BUT anxious cares already seizd the queen:
She fed within her veins a flame unseen;
The heros valor, acts, and birth inspire
Her soul with love, and fan the secret fire.
His words, his looks, imprinted in her heart, 5
Improve the passion, and increase the smart.
Now, when the purple morn had chasd away
The dewy shadows, and restord the day,
Her sister first with early care she sought,
And thus in mournful accents easd her thought: 10
My dearest Anna, what new dreams affright
My labring soul! what visions of the night
Disturb my quiet, and distract my breast
With strange ideas of our Trojan guest!
His worth, his actions, and majestic air, 15
A man descended from the gods declare.
Fear ever argues a degenerate kind;
His birth is well asserted by his mind.
Then, what he sufferd, when by Fate betrayd!
What brave attempts for falling Troy he made! 20
Such were his looks, so gracefully he spoke,
That, were I not resolvd against the yoke
Of hapless marriage, never to be curst
With second love, so fatal was my first,
To this one error I might yield again; 25
For, since Sichæus was untimely slain,
This only man is able to subvert
The fixd foundations of my stubborn heart.
And, to confess my frailty, to my shame,
Somewhat I find within, if not the same, 30
Too like the sparkles of my former flame.
But first let yawning earth a passage rend,
And let me thro the dark abyss descend;
First let avenging Jove, with flames from high,
Drive down this body to the nether sky, 35
Condemnd with ghosts in endless night to lie,
Before I break the plighted faith I gave!
No! he who had my vows shall ever have;
For, whom I lovd on earth, I worship in the grave.
She said: the tears ran gushing from her eyes, 40
And stoppd her speech. Her sister thus replies:
O dearer than the vital air I breathe,
Will you to grief your blooming years bequeath,
Condemnd to waste in woes your lonely life,
Without the joys of mother or of wife? 45
Think you these tears, this pompous train of woe,
Are known or valued by the ghosts below?
I grant that, while your sorrows yet were green,
It well became a woman, and a queen,
The vows of Tyrian princes to neglect, 50
To scorn Hyarbas, and his love reject,
With all the Libyan lords of mighty name;
But will you fight against a pleasing flame!
This little spot of land, which Heavn bestows,
On evry side is hemmd with warlike foes; 55
Gætulian cities here are spread around,
And fierce Numidians there your frontiers bound;
Here lies a barren waste of thirsty land,
And there the Syrtes raise the moving sand;
Barcæan troops besiege the narrow shore, 60
And from the sea Pygmalion threatens more.
Propitious Heavn, and gracious Juno, lead
This wandring navy to your needful aid:
How will your empire spread, your city rise,
From such a union, and with such allies? 65
Implore the favor of the powrs above,
And leave the conduct of the rest to love.
Continue still your hospitable way,
And still invent occasions of their stay,
Till storms and winter winds shall cease to threat, 70
And planks and oars repair their shatterd fleet.
These words, which from a friend and sister came,
With ease resolvd the scruples of her fame,
And added fury to the kindled flame.
Inspird with hope, the project they pursue; 75
On evry altar sacrifice renew:
A chosen ewe of two years old they pay
To Ceres, Bacchus, and the God of Day;
Preferring Junos powr, for Juno ties
The nuptial knot and makes the marriage joys. 80
The beauteous queen before her altar stands,
And holds the golden goblet in her hands.
A milk-white heifer she with flowrs adorns,
And pours the ruddy wine betwixt her horns;
And, while the priests with prayr the gods invoke, 85
She feeds their altars with Sabæan smoke,
With hourly care the sacrifice renews,
And anxiously the panting entrails views.
What priestly rites, alas! what pious art,
What vows avail to cure a bleeding heart! 90
A gentle fire she feeds within her veins,
Where the soft god secure in silence reigns.
Sick with desire, and seeking him she loves,
From street to street the raving Dido roves.
