Aeneid Book 9, lines 54 - 66

Turnus the wolf

by Virgil

When Turnus, the chief of the Rutuli, receives a message from his protectress, the Goddess Juno, that Aeneas is far away from his men seeking alliances, he decides to march straight away on the camp that the Trojans have built and fortified. He expects a pitched battle, but Aeneas has instructed the Trojans to stay on the defensive if attacked in his absence. When they retreat to their camp and close the gates, Turnus is beside himself.

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clamorem excipiunt socii fremituque sequuntur
horrisono; Teucrum mirantur inertia corda,
non aequo dare se campo, non obvia ferre
arma viros, sed castra fovere. huc turbidus atque huc
lustrat equo muros aditumque per avia quaerit.
ac veluti pleno lupus insidiatus ovili
cum fremit ad caulas ventos perpessus et imbris
nocte super media; tuti sub matribus agni
balatum exercent, ille asper et improbus ira
saevit in absentis; collecta fatigat edendi
ex longo rabies et siccae sanguine fauces:
haud aliter Rutulo muros et castra tuenti
ignescunt irae, duris dolor ossibus ardet.

The allies take up the cry, and press on with a fearsome
racket, amazed at the Teucrians’ lack of pluck,
in not engaging in the open or taking up arms like men,
but keeping to the camp. Seething, he scours
the defences up and down on horseback,
seeking some obscure way in. But he is like
a wolf with designs on a packed sheepfold who, beset
by winds and rain, at midnight roars at every chink;
the lambs bleat, safe under their dams, but he, agonised
and beside himself with anger, fumes at the separation,
gnawed by his chronic hunger and the lack of blood
on his maw; just so the anger kindles in the Rutulian
looking on, and anguish smoulders in his hard bones.

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