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 the
Velinus: fearful mothers clutched babies 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.