Certain Books of Virgil's {AE}neis: Book II

Original Text: 
Nott, George Fred., ed. The Works of Henry Howard earl of Surrey and of Sir Thomas Wyatt the elder. London: Longman, 1815-16. 2 vols. PR 2370 A1 1815 ROBA.
2When Prince Æneas from the royal seat
3Thus gan to speak: O Queen, it is thy will
4I should renew a woe cannot be told,
5How that the Greeks did spoil and overthrow
6The Phrygian wealth and wailful realm of Troy;
7Those ruthful things that I myself beheld,
8And whereof no small part fell to my share;
9Which to express, who could refrain from tears?
13And stars declining counsel us to rest.
14But since so great is thy delight to hear
16Though to record the same my mind abhors
17And plaint eschews, yet thus will I begin.
19Wherein they wasted had so many years,
20And oft repuls'd by fatal destiny,
21A huge horse made, high raised like a hill,
23Of cloven fir compacted were his ribs,--
24For their return a feigned sacrifice,--
26In the dark bulk they clos'd bodies of men,
27Chosen by lot, and did enstuff by stealth
28The hollow womb with armed soldiers.
30Rich and of fame while Priam's kingdom stood,
32Hither them secretly the Greeks withdrew,
33Shrouding themselves under the desert shore;
37The gates cast up, we issued out to play,
38The Greekish camp desirous to behold,
39The places void and the forsaken coasts.
44All wond'ring at the hugeness of the horse.
45And first of all Timœtes gan advise
46Within the walls to lead and draw the same,
47And place it eke amid the palace court,--
48Whether of guile, or Troyes fate it would.
49Capys, with some of judgment more discreet,
50Will'd it to drown, or underset with flame,
51The suspect present of the Greek's deceit,
53So diverse ran the giddy people's mind.
54     Lo! foremost of a rout that follow'd him,
55Kindled Laöcoön hasted from the tower,
56Crying far off: "O wretched citizens,
58Deem ye the Greeks, our enemies, to be gone?
59Or any Greekish gifts can you suppose
60Devoid of guile? Is so Ulysses known?
61Either the Greeks are in this timber hid,
62Or this an engine is to annoy our walls,
63To view our towers, and overwhelm our town.
64Here lurks some craft. Good Troyans, give no trust
65Unto this horse, for, whatsoever it be,
66I dread the Greeks, yea, when they offer gifts."


1] First published, along with Book IV, by Richard Tottel in 1557. The translation is in unrhymed iambic pentameter--the first appearance of blank verse in English literature. Surrey may have been influenced by an unrhymed Italian translation of Book II of the Æneidpublished at Venice in 1540.
whisted: became silent. Back to Line
10] Myrmidon ... Dolopes. The Myrmidons were the soldiers of Achilles, the Dolopes the soldiers of Neoptolemus. Back to Line
11] waged: hired. Back to Line
12] welkin: heavens. Back to Line
15] Troyës: ME. possessive form. Back to Line
18] Greekës: ME plural form.
irk'd: wearied. Back to Line
22] Minerva: goddess of wisdom. Back to Line
25] at point: exactly. Back to Line
29] hight: is called.
Tenedon: Tenedos, an island in the Aegean. Surrey uses the accusative form. Back to Line
31] road: anchorage. Back to Line
34] weening we: we thinking. Back to Line
35] fet: fetched; i.e., arrived at. Back to Line
36] dole: grief. Back to Line
40] pight: pitched their tents. Back to Line
41] battles: armies in battle array. Back to Line
42] scathful: hurtful. Back to Line
43] behight: promised. Back to Line
52] uncouth: unknown, unexplored. Back to Line
57] fretteth: consumeth. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.19.