Rumor! What evil can surpass her speed?
In movement she grows mighty, and achieves
strength and dominion as she swifter flies.
small first, because afraid, she soon exalts
her stature skyward, stalking through the lands
and mantling in the clouds her baleful brow.

[Fama, malum qua non aliud velocius ullum;
Mobilitate viget, virisque adquirit eundo;
Parva metu primo; mox sese attollit in auras,
Ingrediturque solo, et caput inter nubila condit.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 4, l. 174ff (4.174-177) (29-19 BC) [tr. Williams (1910)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Fame, the great ill, from small beginnings grows:
Swift from the first; and ev'ry moment brings
New vigor to her flights, new pinions to her wings.
Soon grows the pigmy to gigantic size;
Her feet on earth, her forehead in the skies.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Fame, than whom no pest is more swift, by exerting her agility grows more active, and acquires strength on her way : small at first through fear; soon she shoots up into the skies, and stalks along the ground, while she hides her head among the clouds.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

Fame than who never plague that runs
     Its way more swiftly wins:
Her very motion lends her power:
She flies and waxes every hour.
At first she shrinks, and cowers for dread:
     Ere long she soars on high:
Upon the ground she plants her tread,
     Her forehead in the sky.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Rumor, than whom no evil is more swift.
She grows by motion, gathers strength by flight.
Small at the first, through fear, soon to the skies
She lifts herself. She walks upon the ground.
And hides her head in clouds.
[tr. Cranch (1872)]

Rumour, than whom none other is more swift to mischief; she thrives on restlessness and gains strength by going: at first small and timorous; soon she lifts herself on high and paces the ground with head hidden among the clouds.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

Rumour, of whom nought swifter is of any evil thing:
She gathereth strength by going on, and bloometh shifting oft!
A little thing, afraid at first, she springeth soon aloft;
Her feet are on the worldly soil, her head the clouds o'erlay.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Fame, far the swiftest of all mischiefs bred;
Speed gives her force; she strengthens as she flies.
Small first through fear, she lifts a loftier head,
Her forehead in the clouds, on earth her tread.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 23, ll. 200-204]

Rumour of all evils the most swift. Speed lends her strength, and she wins vigour as she goes; small at first through fear, soon she mounts up to heaven, and walks the ground with head hidden in the clouds.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

Rumor
Than whom no other evil was ever swifter.
She thrives on motion and her own momentum;
Tiny at first in fear, she swells, colossal
In no time, walks on earth, but her head is hidden
Among the clouds.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Rumour, the swiftest traveller of all the ills on earth,
Thriving on movement, gathering strength as it goes; at the start
A small and cowardly thing, it soon puffs itself up,
And walking upon the ground, buries its head in the cloud-base.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

Rumor,
whose life is speed, whose going gives her force.
Timid and small at first, she soon lifts up
her body in the air. She stalks the ground;
her head is hidden in the clouds.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 230ff]

Rumor
Thrives on motion, stronger for the running,
Lowly at first through fear, then rearing high,
She treads the land and hides her head in cloud.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 241ff]

Of all the ills there are, Rumour is the swiftest. She thrives on movement and gathers strength as she goes. From small and timorous beginnings she soon lifts herself up into the air, her feet still on the ground and her head hidden in the clouds.
[tr. West (1990)]

Rumor, the swiftest of evils. She thrives on speed
And gains power as she goes. Small and timid at first,
She grows quickly, and though her feet touch the ground
Her head is hidden in the clouds.
[tr. Lombardo (2005), l. 199ff]

Rumor, swiftest of all the evils in the world.
She thrives on speed, stronger for every stride,
slight with fear at first, soon soaring into the air
she treads the ground and hides her head in the clouds.
[tr. Fagles (2006), l. 220ff]

Rumor, no other evil can move more quickly:
She grows with speed and acquires strength in motion,
At first, she is small from fear, but soon she raises herself to the sky
and walks onto the land hiding her head among the clouds.
[tr. @sentantiq (2015)]

Rumor, swiftest of all evil; she thrives on speed and gains strength as she goes. At first she's small and scared, but soon she rears to the skies, her feet still on the ground, her head hidden in the clouds.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

Added on 22-Jun-22 | Last updated 22-Jun-22
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