Virgil

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Omnia vincit Amor.
"Love conquers all."

Publius Vergilius Maro (October 15, 70 BC – September 21, 19 BC), known in English as Virgil or Vergil, was a Latin poet, the author of the Eclogues, the Georgics and the Aeneid, the last being an epic poem of twelve books that became the Roman Empire's national epic.

Quotes[edit]

Eclogues (37 BC)[edit]

  • Sub tegmine fagi.
    • In the shade of a beech tree.
    • Book I, line 1.
  • Nos patriae fines et dulcia linquimus arva.
    • Round the wide world in banishment we roam,
      Forced from our pleasing fields and native home.
    • Book I, line 3 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Deus nobis haec otia fecit.
    • God has given us this ease.
    • Book I, line 6.
    • Variant translations:
      • God gave us this leisure.
      • God hath given us this tranquillity.
  • Non equidem invideo, miror magis.
    • I envy not your fortune, but admire.
    • Book I, line 11 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Johnson's translation:
        My admiration only I exprest,
        No spark of envy harbours in my breast.
    • Alternate translations:
      • Think not I envy, I admire thy fate.
      • I envy not his merit, but applaud it.
  • Spem gregis.
    • The hope of the flock.
    • Book I, line 15.
  • Parvis componere magna.
    • To compare great things with small.
    • Book I, line 23.
  • Et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos.
    • The rest among the Britons he confined;
      A race of men from all the world disjoined.
    • Book I, lines 64–66. (translated by John Dryden).
  • O formose puer, nimium ne crede colori.
    • O charming boy, trust not too much in thy beauty.
    • Book II, line 17.
    • Variant translation:
      • Ah, lovely boy, trust not too much to your bloom!
  • Trahit sua quemque voluptas.
    • Each has his dear delight which draws him on.
    • Book II, line 65.
    • Variant translation:
      • Everyone is dragged on by their favourite pleasure.
  • Nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbor;
    Nunc frondent sylvae, nunc formosissimus annus.
    • The trees are cloth'd with leaves, the fields with grass;
      The blossoms blow; the birds on bushes sing;
      And Nature has accomplish'd all the spring.
    • Book III, lines 56–57 (translated by John Dryden).
A snake lurks in the grass.
  • Latet anguis in herba.
    • A snake lurks in the grass.
    • Book III, line 93.
    • Variant translations:
      • Beware of snakes in the grass.
      • A snake lies hidden in the grass.
      • There lurks a snake in the grass.
      • There's a snake hidden in the grass.
  • Non nostrum inter vos tantas componere lites.
    • It is not for us to adjust such grave disputes.
    • Book III, line 108.
    • Variant translation: 'Tis not for us to end such great disputes.
  • Sicelides Musae, paulo maiora canamus.
    • Sicilian Muses, let us sing a somewhat loftier strain.
    • Book IV, line 1 (translated by H. Rushton Fairclough); marks the transition to a more important subject.
    • Variant translation of Paulo majora canamus: "Let us sing of greater things."
  • Magnus ab integro saeclorum.
    • The great cycle of periods is born anew.
    • Book IV, line 5.
  • Redeunt Saturnia regna.
    • The kingdom of Saturn returns.
    • Book IV, line 6 (translated by Alexander Pope).
  • O mihi tum longae maneat pars ultima vitae,
    Spiritus et quantum sat erit tua dicere facta.
    • To sing thy praise, would heaven my breath prolong,
      Infusing spirits worthy such a song.
    • Book IV, lines 53–54 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Incipe, parve puer, risu cognoscere matrem.
    • Begin, baby boy, to recognize your mother with a smile.
    • Book IV, line 60.
  • Atque deos atque astra vocat crudelia mater.
    • Calling the great gods cruel, and cruel the stars of the sky.
    • Book V, line 23.
  • Tale tuum carmen nobis, divine poeta,
    Quale sopor fessis.
    • O heavenly poet, such thy verse appears,
      So sweet, so charming to my ravish'd ears,
      As to the weary swain with cares oppress'd,
      Beneath the sylvan shade, refreshing rest.
    • Book V, lines 45–46 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Candidus insuetum miratur limen Olympi
    Sub pedibus uidet nubes et sidera Daphnis.
    • Daphnis, the guest of heaven, with wondering eyes,
      Views in the milky way the starry skies,
      And far beneath him, from the shining sphere,
      Beholds the moving clouds, and rolling year.
    • Book V, lines 56–57 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Ipsi laetitia voces ad sidera jactant
    Intonsi montes: ipsae jam carmina rupes,
    Ipsa sonant arbusta.
    • The mountain-tops unshorn, the rocks, rejoice;
      The lowly shrubs partake of human voice.
    • Book V, line 62–64 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Solvite me, pueri; satis est potuisse videri.
    • "Loose me," he cry'd, "'twas impudence to find
      A sleeping god, 'tis sacrilege to bind."
    • Book VI, line 24 (translated by John Dryden).
Now I know what Love is.
  • Posthabui tamen illorum mea seria ludo.
    • And I preferr'd my pleasure to my gains.
    • Book VII, line 17 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Hic tantum Boreae curamus frigora,
    Quantum aut numerum lupus aut torrentia flumina ripas.
    • We fear not more the winds and wintry cold,
      Than streams the banks, or wolves the bleating fold.
    • Book VII, lines 51–52 (translated by John Dryden).
    • Cf. the Francis Bacon's paraphrase:
      "It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep be."
  • Nunc scio quid sit Amor.
    • Now I know what Love is.
    • Book VIII, line 43. Cf. Pope's translation: "I know thee, Love!"
  • Non omnia possumus omnes.
    • We cannot all do everything.
    • Book VIII, line 63.
    • Variant translations:
      • We cannot all of us do everything.
      • We are not all able to accomplish the same things.
  • Numero deus impare gaudet.
    • God delights in an odd number.
    • Book VIII, line 75.
  • Sed non ego credulus illis.
    • But I discern their flatt'ry from their praise.
    • Book IX, line 34 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Omnia fert aetas, animum quoque.
    • Time bears away all things, even our minds.
    • Book IX, line 51.
  • Cantantes licet usque (minus via laedit) eamus.
    • Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.
    • Book IX, line 64.
  • Hic gelidi fontes, hic mollia prata, Lycori;
    hic nemus; hic ipso tecum consumerer aevo.
    • Come, see what pleasures in our plains abound:
      The woods, the fountains, and the flow'ry ground:
      Omnia vincit Amor
      by Caravaggio (c. 1602)
      As you are beauteous, were you half so true,
      Here could I live, and love, and die with only you.
    • Book X, lines 42–43 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Ipsae rursus concedite, silvae.
    • Once more, ye woods, farewell!
    • Book X, line 63.
  • Omnia vincit Amor; et nos cedamus Amori.
    • Love conquers all and we must yield to Love.
    • Book X, line 69 (translated by John Dryden).
    • Variant translations:
      • Love conquers all things – let us yield to Love.
      • Love conquers all; let us, too, yield to love.
      • Love conquers all things: let us too give in to Love.
      • Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to love.

Georgics (29 BC)[edit]

