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Possibly The Best Ending Ever In Literature

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Now low on earth the lofty chief is laid,

With eyes cast upward, and with arms display'd,


And, recreant, thus to the proud victor pray'd:

"I know my death deserv'd, nor hope to live:

Use what the gods and thy good fortune give.

Yet think, O think, if mercy may be shown-

Thou hadst a father once, and hast a son-

Pity my sire, now sinking to the grave;

And for Anchises' sake old Daunus save!

Or, if thy vow'd revenge pursue my death,

Give to my friends my body void of breath!

The Latian chiefs have seen me beg my life;

Thine is the conquest, thine the royal wife:

Against a yielded man, 't is mean ignoble strife."


In deep suspense the Trojan seem'd to stand,

And, just prepar'd to strike, repress'd his hand.

He roll'd his eyes, and ev'ry moment felt

His manly soul with more compassion melt;

When, casting down a casual glance, he spied

The golden belt that glitter'd on his side,

The fatal spoils which haughty Turnus tore

From dying Pallas, and in triumph wore.

Then, rous'd anew to wrath, he loudly cries

(Flames, while he spoke, came flashing from his eyes)


"Traitor, dost thou, dost thou to grace pretend,

Clad, as thou art, in trophies of my friend?

To his sad soul a grateful off'ring go!

'T is Pallas, Pallas gives this deadly blow."


He rais'd his arm aloft, and, at the word,

Deep in his bosom drove the shining sword.

The streaming blood distain'd his arms around,

And the disdainful soul came rushing thro' the wound.






How un-hollywood! How politically incorrect! How unchristian! How unmodern!


How deliciously Roman, or at least Pagan, to slaughter a foe even as he begs for his life out of a sense of revenge and duty.


Aeneas, thou art my hero for the ages!

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This is beautiful! What is this from, the Aeneid? Perhaps I must procure a copy of this wonderful document ;)

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The link above has it online for free.


If you still get a copy, make sure you get the one translated by John Dryden the neoclassicist (responsible for the beautiful English verse above). The first time I read the Aeneid, I didn't think much of it - because the translation was lifeless.


In fact, I believe I have a review of Fitzgerald's translation on the site. I might ask Viggen to take it down, while I resubmit a review for the Dryden translation....

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Yes, it is certainly a great ending. One that would please Augustus no end, I'm sure. ;)


I have not had time to visit recently and so do not know if this list has been posted, but it may help some of our younger members or others unable to buy Loeb classics.


Latin and Greek authors on the web

Edited by Julian

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I paraphrase a recent post " The Greeks were violent, but free" . Excellent.

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I'll check out the online link, but I don't like reading online, I prefer to read curled up on the couch :) so I'll probably get my own copy :)

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A very nice piece Ursus thank you


When i get a few minutes to myself i'm going to read the whole thing because i believe it needs total quite(which i dont get very often!!!!!!!!!) and concentation to appreciate the quality

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