So when the watchful shepherd, from the blind, 95
Wounds with a random shaft the careless hind,
Distracted with her pain she flies the woods,
Bounds oer the lawn, and seeks the silent floods,
With fruitless care; for still the fatal dart
Sticks in her side, and rankles in her heart. 100
And now she leads the Trojan chief along
The lofty walls, amidst the busy throng;
Displays her Tyrian wealth, and rising town,
Which love, without his labor, makes his own.
This pomp she shows, to tempt her wandring guest; 105
Her faltring tongue forbids to speak the rest.
When day declines, and feasts renew the night,
Still on his face she feeds her famishd sight;
She longs again to hear the prince relate
His own adventures and the Trojan fate. 110
He tells it oer and oer; but still in vain,
For still she begs to hear it once again.
The hearer on the speakers mouth depends,
And thus the tragic story never ends.
Then, when they part, when Phbes paler light 115
Withdraws, and falling stars to sleep invite,
She last remains, when evry guest is gone,
Sits on the bed he pressd, and sighs alone;
Absent, her absent hero sees and hears;
Or in her bosom young Ascanius bears, 120
And seeks the fathers image in the child,
If love by likeness might be so beguild.
Meantime the rising towrs are at a stand;
No labors exercise the youthful band,
Nor use of arts, nor toils of arms they know; 125
The mole is left unfinishd to the foe;
The mounds, the works, the walls, neglected lie,
Short of their promisd heighth, that seemd to threat the sky,
But when imperial Juno, from above,
Saw Dido fetterd in the chains of love, 130
Hot with the venom which her veins inflamd,
And by no sense of shame to be reclaimd,
With soothing words to Venus she begun:
High praises, endless honors, you have won,
And mighty trophies, with your worthy son! 135
Two gods a silly woman have undone!
Nor am I ignorant, you both suspect
This rising city, which my hands erect:
But shall celestial discord never cease?
T is better ended in a lasting peace. 140
You stand possessd of all your soul desird:
Poor Dido with consuming love is fird.
Your Trojan with my Tyrian let us join;
So Dido shall be yours, Æneas mine:
One common kingdom, one united line. 145
Eliza shall a Dardan lord obey,
And lofty Carthage for a dowr convey.
Then Venus, who her hidden fraud descried,
Which would the scepter of the world misguide
To Libyan shores, thus artfully replied: 150
Who, but a fool, would wars with Juno choose,
And such alliance and such gifts refuse,
If Fortune with our joint desires comply?
The doubt is all from Jove and destiny;
Lest he forbid, with absolute command, 155
To mix the people in one common land
Or will the Trojan and the Tyrian line
In lasting leagues and sure succession join?
But you, the partner of his bed and throne,
May move his mind; my wishes are your own. 160
Mine, said imperial Juno, be the care;
Time urges, now, to perfect this affair:
Attend my counsel, and the secret share.
When next the Sun his rising light displays,
And gilds the world below with purple rays, 165
The queen, Æneas, and the Tyrian court
Shall to the shady woods, for sylvan game, resort.
There, while the huntsmen pitch their toils around,
And cheerful horns from side to side resound,
A pitchy cloud shall cover all the plain 170
With hail, and thunder, and tempestuous rain;
The fearful train shall take their speedy flight,
Dispersd, and all involvd in gloomy night;
One cave a grateful shelter shall afford
To the fair princess and the Trojan lord. 175
I will myself the bridal bed prepare,
If you, to bless the nuptials, will be there:
So shall their loves be crownd with due delights,
And Hymen shall be present at the rites.
The Queen of Love consents, and closely smiles 180
At her vain project, and discoverd wiles.
The rosy morn was risen from the main,
And horns and hounds awake the princely train:
They issue early thro the city gate,
Where the more wakeful huntsmen ready wait, 185
With nets, and toils, and darts, beside the force
Of Spartan dogs, and swift Massylian horse.