  •             Vos, o clarissima mundi
    Lumina, labentem caelo quae ducitis annum;
    Liber et alma Ceres, vestro si munere tellus
    Chaoniam pingui glandem mutauit arista,
    poculaque inuentis Acheloia miscuit uvis;
    et vos, agrestum praesentia numina, Fauni
    Ferte simul Faunique pedem Dryadesque puellae:
    Munera uestra cano; tuque o, cui prima frementem
    Fudit equum magno tellus percussa tridenti,
    Neptune; et cultor nemorum, cui pinguia Ceae
    Ter centum niuei tondent dumeta iuvenci;
    Ipse nemus linquens patrium saltusque Lycaei
    Pan, ouium custos, tua si tibi Maenala curae,
    adsis, o Tegeaee, fauens, oleaeque Minerua
    Inuentrix, uncique puer monstrator aratri,
    Et teneram ab radice ferens, Siluane, cupressum:
    Dique deaeque omnes, studium quibus arua tueri,
    Quique nouas alitis non ullo semine fruges
    Quique satis largum caelo demittitis imbrem.
    • Ye deities! who fields and plains protect,
      Who rule the seasons, and the year direct;
      Bacchus, and fostering Ceres, powers divine,
      Who gave us corn for mast, for water wine
      Ye Fauns, propitious to the rural swains,
      Ye Nymphs, that haunt the mountains and the plains,
      Join in my work, and to my numbers bring
      Your needful succour; for your gifts I sing.
      And thou, whose trident struck the teeming earth,
      And made a passage for the courser's birth;
      And thou, for whom the Cean shore sustains
      The milky herds that graze the flowery plains;
      And thou, the shepherd's tutelary god,
      Leave for a while, O Pan! thy lov'd abode:
      Look with favor upon a bold beginning.
      And, if Arcadian fleeces be thy care,
      From fields and mountains to my song repair.
      Inventor, Pallas, of the fattening oil,
      Thou founder of the plough, and ploughman's toil;
      And thou, whose hands the shroud-like cypress rear,
      Come, all ye gods and goddesses, that wear
      The rural honours, and increase the year;
      You who supply the ground with seeds of grain;
      And you, who swell those seeds with kindly rain!
    • Book I, lines 5–23 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Audacibus annue coeptis.
    • Look with favor upon a bold beginning.
    • Book I, line 40.
  • Unde homines nati, durum genus.
    • Whence men, a hard laborious kind, were born.
    • Book I, line 63 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Umida solstitia atque hiemes orate serenas, / agricolae.
    • O farmers, pray that your summers be wet and your winters clear.
    • Book I, line 100.
  • Ut varias usus meditando extunderet artis / paulatim.
  • Labor omnia vicit
    improbus et duris urgens in rebus egestas.
    • Toil conquered the world, unrelenting toil, and want that pinches when life is hard.
    • Book I, lines 145–146.
  • Exuerint sylvestrem animum, cultuque frequenti
    In quascunque voces artes haud tarda sequentur.
    • [They] change their savage mind,
      Their wildness lose, and, quitting nature's part,
      Obey the rules and discipline of art.
    • Book II, lines 51–52 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Apertos / Bacchus amat collis.
    • Bacchus loves the open hills.
    • Book II, lines 112–113.
  • Salve, magna parens.
    • Hail, mighty parent!
    • Book II, line 173.
  • Nec morti esse locum.
    • No room is left for death.
    • Book II, line 226 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Pinguis item quae sit tellus, hoc denique pacto
    discimus: haud umquam manibus iactata fatiscit,
    Sed picis in morem ad digitos lentescit habendo.
    • The fatter earth by handling we may find,
      With ease distinguished from the meagre kind:
      Poor soil will crumble into dust; the rich
      Will to the fingers cleave like clammy pitch.
    • Book II, lines 248–250 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Adeo in teneris consuescere multum est.
    • So strong is custom, such effects can use
      In tender souls of pliant plants produce.
    • Book II, line 272 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Pope, Moral Essays: Epistle I, "To Lord Cobham" (1734), l. 150: Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.
    • Variant translations:
      • So strong is custom formed in early years.
      • Such force hath custom tender plants upon.
      • So much depends on habit in the tender years of youth.
  • Dura / Exerce imperia, et ramos compesce fluentes.
    • Exert a rigorous sway,
      And lop the too luxuriant boughs away.
    • Book II, lines 369–370.
  • Inter pocula laeti.
    • In their drunken jollity.
    • Book II, line 383.
  • O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint
    Agricolas, quibus ipsa, procul discordibus armis,
    Fundit humo facilem victum justissima tellus!
    • O happy, far too happy—did ye wot,
      Ye rustic swains, the blessings of your lot;
      Remote from war, by labour ye are fed,
      And the impartial Earth, with daily bread.
    • Book II, lines 458–460 (translated by J. B. Rose).
  • Me vero primum dulces ante omnia Musae,
    Quarum sacra fero ingenti percussus amore,
    Accipiant caelique vias et sidera monstrent,
    Defectus solis varios lunaeque labores;
    Unde tremor terris, qua vi maria alta tumescant
    Obicibus ruptis rursusque in se ipsa residant.
    Quid tantum Oceano properent se tingere soles
    Hiberni, vel quae tardis mora noctibus obstet.
    • And ye sister Muses whom I love
      With sacred fervour all the world above,
      O take me for your seer: give me to know
      The ways of Heaven above and Earth below,
      The paths sidereal, and the moon's new birth,
      The sun's eclipses, and the throes of Earth,
      And by what force it is the rising tide
      O'erflows the marsh, or how its waves subside;
      Why Sol in winter hurries to his rest,
      And by what laws are summer nights comprest.
    • Book II, lines 475–482 (translated by J. B. Rose).
  • Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes,
    Flumina amem sylvasque inglorius.
    • My next desire is, void of care and strife,
      To lead a soft, secure, inglorious life
      :
      A country cottage near a crystal flood,
      A winding valley, and a lofty wood.
      Happy the man, who,
      studying nature's laws,
      Thro' known effects can
      trace the secret cause.
    • Book II, lines 485–486 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Variant translation (by Wharton):
        Me may the lowly vales and woodland please
        And winding rivers and inglorious ease.
  • O ubi campi!
    • O, where are those fields!
    • Book II, line 486; expression of a longing for the country-side.
  • Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.
    • Blessed is he who has been able to win knowledge of the causes of things.
    • Book II, line 490 (translated by H. Rushton Fairclough); of Lucretius.
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Happy the man, who, studying nature's laws,
        Thro' known effects can trace the secret cause.
  • Interea dulces pendent circum oscula nati,
    Casta pudicitiam servat domus.
    • His cares are eased with intervals of bliss;
      His little children, climbing for a kiss,
      Welcome their father's late return at night;
      His faithful bed is crown'd with chaste delight.
    • Book II, lines 523–524 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Tentanda via est, qua me quoque possim
    Tollere humo victorque virum volitare per ora.
    • New ways I must attempt, my groveling name
      To raise aloft, and wing my flight to fame.
    • Book III, lines 8–9 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Te sine nil altum mens incohat.
    • Without thee, nothing lofty can I sing.
    • Book III, line 42 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Optima quaeque dies miseris mortalibus aevi
    Prima fugit; subeunt morbi tristisque senectus
    Et labor, et durae rapit inclementia mortis.
    • In youth alone, unhappy mortals live;
      But, ah! the mighty bliss is fugitive:
      Discolour'd sickness, anxious labour, come,
      And age, and death's inexorable doom.
    • Book III, lines 66–68 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. J. B. Rose's translation:
        Ah, how fleetly speeds the little span
        Of lusty youth allowed to mortal man!
        Diseases grow, age comes, and joys decay,
        Till death demands his miserable prey.
  • Stare loco nescit, micat auribus et tremit artus,
    Collectumque premens volvit sub naribus ignem.
    • ——————————Starting with a bound,
      He turns the turf, and shakes the solid ground:
      Fire from his eyes, clouds from his nostrils flow.
    • Book III, lines 84–85 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Nec mora, nec requies.
    • Neither delay, nor rest.
    • Book III, line 110.
  • Omne adeo genus in terris hominumque ferarumque,
    Et genus aequoreum, pecudes, pictaeque volucres,
    In furias ignemque ruunt. Amor omnibus idem.
    • Tempus fugit. ("Time flies.")
      Thus ev'ry creature, and of ev'ry kind,
      The secret joys of sweet coition find.
      Not only man's imperial race, but they
      That wing the liquid air, or swim the sea,
      Or haunt the desert, rush into the flame:
      For love is lord of all, and is in all the same.
    • Book III, lines 242–244 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. J. B. Rose's translation:
        "Ay, all that breathe the breath of life yprove
        Alike, the unresisted fire of love:
        Man, beast, the aqueous tribe, the lowing herds,
        And denizens of air, the painted birds."
  • Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus.
    • But meanwhile it is flying, irretrievable time is flying.
    • Book III, line 284; often quoted as tempus fugit ("time flies").
    • Variant translations:
      • Time is flying never to return.
      • Time flies, never to be recalled.
  • Sed me Parnasi deserta per ardua dulcis
    Raptat amor; juvat ire jugis, qua nulla priorum
    Castaliam molli devertitur orbita clivo.
    • But the commanding Muse my chariot guides,
      Which o'er the dubious cliff securely rides;
      And pleas'd I am, no beaten road to take,
      But first the way to new discov'ries make.
    • Book III, lines 291–293 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Alitur vitium, vivitque tegendo,
    Dum medicas adhibere manus ad vulnera pastor
    Abnegat, aut meliora deos sedet omina poscens.
    • Give ills their vent, worse by concealment made,
      The while the shepherd, sitting in the shade,
      Doth supplicate the heavens above for aid.
    • Book III, lines 454–456 (translated by J. B. Rose).
    • Variant translations of Alitur vitium, vivitque tegendo:
      • Vice thrives and lives by concealment.
      • Evil is nourished and grows by concealment.
  • Admiranda tibi levium spectacula rerum.
    • A mighty pomp, though made of little things.
    • Book IV, line 3 (translated by John Dryden).
  • In tenui labor, at tenuis non gloria.
    • Slight is the subject, but the praise not small.
    • Book IV, line 6 (translated by John Dryden); of bees as the subject.
  • Nare per aestatem liquidam.
  • Ingentes animos angusto in pectore versant.
    • Their little bodies lodge a mighty soul.
    • Book IV, line 83 (translated by Joseph Addison); of bees.
      • Cf. Dryden's translation: With mighty souls in narrow bodies prest.
    • Alternate translation: These little bodies mighty souls inform!
  • Hi motus animorum atque haec certamina tanta
    Pulveris exigui jactu compressa quiescunt.
    • Yet all those dreadful deeds, this doubtful fray,
      A cast of scatter'd dust will soon allay.
    • Book IV, lines 86–87 (of bees swarming).
  • Ignavum fucos pecus a praesepibus arcent.
    • They keep out of the hives the drones, an indolent bunch.
    • Book IV, line 168.
  • Si parva licet componere magnis.
    • If small things we may with great compare.
    • Book IV, line 176 (translated by Alexander Pope).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation: If little things with great we may compare.
      • Cf. also Eclogues, Book I, line 23: To compare great things with small.
    • Variant translations:
      • If small things may be compared with great.
      • If one may compare small things with great.
      • If it be allowable to compare small things with great.
  • Tantus amor florum et generandi gloria mellis.
    • Such rage of honey in their bosom beats,
      And such a zeal they have for flow'ry sweets.
    • Book IV, line 205 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Genus immortale manet, multosque per annos
    Stat fortuna domus, et avi numerantur avorum.
    • Th' immortal line in sure succession reigns;
      The fortune of the family remains;
      And grandsires' grandsires the long list contains.
    • Book IV, lines 208–209 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Deum namque ire per omnis
    Terrasque tractusque maris, coelumque profundum.
    • Through every land God journeys, and across
      The ocean wastes, and through the depths of heaven.
    • Book IV, lines 221–222.
    • Variant translation:
      God goeth through all, seen or unseen with eye;
      Through earth, and sea, through heaven deep and high.
  • Animasque in vulnere ponunt.
    • And part with life, only to wound their foe.
    • Book IV, line 238.
  • Verum ubi correptum manibus vinclisque tenebis,
    tum variae eludent species atque ora ferarum
    Fiet enim subito sus horridus atraque tigris
    squamosusque draco et fulva cervice leaena,
    aut acrem flammae sonitum dabit atque ita vinclis
    excidet, aut in aquas tenues dilapsus abibit.
    Sed quanto ille magis formas se vertet in omnes,
    tanto, nate, magis contende tenacia vincla,
    donec talis erit mutato corpore, qualem
    videris, incepto tegeret cum lumina somno.
    • Thus surely bound, yet be not over bold,
      The slippery god will try to loose his hold:
      And various forms assume to cheat thy sight;
      And with vain images of beasts affright;
      With foamy tusks, he seems a bristly boar,
      Or imitates the lion's angry roar;
      Breaks out in crackling flames to shun thy snares,
      Hisses a dragon, or a tiger stares;
      Or with a wile thy caution to betray,
      In fleeting streams attempts to slide away.
      But thou, the more he varies forms, beware
      To strain his fetters with a stricter care.
      Till, tiring all his arts, he turns again
      To his true shape, in which he first was seen.
    • Book IV, lines 405–414 (translated by John Dryden); of Proteus.
  • Illa, Quis et me, inquit, miseram, et te perdidit, Orpheu?,
    Quis tantus furor? En iterum crudelia retro
    Fata vocant, conditque natantia lumina somnus.
    Iamque vale: feror ingenti circumdata nocte
    Invalidasque tibi tendens, heu non tua, palmas!
    • Then thus the bride: What fury seized on thee,
      Unhappy man! to lose thyself and me?
      Dragged back again by cruel destinies,
      An iron slumber shuts my swimming eyes.
      And now farewell! Involv'd in shades of night,
      For ever I am ravish'd from thy sight.
      In vain I reach my feeble hands to join
      In sweet embraces—ah! no longer thine!
    • Book IV, lines 494–498 (translated by John Dryden).

Aeneid (29–19 BC)[edit]

Book I[edit]

