aut acris tendunt arcus aut lenta lacertis 165spicula contorquent, cursuque ictuque lacessunt: cum praevectus equo longaevi regis ad auris nuntius ingentis ignota in veste reportat advenisse viros. ille intra tecta vocari imperat et solio medius consedit avito. 170Tectum augustum, ingens, centum sublime columnis urbe fuit summa, Laurentis regia Pici, horrendum silvis et religione parentum. hic sceptra accipere et primos attollere fascis regibus omen erat; hoc illis curia templum, 175hae sacris sedes epulis; hic ariete caeso perpetuis soliti patres considere mensis. quin etiam veterum effigies ex ordine avorum antiqua e cedro, Italusque paterque Sabinus fmpr vitisator curvam servans sub imagine falcem, 180Saturnusque senex Ianique bifrontis imago vestibulo astabant, aliique ab origine reges, Martiaque ob patriam pugnando vulnera passi. multaque praeterea sacris in postibus arma, captivi pendent currus curvaeque secures 185et cristae capitum et portarum ingentia claustra spiculaque clipeique ereptaque rostra carinis. ipse Quirinali lituo parvaque sedebat succinctus trabea laevaque ancile gerebat Picus, equum domitor, quem capta cupidine coniunx 190aurea percussum virga versumque venenis fecit avem Circe sparsitque coloribus alas.
- 182Martiaque PR: Martia qui FM
eager bows, or hurl with their arms tough darts, and challenge each other to race or box—when, galloping up, a messenger brings word to the aged monarch’s ears that mighty men are come in unknown attire. The king bids them be summoned into the halls, and takes his seat in the midst on his ancestral throne.
Stately and vast, towering with a hundred columns, his house crowned the city, once the palace of Laurentian Picus, awe-inspiring with its grove and the reverence of generations. Here it was auspicious for kings to receive the sceptre, and first uplift the fasces; this shrine was their senate house, this the scene of their holy feasts; here, after slaughter of rams, the elders were wont to sit down at the long line of tables. There, too, in order are images of their forefathers of long ago, carved of old cedar—Italus and father Sabinus, planter of the vine, guarding in his image the curved pruning hook, and aged Saturn, and the likeness of two-faced Janus—all standing in the vestibule; and other kings from the beginning, and men who had suffered wounds of war, fighting for their fatherland. Many arms, moreover, hang on the sacred doors, captive chariots, curved axes, helmet crests and massive bars of city gates; javelins and shields and beaks wrenched from ships. There sat one, holding the Quirinal staff 9 and girded in his robe of state, his left hand bearing the sacred shield—Picus, tamer of steeds, whom his bride Circe, smitten with love’s longing, struck with her golden rod, and with drugs changed into a bird with plumes of dappled hue.