its sheen nor still
its beauty have receded and no more does mother earth nourish and supply strength. Then Aeneas
brought out twin robes, rigid with gold and purple, which Sidonian Dido had once made herself with
her own hands, joyful in her labours, and with fine gold had pulled out the threads.
76-84. Sorrowfully, he draped one of these on the young man as a final honour, and he covered
the hair, about to be burned with its cloth, and in addition he heaps up many spoils from the battle
fought against the people of Laurentum and he ordered the spoils to be brought out into a long line;
he adds the horses and weapons he had stripped from the enemy. And he had bound behind their
back the hands of those, who he would send as offerings to the spirits of the underworld, intending
to sprinkle with their slain blood and he orders the leaders themselves to carry the tree trunks
draped with the enemy’s’ weapons and the enemy’s names be affixed to the trees.
85-87. Acoetes is lead along, unhappy and worn out by old age. Now defiling his chest with his
fists, now defiling his face with his nails. He is stretched out and thrown forward, with his whole
body on the ground.
88-93. And they lead the chariots bespattered with Rutulian blood. Behind these, the war horse
Aethon, his trapping laid aside, goes weeping and with large tear drops, wets his face. Some carry
Pallas’ spear and helmet, for Turnus victoriously held the rest. Then the mournful phalanx and the
Teucrians follow and all the Tyrrenians and Arcadians with their weapons inverted.
94-99. After the whole line of his comrades had led the way a good distance, Aeneas halted and
with a deep sigh added these words ‘As for us, hence to other tears for the same rough fates of
warfare call us. Hail for ever, I say, o very great Pallas, and forever farewell!’ And speaking out no
more, unto the high walls did he head, and his footsteps into the camp did he bring.
100-119. And now the ambassadors for Laurentum were present, overshadowed by olive
branches and asking for permission; they asked Aeneas to return the bodies to them, which, laid low
by the sword, were lying through the camp, and to allow them to be placed under a mound of earth;
they denied that there would be any struggle with victims and those deprived of the upper world; let
him spare those who once gave them hospitality and men once called father-in-law. Good Aeneas,
since they were requesting things that could not be refused, granted them permission and to his
words he added this in addition: ‘Latins, what cruel fortune involved you in such a war that you shun
us as friends? Are you asking for peace for the dead and those killed in battle? I for my part would
have wished to grant peace also to the living. I would not have come had fate not granted me a
place for home, nor do I wage war with the tribe, the king left our ties of friendship and believed
Turnus’ army was more powerful. It would have been fairer for Turnus to expose himself to this
death. If he prepared to end the war by force of arms, and to defeat the Trojans, it was his duty to
join battle with me with these weapons. He, who the god or his right hand had given life, would have
survived. Now go and light the pyre beneath your poor citizens.’
120-132.
Aeneas had spoken. Those men were struck dumb in silence, and turning around, they
kept their eyes and faces on one another. Then, Drances, an elderly man and one in his hatred and
accusations ever hostile to the youth Turnus, this in turn with his mouth responds with these
undertakings; ‘O great in fame, greater still in arms, o man of troy with what praises might I raise
thee level to the heavens. Is it thy justice first I should admire thee for or thy exertions in war? We
for our part will gratefully report these words to our native city, and thee, if somehow Fortune
should grant a way, we will unite under Latinus. Let Turnus seek treaties for himself. Nay even it will
be pleasing to raise up the fated masses of the walls and to carry the Trojan rocks on our shoulders.
He had spoken these words and with one mouth everyone was murmuring the same thing.
133-151. They made an agreement for twelve days, and under the protection of a truce, the
Teucrians and Latins wandered together, in safety, through the wooded hills. The tall ash rang to the
two-edged iron, they felled pines towering to the stars, and they never ceased splitting the oaks and
fragrant cedars, with wedges nor do they cease to transport mountain ashes on groaning carts.
And now Rumour in her flight filled Evander’s ears, and Evander’s home and walls, bringing news of
such mighty grief, who reported that Pallas was victorious to Latium a moment ago. The Arcadians
ran to the gates, and following an ancient custom, seized funeral torches; the road shines brightly
with a long line of flames, and this parted the fields widely. The approaching troop of Phyrgyians
joined the throng of mourners. After the mothers saw them nearing their houses, they set the
mournful city ablaze with the cries. But no force is able to hold Evander, and he ran into their midst,
once the bier was set down, he leant over Pallas’ body, clinging to it with tears and groans, until he
spoke at last, grief scarcely allowing a path for his voice.