I sing of arms and a man.
  • Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
    Italiam fato profugus Laviniaque venit
    Litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
    Vi superum, saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram,
    Multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem
    lnferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum
    Albanique patres atque altae moenia Romae.
    • Arms, and the man I sing, who, forced by Fate,
      And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate,
      Expell'd and exil'd, left the Trojan shore.
      Long labours both by sea and land he bore
      ,
      And in the doubtful war, before he won
      The Latian realm, and built the destin'd town;
      His banish'd gods restor'd to rites divine,
      And settled sure succession in his line,
      From whence the race of Alban fathers come,
      And the long glories of majestic Rome.
    • Lines 1–7, translated by John Dryden (1697).
      • Cf. the opening lines of Homer's Odyssey (as translated by Alexander Pope): The man for wisdom's various arts renown'd, / Long exercis'd in woes, oh Muse! resound. / . . . / On stormy seas unnumber'd toils he bore.
      • Cf. also the opening lines of Camões' The Lusiads (as translated by William Julius Mickle): Arms and the Heroes, who from Lisbon's shore, / Thro' Seas where sail was never spread before / . . . / With prowess more than human forc'd their way / To the fair kingdoms of the rising day: / What wars they wag'd, what seas, what dangers past, / What glorious empire crown'd their toils at last.
    • Gavin Douglas' translation (1513):
      The battles and the man I will descrive,
      Frae Troy's bounds first that – fugitive
      By fate – to Italy cam and coast Lavine,
      Ower land and sea catchit with meikle pain,
      By force of gods above, frae every steid,
      Of cruel Juno through auld-remembrit feid.
      Great pain in battle sufferit he also
      Ere he his gods brocht in Latio,
      And built the city frae wham, of noble fame,
      The Latin people taken has their name,
      And eik the fathers (princes of Alba)
      Cam, and the wallers of great Rome alsa.
    • Christopher Pitt's translation (1740):
      Arms and the Man I sing, the first who bore
      His course to Latium from the Trojan shore;
      By fate expell'd, on land and ocean tost,
      Before he reach'd the fair Lavinian coast:
      Doom'd by the Gods a length of wars to wage,
      And urg'd by Juno's unrelenting rage;
      Ere the brave hero rais'd, in these abodes,
      His destin'd walls, and fix'd his wand'ring gods.
      Hence the fam'd Latian line, and senates come,
      And the proud triumphs, and the tow'rs of Rome.
    • Charles Symmons' translation (1817):
      Arms, and the man who first, by Fate's command,
      From Iion flying, sought Italia's strand,
      And gain'd Lavinium, are my themes of song.
      Long toss'd by waves, on land he suffer'd long:
      From power supernal, such his doom of woe;
      Pursued by vengeful Juno as her foe.
      Much too in war he bore, ere Fate assign'd
      His walls to rise, or gods to be enshrined
      In Latium: whence the Latin offspring came;
      Old Alba's chiefs, and Rome's majestic frame.
    • John Conington's translation (1866):
      Arms and the man I sing, who first,
      By fate of Ilian realm amerced,
      To fair Italia onward bore,
      And landed on Lavinium's shore:—
      Long tossing earth and ocean o'er,
      By violence of heaven, to sate
      Fell Juno's unforgetting hate.
      Much labored too in battle-field,
      Striving his city's walls to build,
      And give his gods a home:
      Thence come the hardy Latin brood,
      The ancient sires of Alba's blood,
      And lofty-rampired Rome.
    • Edward Fairfax Taylor's translation (1868):
      Of arms I sing, and of the man, whom Fate
      First drove from Troy to the Lavinian shore.
      Full many an evil, through the mindful hate
      Of cruel Juno, from the gods he bore,
      Much tost on earth and ocean, yea, and more
      In war enduring, ere he built a home,
      And his loved household-deities brought o'er
      To Latium, whence the Latin people come,
      Whence rose the Alban sires, and walls of lofty Rome.
    • Christopher Pearse Cranch's translation (1872):
      I sing of arms, and of the man who first
      Came from the coasts of Troy to Italy
      And the Lavinian shores, exiled by fate.
      Much was he tossed about upon the lands
      And in the ocean by supernal powers,
      Because of cruel Juno's sleepless wrath.
      Many things also suffered he in war
      Until he built a city, and his gods
      Brought into Latium; whence the Latin race,
      The Alban sires, and walls of lofty Rome.
    • William Morris' translation (1876):
      I sing of arms, I sing of him, who from the Trojan land
      Thrust forth by Fate, to Italy and that Lavinian strand
      First came: all tost about was he on earth and on the deep
      By heavenly might for Juno's wrath, that had no mind to sleep:
      And plenteous war he underwent ere he his town might frame
      And set his Gods in Latian earth, whence is the Latin name,
      And father-folk of Alba-town, and walls of mighty Rome.
Can heav'nly minds such high resentment show?
  • Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?
    • Can heav'nly minds such high resentment show,
      Or exercise their spite in human woe?
    • Line 11 (translated by John Dryden).
    • Christopher Pitt:
      Can rage so fierce inflame an heavenly breast?
    • Charles Symmons:
      Ah! can such passions goad celestial wills!
    • John Conington:
      Can heavenly natures nourish hate
      So fierce, so blindly passionate?
    • William Morris:
      Can anger in immortal minds abide so fierce and fell?
    • E. Fairfax Taylor:
      O tell / How can in heavenly minds such fierce resentment dwell?
    • Alternate translations:
      • Can heavenly minds such anger entertain?
      • Why such great anger in those heavenly minds?
  • O terque quaterque beati!
    • O thrice and four-times blessed!
    • Line 95; referring to the Trojans who had died defending their city.
    • Variant: O three and four times blessed!
  • Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto.
    • They appear thinly scattered and swimming in the vast deep.
    • Line 118. Cf. Conington's translation:
      There in the vast abyss are seen
      The swimmers few and far between.
  • Furor arma ministrat.
    • Rage supplies arms.
    • Line 150. Variant: "Rage furnishes arms."
Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.
"It may be that in the future you will be
helped by remembering the past."
Endure the hardships of your present state,
Live, and reserve yourselves for better fate.
  • O socii—neque enim ignari sumus ante malorum—
    O passi graviora, dabit deus his quoque finem.
    • Comrades and friends! for ours is strength
      Has brooked the test of woes;
      O worse-scarred hearts! these wounds at length
      The Gods will heal, like those.
    • Line 199 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Endure, and conquer! Jove will soon dispose
        To future good our past and present woes.
  • Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.
    • This suffering will yield us yet
      A pleasant tale to tell.
    • Line 203 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        An hour will come, with pleasure to relate
        Your sorrows past, as benefits of Fate.
      • Cf. also Tom Jenkins's translation:
        It may be that in the future you will be helped by remembering the past.
    • Variant translation:
      Maybe one day we shall be glad to remember even these things.
  • Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum.
    • Through various hazards and events we move.
    • Line 204 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis.
    • Endure the hardships of your present state,
      Live, and reserve yourselves for better fate.
    • Line 207 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, Act III, scene i, K. Henry:
        Are these things then necessities? / Then let us meet them like necessities.
      • Cf. also Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, scene ii, Rosse:
        Things at the worst will cease, or else climb upward / To what they were before.
  • Talia voce refert, curisque ingentibus aeger
    Spem vultu simulat, premit altum corde dolorem.
    • These words he spoke, but spoke not from his heart;
      His outward smiles conceal'd his inward smart.
    • Line 209 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Lacrimis oculos suffusa nitentis.
    • Her bright eyes brimming with tears.
    • Line 228 (of Venus).
  • His ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono;
    Imperium sine fine dedi.
    • No date, no goal I here ordain;
      Theirs is an endless, boundless reign.
    • Lines 278–279 (translated by John Conington).
  • O Dea certe.
    • No doubt, a goddess.
    • Line 328.
  • Longa est injuria, longae
    ambages.
    • Great is the injury, and long the tale.
    • Lines 341–342.
  • Dux femina facti.
    • A woman (is) leader in the deed.
    • Line 364 (translated by Charles Anthon).
  • Sum pius Aeneas, raptos qui ex hoste Penates
    classe veho mecum, fama super aethera notus.
    Italiam quaero patriam et genus ab Iove summo.
    • The good Aeneas am I call'd, a name,
      While Fortune favor'd, not unknown to fame.
      My household gods, companions of my woes,
      With pious care I rescued from our foes.
      To fruitful Italy my course was bent;
      And from the King of Heav'n is my descent.
    • Lines 378–380 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Data fata secutus.
    In length of train descends her sweeping gown;
    And by her graceful walk the Queen of Love is known.
    • Following his declared fate.
    • Line 382.
    • Variant translations:
      • Complying with his declared fate.
      • Following what is decreed by fate.
  • Dixit et avertens rosea cervice refulsit,
    Ambrosiaeque comae divinum vertice odorem
    Spiravere; pedes vestis defluxit ad imos,
    Et vera incessu patuit dea.
    • Thus having said, she turn'd, and made appear
      Her neck refulgent, and dishevell'd hair,
      Which, flowing from her shoulders, reached the ground,
      And widely spread ambrosial scents around.
      In length of train descends her sweeping gown;
      And by her graceful walk the Queen of Love is known.
    • Lines 402–405 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Mirabile dictu.
    • Strange to say.
    • Line 439.
    • Variant translations:
      • Wonderful to tell.
      • Marvelous to say.
      • Wondrous to relate.
  • Quae regio in terris nostri non plena laboris?
    • 'Is there, friend,' he cries, 'a spot
      That knows not Troy's unhappy lot?'
    • Line 460 (translated by John Conington).
  • ‘En Priamus! Sunt hic etiam sua praemia laudi,
    Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.
    Solve metus; feret haec aliquam tibi fama salutem.'
    Sic ait atque animum pictura pascit inani.
    • 'See Priam! aye, praise waits on worth
      E'en in this corner of the earth;
      E'en here the tear of pity springs,
      And hearts are touched by human things.
      Dismiss your fear: we sure may claim
      To find some safety in our fame.'
      He said; and feeds his hungry heart
      With shapes of unsubstantial art.
    • Lines 461–464 (translated by John Conington).
  • Gradiensque deas supereminet omnes.
    • Though all be gods, she towers o'er all.
    • Line 501 (translated by John Conington); of Dido.
  • Quod genus hoc hominum? Quaeve hunc tam barbara morem
    Permittit patria?
    • What men, what monsters, what inhuman race,
      What laws, what barbarous customs of the place!
    • Lines 539–540 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        What tribe of human kind is here?
        What barbarous region yields such cheer?
  • Si genus humanum et mortalia temnitis arma,
    At sperate deos memores fandi atque nefandi.
    • If men and mortal arms ye slight,
      Know there are gods who watch o'er right.
    • Lines 542–543 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        If our hard fortune no compassion draws,
        Nor hospitable rights, nor human laws,
        The gods are just, and will revenge our cause.
  • Lumenque iuventae / purpureum.
    • The purple light of youth.
    • Lines 590–591.
      • Cf. Thomas Gray, The Progress of Poesy, I. 3, line 41: The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.
  • Di tibi, si qua pios respectant numina, si quid
    Usquam iustitiae est et mens sibi conscia recti,
    Praemia digna ferant.
    • The gods, if gods to goodness are inclin'd;
      If acts of mercy touch their heav'nly mind,
      And, more than all the gods, your gen'rous heart.
      Conscious of worth, requite its own desert!
    • Lines 603–605 (translated by John Dryden).
      • John Conington's translation:
        A mind conscious of its own rectitude.
        Like you, an alien in a land unknown,
        I learn to pity woes so like my own.
        "May Heaven, if virtue claim its thought,
        If justice yet avail for aught;
        Heaven, and the sense of conscious right,
        With worthier meed your acts requite!"
    • Cf. Ovid, Fasti, IV, 311: The mind, conscious of rectitude, laughed to scorn the falsehood of report.
    • Variant translations of mens sibi conscia recti (meaning "a good conscience"):
      • A mind conscious of its own rectitude.
      • A mind conscious to itself of rectitude.
      • A mind which is conscious to itself of rectitude.
  • Semper honos nomenque tuum laudesque manebunt.
    • Your honor, name, and praise shall never die.
    • Line 609 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco.
    • Like you, an alien in a land unknown,
      I learn to pity woes so like my own.
    • Line 630 (translated by John Dryden); Dido, Queen of Carthage, greets Aeneas and his men with these words.
      • John Conington's translation:
        "Myself not ignorant of woe,
        Compassion I have learned to show."
      • Cf. Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), "Democritus to the Reader":
        "I would help others, out of a fellow-feeling."
      • Cf. also David Garrick, Prologue on Quitting the Stage in 1776:
        "A fellow-feeling makes one wondrous kind."
    • Variant translations:
      • Not being untutored in suffering, I learn to pity those in affliction.
      • Being not unacquainted with woe, I learn to help the unfortunate.
      • No stranger to trouble myself I am learning to care for the unhappy.

Book II[edit]

  • Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem.
    • Great queen, what you command me to relate
      Renews the sad remembrance of our fate.
    • Line 3 (translated by John Dryden); these are the opening words of Aeneas's narrative about the fall of Troy, addressed to the queen Dido of Carthage.
      • Cf. Conington's translation: Too cruel, lady, is the pain, / You bid me thus revive again.
      • Cf. also Pitt's translation: Ah, mighty Queen! you urge me to disclose, / And feel, once more, unutterable woes.
      • Cf. also Symmons' translation: Hard is the task, O Queen! that you impose, / To tear my bosom with reviving woes.
  • Quis talia fando / Temperet a lacrimis?
    • Who can relate such woes without a tear?
    • Line 6. Variant: "And who can hear this tale without a tear?"
  • Quamquam animus meminisse horret, luctuque refugit.
    • At which my memory with grief recoils.
    • Line 12. Variant: "My soul shudders at the recollection."
Do not trust the horse, Trojans.
Whatever it is, I fear the Grecians, even bearing gifts.
  • Equo ne credite, Teucri.
    quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.
    • Do not trust the horse, Trojans.
      Whatever it is, I fear the Grecians, even bearing gifts.
    • Lines 48–49; Trojan priest of Apollo warning against the wooden horse left by the Greeks.
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Trust not their presents, nor admit the horse.
      • Cf. also Symmons' translation:
        O! trust not to the horse, my Trojan Friends!
        Whate'er it means, it means but to deceive.
        I dread the Grecians even when they give.
      • Cf. also Conington's translation:
        Mistrust, mistrust it, men of Troy!
        Whate'er it be, a Greek I fear,
        Though presents in his hand he bear.
    • Variant translation:
      O Trojans, do not trust the horse.
      Be it what it may, I fear the Grecians even when they offer gifts.
  • Si mens non laeva fuisset.
    • Or had not men been fated to be blind.
    • Line 54 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Fidens animi atque in utrumque paratus,
    Seu versare dolos, seu certae occumbere morti.
    • Nerved by strong courage to defy
      The worst, and gain his end or die.
    • Line 61 (translated by John Conington).
    • Variant translation of In utrumque paratus: "Prepared for either alternative."
  • Accipe nunc Danaum insidias, et crimine ab uno
    Disce omnes.
    • Now listen while my tongue declares
      The tale you ask of Danaan snares,
      And gather from a single charge
      Their catalogue of crimes at large.
    • Lines 65–66 (translated by John Conington).
  • Spargere voces
    in vulgum ambiguas.
    • To scatter deceptive rumours among the mob.
    • Lines 98–99; often paraphrased as Ambiguas in vulgum spargere voces.
  • Adsensere omnes et, quae sibi quisque timebat,
    Unius in miseri exitium conversa tulere.
    • All prais'd the sentence, pleas'd the storm should fall
      On one alone, whose fury threaten'd all.
    • Lines 130–131 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Horresco referens.
    • I quail, / E'en now, at telling of the tale.
    • Line 204 (translated by John Conington); this refers to the horrible death of the Trojan priest Laocoön: the goddess Athena sent a two-headed serpent from Tenedos to devour Laocoon and his two sons as a warning to the Trojans.
  • Tacitae per amica silentia lunae.
    • Through the friendly silence of the soundless moonlight.
    • Line 255.
  • Quantum mutatus ab illo!
    • How changed from what he was!
    • Line 274; of Hector's pitiful condition, compared to the Hector who in triumph had come back, dressed in Achilles' armour.
  • Rapidus montano flumine torrens
    Sternit agros, sternit sata laeta boumque labores
    Praecipitisque trahit silvas.
    • Deluges, descending on the plains,
      Sweep o'er the yellow year, destroy the pains
      Of lab'ring oxen, and the peasant's gains;
      Unroot the forest oaks, and bear away
      Flocks, folds, and trees, an undistinguish'd prey.
    • Lines 305–307 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Furor, iraque mentem
    Praecipitant, pulchrumque mori succurrit in armis.
    • Fury and wrath within me rave,
      And tempt me to a warrior's grave.
    • Lines 316–317 (translated by John Conington).
  • Venit summa dies et ineluctabile tempus.
    • The fatal day, th' appointed hour, is come.
    • Line 324 (translated by John Dryden); of Troy's doom.
      • Cf. Conington's translation: 'Tis come, our fated day of death.
  • Fuimus Troes, fuit Ilium et ingens / Gloria Teucrorum.
    • We Trojans are no more; Ilium, and the great glory of the Trojans, hath fallen.
    • Lines 325–326.
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        We have been Trojans: Troy has been:
        She sat, but sits no more, a queen.
  • Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem.
    • No safety may the vanquished find
      Till hope of safety be resigned.
    • Line 354 (translated by John Conington).
    • Variant translation:
      The only safe course for the defeated is to expect no safety.
  • Quondam etiam victis redit in praecordia virtus.
    • Sometimes the spark of generous fire
      Revives in vanquished hearts again.
    • Line 367 (translated by John Conington).
  • Crudelis ubique / Luctus, ubique pavor, et plurima mortis imago.
    • Dire agonies, wild terrors swarm,
      And Death glares grim in many a form.
    • Lines 368–369 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        All parts resound with tumults, plaints, and fears;
        And grisly Death in sundry shapes appears.
    • Variant translation of Plurima mortis imago: "Death in a thousand shapes."
  • Adspirat primo Fortuna labori.
    • Thus Fortune on our first endeavour smil'd.
      The gods thought otherwise.
    • Line 385 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Dolus, an virtus, quis in hoste requirat?
    • Let fraud supply the want of force in war.
    • Line 390 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        Who questions, when with foes we deal,
        If craft or courage guides the steel?
  • Heu nihil invitis fas quemquam fidere divis!
    • Alas! it is right for one to trust to nothing when the gods are adverse.
    • Line 402 (translated by Charles Anthon).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        But ah! what use of valour can be made,
        When Heaven's propitious powers refuse their aid?
  • Dis aliter visum.
    • The gods thought otherwise.
    • Line 428. Cf. Dryden's translation: Heav'n thought not so.
    • Variant translation: The gods have decreed otherwise.
  • Fit via vi.
    • Force wins her footing.
    • Line 494 (translated by John Conington).
  • Sic fatus senior telumque imbelle sine ictu
    Coniecit, rauco quod protinus aere repulsum,
    Et summo clipei nequiquam umbone pependit.
    • So spoke the sire, and speaking threw
      A feeble dart, no blood that drew:
      The ringing metal turned it back,
      And left it dangling, weak and slack.
    • Line 544 (translated by John Conington); of aged Priam's feeble spear.
    • Variant translation of Telumque imbelle sine ictu: "A harmless dart, devoid of force."
      • Used metaphorically in reference to a weak argument.
  • Facilis iactura sepulcri.
    • He lacks not much that lacks a grave.
      He follows his father, but not with equal steps.
    • Line 646 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        As for my sepulchre, let Heav'n take care.
  • Sequiturque patrem non passibus aequis.
    • He follows his father, but not with equal steps.
    • Line 724; of Ascanius (Aeneas's son), when escaping from burning Troy.
      • Cf. Dryden's translation: And with unequal paces tript along.
  • Horror ubique animo, simul ipsa silentia terrent.
    • All things were full of horror and affright,
      And dreadful e'en the silence of the night.
    • Line 755 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Obstupui, steteruntque comae, et vox faucibus haesit.
    • I heard, fear-stricken and amazed,
      My speech tongue-tied, my hair upraised.
    • Line 774 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Aghast, astonished, and struck dumb with fear,
        I stood; like bristles rose my stiffened hair.
    • Variant translations:
      • I was stunned, my hair stood on end, and my voice clung to my jaws.
      • I was amazed, my hair stood on end, and my voice stuck in my throat.
  • Cessi et sublato montes genitore petivi.
    • I yield to Fate, unwillingly retire,
      And, loaded, up the hill convey my sire.
    • Line 804 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        I yield to fate, take up my sire,
        And to the mountain's shade retire.

Book III[edit]

Fell lust of gold! abhorred, accurst!
What will not men to slake such thirst?
  • Troja fuit.
    • Troy has been.
    • Line 11 (cf. 2.325).
  • Parce sepulto.
    • Spare the buried.
    • Line 41; i.e. do not run down a dead person, because he/she can not defend him/herself.
  • Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,
    Auri sacra fames?
    • Fell lust of gold! abhorred, accurst!
      What will not men to slake such thirst?
    • Lines 56–57 (translated by John Conington); of Polydorus's murder.
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        O sacred hunger of pernicious gold!
        What bands of faith can impious lucre hold?
      • Cf. also Symmons' translation:
        Dire lust of gold! how mighty thy controll
        To bend to crime man's impotence of soul!
    • Variant translations:
      • The accursed hunger for gold!
      • What do you not drive human hearts into,
        cursed craving for gold!
  • Et nati natorum et qui nascentur ab illis.
    • The children of our children, and those who shall be born of them.
    • Line 98.
  • Fama volat.
    • The rumor is flying.
    • Line 121.
The mad prophetic Sibyl you shall find,
Dark in a cave, and on a rock reclin'd.
She sings the fates, and, in her frantic fits,
The notes and names, inscrib'd, to leafs commits.
She shall direct thy course, instruct thy mind,
And teach thee how the happy shores to find.
  • Insanam vatem aspicies, quae rupe sub ima
    Fata canit foliisque notas et nomina mandat.
    Quaecumque in foliis descripsit carmina virgo
    Digerit in numerum atque antro seclusa relinquit:
    Illa manent immota locis neque ab ordine cedunt.
    Verum eadem, verso tenuis cum cardine ventus
    Impulit et teneras turbavit ianua frondes,
    Numquam deinde cavo volitantia prendere saxo
    nec revocare situs aut iungere carmina curat:
    Inconsulti abeunt sedemque odere Sibyllae.
    • The mad prophetic Sibyl you shall find,
      Dark in a cave, and on a rock reclin'd.
      She sings the fates, and, in her frantic fits,
      The notes and names, inscrib'd, to leafs commits.
      What she commits to leafs, in order laid,
      Before the cavern's entrance are display'd:
      Unmov'd they lie; but, if a blast of wind
      Without, or vapors issue from behind,
      The leafs are borne aloft in liquid air,
      And she resumes no more her museful care,
      Nor gathers from the rocks her scatter'd verse,
      Nor sets in order what the winds disperse.
      Thus, many not succeeding, most upbraid
      The madness of the visionary maid,
      And with loud curses leave the mystic shade.
    • Lines 443–452 (translated by John Dryden)
  • Hic tibi ne qua morae fuerint dispendia tanti,
    Quamvis increpitent socii et vi cursus in altum
    Vela vocet, possisque sinus implere secundos,
    Quin adeas vatem precibusque oracula poscas
    Ipsa canat vocemque volens atque ora resolvat.
    Illa tibi Italiae populos venturaque bella
    Et quo quemque modo fugiasque ferasque laborem
    Expediet, cursusque dabit venerata secundos.
    Haec sunt quae nostra liceat te voce moneri.
    Vade age, et ingentem factis fer ad aethera Troiam.
    • Think it not loss of time a while to stay,
      Tho' thy companions chide thy long delay;
      Tho' summon'd to the seas, tho' pleasing gales
      Invite thy course, and stretch thy swelling sails:
      But beg the sacred priestess to relate
      With willing words, and not to write thy fate.
      The fierce Italian people she will show,
      And all thy wars, and all thy future woe,
      And what thou may'st avoid, and what must undergo.
      She shall direct thy course, instruct thy mind,
      And teach thee how the happy shores to find.
      This is what Heav'n allows me to relate:
      Now part in peace; pursue thy better fate,
      And raise, by strength of arms, the Trojan state.
    • Lines 453–461 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Vivite felices, quibus est fortuna peracta
    Jam sua: nos alia ex aliis in fata vocamur.
    • Live and be blest! 'tis sweet to feel
      Fate's book is closed and under seal.
      For us, alas! that volume stern
      Has many another page to turn.
    • Lines 493–494 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Your fortune, happy pair, already made,
        Leaves you no farther wish. My diff'rent state,
        Avoiding one, incurs another fate.
  • Tollimur in coelum curvato gurgite, et iidem
    Subducta ad manes imos descendimus unda.
    • Now on a tow'ring arch of waves we rise,
      Heav'd on the bounding billows, to the skies.
      Then, as the roaring surge retreating fell,
      We shoot down headlong to the depths of hell.
    • Lines 564–565 (translated by Christopher Pitt).
  • Di, talem terris avertite pestem!
    • Snatch him, ye Gods, from mortal eyes!
    • Line 620 (translated by John Conington).
  • Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum.
    • A monstrous bulk, deformed, deprived of sight.
    • Line 658 (translated by John Dryden); of Polyphemus.
    • Variant translation: A monster horrendous, hideous and vast, deprived of sight.
  • Voluptas / solamenque mali.
    • This only solace his hard fortune sends.
    • Lines 660–661 (translated by John Dryden).

