Aeneid Book VII

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Aeneid VII, 475- 510

………………………………….. Then, satisfied
With what she had done to stir up Turnus and
All of his people, she flew on dusky wings
To where the Trojans were. There, by the shore,
Lovely Iulus was setting out hunting traps,
And there the Fury roused up the hunting dogs ,
Exciting them by means of the scent of a stag
She made their noses know about and be
Made rabid by. This was the cause of how
The hearts of those in the fields were inflamed by war.
The stag they scented was a magnificent creature,
Beautiful to look at, his head adorned
With a great panoply of curved forked antlers.
He had, when a foundling fawn, been brought to their home
By the little sons of Tyrrhus and been cared for
By Silvia, their sister, who petted it,
And combed its hair, and fed it with milk, and bathed it
In the pure clear waters of a fountain, and
Garlanded its horns with pretty ribbons,
So, utterly accustomed to his mistress,
And tamed, the stag would wander in the fields
By day, just as he would, and then at night
He’d come back home and enter into the house,
No matter how late it was, and be at peace there.
But Ascanius’ dogs discovered the wandering stag
Where sometimes it liked to swim, in the heat of the day,
Cooling itself in the river’s downstream flowing,
And sometimes resting itself on the verdant bank;
And little Ascanius, eager to be the best
Hunter among his fellows, pointed his arrow,
And drew back to tightness the strings of his bending bow,
And let it go, and the goddess corrected the arrow’s
Wobbling flight and with a great hissing sound
It struck the animal’s flank and went into its belly.
The wounded creature fled for refuge under
The roof of the house, the house that it knew so well,
And sought its familiar stall, where it lay down,
Beseechingly weeping and weeping and calling out.
The house was filled with its pitiful woeful noise,
And Silvia, when she saw it and saw what had happened ,
Cried out for help, beating her arms with her hands
In her distress and calling the farmers, who
As if spontaneously and unasked for (for
The fiend already was there in the silent woods),
Came running and shouting, with clubs and poles and knot-holed
Limbs of trees shaped into weapons. Rage made them
Find for weapons whatever there was they could,
And Pyrrhus, who had, with a wedge, been cleaving the trunk
Of an oak into fours, his great chest heaving, shouted
With fury for all of his shepherds, and took up an axe.