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Appendix Vergiliana

Dirae

Battare, cycneas repetamus carmine voces: divisas iterum sedes et rura canamus, rura quibus diras indiximus, impia vota. ante lupos rapient haedi, vituli ante leones, 5delphini fugient pisces, aquilae ante columbas, et conversa retro rerum discordia gliscet— multa prius fient quam non mea libera avena montibus et silvis dicat tua facta, Lycurge.

“Impia Trinacriae sterilescant gaudia vobis 10nec fecunda, senis nostri felicia rura, semina parturiant segetes, non pascua colles, non arbusta novas fruges, non pampinus uvas, ipsae non silvae frondes, non flumina montes.”

Rursus et hoc iterum repetamus, Battare, carmen:

15“Effetas Cereris sulcis condatis avenas, pallida flavescant aestu sitientia prata, immatura cadant ramis pendentia mala, desint et silvis frondes et fontibus umor,

  • 8dicat ς: dicam Ω
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Appendix Vergiliana

DIRAE

O Battarus, let my verse intone again the notes of the swan: again let us sing of our divided homes and lands, lands whereon we have pronounced our curses, unholy prayers. Sooner shall kids prey upon wolves, sooner calves upon lions; sooner shall dolphins flee before fishes, sooner eagles before doves, and worldwide chaos, again returning, shall burst forth—yea, many things shall come to pass before my shepherd’s reed shall be silenced from telling your deeds, Lycurgus, to the woods and mountains.

“Unholy and unblest, may Trinacria’s joys become barren for you and your fellows, and may the fruitful seeds in our old master’s rich lands give birth to no corn crops, the hills to no pastures, the trees to no fresh fruits, the vines to no grapes, the very woods to no leafage, the mountains to no streams!”

Again and yet again, O Battarus, let us repeat this song:

“Outworn be the oats of Ceres that ye bury in the furrows; pale and wan may the meadows become, parched with the heat; unripened may the drooping apples fall from the boughs! Let leaves fail the woods, let water fail the

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.appendix_vergiliana_dirae.1918