"Aeneas Fleeing Troy" by Pompeo BatoniThe Aeneid, Book I, Lines 1-50: A Rhyming Translation by Len Krisak The Society November 8, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Epic, Poetry, Translation 4 Comments The complete new translation can found from Hackett Publishing here. My poem sings of one man forced from Troy by war. Fate harried him to find a home on Latium’s shore— On some Lavinian littoral. By land and sea, Driven by loss, by gods who would not let him be, By unrelenting Juno’s lack of any pity,  He made his gods a home at last, founding the city Of ancient Alba, then the battlements of Rome. Speak, Muse. Speak out, and say where Juno’s rage came from. Tell me why great heaven’s queen hounded this man So marked by righteousness through such hard labors. Can  Such savage indignation grip a deity? There was an ancient city, far from Italy And Tiber’s mouth, called Carthage. Colonized by Tyre, It was resourceful, rich, and storied in war’s dire Arts. They say that Juno loved it even more  Than Samos. Here was her armor (she set such store By Carthage); here, her chariot. Even now, she aimed, If fate allowed, to make this city feared and famed, Ruling the world. But she had heard Troy’s progeny Would one day topple Punic towers. Supremacy  World-wide would come from this, a war-proud people winning Libya’s ruin (that’s how the Parcae planned their spinning). Anxious, and mindful of the war she once had waged For her belovèd Argos, Juno—still enraged By what began that war, and bitter in her soul  Still; nursing hate at just the thought of Paris’ role In judging her, and of her beauty meanly spurned, And of that race, and stolen Ganymede’s unearned Honors—burned hotter still, and shook the storm-whipped main For men the Greeks and cruel Achilles had not slain.  She kept them out of Latium for so long that they Despaired the fates would ever let them find their way. Such massive effort: that’s what founding Rome entailed. Now sanguine on the sea, the ships had scarcely sailed From Sicily, their brazen bowsprits ploughing spume,  When Juno, nursing endless hate, began to fume: “Am I to give in now? Give up my cherished plan, Thwarted in turning back a Teucrian king—one man— From Italy? No doubt the Fates say so! But she Could burn the Argive fleet or drown it in the sea,  Could Pallas, just because one guilty man went mad— Ajax. She pitched Jove’s lightning from the rack, and bade The whipped-up winds rip through the sails and shrouds to maim That man who while his breast still billowed smoke and flame, Found out a jagged rock that spiked him all his life.  But I, the queen of gods, Jove’s sister and his wife, Must all these many years wage war against one race. Who then will worship Juno’s godhead? Who will place Their little sacrificial offerings on my altars?” So Juno’s furious fire flares and never falters.  Original Latin Arma virumque canō, Trōiae quī prīmus ab ōrīs Ītaliam, fātō profugus, Lāvīniaque vēnit lītora, multum ille et terrīs iactātus et altō vī superum saevae memorem Iūnōnis ob īram; multa quoque et bellō passūs, dum conderet urbem,  inferretque deōs Latiō, genus unde Latīnum, Albānīque patrēs, atque altae moenia Rōmae. Mūsa, mihī causās memorā, quō nūmine laesō, quidve dolēns, rēgīna deum tot volvere cāsūs īnsīgnem pietāte virum, tot adīre labōrēs  impulerit. Tantaene animīs caelestibus īrae? Urbs antīqua fuit, Tyriī tenuēre colōnī, Karthāgō, Ītaliam contrā Tiberīnaque longē ōstia, dīves opum studiīsque asperrima bellī, quam Iūnō fertur terrīs magis omnibus ūnam  posthabitā coluisse Samō; hīc illius arma, hīc currus fuit; hōc rēgnum dea gentibus esse, sī quā Fāta sinant, iam tum tenditque fovetque. Prōgeniem sed enim Trōiānō ā sanguine dūcī audierat, Tyriās olim quae verteret arcēs;  hinc populum lātē regem bellōque superbum ventūrum excidiō Libyae: sīc volvere Parcās. Id metuēns, veterisque memor Sāturnia bellī, prīma quod ad Trōiam prō cārīs gesserat Argīs— necdum etiam causae īrārum saevīque dolōrēs[ 25 exciderant animō: manet altā mente repostum iūdicium Paridis sprētaeque iniūria fōrmae, et genus invīsum, et raptī Ganymēdis honōrēs. Hīs accēnsa super, iactātōs aequore tōtō Trōas, rēliquiās