With embers glowing white, and flings aloft
Great globes of fire, and licks the stars with flame;
Anon with large discharge out-hurls in air
The shattered entrails of the mountain's maw,
Disploded rocks, and jets of molten stone
Sluiced from its burning core, and brimming now,
O'er all its blazing sides infuriate boils.
'Tis said Encheladus' vast bulk is pressed,
All scorched and scarred, with thunderbolts intrenched,
This mighty mass beneath; and so o'erlaid,
The riven hill, in furnace mouths agape,
Forth spouts his fiery gaspings for the air;
And oft as shifts that weary, tortured side
Trinacria still from base to surface quakes
With inward throes, and shrouds the heaven in smoke.
With respect to the anecdote related above that Virgil ordered his MS. to be burned, the same fact is mentioned by Servius in his introduction to the Æneid, and confirmed also by Pliny (lib. vii., cap. 30). Virgil died in 19 B. C, and the Æneid must have been published soon after. Just as Pindar's verse was imitated by Æschylus, so Virgil served as a model for the unknown author of 'Ætna' a poetical description of more than 600 lines which abounds in scientific details. Although the authorship of this poem has been variously ascribed, the prevailing view of modern scholarship is that it is the work of Lucilius Junior, the philosophical friend and correspondent of the
- Strongly as Favorinus condemns Virgil's indulgence in poetic license, later usage would seem to sanction and uphold him in it. Dante's fondness for incongruous color associations, especially the more sombre shades, is proverbial, and even Milton did not disdain to put into the mouth of Moloch, when uttering his famous speech, the identical expression of 'black fire' (Paradise Lost, ii., 51-100).