The Aeneid, Book I lines 21-49, from my 1994 translation (and reflections on said draft)
January 10, 2014 § Leave a comment
hinc populum late regem belloque superbum
venturum excidio Libyae: sic volvere Parcas.
Id metuens, veterisque memor Saturnia belli,
prima quod ad Troiam pro caris gesserat Argis
(necdum etiam causae irarum saevique dolores
exciderant animo: manet alta mente repostum
iudicium Paridis spretaeque iniuria formae,
et genus invisum, et rapti Ganymedis honores)–
this nation with many kingdoms and arrogant in war would come for the destruction of Libya: so spun the Parcae. In fear of this and remembering the old war that she, Saturnia, had carried on at Troy for the sake of Argos (the origins of that anger and cruel pains have not fallen from her spirit; in her deepest mind she had the judgment of Paris and the injury to her rejected beauty and the hated people and the honors of kidnapped Ganymede) –
I think if I had spent more time on this passage, I would have tightened it up some, perhaps beginning the third line with “Saturnia fearing this and recalling the old war that she had carried on at Troy…” But other than this, I would leave much of it intact now.
his accensa super, iactatos aequore toto
Troas, reliquias Danaum atque immitis Achilli,
arcebat longe Latio, multosque per annos
errabant, acti fatis, maria omnia circum.
Tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem!
vela dabant laeti, et spumas salis aere ruebant,
cum Iuno, aeternum servans sub pectore volnus,
haec secum: ‘Mene incepto desistere victam,
nec posse Italia Teucrorum avertere regem?
with her rage, tossed about on all the seas the Trojans, the remnants that the Greeks and cruel Achilles allowed to live, Juno kept them from far-off Latium, and they kept wandering through the years driven by the fates over all of the seas. Oh so great an effort to found the Roman race!
Scarcely out of sight the land of Sicily, the Trojans delightfully were letting the sails down and were rushing through the sea with their bronze prows when Juno, nursing her eternal wound under her arm, said this: “Shall I, beaten, desist from my undertaking and not be able to turn aside the Teucerian reign in Italy?
Quippe vetor fatis. Pallasne exurere classem
Argivom atque ipsos potuit submergere ponto,
unius ob noxam et furias Aiacis Oilei?
Ipsa, Iovis rapidum iaculata e nubibus ignem,
disiecitque rates evertitque aequora ventis,
illum expirantem transfixo pectore flammas
turbine corripuit scopuloque infixit acuto.
Ast ego, quae divom incedo regina, Iovisque
et soror et coniunx, una cum gente tot annos
bella gero! Et quisquam numen Iunonis adoret
praeterea, aut supplex aris imponet honorem?’
Truly the Fates forbid it! Was not Pallas able to burn the fleet of the Argives and to submerge those men in the deep because of the crimes of one man, Ajax of Oileus? She, hurling the swift cloud of Jove, both scattered the ships and overturned the waves by the wind, and him she snatched up, breathing fire through his chest, she impaled him on a sharp rook; but I, who walks as the queen of the gods and to Jupiter is both sister and wife, with one race for so many years must wage war. And who thereafter will adore the name of Juno or as a suppliant offer sacrifices in my honor?”
The 1994 original was very rough, so this is tidied up a little bit, although it is still rough. I’ll try to write more of a summary/reflection next week when I resume this, but hopefully this will suffice for now. It certainly is a pleasant surprise to see how easily the Latin phrases are coming back to memory, although I am relying somewhat on the annotations at the bottom of each page of my textbook (which covers Books I-VI). And yes, before some comment on the shifting tenses, I am aware of this, but I am (mostly) transcribing what I wrote as an initial draft as study notes back in Winter/Spring of 1994, so there are going to be some lacunae. Nevertheless, hope this will lead to some (re)reading this fine poem, whether in translation or the original Latin.