Turbo

turbo

His ubi nequiquam dictis experta Latinum
contra stare videt, penitusque in viscera lapsum
serpentis furiale malum totamque pererrat,
tum vero infelix, ingentibus excita monstris,
immensam sine more furit lymphata per urbem.
ceu quondam torto volitans sub verbere turbo,
quem pueri magno in gyro vacua atria circum
intenti ludo exercent (ille actus habena
curvatis fertur spatiis; stupet inscia supra
impubesque manus, mirata volubile buxum;
dant animos plagae), non cursu segnior illo
per medias urbes agitur populosque ferocis.
quin etiam in silvas, simulato numine Bacchi,
maius adorta nefas maioremque orsa furorem,
evolat et natam frondosis montibus abdit,
quo thalamum eripiat Teucris taedasque moretur,
euhoe Bacche fremens, solum te virgine dignum
vociferans; etenim mollis tibi sumere thyrsos,
te lustrare choro, sacrum tibi pascere crinem.
(Vergil, Aen. 7.373-391)

When she sees Latinus steeling himself against her,
when the serpent’s crazing venom has sunk into her flesh,
the fever raging through her entire body, then indeed
the unlucky queen, whipped insane by ghastly horrors,
raves in her frenzy all throughout the city.
Wild as a top, spinning under a twisted whip
when boys, obsessed with their play, drive it round
an empty court, the whip spinning it round in bigger rings
and the boys hovering over it, spellbound, wonderstruck –
the boxwood whirling, whip-strokes lashing it into life –
swift as a top Amata whirls through the midst of cities,
people fierce in arms. She even darts into forests,
feigning she’s in the grip of Bacchus’ power,
daring a greater outrage, rising to greater fury,
hiding her daughter deep in the mountains’ leafy woods
to rob the Trojans of marriage, delay the marriage torch.
“Bacchus, hail!” she shouts. “You alone,” she cries,
“you deserve the virgin! For you, I say, she lifts
the thyrsus twined with ivy, dancing in your honor,
letting her hair grow long, your sacred locks!”
(tr. Robert Fagles)

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