Acui

Ne foret hic* igitur mortali semine cretus,
ille** deus faciendus erat; quod ut aurea vidit
Aeneae genetrix, vidit quoque triste parari
pontifici letum et coniurata arma moveri,
palluit et cunctis, ut cuique erat obvia, divis
‘adspice,’ dicebat ‘quanta mihi mole parentur
insidiae, quantaque caput cum fraude petatur,
quod de Dardanio solum mihi restat Iulo.
solane semper ero iustis exercita curis,
quam modo Tydidae Calydonia vulneret hasta,
nunc male defensae confundant moenia Troiae,
quae videam natum longis erroribus actum
iactarique freto sedesque intrare silentum
bellaque cum Turno gerere, aut, si vera fatemur,
cum Iunone magis? quid nunc antiqua recordor
damna mei generis? timor hic meminisse priorum
non sinit; en acui sceleratos cernitis enses.
quos prohibete, precor, facinusque repellite neve
caede sacerdotis flammas exstinguite Vestae!’
(Ovid, Met. 15.760-778)

* sc. Augustus; ** sc. Caesar.

But, so that the one might not be born from mortal seed,
the other had to be made a god; and when Aeneas’ golden
mother saw that, and saw too that a sad death
was being planned for the pontifex and that conspiratorial arms were being readied,
she went pale and began to say to all the gods as she met
each one, ‘See with what great effort plots are being prepared
against me, and with what great deceit the only life
that I have left from Dardanian Iulus is being attacked.
Shall I always be the only one troubled by just cares,
I whom at one time the Calydonian spear of Tydeus’ son wounded,
whom at another time the walls of ill defended Troy distressed,
I who saw my son driven to long wanderings
and tossed on the sea and entering the abodes of the silent ones
and waging war with Turnus or, if we admit the truth,
with Juno rather? Why do I now recall my race’s
ancient losses? This fear does not allow me
to remember earlier things; look, you can see the wicked swords being sharpened!
Stop them, I pray, and prevent the crime, and do not
put Vesta’s fire out with the slaughter of her priest.’
(tr. Donald E. Hill)

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