1 I know the prints of the ancient flame.
2 I descend, and under a god's guidance clear my way between foe and flame; weapons give ground before me, and flames retire.
3 With these words she made the fire of love flame up in her spirit, put hope in her wavering soul, and let honour slip away.
4 At once Achates struck a spark from the flint and caught the fire on leaves, and laying dry fuel round kindled it into flame.
5 Wherefore I counsel to prevent her wiles and circle the queen with flame, that, unalterable by any deity, she may be held fast to me by passionate love for Aeneas.
6 For the flying reed blazed out amid the swimming clouds, traced its path in flame, and burned away on the light winds; even as often stars shooting from their sphere draw a train athwart the sky.
7 The warrior band leaps forth eagerly on the Hesperian shore; some seek the seeds of flame hidden in veins of flint, some scour the woods, the thick coverts of wild beasts, and find and shew the streams.
8 Scarcely was the image set in the camp; flame shot sparkling from its lifted eyes, and salt sweat started over its body; thrice, wonderful to tell, it leapt from the ground with shield and spear quivering.
9 Meanwhile Aeneas and his fleet in unwavering track now held mid passage, and cleft the waves that blackened under the North, looking back on the city that even now gleams with hapless Elissa's funeral flame.
10 The others set to the spoil they are to feast upon, tear chine from ribs and lay bare the flesh; some cut it into pieces and pierce it still quivering with spits; others plant cauldrons on the beach and feed them with flame.
11 For though there is no name or fame in a woman's punishment, nor honour in the victory, yet shall I have praise in quenching a guilty life and exacting a just recompense; and it will be good to fill my soul with the flame of vengeance, and satisfy the ashes of my people.
12 And monstrous creatures besides, many and diverse, keep covert at the gates, Centaurs and twy-shaped Scyllas, and the hundredfold Briareus, and the beast of Lerna hissing horribly, and the Chimaera armed with flame, Gorgons and Harpies, and the body of the triform shade.
13 Rumour is that this mass weighs down the body of Enceladus, half-consumed by the thunderbolt, and mighty Aetna laid over him suspires the flame that bursts from her furnaces; and so often as he changes his weary side, all Trinacria shudders and moans, veiling the sky in smoke.
14 When the fated horse leapt down on the steep towers of Troy, bearing armed infantry for the burden of its womb, she, in feigned procession, led round our Phrygian women with Bacchic cries; herself she upreared a mighty flame amid them, and called the Grecians out of the fortress height.
15 Then good Aeneas rent away the raiment from his shoulders and called the gods to aid, stretching forth his hands: 'Jupiter omnipotent, if thou hatest not Troy yet wholly to her last man, if thine ancient pity looks at all on human woes, now, O Lord, grant our fleet to escape the flame, and rescue from doom the slender Teucrian estate.'
16 After the embers sank in and the flame died away, they soaked with wine the remnant of thirsty ashes, and Corynaeus gathered the bones and shut them in an urn of brass; and he too thrice encircled his comrades with fresh water, and cleansed them with light spray sprinkled from a bough of fruitful olive, and spoke the last words of all.
17 I shake myself from sleep and mount over the sloping roof, and stand there with ears attent: even as when flame catches a corn-field while south winds are furious, or the racing torrent of a mountain stream sweeps the fields, sweeps the smiling crops and labours of the oxen, and hurls the forest with it headlong; the shepherd in witless amaze hears the roar from the cliff-top.
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