Book IV[edit]

  • Vulnus alit venis et caeco carpitur igni.
    • She fed within her veins a flame unseen.
    • Line 2 (translated by John Dryden); of Dido.
      • Cf. Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act II, scene iv, Viola:
        "Concealment, like a worm i' the bud, / Feed on her damask cheek."
  • Haerent infixi pectore voltus
    Verbaque, nee placidam membris dat cura quietem.
    • Each look is pictured in her breast,
      Each word: nor passion lets her rest.
    • Lines 4–5 (translated by John Conington).
  • Degeneres animos timor arguit.
    • Fear ever argues a degenerate kind.
    • Line 13 (translated by John Dryden).
    • Variant translations:
      • Fear betrays ignoble souls.
      • Fear is proof of a low-born soul.
      • Fear is the proof of a degenerate mind.
  • Heu, quibus ille / Jactatus fatis! quae bella exhausta canebat!
    • What perils his from war and sea!
    • Lines 13–14 (translated by John Conington).
  • Agnosco veteris vestigia flammae.
    • I feel once more the scars of the old flame.
    • Line 23; Dido acknowledging her love for Aeneas.
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        And, to confess my frailty, to my shame,
        Somewhat I find within, if not the same.
  • Sed mihi vel tellus optem prius ima dehiscat
    Vel pater omnipotens adigat me fulmine ad umbras,
    Pallentis umbras Erebo noctemque profundam.
    • But oh! may Earth her dreadful gulph display,
      And gaping snatch me from the golden day;
      May I be hurl'd, by Heav'n's almighty fire,
      Transfix'd with thunder, and involv'd in fire,
      Down to the shades of Hell, from realms of light,
      The deep, deep shades of everlasting night.
    • Lines 24–26 (translated by Christopher Pitt).
  • Id cinerem aut manes credis curare sepultos?
    • Think you these tears, this pompous train of woe,
      Are known or valued by the ghosts below?
    • Line 34 (translated by John Dryden).
    • Variant translations:
      • Do you think that spirits care
        For their ashes or their tombs?
      • Thinke you, ghost's buried, ashes dead,
        Care much how we alive are sped?
      • Do you think that this can affect the shade or ashes of the buried dead?
      • Think you that cold ashes and the buried dead regard these your vows and promises?
  • Tacitum vivit sub pectore vulnus.
    • The wound is at her heart.
    • Line 67 (translated by John Conington).
    • Variant translation: The secret wound still lives within the breast.
  • Haeret lateri lethalis arundo.
    • The fatal dart / Sticks in her side, and rankles in her heart.
    • Line 73 (translated by John Dryden); of Dido's misery.
  • Egregiam vero laudem et spolia ampla refertis
    Tuque puerque tuus, magnum et memorabile numen,
    Una dolo divum si femina victa duorum est.
    • High praises, endless honors, you have won,
      And mighty trophies, with your worthy son!
      Two gods a silly woman have undone!
    • Lines 93–95 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Fama, malum qua non aliud velocius ullum;
    Mobilitate viget, virisque adquirit eundo;
    Parva metu primo; mox sese attollit in auras,
    Ingrediturque solo, et caput inter nubila condit.
    • Fame, the great ill, from small beginnings grows:
      Who can deceive a lover?

      Swift from the first; and ev'ry moment brings
      New vigor to her flights, new pinions to her wings.
      Soon grows the pigmy to gigantic size;
      Her feet on earth, her forehead in the skies.
    • Lines 174–177 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Pernicibus alis.
    • With swift wings.
    • Line 180.
  • Animum nunc huc celerem nunc dividit illuc.
    • This way and that he turns his anxious mind.
    • Line 285 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Quis fallere possit amantem?
    • Who can deceive a lover?
    • Line 296. Variant: "Who could deceive a lover?"
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        What arts can blind a jealous woman's eyes!
      • Cf. also Symmons' translation:
        For what disguise can cheat / A lover's eyes?
  • Tuta timens.
    • Fearing all things (even though safe).
    • Line 298. Variant: "Fearing even that which is safe."
  • Mene fugis? Per ego has lacrimas dextramque tuam te
    (Quando aliud mihi jam miserae nihil ipsa reliqui)
    Per connubia nostra, per inceptos Hymenaeos;
    Si bene quid de te merui, fuit aut tibi quidquam
    Dulce meum, miserere domus labentis, et istam,
    Oro, si quis adhuc precibus locus, exue mentem.
    • See whom you fly! am I the foe you shun?
      Now, by those holy vows, so late begun,
      By this right hand, (since I have nothing more
      To challenge, but the faith you gave before)
      I beg you by these tears too truly shed,
      By the new pleasures of our nuptial bed;
      If ever Dido, when you most were kind,
      Were pleasing in your eyes, or touch'd your mind;
      By these my pray'rs, if pray'rs may yet have place,
      Pity the fortunes of a falling race.
    • Lines 314–319 (translated by John Dryden).
While memory lasts and pulses beat,
The thought of Dido shall be sweet.
  • Nec me meminisse pigebit Elissae
    Dum memor ipse mei, dum spiritus hos regit artus.
    • While memory lasts and pulses beat,
      The thought of Dido shall be sweet.
    • Lines 335–336 (translated by John Conington); said by Aeneas to Dido.
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Nor can my mind forget Eliza's name,
        While vital breath inspires this mortal frame.
      • Cf. also Symmons' translation:
        And while the memory of self remains,
        While life's warm spirit quickens in my veins
        Still shall your worth be treasured in my breast;
        And still Elissa's virtues be confess'd.
  • Hic amor, haec patria est.
    • There is my heart, my home is there.
    • Line 347 (translated by John Conington).
  • Nusquam tuta fides.
    • Nowhere is trust safe.
    • Line 373 (of a period of civil war).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Faithless is earth, and faithless are the skies!
        Justice is fled, and Truth is now no more!
  • Improbe Amor, quid non mortalia pectora cogis!
    • Curst Love! what lengths of tyrant scorn
      Wreak'st not on those of woman born?
    • Line 412 (translated by John Conington); referring to the unwise actions undertaken by Dido, actuated by amorous passion.
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        All-pow'rful Love! what changes canst thou cause
        In human hearts, subjected to thy laws!
    • Variant translation: Oh wretched love! to what do you not impel the human breast?
  •               Nullis ille movetur
    Fletibus aut voces ullas tractabilis audit.
    • He stands immovable by tears,
      Nor tenderest words with pity hears.
    • Lines 438–439 (translated by John Conington).
  • Fata obstant.
    • Fate bars the way.
    • Line 440 (translated by John Conington).
    • Variant translation: The fates oppose it.
  • Mens immota manet, lacrimae volvuntur inanes.
    • Sighs, groans, and tears, proclaim his inward pains,
      But the firm purpose of his heart remains.
    • Line 449 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        Unchanged his heart's resolves remain,
        And falling tears are idle rain.
  • Hoc visum nulli, non ipsi effata sorori.
    • Not e'en into her sister's ear
      She dared to breathe that tale of fear.
    • Line 456 (translated by John Conington).
  • Ingeminant curae rursusque resurgens
    Saevit amor magnoque irarum fluctuat aestu.
    • Despair, and rage, and love divide her heart;
      Despair and rage had some, but love the greater part.
    • Lines 531–532 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Non servata fides cineri promissa Sychaeo.
    • I prov'd unfaithful to my former spouse,
      And now I reap the fruits of broken vows!
    • Line 552 (translated by Christopher Pitt).
  • Varium et mutabile semper / femina.
    • A woman's will
      Is changeful and uncertain still.
    • Line 569 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Stanyhurst's translation:
        A windfane changabil huf puffe
        Always is a woomman.
      • Cf. also Dryden's translation:
        Woman's a various and a changeful thing.
    • Alternate translations:
      • Fickle and changeable always is woman.
      • My life is lived, and I have played
        The part that Fortune gave.
        'To die! and unrevenged!' she said,
        'Yet let me die.'
        A woman is always changeable and capricious.
  • Exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor.
    • Rise some avenger of our Libyan blood.
    • Line 625 (translated by John Dryden).
    • Variant translations:
      • Rise up from my dead bones, avenger!
      • Arise from my bones, my unknown avenger.
      • Let someone arise from my bones as an Avenger.
  • Vixi, et, quem dederat cursum Fortuna, peregi;
    Et nunc magna mei sub terras ibit Imago.
    • My life is lived, and I have played
      The part that Fortune gave,
      And now I pass, a queenly shade,
      Majestic to the grave.
    • Lines 653–654 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        My fatal course is finish'd; and I go,
        A glorious name, among the ghosts below.
      • Cf. also Symmons' translation:
        Yet have I lived!—and lived for noble ends!
        My shade in glory to the shades descends.
  •                     'Moriemur inultae,
    Sed moriamur' ait. 'sic, sic juvat ire sub umbras.'
    •             "Must I die," she said,
      "And unreveng'd? 'tis doubly to be dead!
      Yet even this death with pleasure I receive:
      On any terms, 'tis better than to live."
    • Lines 659–660 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        'To die! and unrevenged!' she said,
        'Yet let me die: thus, thus I go
        Rejoicing to the shades below.'
  • Resonat magnis plangoribus aether.
    • The shrill echoes ring amidst the skies.
    • Line 668 (translated by Christopher Pitt).

Book V[edit]

  • Superat quoniam Fortuna, sequamur,
    Quoque vocat, vertamus iter.
    • 'Tis fate diverts our course, and fate we must obey.
    • Lines 22–23 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Ore favete omnes.
    • Hush your tongues from idle speech.
    • Line 71 (translated by John Conington).
  • Plausu fremituque virum studiisque faventum
    ———— Pulsati colles clamore resultant.
    • The partial crowd their hopes and fears divide,
      And aid, with eager shouts, the favour'd side.
      Cries, murmurs, clamours, with a mixing sound,
      From woods to woods, from hills to hills rebound.
    • Lines 148–150 (translated by John Dryden).
They can because they think they can.
  • Ceu nubibus arcus
    Mille jacit varios adverso sole colores.
    • More various colours thro' his body run,
      Than Iris when her bow imbibes the sun.
    • Lines 88–89 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Littus ama altum alii teneant.
    • Bear to the rocky shore, and shun the main.
    • Line 163 (translated by John Dryden).
    • Variant translation: Do you keep close to the shore, let others venture on the deep.
  • Possunt, quia posse videntur.
    • They can because they think they can.
    • Line 231 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Symmons' translation: They can because they dare.
    • Variant translation: They are able because they seem to be so.
  • Gratior et pulchro veniens in corpore virtus.
    • Even virtue is more fair, when it appears in a beautiful person.
    • Line 344.
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        His blooming beauty, with his tender tears,
        Had brib'd the judges for the promis'd prize.
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        [W]orth appears with brighter shine
        When lodged within a lovely shrine.
    • Variant translation: More lovely virtue, in a lovely form.
  • Me liceat casus miserari insontis amici.
    • Let me be suffered to extend
      Compassion to a hapless friend.
    • Line 350 (translated by John Conington).
  • Cede Deo.
    • Yield to God.
    • Line 467.
  • Nate dea, quo fata trahunt retrahuntque, sequamur;
    Quidquid erit, superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.
    • My chief, let Fate cry on or back,
      'Tis ours to follow, nothing slack:
      Whate'er betide, he only cures
      The stroke of Fortune who endures.
    • Lines 709–710 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        O goddess-born, resign'd in ev'ry state,
        With patience bear, with prudence push your fate.
        By suff'ring well, our Fortune we subdue;
        Fly when she frowns, and, when she calls, pursue.
    • Often paraphrased as Quocunque trahunt fata sequamur:
      • Wherever the Fates direct us, let us follow.
    • Variant translation of Superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est:
      • Every misfortune is to be subdued by patience.
  • Exigui numero, sed bello vivida virtus.
    • Few in number, but ardent for war.
    • Line 754.
    • Variant translations:
      • Small in number, but of tried and war-proof valour.
      • Few in number, yet theirs is a valour ardent for war.
      • In number inconsiderable, but of animated valour for war.
  • O nimium caelo et pelago confise sereno,
    Nudus in ignota, Palinure, iacebis harena.
    • Ah fatal confidence, too prone
      To trust in sea and sky!
      A naked corpse on shores unknown
      Shall Palinurus lie!
    • Lines 870–871 (translated by John Conington).

