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Starstrewn and Tattered

Starstrewn and Tattered.jpg

S & T on Myspace

Dawn at that hour Brought on her kindly light for all mankind, Arousing men to labor and distress. By now Aeneas and Tarchon had built up Their pyres along the curving shore. On them In the old-time ritual each bore and placed The bodies of his men. The smoky fires Caught underneath and hid the face of heavan In a tall gloom. Round pyres as they blazed Troops harnessed in bright armor marched three times In parade formation, and the cavalry Swept about the sad cremation flame Three times, while calling out their desolate cries. Tears fell upon the ground, fell upon armor. High in the air rose the wild yells of men, The metal knell of trumpets. There were some Who hurled gear taken from the Latin slain Into the fire, helmets and ornate swords, And reins and chariot wheels. Others tossed in Gifts more familiar to the dead, their spears and shields Which luck had not attended. On all sides Death received burnt offerings of oxen, Throats of swine were bled into the flames With cattle commandeered from all the feilds. Then over the whole shore they stood to see Their fellow-soldiers burning, and they kept watch On pyres as they flared: men could not be Torn from the scene till dew-drenched night came on And a night sky studded with fiery stars. The wretched Latins, also, in their quarter, Built countless pyres, and of their many dead They buried some, took some inland, or home Into the city. All the rest they burned, Heaped up in mammoth carnage, bodies jumbled Numberless and nameless. Everywhere Field strove with field in brightness of thick fires.

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