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‘Seven Ships’
The Aeneid of Virgil, Book 1, Part 10
[The hero speaks beneath tearful eyes]
O nymph please hear
The tedium of our fate
A procession of torment
Born in war and hate
.
Troy was our city
Fallen into ruin
Trojans are we sailors driven before
Winds of ill-fortune
.
Have you heard of Aeneas
Famous once
Blessed once
Of good name
.
My own household gods
Borne through many trials
Piously rescued from their foes
We brought them here under sails
.
To fruitful Italy we are bound
From heaven’s king I have fallen [1]
Harried by waves as by a hound
Twenty sails set out from Ilium [2]
Guided by Fate to whom I am bound
And my goddess-mother Love
But seven sail to be found
.
I stand distressed
Wandering the unknown
Exiled from Europe and Asia
My home
End 10
.
Notes
-0. Overall, much of this migratory epic can be seen as mere crass justification for Roman conquest and dominion, and it is. But, there is a real sense of wounded nomadism authentic in this account, which this reader takes as reflecting a deeper tradition that antedated the Roman state, as claimed in the text. The claim of Trojan descent, may be regarded as dubiously adopted to justify dominion over the Hellenic world, which is explicitly stated throughout the text.
-1. By descent, Aeneas, through Venus is understood to be a son of the Eternal God of Heaven, the Creator standing outside of Time. This is not so obvious to the modern mind, who has been taught religion on a materialistic basis. However, Aryan cosmology assigned much the same function to the pantheon of gods as Christians do to the chorus of angels, being messengers from beyond the field of Time, and like fallen angels, capable of disputing the Eternal Will.
-2. Troy
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