Book VI[edit]

Wars, horrid wars.
  • Ludibria ventis.
    • The sport of every wind.
    • Line 75 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Bella, horrida bella,
    Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno.
  • Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito
    Quam tua te Fortuna sinet.
    • Yet still despond not, but proceed
      Along the path where Fate may lead.
    • Lines 95–96 (translated by John Conington).
    • Variant translations of Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito:
      • Yield not to evils, but attack all the more boldly.
      • Do not yield to misfortunes, but meet them on the contrary with fortitude.
      • Do not yield to misfortunes, but, on the contrary, resist them with increasing firmness.
  • Obscuris vera involvens.
    • Wrapping truth in mystery.
    • Line 100 (of Sibyl's prophecy).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Some truths reveal'd, in terms involv'd the rest.
    • Variant translations:
      • Involving truth in obscurity.
      • Wrapping truth in obscurity.
      • Shrouding truth in darkness.
      • Involving the truth in obscure terms.
The gates of hell are open night and day;
Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:
But to return, and view the cheerful skies,
In this the task and mighty labor lies.
  • Illum ego per flammas et mille sequentia tela
    Eripui his umeris medioque ex hoste recepi.
    • Him through the fire these shoulders bore,
      And from the heart of battle tore.
    • Lines 110–111 (translated by John Conington).
  • Facilis descensus Averni:
    Noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis;
    Sed revocare gradium superasque evadere ad auras,
    Hoc opus, hic labor est.
    • The gates of hell are open night and day;
      Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:
      But to return, and view the cheerful skies,
      In this the task and mighty labor lies.
    • Lines 126–129 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Pitt's translation:
        Smooth lies the road to Pluto's gloomy shade;
        And hell's black gates for ever stand display'd:
        But 'tis a long unconquerable pain,
        To climb to these ethereal realms again.
      • Cf. also Conington's translation:
        The journey down to the abyss
        Is prosperous and light:
        The palace gates of gloomy Dis
        Stand open day and night:
        But upward to retrace the way
        And pass into the light of day
        There comes the stress of labour; this
        May task a hero's might.
    • Alternate translations:
      • Easy is the descent to hell;
        but to retrace one's steps, and to regain the upper world,
        this is the labour, this the difficulty.
      • It is easy to go down into Hell;
        Night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide;
        But to climb back again, to retrace one's steps to the upper air—
        There's the rub, the task.
      • Easy is the way down to the Underworld:
        by night and by day dark Dis's door stands open;
        but to withdraw one's steps and to make a way out to the upper air,
        that's the task, that is the labour.
  • Primo avulso non deficit alter.
    The faithful Achates.
    • The first thus rent, a second will arise.
    • Line 143 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Fidus Achates.
    • The faithful Achates.
    • Line 158; phrase often applied to a friend or a relative who remains faithful at all events – Achates was Aeneas' most faithful friend.
    • Variant translation: The faithful companion.
  • Procul, O procul este, profani!
    • Back, ye unhallowed!
    • Line 258 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Far hence be souls profane!
    • Variant translation:
      Far off, Oh keep far off, you uninitiated ones.
Now, Aeneas, thou needest thy courage, now thy stout heart!
  • Nunc animis opus, Aenea, nunc pectore firmo.
    • Now, Aeneas, thou needest thy courage, now thy stout heart!
    • Line 261; Sibyl's words to Aeneas as they enter the underworld.
    • Variant: "Now, Aeneas, is the hour for courage, now for a dauntless heart!"
  • Di, quibus imperium est animarum, umbraeque silentes,
    Et Chaos, et Phlegethon, loca nocte tacentia late,
    Sit mihi fas audita loqui: sit numine vestro
    Pandere res alta terra et caligine mersas.
    • Ye realms, yet unreveal'd to human sight,
      Ye gods who rule the regions of the night,
      Ye gliding ghosts, permit me to relate
      The mystic wonders of your silent state!
    • Lines 264–267 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Ibant obscuri sola sub nocte per umbram,
    Perque domos Ditis vacuas et inania regna.
    • Along the illimitable shade
      Darkling and lone their way they made,
      Through the vast kingdom of the dead,
      An empty void, though tenanted.
    • Lines 268–269 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Obscure they went through dreary shades, that led
        Along the waste dominions of the dead.
  • Vestibulum ante ipsum primisque in faucibus Orci
    Luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae,
    Pallentesque habitant Morbi tristisque Senectus,
    Et Metus et malesuada Fames ac turpis Egestas,
    Terribiles visu formae, Letumque Labosque;
    tum consanguineus Leti Sopor.
    • At Orcus' portals hold their lair
      Wild Sorrow and avenging Care;
      And pale Diseases cluster there,
      And pleasureless Decay
      Foul Penury, and Fears that kill,
      And Hunger, counsellor of ill,
      A ghastly presence they:
      Suffering and Death the threshold keep,
      And with them Death's blood-brother, Sleep.
    • Lines 273–278 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Just in the gate and in the jaws of hell,
        Revengeful Cares and sullen Sorrows dwell,
        And pale Diseases, and repining Age,
        Want, Fear, and Famine's unresisted rage;
        Here Toils, and Death, and Death's half-brother, Sleep.
    • Variant translations of Malesuada Fames:
      • Hunger persuading to evil.
      • Hunger is a bad adviser.
  • In medio ramos annosaque bracchia pandit
    Ulmus opaca, ingens, quam sedem Somnia volgo
    Vana tenere ferunt, foliisque sub omnibus haerent.
    • Full in the midst of this infernal road,
      An Elm displays her dusky arms abroad;
      The God of Sleep there hides his heavy head
      And empty dreams on ev'ry leaf are spread.
    • Lines 282–284 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Jam senior, sed cruda deo viridisque senectus.
    • He look'd in years; yet in his years were seen
      A youthful vigor and autumnal green.
    • Line 304 (translated by John Dryden); of Charon.
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        And oh! he might be growing now
        In years as fresh and green.
    • Variant translation:
      Somewhat aged; but his godship's old age was still fresh and green.
  • Hue omnis turba ad ripas effusa ruebat,
    Matres atque viri, defunctaque corpora vita
    Magnanimum heroum, pueri innuptaeque puellae,
    Impositique rogis juvenes ante ora parentum.
    • Towards the ferry and the shore
      The multitudinous phantoms pour;
      Matrons, and men, and heroes dead,
      And boys and maidens, yet unwed,
      And youths who funeral fires have fed
      Before their parents' eye.
    • Lines 305–308 (translated by John Conington).
  • Stabant orantes primi transmittere cursum
    Tendebantque manus ripae ulterioris amore.
    • Each in pathetic suppliance stands,
      So may he first be ferried o'er,
      And stretches out his helpless hands
      In yearning for the further shore.
    • Lines 313–314 (translated by John Conington).
    • Variant translations:
      • There all stood begging to be first across
        And reached out longing hands to the far shore.
      • They stood, pleading to be the first ferried across,
        and stretched out hands in yearning for the farther shore.
      • They stood begging to be the first to make the voyage over
        and they reached out their hands in longing for the further shore.
  • Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.
    • Fate, and the dooming gods, are deaf to tears.
    • Line 376 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Falso damnati crimine mortis.
    • Then those whom form of laws
      Condemn'd to die, whom traitors judg'd their cause.
    • Line 430 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Dulcis et alta quies, placidaeque simillima morti.
    • A lethargy of sleep,
      Most like to death, so calm, so deep.
    • Line 522 (translated by John Conington).
  • Hic locus est, partes ubi se via findit in ambas.
    • 'Tis here, in diff'rent paths, the way divides.
    • Line 540.
  • Sedet, aeternumque sedebit / Infelix Theseus.
    • There in the bottom of the pit
      Sits Theseus, and will ever sit.
    • Lines 617–618 (translated by John Conington).
  • Discite justitiam moniti et non temnere divos.
    • Learn righteousness, and dread th' avenging deities.
    • Line 620 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        Behold, and learn to practise right,
        Nor do the blessed gods despite.
  • Vendidit hic auro patriam.
    • He sold his country for gold.
    • Line 621. Cf. Conington's translation:
      This to a tyrant master sold
      His native land for cursed gold.
  • Non, mihi si linguae centum sunt oraque centum / Ferrea vox, omnis scelerum comprendere formas,
    Omnia poenarum percurrere nomina possim.
    • No, had I e'en a hundred tongues,
      A hundred mouths, and iron lungs,
      Those types of guilt I could not show,
      Nor tell the forms of penal woe.
    • Lines 625–627 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Had I a hundred mouths, a hundred tongues,
        And throats of brass, inspir'd with iron lungs,
        I could not half those horrid crimes repeat,
        Nor half the punishments those crimes have met.
  • Devenere locos laetos et amoena vireta
    Fortunatonun nemorum, sedesque beatas.
    • They reach the realms of tranquil bliss.
      Green spaces folded in with trees,
      A paradise of pleasances.
    • Lines 638–639 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        ——————————They took their way
        Where long extended plains of pleasure lay:
        The verdant fields with those of heav'n may vie,
        With ether vested, and a purple sky;
        The blissful seats of happy souls below.
  • Hic manus, ob patriam pugnando vulnera passi,
    Quique sacerdotes casti, dum vita manebat,
    Quique pii vates, et Phoebo digna locuti,
    Inventas aut qui vitam excoluere per artes,
    Quique sui memores alios fecere merendo;
    Omnibus his nivea cinguntur tempora vitta.
    • Here sees he the illustrious dead
      Who fighting for their country bled;
      Priests who while earthly life remained
      Preserved that life unsoiled, unstained;
      Blest bards, transparent souls and clear,
      Whose song was worthy Phoebus' ear;
      Inventors who by arts refined
      The common lot of human kind,
      With all who grateful memory won
      By services to others done:
      A goodly brotherhood, bedight
      With coronals of virgin white.
    • Lines 660–665 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Here patriots live, who, for their country's good,
        In fighting fields, were prodigal of blood:
        Priests of unblemish'd lives here make abode,
        And poets worthy their inspiring god;
        And searching wits, of more mechanic parts,
        Who grac'd their age with new-invented arts:
        Those who to worth their bounty did extend,
        And those who knew that bounty to commend.
        The heads of these with holy fillets bound,
        And all their temples were with garlands crown'd.
    • Variant translation of Inventas aut qui vitam excoluere per artis: "It is of benefit to have improved life through discovered knowledge"; a paraphrase of this is inscribed on the Medicine and Physiology Nobel prize medals: Inventas vitam iuvat excoluisse per artes ("inventions enhance life which is beautified through art").
  • Animae, quibus altera fato
    Corpora debentur, Lethaei ad fluminis undam
    Secures latices, et longa oblivia potant.
    • The souls that throng the flood
      Are those to whom, by Fate, are other bodies owed,
      In Lethe's lake they long oblivion taste,
      Of future life secure, forgetful of the past.
    • Lines 713–715 (translated by John Dryden).
Mens agitat molem.
"Mind moves matter."
Each of us bears his own Hell.
  • Principio caelum ac terras camposque liquentis
    Lucentemque globum Lunae Titaniaque astra
    Spiritus intus alit, totamque infusa per artus
    Mens agitat molem et magno se corpore miscet.
    • Know, first, that heav'n, and earth's compacted frame,
      And flowing waters, and the starry flame,
      And both the radiant lights, one common soul
      Inspires and feeds, and animates the whole.
      This active mind, infus'd thro' all the space,
      Unites and mingles with the mighty mass.
    • Lines 724–727 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        Know first, the heaven, the earth, the main,
        The moon's pale orb, the starry train.
        Are nourished by a soul,
        A bright intelligence, whose flame
        Glows in each member of the frame,
        And stirs the mighty whole.
  • Quisque suos patimur Manes.
    • Each of us suffers his own spirit.
    • Line 743. Cf. Galatians 6:5 (KJV): For every man shall bear his own burden.
    • Variant translations:
      • Each of us bears his own Hell.
      • Each man is liable to his peculiar destiny.
  • Concretam exemit labem, purumque relinquit
    Aetherium sensum atque aurai simplicis ignem.
    •                      By length of time
      The scurf is worn away of each committed crime;
      No speck is left of their habitual stains,
      But the pure ether of the soul remains.
    • Lines 746–747 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Has omnis, ubi mille rotam volvere per annos,
    Lethaeum ad fluvium deus evocat agmine magno,
    Scilicet immemores supera et convexa revisant
    Bursus et incipiant in corpora velle reverti.
    • All these, when centuries ten times told
      The wheel of destiny have rolled.
      The voice divine from far and wide
      Calls up to Lethe's river-side.
      That earthward they may pass once more
      Remembering not the things before.
      And with a blind propension yearn
      To fleshly bodies to return.
    • Lines 748–751 (translated by John Conington).
  • Laudumque immensa cupido.
    • Unextinguished thirst of praise.
    • Line 823 (translated by John Conington).
    • Variant translation: An immense desire for praise.
  • Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento
    (Hae tibi erunt artes), pacique imponere morem,
    Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.
    • Be this your nobler praise in times to come,
      These your imperial arts, ye sons of Rome!
      O'er distant realms to stretch your awful sway,
      To bid those nations tremble and obey;
      To crush the proud, the suppliant foe to rear,
      To give mankind a peace, or shake the world with war.
    • Lines 851–853 (translated by Christopher Pitt).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        But, Rome, 'tis thine alone, with awful sway,
        To rule mankind, and make the world obey,
        Disposing peace and war by thy own majestic way;
        To tame the proud, the fetter'd slave to free:
        These are imperial arts, and worthy thee.
      • Cf. also Symmons' translation:
        Roman! be thine the sovereign arts of sway;
        Nobly to rule, and make the world obey:
        Give peace its laws; respect the prostrate foe:
        Abase the lofty, and exalt the low.
      • Cf. also Conington's translation:
        But, Roman, thou, do thou control
        The nations far and wide
        Be this thy genius, to impose
        The rule of peace on vanquished foes,
        Show pity to the humbled soul,
        And crush the sons of pride.
  • Aspice, ut insignis spoliis Marcellus opimis
    Ingreditur victorque viros supereminet omnes.
    • Lo, great Marcellus! see him tower,
      With kingly spoils in conquering power.
      The warrior host above!
    • Lines 855–856 (translated by John Conington).
  • O nate, ingentem luctum ne quaere tuorum;
    Ostendent terris hunc tantum fata, neque ultra
    Esse sinent. Nimium vobis Romana propago
    Visa potens, Superi, propria haec si dona fuissent.
    Quantos ille virum magnam Mavortis ad urbem
    Campus aget gemitus, vel quae, liberine, videbis
    Funera, cum tumulum praeterlabere recentem!
    Nec puer Iliaca quisquam de gente Latinos
    In tantum spe tollet avos, nec Romula quondam
    Ullo se tantum tellus iactabit alumno.
    Heu pietas, heu prisca fides, invictaque bello
    Dextera! Non illi se quisquam impune tulisset
    Obvius armato, seu cum pedes iret in hostem,
    Seu spumantis equi foderet calcaribus armos.
    Heu, miserande puer, si qua fata aspera rumpas,
    Tu Marcellus eris.
    • Ah son! compel me not to speak
      The sorrows of our race!
      That youth the Fates but just display
      To earth, nor let him longer stay:
      With gifts like these for aye to hold.
      Rome's heart had e'en been overbold.
      Ah! what a groan from Mars's plain
      Shall o'er the city sound!
      How wilt thou gaze on that long train,
      Old Tiber, rolling to the main
      Beside his new-raised mound!
      No youth of Ilium's seed inspires
      With hope as fair his Latian sires:
      Nor Rome shall dandle on her knee
      A nursling so adored as he.
      O piety! O ancient faith!
      O hand untamed in battle scathe!
      No foe had lived before his sword,
      Stemmed he on foot the war's red tide
      Or with relentless rowel gored
      His foaming charger's side.
      Dear child of pity! shouldst thou burst
      The dungeon-bars of Fate accurst,
      Our own Marcellus thou!
    • Lines 868–883 (translated by John Conington).
      "Seek not to know," the ghost replied with tears,
      "The sorrows of thy sons in future years.
      This youth (the blissful vision of a day)
      Shall just be shown on earth, and snatch'd away.
      The gods too high had rais'd the Roman state,
      Were but their gifts as permanent as great.
      What groans of men shall fill the Martian field!
      How fierce a blaze his flaming pile shall yield!
      What fun'ral pomp shall floating Tiber see,
      When, rising from his bed, he views the sad solemnity!
      No youth shall equal hopes of glory give,
      No youth afford so great a cause to grieve;
      The Trojan honor, and the Roman boast,
      Admir'd when living, and ador'd when lost!
      Mirror of ancient faith in early youth!
      Undaunted worth, inviolable truth!
      No foe, unpunish'd, in the fighting field
      Shall dare thee, foot to foot, with sword and shield;
      Much less in arms oppose thy matchless force,
      When thy sharp spurs shall urge thy foaming horse.
      Ah! couldst thou break thro' fate's severe decree,
      A new Marcellus shall arise in thee!
      "Son!" cried the weeping sire, "the wish forego,
      To learn what late must whelm thy house in woe.
      Him shall the jealous Fates but show to earth:
      A short bright flash between decease and birth.
      Too high, ye Gods! our Roman power had grown,
      Had this your precious gift been all our own.
      How shall the field of Mars lament his doom!
      Its plain reflecting the vast groan of Rome!
      Tiber! what pomps of woe shall o'er thy wave,
      Gloom, as it murmurs by the recent grave!
      No youth of Troy, thus rich in early praise,
      So high the hope of Italy shall raise:
      Nor shall our Rome, 'mid all her hero-host,
      A son so bright in dawning glory boast.
      O piety! O faith of ancient strain!
      O hand, unconquer'd on the martial plain!
      On foot, or spurring his impetuous steed,
      The foe that met him had been sure to bleed.
      Ah! could'st thou, hapless boy! through fate's decree
      Break into age, thou should'st Marcellus be!"
    • Variant translation of Heu pietas, heu prisca fides:
      "Alas for our piety! Alas for our ancient faith!"
  • Manibus date lilia plenis.
    • Give me lilies in armfuls.
    • Line 883.
  • His saltem accumulem donis, et fungar inani / Munere.
    • This gift which parents to their children owe,
      This unavailing gift, at least, I may bestow!
    • Lines 885–886 (translated by John Dryden); last tribute to a departed friend.
      • Cf. Pitt's translation:
        These gifts at least, these honours I'll bestow
        On the dear youth, to please his shade below.
  • Sunt geminae Somni portae, quarum altera fertur
    Cornea, qua veris facilis datur exitus umbris,
    Altera candenti perfecta nitens elephanto,
    Sed falsa ad caelum mittunt insomnia Manes.
    • Two gates the silent house of Sleep adorn;
      Of polish'd iv'ry this, that of transparent horn:
      True visions thro' transparent horn arise;
      Thro' polish'd iv'ry pass deluding lies.
    • Lines 893–896 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        Sleep gives his name to portals twain;
        One all of horn, they say,
        Through which authentic spectres gain
        Quick exit into day,
        And one which bright with ivory gleams,
        Whence Pluto sends delusive dreams.
    • Alternate translation:
      Two gates the silent courts of sleep adorn,
      That of pale ivory, this of lucid horn.
      Through this, true visions take their airy way,
      Through that, false phantoms mount the realms of day.

