Turnus, who sped with flying pace before
His tardy troops, a chosen band with him
Of twenty horsemen, unforeseen approached.
On a white-spotted Thracian steed he rode;
His helmet is of gold, with flaming crest,
“And which of you, O youths,” he cries, “with me
Will first attack the foe? Behold!” With that
He hurled a javelin through the air; and thus
Began the battle; then across the field
“One half of their success is lost to them:
The land is in our hands. The Italians tribes
Bring their armed thousands. They frighten me not,
These answers of the gods, whatever they be,
The Phrygians boast. Enough that it was given
To Venus and the Fates, that they should reach
The Ausonian shores. I also have my fate
Allotted, to destroy the accursed race,
Now that my bride is torn from me.”
But nonetheless he presses on, and whirls
His flashing sword, till in the clamoring throat
Of the Rutulian chief he plunged the steel,
And, dying, dealt a death-blow to his foe.
Then on the lifeless body of his friend
He throws himself, pierced through with many a wound,
And there, at last in placid death he slept.
You Muses, and your chief, Calliope!
Inspire me now to sing what deeds of death
Were done that day by Turnus; what brave souls
Were sent to Orcus; and unfold with me
The war’s vast outlines. For you, O goddesses,
Bear all in mind, and can rehearse them all.
Then, dripping from his limbs
Black sweat-drop run in streams; nor can he breathe.
Exhausted, panting, heaves his weary frame.
Until at last with a great bound he leapt,
With all his armor on, into the stream.
The yellow flood received and bore him up
Upon its gentle waves, and washed away
The stains of slaughter from his limbs; and back,
Rejoicing, to his friends returned the chief.