The Æneis of Virgil, translated by Charles Symmons.
As it is generally seen, blank verse seems to be only a laborious and doubtful struggle to escape from the fangs of prose... if it ever ventures to relax into simple and natural phraseology, it instantly becomes tame and the prey of its pursuer.
Preface to the First Edition
Arms, and the man who first, by Fate's command,
From Ilion 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.
Book I, lines 1–6
Hard is the task, O Queen! that you impose,
To tear my bosom with reviving woes.
Book II, lines 3–4
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.
Book II, lines 66–68
Dire lust of gold! how mighty thy controll
To bend to crime man's impotence of soul!
Book III, lines 74–75
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.
Book IV, lines 429–432
Yet have I lived!—and lived for noble ends!
My shade in glory to the shades descends.
Book IV, lines 878–879
"And shall I die? and unrevenged?" she said:
"Yes! let me die! thus—thus I plunge in night."
Book IV, lines 887–888
They can because they dare.
Book V, line 300
—————————— to death's abode
Prone lies the path, and facile is the road.
To all who seek them open day and night,
Pluto's black gates with broad access invite.
But to recall the foot, retrace the way
Up the dark steep, and re-assert the day—
This is the labor, this the mighty feat,
Achieved by few, the greatest of the great.
Book VI, lines 185–192
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.
Book VI, lines 1134–1137
"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!"
Book VI, lines 1160–1179
But, O ye Gods! and thou, whom gods obey,
Great Jove! with pity listen as I pray!
Respect the monarch's and the father's prayer!
If Pallas' safety be your heavenly care;
If to infold him in these arms again
I live, for life I sue with all its pain.
But if some dreadful fortune be design'd,
Now, now, while hope still soothes my cheated mind;
Ere yet the future shall its fates unfold;
While thus my son, my last, sole joy, I hold;
O! break life's chain at once, and let me go,
By darkness shrouded, from the death of woe!