The Trojans land at Cumae, the site of a temple of Apollo and the residence of the Sibyl, Apollo’s prophetess. They admire the strange stories carved on its doors by Daedalus, founder of the temple. The Sibyl comes to meet them.
Thus he speaks tearfully, and he flings the reins to the fleet,
and he finally glides up to the Euboean shores of Cumae.
They turn the prows to the sea; then with a gripping tooth
the anchor held the ships, and the curved sterns
fringe the shores. A blazing band of young men glitters out
against the Western shore; one part seeks seeds of flame
hidden in veins of flint; another plunders the forests,
the thick lairs of wild beasts, they point out a discovered stream.
But pious Aeneas seeks the citadels, over which high Apollo
presides, and also the separate places of the dreadful Sibyll, set apart,
an awesome cavern, into whom a great mind and soul
the Delian prophet does breathe and reveals things yet to be.
Now they approach the groves of Trivia and her golden roofs.
Daedalus, so the story goes, fleeing the Minoan kingdoms,
on swift wings dared entrust himself to the sky,
by unaccustomed path he sailed away toward the Bears, the cold constellations,
and at long last he stopped, weightless above the Chalcidean citadel.
Restored first to these lands, he dedicated to you, Phoebus,
his oars of wings, and he set up awesome temples.
On the doors, the death of Androgeos; then the sons of Cecrops,
ordered to pay a penalty—woe!—seven bodies
each year of native sons; each stands by lots drawn from an urn.
Facing that, risen from the sea, the land of Cnossus corresponds:
and here, the brutal love of the bull, Pasiphae laid
secretly beneath, and the mixed descendant, the two-shaped offspring,
the Minotaur is also here, monuments of the abominable of Venus;
and here that toil of the house and the insolulable wandering;
but he also pitied the great love of the princess,
and Daedalus himself solved the tricks and winding ways of the lair,
by guiding a sightless trail with thread. And you as well, o Icarus,
if grief had permitted it, you would have had a great piece in such labour.
Twice he had tried to depict your fall in gold,
twice the father’s hand had fallen. They would be reading everything
straight through with their eyes, if Achates, already sent ahead,
had not arrived, and also one priestess of Phoebus and Trivia,
Deiphobe of Glaucus, who said these things to the king:
‘This occasion does not permit such spectacles for their own sake.
Would it not be now better to sacrifice seven bullocks
from the unyoked flock, and the same number of older, chosen according to custom?’
And having addressed Aeneas with such (nor do his men delay
her sacred commands), the priestess summons the Trojans to the high temple.