Aeneid Book 7, Lines 511 - 528

The Fury Allecto blows the alarm

by Virgil

In another development engineered by Juno and the Fury Allecto to set the Italians and Aeneas’s Trojans at odds, Aeneas’s son Iulus has in his ignorance unwisely shot a beloved pet stag belonging to King Latinus’s steward and his daughter. They are outraged: now the Fury Allecto herself calls the country people to arms with a superhumanly powerful horn-blast. Aeneas’s prospects of peaceful settlement and an alliance by marriage to King Latinus are beginning to recede rapidly.

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At saeva e speculis tempus dea nacta nocendi
ardua tecta petit stabuli et de culmine summo
pastorale canit signum cornuque recurvo
Tartaream intendit vocem, qua protinus omne
contremuit nemus et silvae insonuere profundae;
audiit et Triviae longe lacus, audiit amnis
sulfurea Nar albus aqua fontesque Velini,
et trepidae matres pressere ad pectora natos.
tum vero ad vocem celeres, qua bucina signum
dira dedit, raptis concurrunt undique telis
indomiti agricolae; nec non et Troia pubes
Ascanio auxilium castris effundit apertis.
direxere acies. non iam certamine agresti,
stipitibus duris agitur sudibusve praeustis,
sed ferro ancipiti decernunt atraque late
horrescit strictis seges ensibus aeraque fulgent
sole lacessita et lucem sub nubila iactant.

Seeing from her vantage the time for mischief come,
the savage Goddess lights on the steep stable roof, and
right at the top sounds the shepherds’ alarm, shrills
a hellish note on the curved horn, at which at once
the whole grove shakes and the woods ring to their
very roots; the lake of Trivia heard far away, river Nar,
white with sulphurous water, heard, and the springs of Velinus: fearful mothers held their sons to their breast.
Swiftly, from all sides, snatching up weapons, the fearless
countryfolk converge on the note, where the dire horn
sounded the alarm: the youth of Troy, too, pours
to Ascanius’s aid through the camp’s open gates.
Both formed their lines. This was no rustic brawl,
fought with stout sticks and fire-hardened stakes;
they settle things with two-edged steel, and a dark
crop of drawn swords bristles wide: challenged by the sun,
bronze shines and flings its light to the clouds above.


More Poems by Virgil

  1. Aeneas tours the site of Rome
  2. Turnus is lured away from battle
  3. Hector visits Aeneas in a dream
  4. A Fury rouses Turnus to war
  5. Aeneas joins the fray
  6. New allies for Aeneas
  7. Aeneas finds Dido among the shades
  8. The death of Pallas
  9. Turnus at bay
  10. The Trojans reach Carthage
  11. Palinurus the helmsman is lost
  12. The death of Priam
  13. Virgil begins the Georgics
  14. Storm at sea!
  15. Vulcan’s forge
  16. The farmer’s starry calendar
  17. The Syrian hostess
  18. Aeneas comes to the Hell of Tartarus
  19. Aeneas rescues his Father Anchises
  20. King Latinus grants the Trojans’ request
  21. Aeneas’s vision of Augustus
  22. Souls awaiting punishment in Tartarus, and the crimes that brought them there.
  23. How Aeneas will know the site of his city
  24. Juno is reconciled
  25. Dido falls in love
  26. Jupiter’s prophecy
  27. The infant Camilla
  28. The Trojans prepare to set sail from Carthage
  29. Aristaeus’s bees
  30. Juno throws open the gates of war
  31. Omens for Princess Lavinia
  32. Laocoon warns against the Trojan horse
  33. Fire strikes Aeneas’s fleet
  34. Rumour
  35. Aeneas reaches the Elysian Fields
  36. Virgil’s perils on the sea
  37. The death of Euryalus and Nisus
  38. Love is the same for all
  39. The farmer’s happy lot
  40. The journey to Hades begins
  41. Aeneas saves his son and father, but at a cost
  42. Anchises’s ghost invites Aeneas to visit the underworld
  43. Turnus the wolf
  44. Help for Father Aeneas from Father Tiber
  45. Mourning for Pallas
  46. The natural history of bees
  47. Mercury’s journey to Carthage
  48. Virgil’s poetic temple to Caesar
  49. Signs of bad weather
  50. Virgil predicts a forthcoming birth and a new golden age
  51. More from Virgil’s farming Utopia
  52. The portals of sleep
  53. Catastrophe for Rome?
  54. In King Latinus’s hall
  55. King Mezentius meets his match
  56. Laocoon and the snakes
  57. Aeneas’s oath
  58. The death of Dido.
  59. Aeneas arrives in Italy
  60. The Aeneid begins
  61. Dido’s release
  62. Sea-nymphs
  63. The Harpy’s prophecy
  64. The Trojan Horse enters the city
  65. Rites for the allies’ dead
  66. Aeneas’s ships are transformed
  67. Aeneas is wounded
  68. Aeneas sees Marcellus, Augustus’s tragic heir
  69. Dido and Aeneas: Hell hath no fury …
  70. Aeneas prepares to tell Dido his story
  71. Charon, the ferryman
  72. Dido and Aeneas: royal hunt and royal affair
  73. Aeneas learns the way to the underworld