Danaum atque immītis Achillī,  arcēbat longē Latiō, multōsque per annōs errābant, āctī Fātīs, maria omnia circum. Tantae mōlis erat Rōmānam condere gentem! Vix e conspectu Siculae telluris in altum vela dabant laeti, et spumas salis aere ruebant,  cum Iuno, aeternum servans sub pectore volnus, haec secum: ‘Mene incepto desistere victam, nec posse Italia Teucrorum avertere regem? Quippe vetor fatis. Pallasne exurere classem Argivom atque ipsos potuit submergere ponto,  unius ob noxam et furias Aiacis Oilei? Ipsa, Iovis rapidum iaculata e nubibus ignem, disiecitque rates evertitque aequora ventis, illum expirantem transfixo pectore flammas turbine corripuit scopuloque infixit acuto.  Ast ego, quae divom incedo regina, Iovisque et soror et coniunx, una cum gente tot annos bella gero! Et quisquam numen Iunonis adoret praeterea, aut supplex aris imponet honorem?’ Talia flammato secum dea corde volutans  Len Krisak has translated Horace’s Odes (2006), Virgil’s Eclogues (2010), and Prudentius’ Crown of Martyrs (2019). Among other honors, he is the recipient of the Robert Penn Warren Prize, the Richard Wilbur Award, and the Robert Frost Prize. He taught at Brandeis University, Northeastern University, and Stonehill College. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 4 Responses Court Reinland November 8, 2020 It reads so well in rhyme I should say – it’s about time! Reply C.B. Anderson November 8, 2020 Thank the gods! A classical translation that flows and can be read with pleasure in English. Somehow you have avoided stilted phrasing that infects many such similar endeavors. Of course, we can have little idea of how the original must have sounded to contemporary readers, unless there exists a record of such observations and opinions, but Anglophones are in for a good yarn. Reply Evan Mantyk November 9, 2020 Mr. Krisak, who by the way is some kind of Jeopardy champion of yore, has done an outstanding job in this translation and I recommend purchasing the whole book. I was in the middle of reading Fitzgerald’s excellent blank verse Aeneid translation when Mr. Krisak’s translation made its way into my hands. After comparing the two, I can say with certainty that Mr. Krisak has put out a better translation, at least in terms of the reading experience. For the accuracy from Latin I cannot say. My only criticism is that the book’s production quality does not match the level of the translation. The book is sturdy enough and bound well, but the image and design chosen for the cover is dark and ugly. Also the pages have tiny margins. This should be a grand production to match the grand translation, which wouldn’t surprise me if it became the definitive translation. For future editions, I recommend looking at Fagles book in terms of production quality, Mr. Krisak. Only, just begin there. Yours should be even better and have beautiful illustrations on the inside ideally; see Flaxman. At any rate, thank you for your fine work! It is a treasure. Reply BDW November 9, 2020 As per Aedile Cwebus: I always appreciate the Latin of Vergil, whose works are the ultimate emblem of the classic. Every time I read the first lines of the “Aeneid”, I am more than impressed at what he accomplished, I am awestruck. Arma virumque canō, Trōiae quī prīmus ab ōrīs Ītaliam, fātō profugus, Lāvīniaque vēnit lītora, multum ille et terrīs iactātus et altō vī superum saevae memorem Iūnōnis ob īram; multa quoque et bellō passūs, dum conderet urbem, inferretque deōs Latiō, genus unde Latīnum, Albānīque patrēs, atque altae moenia Rōmae. From the radical break from Homer in the first words, while at the same time holding tenaciously to the tradition, the condensation is breathtaking. If Milton’s “Paradise Lost” seems barbarous in comparison, Milton’s attempt is still the most Herculean in English. Of course, for those longing for a “rhymed Aeneid”, Dryden’s translation is an interesting place to begin; however, each generation has to work out its own Zeitgeist. It would be interesting to know what it is Mr. Krisak is trying to achieve. In times like these, the verses of Vergil and Horace are invaluable. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.