152-181. ‘O Pallas, this was not the promise you had given to my plea that you should more
cautiously enter this savage war. I knew full well how much influence new glory in arms and very
sweet honour in a first conflict could have. Alas for the first victory of the young man and for the
hard first attempts in a war so near and for my vows and prayers heeded by none of the gods. And
you, o most sacred wife, are fortunate in your death nor are you kept alive to see this grief! On the
contrary, I have outlived my destined life-span, so that I, the father, was left surviving. The Rutulians
should have overwhelmed me, having gone with the allied arms of the Trojans, with their spears. For
I myself would have given my life and then the procession would be bringing me, not Pallas, back
home. Nor would I wish to blame you, Trojans, nor our treaty, nor the right hands which we joined in
guest friendship: that fate was due in our old age. But if a premature death awaited my son, it will
please me that he fell leading the Trojans into Latium, having cut down the Volsci soldier
beforehand. Nay, I would think you worthy of no other funeral, Pallas, than the one dutiful Aeneas
and the mighty Phyrgians and the Tyrrhenian leader, and the whole army of Tyrrhenians give you.
They bring great trophies of those whom you killed; Turnus, you too would be standing here, a vast
tree-trunk hung with weapons, if his age were the same and if the strength from his years had been
the same. But why in my unhappiness do I keep the Trojans from war? Go and remember to take
this message to your king: The fact that I prolong my life, hateful, now Pallas has been killed, your
right hand is the just cause, which you see owes the death of Turnus to both father and son. This
field alone is open to you for your merits and good fortune. I do not seek life’s joys - nor would that
be right - but to deliver joy to my son in the deepest Shades below.
182-187. Meanwhile Dawn had brought out her restorative light on wretched mortals, bringing
back work and toil. Now father Aeneas, now Tarchon on the curved shore, had built pyres. Each
brought the bodies of their people here, according to ancient custom, and as the gloomy fires were
lit beneath, the sky is filled to a great height with smoke.
188-196. They circled the blazing pyres three times, girded in gleaming armour, they circled the
mournful funeral fire three times on horseback, and uttered wailing cries. The earth is spattered
with tears and the armour is sprinkled with tears; the clamour of men and the blare of trumpets
goes up to the heavens. At this point some flung spoils, stripped from the slain Latins, onto the fire;
helmets and handsome swords and bridles and fervid wheels; others fling familiar tributes, namely
their own shields and unfortunate weapons.
197-202. Many head of cattle were sacrificed round these, to Death. The cut the throats of
bristling boars and flocks culled from the whole country, over the flames. Then they watched their
comrades burn, all along the shore, and kept watch over the half-burnt pyres, and could not tear
themselves away till dew-wet night turned the sky round, inset with shining stars.
203-209. Nonetheless the wretched Latins built countless pyres in another part. The bury part of
the many bodies of men in the earth, part, having been carried away, they lift into the neighbouring
fields and send them back to the city. They burnt the rest, a huge heap of confused slaughter,
without count and without honour. Then the desolate fields on every side gleam in rivalry with thick
fires.
210-219. The third day had flung back the icy shadow from the sky: grieving, they levelled the
bones, mixed with deep ash, from the pyres, and loaded them with a warm mound of earth.
Meanwhile, an exceptional clamour and the greatest part of their long grief [rose] in the town, in the
city of super-rich Latinus. Here mothers and unhappy daughters-in-law, here the loving hearts of
grieving sisters, and boys bereaved of their fathers, curse the dreadful war, and the marriage of
Turnus, and they order him to fight it out with armour and blade, he who asks for himself the
kingdom of Italy and the foremost honours.
220-224. Cruel Drances adds to this and insists that Turnus alone is summoned, that he alone is
challenged to the contest. At the same time the views of many are against it, and for Turnus, the
Queen’s noble name protects him, his great fame, through the victories he has won, supports the
hero.
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