For Camilla Wren McDaniel

from Virgil’s Aeneid, VII, 803–817

The best for last: Camilla at the head
Of her cavalry, a warrior queen not bred
For girlish tasks and weaving at the loom,
She strides before her squadrons all abloom
With bronze, a maiden toughened for the fight—
And swift—she could outstrip the wind in flight,
And skimming over a field of standing wheat,
Would not have bruised one ripe ear with her feet,
And racing over the sea, above the top
Of the waves, would not have touched a single drop.
The young men from the fields and matrons throng
Leaving their chores to watch her go along,
Gazing in amazement to behold her:
A purple cape aflutter at her shoulder,
Her tresses caught up with a golden clasp,
A quiver and a javelin in her grasp.

— translated from the Latin by A. E. Stallings