Book VII[edit]

If Heav'n thou can'st not bend,
Hell thou shalt move.
  • Major rerum mihi nascitur ordo;
    Majus opus moveo.
    • A loftier task the bard essays:
      The horizon broadens on his gaze.
    • Lines 44–45 (translated by John Conington).
  • Hic domus, haec patria est.
    • Here is our home, here our country!
    • Line 122.
  • Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.
    • If Heav'n thou can'st not bend, Hell thou shalt move.
    • Line 312 (translated by Alexander Pope).
    • Variant translation: If I am unable to make the gods above relent, I shall move Hell.
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        If Jove and heav'n my just desires deny,
        Hell shall the pow'r of heav'n and Jove supply.
      • Cf. G. K. Rickards's translation:
        Hell will I raise, if Heaven my suit denies.
  • Saevit amor ferri, et scelerata insania belli.
    • Burns the fierce fever of the steel,
      The guilty madness warriors feel.
    • Line 461 (translated by John Conington).
  • Ille, velut pelagi rupes immota, resistit.
    • Like rock engirdled by the sea,
      Like rock immovable is he.
    • Line 586 (translated by John Conington).

Book VIII[edit]

  • Pacemne huc fertis an arma?
  • Pedibus timor addidit alas.
    • Terror wings his flight.
    • Line 224 (translated by John Conington).
  • O mihi praeteritos referat si Iuppiter annos.
    • Ah! would but Jupiter restore
      The strength I had in days of yore!
    • Line 560 (translated by John Conington).
  • At vos, o superi, et divum tu maxime rector
    Juppiter, Arcadii, quaeso, miserescite regis
    Et patrias audite preces: si numina vestra
    Incolumem Pallanta mihi, si fata reseruant,
    Si visurus eum vivo et venturus in unum:
    Vitam oro, patiar quemvis durare laborem.
    Sin aliquem infandum casum, Fortuna, minaris,
    Nunc, nunc o liceat crudelem abrumpere vitam,
    Dum curae ambiguae, dum spes incerta futuri,
    Dum te, care puer, mea sola et sera voluptas,
    Complexu teneo, gravior neu nuntius auris
    Vulneret.
    • Ye gods, and mighty Jove, in pity bring
      Relief, and hear a father and a king!
      If fate and you reserve these eyes, to see
      My son return with peace and victory;
      If the lov'd boy shall bless his father's sight;
      If we shall meet again with more delight;
      Then draw my life in length; let me sustain,
      In hopes of his embrace, the worst of pain.
      But if your hard decrees—which, O! I dread—
      Have doom'd to death his undeserving head;
      This, O this very moment, let me die!
      While hopes and fears in equal balance lie;
      While, yet possess'd of all his youthful charms,
      I strain him close within these aged arms;
      Before that fatal news my soul shall wound!
    • Lines 578–580 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Pitt's translation:
      "But hear, ye gods! and Heaven's great ruler, hear,
      With due regard, a king's and father's pray'r!
      My dear, dear Pallas, if the fates ordain
      Safe to return, and bless these eyes again:
      With age, pain, sickness, this one blessing give;
      On this condition I'll endure to live.
      But oh! if fortune has decreed his doom,
      Now, now, by death, prevent my woes to come;
      Now, while my hopes and fears uncertain flow,
      Now, ere she lifts her hand to strike the blow;
      While in these feeble arms I strain the boy,
      My sole delight, my last surviving joy.
      Ere the sad news of his untimely doom
      Shall bow this head with sorrow to the tomb!"
      "O ye Gods, and O great Jove,
      Have pity on a father's love
      And hear Evander's prayer:
      If 'tis your purpose to restore
      My Pallas to my arms once more;
      If living is to see his face,
      Then grant me life, of your dear grace:
      No toil too hard to bear.
      But ah! if Fortune be my foe,
      And meditate some crushing blow,
      Now, now the thread in mercy break,
      While hope sees dim and cares mistake,
      While still I clasp thee darling boy.
      My latest and my only joy,
      Nor let assurance, worse than fear,
      With cruel tidings wound my ear."
  • Arva nova Neptunia caede rubescunt.
    • The fields of Neptune take a purple dye.
    • Line 695 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        The sea-god's verdant fields look red,
        Incarnadined with heaps of dead.

Book IX[edit]

Dying, he slew; and, stagg'ring on the plain,
With swimming eyes he sought his lover slain;
Then quiet on his bleeding bosom fell,
Content, in death, to be reveng'd so well.
  • Prisca fides facto, sed fama perennis.
    • The tale long since was told,
      But fame is green, though faith be old.
    • Line 79 (translated by John Conington).
  • Me, me, adsum qui feci, in me convertite ferrum
    O Rutuli, mea fraus omnis: nihil iste nee ausus,
    Nee potuit; caelum hoc et conscia sidera testor:
    Tantum infelicem nimium dilexit amicum.
    • "Me! me!" he cried—"turn all your swords alone
      On me—the fact confess'd, the fault my own.
      He neither could nor durst, the guiltless youth—
      Ye moon and stars, bear witness to the truth!
      His only crime (if friendship can offend)
      Is too much love to his unhappy friend."
    • Lines 427–430 (translated by John Dryden).
    • Nisus, trying to save his friend Euryalus.
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        "Me, guilty me, make me your aim,
        O Rutules! mine is all the blame;
        He did no wrong, nor e'er could do;
        That sky, those stars attest 'tis true;
        Love for his friend too freely shown,
        This was his crime, and this alone."
  • Purpureus veluti cum flos succisus aratro
    Languescit moriens; lassove papavera collo
    Demisere caput, pluvia cum forte gravantur.
    • His snowy neck reclines upon his breast,
      Like a fair flow'r by the keen share oppress'd:
      Like a white poppy sinking on the plain,
      Whose heavy head is overcharg'd with rain.
    • Lines 435–437 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Moriens animam abstulit hosti.
    Tum super exanimum sese proiecit amicum
    Confossus, placidaque ibi demum morte quieuit.
    • Dying, he slew; and, stagg'ring on the plain,
      With swimming eyes he sought his lover slain;
      Then quiet on his bleeding bosom fell,
      Content, in death, to be reveng'd so well.
    • Line 445 (translated by John Dryden); of Nisus.
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        The dying hand has reft away
        The life-blood of its foe.
        Then, pierced to death, asleep he fell
        On the dead breast he loved so well.
  • Fortunati ambo! si quid mea carmina possunt,
    Nulla dies uuquam memori vos eximet aevo.
    • Blest pair! if aught my verse avail,
      No day shall make your memory fail
      From off the heart of time.
    • Lines 446–447 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        O happy friends! for, if my verse can give
        Immortal life, your fame shall ever live,
        Fix'd as the Capitol's foundation lies,
        And spread, where'er the Roman eagle flies!
  • At tuba terribilem sonitum procul aere canoro
    Increpuit, sequitur clamor caelumque remugit.
    • And now the trumpets terribly, from far,
      With rattling clangor, rouse the sleepy war.
      The soldiers' shouts succeed the brazen sounds;
      And heaven, from pole to pole, the noise rebounds.
    • Lines 503–504 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Macte nova virtute, puer, sic itur ad astra.
    • 'Tis thus that men to heaven aspire:
      Go on and raise your glories higher.
    • Line 641 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. C. P. Cranch's translation:
        Go on, increase in early valor, boy;
        Such is the pathway to the starry heights.
    • Variant translation: Blessings on your young courage, boy; that's the way to the stars.

