2 Twin monsters there are, called the Dirae by their name, whom with infernal Megaera the dead of night bore at one single birth, and wreathed them in like serpent coils, and clothed them in windy wings.
3 Three coils of frozen rain, three of watery mist they had enwrought in it, three of ruddy fire and winged south wind; now they were mingling in their work the awful splendours, the sound and terror, and the angry pursuing flames.
4 Sliding between her raiment and smooth breasts, it coils without touch, and instils its viperous breath unseen; the great serpent turns into the twisted gold about her neck, turns into the long ribbon of her chaplet, inweaves her hair, and winds slippery over her body.
5 But not thereby do the flames of the burning lay down their unconquered strength; under the wet oak the seams are alive, spouting slow coils of smoke; the creeping heat devours the hulls, and the destroyer takes deep hold of all: nor does the heroes' strength avail nor the floods they pour in.
6 And first the serpents twine in their double embrace his two little children, and bite deep in their wretched limbs; then him likewise, as he comes up to help with arms in his hand, they seize and fasten in their enormous coils; and now twice clasping his waist, twice encircling his neck with their scaly bodies, they tower head and neck above him.
7 Thus had he spoken; when from beneath the sanctuary a snake slid out in seven vast coils and sevenfold slippery spires, quietly circling the grave and gliding from altar to altar, his green chequered body and the spotted lustre of his scales ablaze with gold, as the bow in the cloud darts a thousand changing dyes athwart the sun: Aeneas stood amazed at the sight.