Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII. 1876–79.

Cuma (Cumæ)


By Virgil (70–19 B.C.)

(From Æneid, Book VI)
Translated by C. P. Cranch

WEEPING he spoke, then gave his fleet the reins,

Until at length Eubœan Cumæ’s shores

They reach. Seaward the prows are turned; the ships

Fast anchored, and the curved sterns fringe the beach.

On the Hesperian shore the warriors leap

With eager haste. Some seek the seminal flame

Hid in the veins of flint; some rob the woods,

The dense abode of beasts, and rivulets

Discover. But the good Æneas seeks

The heights o’er which the great Apollo rules,

And the dread cavern where the Sibyl dwells,

Revered afar, whose soul the Delian god

Inspires with thought and passion, and to her

Reveals the future. And now Dian’s groves

They enter, and the temple roofed with gold.

The story goes, that Dædalus, who fled

From Minos, dared to trust himself with wings

Upon the air, and sailed in untried flight

Toward the frigid Arctic, till at length

He hovered over the Cumæan towers.

Here first restored to earth, he gave to thee,

Phœbus, his oar-like wings, a sacred gift,

And built a spacious temple to thy name.