Meanwhile, the Sibyl,
Resisting possession, storms through the cavern,
In the throes of her struggle with Phoebus Apollo.
But the more she froths at the mouth
And contorts, the more he controls her, commands her
And makes her his creature. Then of their own accord
Those hundred vast tunnel-mouths gape and give vent
To the prophetess’s responses:
“O you who survived, In the end, the sea’s dangers (though worse still await
On the land), you and your Trojans will come
Into your own in Lavinium: have no fear of that.
But the day is one you will rue. I see wars,
Atrocious wars, and the Tiber surging with blood.
A second Simois river, a second Xanthus,
A second enemy camp lie ahead. And already
In Latium a second Achilles comes forth, he too
The son of a goddess. Nor will Trojans ever be free
Of Juno’s harassments, while you, without allies,
Dependent, will go through Italia petitioning
Cities and peoples. And again the cause of such pain
And disaster for Trojans will be as before: a bride
Culled in a host country, an outlander groom.
But whatever disasters befall, do not flinch.
Go all the bolder to face them, follow your fate
To the limit. A road will open to safety
From the last place you would expect: a city of Greeks.”
Thus from her innermost shrine the Sibyl of Cumae
Chanted menacing riddles and made the cave echo
With sayings where truths and enigmas were twined
Inextricably, while Apollo reined in her spasms
And curbed her, or sank the spurs in her ribs.