Book X[edit]

Fortune favours the brave.
  • Speravimus ista
    Dum fortuna fuit.
    • Such hopes I had indeed, while Heaven was kind.
    • Lines 42–43 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Audentes fortuna juvat.
    • Fortune favours the brave.
    • Line 284.
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        Fortune befriends the bold.
    • Variant translations:
      • Fortune helps the daring.
      • Fortune assists the bold.
      • Fortune sides with him who dares.
  • Sua cuique exorsa laborem
    Fortunamque ferent.
    • Each warrior from his own good lance
      Shall reap the fruit of toil or chance.
    • Lines 111–112 (translated by John Conington).
  • Stat sua cuique dies, breve et inreparabile tempus
    Omnibus est vitae; sed famam extendere factis,
    Hoc virtutis opus.
    • Each has his destined time: a span
      Is all the heritage of man:
      'Tis virtue's part by deeds of praise
      To lengthen fame through after days.
    • Lines 467–469 (translated by John Conington).
  • Nescia mens hominum fati sortisque futurae,
    Et servare modum, rebus sublata secundis!
    • O impotence of man's frail mind
      To fate and to the future blind,
      Presumptuous and o'erweening still
      When Fortune follows at its will!
    • Lines 501–502 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Dryden's translation:
        O mortals! blind of fate, who never know
        To bear high fortune, or endure the low!
  • Dulces moriens reminiscitur Argos.
    • As he dies, he remembers his beloved Argos.
    • Line 782; of an Argive (Greek) soldier.

Book XI[edit]

  • Experto credite.
    • Believe an expert.
    • Line 283; often paraphrased as singular: "experto crede".
    • Variant translations:
      • Trust the expert.
      • Trust one who has gone through it.
      • Believe one who has had experience.
  • Spes sibi quisque.
    • Each one his own hope.
    • Line 309.
    • Variant translations:
      • Each must rely on himself.
      • Let each be a hope unto himself.
  • Lingua melior, sed frigida bello
    Dextera.
    • Excelling in speech, but slow to war.
    • Lines 338–339.
  •             Cur indecores in limine primo
    Deficimus? Cur ante tubam tremor occupat artus?
    • Why thus, unforc'd, should we so tamely yield,
      And, ere the trumpet sounds, resign the field?
    • Lines 424–425 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        Why fail we on the threshold? why
        Ere sounds the trumpet, quake and fly?
  • Illa manu moriens telum trahit: ossa sed inter
    Ferreus ad costas alto stat vulnere mucro.
    Labitur exsanguis; labuntur frigida leto
    Lumina: purpureus quondam color ora reliquit.
    • In vain she strives with dying hands
      To wrench away the blade:
      Fixed in her ribs the weapon stands,
      Closed by the wound it made.
      Bloodless and faint, she gasps for breath;
      Her heavy eyes sink down in death;
      Her cheek's bright colours fade.
    • Lines 816–819 (translated by John Conington); of Camilla.

Book XII[edit]

  • Quo referor totiens? quae mentem insania mutat?
    • Why reel I thus, confused and blind?
      What madness mars my sober mind?
    • Line 37 (translated by John Conington).
  • Aegrescitque medendo.
    • The proffer'd med'cine but provok'd the pain.
    • Line 46 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Forsan miseros meliora sequentur.
    • Who knows what changeful fortune may produce?
    • Line 153 (translated by John Dryden).
  • Sic omnis amor unus habet decemere ferro.
    • Each burns alike with frantic zeal
      To end the quarrel by the steel.
    • Line 282 (translated by John Conington).
  • Ne qua meis esto dictis mora.
    • Let there be no delay in the execution of my commands.
    • Line 565.
  • Usque adeone mori miserum est?
    • Is it then so very wretched a thing to die?
    • Line 646. Cf. Dryden's translation: "Is death so hard to bear?"
  • Magnorum haud unquam indignus avorum.
    • Never unworthy of his illustrious ancestors.
    • Line 649.
  •                    Aestuat ingens
    Imo in corde pudor mixtoque insania luctu
    Et furiis agitatus amor et conscia virtus.
    • Rage boiling from the bottom of his breast,
      And sorrow, mix'd with shame, his soul oppress'd;
      And conscious worth lay lab'ring in his thought;
      And love by jealousy to madness wrought.
    • Lines 666–668 (translated by John Dryden).
      • Cf. Conington's translation:
        Fierce boils in every vein
        Indignant shame and passion blind,
        The tempest of the lover's mind,
        The soldier's high disdain.
  • Fors et virtus miscentur in unum.
    • Chance joins with force to guide the steel.
    • Line 714 (translated by John Conington).
  • Ulterius tentare veto.
    • Attempt no further.
    • Line 806 (translated by John Conington).
  • Sit Romana potens Itala virtute propago.
    • Let Rome be glorious on the earth,
      The centre of Italian worth.
    • Line 827 (translated by John Conington).
      • Cf. Joab Goldsmith Cooper's translation:
        Let the Roman offspring be powerful, by Italian valor.
  • Ulterius ne tende odiis.
    • Do not go forward in your hatred.
    • Line 938; Turnus asking Aeneas for mercy.
    • Variant translation: Let your enmity no farther go.


Attributed[edit]

  • Hos ego versiculos feci, tulit alter honores.
    • I wrote these lines; another has borne away the honour.
    • Epigram attributed to Virgil by Tiberius Claudius Donatus in his Life of Virgil (c. 5th century A.D.).
    • Variant translations:
      • I wrote these lines; another had the credit.
      • I wrote these lines, another has taken the credit.


Misattributed[edit]

  • Minuit praesentia famam.
    • Presence diminishes fame.
    • Claudian, De Bello Gildonico, 385.
    • Wrongly attributed to Virgil in an epistle ascribed to Dante Alighieri, sometimes printed in his works (see Moore's Studies in Dante: Scripture and Classical Authors in Dante, p. 240). Paget Toynbee, in Dante Studies and Researches (1902), writes: "This attribution to Virgil of a passage from Claudian is one of several reasons for rejecting this letter [epistle] as spurious".
  • Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare longam.
    • Life's short span forbids us to enter on far reaching hopes.
    • Horace, Odes, Book I, ode iv, line 15.
  • Virginibus puerisque canto.
    • I sing for maidens and boys.
    • Horace, Odes, Book III, ode i, line 4.
  • Crescentem sequitur cura pecuniam,
    Maiorumque fames.
    • As money grows, care follows it and the hunger for more.
    • Horace, Odes, Book III, ode xvi, lines 17–18.
  • Interdum volgus rectum videt, est ubi peccat.
    • At times the world sees straight, but many times the world goes astray.
    • Horace, Epistles, Book II, epistle i, line 63.

Quotes about Virgil[edit]

Thou art my master, and my author thou,
Thou art alone the one from whom I took
The beautiful style that has done honour to me.

~ Dante Alighieri
Half of my soul.
~ Horace
All the charm of all the Muses often flowering in a lonely word.
~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  • "Or se' tu quel Virgilio e quella fonte
    che spandi di parlar sì largo fiume?",
    rispuos' io lui con vergognosa fronte.

    "O de li altri poeti onore e lume,
    vagliami 'l lungo studio e 'l grande amore
    che m'ha fatto cercar lo tuo volume.

    Tu se' lo mio maestro e 'l mio autore,
    tu se' solo colui da cu' io tolsi
    lo bello stilo che m'ha fatto onore."

    • "Now, art thou that Virgilius and that fountain
      Which spreads abroad so wide a river of speech?
      "
      I made response to him with bashful forehead.

      "O, of the other poets honour and light,
      Avail me the long study and great love
      That have impelled me to explore thy volume!

      Thou art my master, and my author thou,
      Thou art alone the one from whom I took
      The beautiful style that has done honour to me.
      "

    • Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Inferno, Canto I, lines 79–87 (translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).
  • Ma Virgilio n'avea lasciati scemi
    di sé, Virgilio, dolcissimo patre,
    Virgilio a cui per mia salute die'mi.
  • Nay, number (itself) in armies, importeth not much, where the people is of weak courage; for (as Virgil saith) it never troubles the wolf how many the sheep be.
    • Francis Bacon, Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral (1597), XXIX: "Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates." Cf. Eclogues, VII, l. 51.
  • Virgil loved rural ease, and, far from harm,
    Maecenas fix'd him in a neat, snug farm,
    Where he might free from trouble pass his days
    In his own way, and pay his rent in praise.
  • [Homer's] Fire burns with extraordinary Heat and Vehemence ... Virgil's is a clearer and a chaster Flame ...
  • There is an inimitable grace in Virgil's words, and in them principally consists that beauty which gives so inexpressible a pleasure to him who best understands their force. This diction of his, I must once again say, is never to be copied; and since it cannot, he will appear but lame in the best translation.
  • Virgil is so exact in every word, that none can be changed but for a worse; nor any one removed from its place, but the harmony will be altered. He pretends sometimes to trip; but it is only to make you think him in danger of a fall, when he is most secure.
    • John Dryden, A Parallel Betwixt Poetry and Painting (1695).
  • Virgil, above all poets, had a stock which I may call almost inexhaustible, of figurative, elegant, and sounding words.
  • ...in the sense in which a poet is a philosopher ... Virgil is the greatest philosopher of ancient Rome. ...Virgil was, among all authors of classical antiquity, one for whom the world made sense, for whom it had order and dignity, and for whom, as for no one before his time except the Hebrew prophets, history had meaning.
    • T. S. Eliot, "Virgil and the Christian World" (1951), later published in On Poetry and Poets (1956).
  • Animae dimidium meae.
    • Half of my soul.
    • Variant translation: Half my own soul.
    • Horace, referring to Virgil, in Odes, Book I, ode iii, line 8.
  • O Virgile! ô poète! ô mon maître divin!
    • Oh Virgil! Oh poet! Oh my divine master!
    • Victor Hugo, in Les Voix intérieures (1837), VII, 'À Virgile'.
  • Vergilium vidi tantum.
    • Virgil I only saw.
    • Ovid, Tristia (Sorrows), IV, x, 51.
  • This Fire is discerned in Virgil, but discerned as through a glass, reflected from Homer, more shining than fierce, but every where equal and constant.
  • Cedite Romani scriptores, cedite Grai!
    Nescioquid maius nascitur Iliade.
    • Make way, you Roman writers, make way, Greeks!
      Something greater than the Iliad is born.
    • Sextus Propertius, referring to Virgil's Aeneid, in Elegies, Book II, xxxiv, lines 65–66.
  • My lord, you know what Virgil sings—
    Woman is various and most mutable.
  • Thou that singest wheat and woodland, tilth and vineyard, hive and horse and herd;
    All the charm of all the Muses often flowering in a lonely word.

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