Pulvis

sand-dust-behind-horse-hooves-exploding-44569725

Victa phalanx versum dederat Maurusia dorsum:
victorum sequitur pubes veloxque tribunus.
surgit ad aethereos nubes densissima campos,
pulvere facta fugae. duro sonat ungula cornu,
et latet aspersis campus coopertus arenis.
cornipedum fodiens densis calcaribus armos
hostis uterque volat. sequitur tunc agmina pulvis,
significatque vias. dirupto carcere ventus
non aliter teneras flatu convolvit harenas,
cum tumidus Boreas, Scythica iam liber ab aula,
perfurit in campos: turbo volat horridus ante,
contortus virtute Noti; gyroque coactus
vertit harenosas, conturbans aequora, terras.
(Corippus, Iohannis 7.439-451)

The defeated Moorish phalanx had now turned their backs in flight, and the victorious soldiers and their swift tribune pursued them. The thick cloud of dust their flight produced rose into the expanse of the sky, the hard hooves of the horses thundered everywhere and the plain lay covered with the sand they tossed up. Each side flew on, goading the flanks of their horses with their spurs again and again. Dust followed their bands and marked their path. In the same way the wind, when it breaks out of its prison, whirls tiny grains of sand along in its blast. Then the swollen north wind, freed from its Scythian chamber, rages over the plain. A horrible whirlwind flies on before it, twisted by the power of the south wind and, driven in a circle, churns up the sea and rakes the sandy earth. (tr. George W. Shea)

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