The Tyrian peers and officers of state
For the slow queen in antechambers wait;
Her lofty courser, in the court below, 190
Who his majestic rider seems to know,
Proud of his purple trappings, paws the ground,
And champs the golden bit, and spreads the foam around.
The queen at length appears; on either hand
The brawny guards in martial order stand. 195
A flowrd simar with golden fringe she wore,
And at her back a golden quiver bore;
Her flowing hair a golden caul restrains,
A golden clasp the Tyrian robe sustains.
Then young Ascanius, with a sprightly grace, 200
Leads on the Trojan youth to view the chase.
But far above the rest in beauty shines
The great Æneas, when the troop he joins;
Like fair Apollo, when he leaves the frost
Of wintry Xanthus, and the Lycian coast, 205
When to his native Delos he resorts,
Ordains the dances, and renews the sports;
Where painted Scythians, mixd with Cretan bands,
Before the joyful altars join their hands:
Himself, on Cynthus walking, sees below 210
The merry madness of the sacred show.
Green wreaths of bays his length of hair inclose;
A golden fillet binds his awful brows;
His quiver sounds: not less the prince is seen
In manly presence, or in lofty mien. 215
Now had they reachd the hills, and stormd the seat
Of salvage beasts, in dens, their last retreat.
The cry pursues the mountain goats: they bound
From rock to rock, and keep the craggy ground;
Quite otherwise the stags, a trembling train, 220
In herds unsingled, scour the dusty plain,
And a long chase in open view maintain.
The glad Ascanius, as his courser guides,
Spurs thro the vale, and these and those outrides.
His horses flanks and sides are forcd to feel 225
The clanking lash, and goring of the steel.
Impatiently he views the feeble prey,
Wishing some nobler beast to cross his way,
And rather would the tusky boar attend,
Or see the tawny lion downward bend. 230
Meantime, the gathring clouds obscure the skies:
From pole to pole the forky lightning flies;
The rattling thunders roll; and Juno pours
A wintry deluge down, and sounding showrs.
The company, dispersd, to converts ride, 235
And seek the homely cots, or mountains hollow side.
The rapid rains, descending from the hills,
To rolling torrents raise the creeping rills.
The queen and prince, as love or fortune guides,
One common cavern in her bosom hides. 240
Then first the trembling earth the signal gave,
And flashing fires enlighten all the cave;
Hell from below, and Juno from above,
And howling nymphs, were conscious of their love.
From this ill-omend hour in time arose 245
Debate and death, and all succeeding woes.
The queen, whom sense of honor could not move,
No longer made a secret of her love,
But calld it marriage, by that specious name
To veil the crime and sanctify the shame. 250
The loud report thro Libyan cities goes.
Fame, the great ill, from small beginnings grows:
Swift from the first; and evry moment brings
New vigor to her flights, new pinions to her wings.
Soon grows the pigmy to gigantic size; 255
Her feet on earth, her forehead in the skies.
Inragd against the gods, revengeful Earth
Producd her last of the Titanian birth.
Swift is her walk, more swift her winged haste:
A monstrous phantom, horrible and vast. 260
As many plumes as raise her lofty flight,
So many piercing eyes inlarge her sight;
Millions of opening mouths to Fame belong,
And evry mouth is furnishd with a tongue,
And round with listning ears the flying plague is hung. 265
She fills the peaceful universe with cries;
No slumbers ever close her wakeful eyes;
By day, from lofty towrs her head she shews,
And spreads thro trembling crowds disastrous news;
With court informers haunts, and royal spies; 270
Things done relates, not done she feigns, and mingles truth with lies.
Talk is her business, and her chief delight
To tell of prodigies and cause affright.
She fills the peoples ears with Didos name,
Who, lost to honor and the sense of shame, 275
Admits into her throne and nuptial bed
A wandring guest, who from his country fled:
Whole days with him she passes in delights,
And wastes in luxury long winter nights,
Forgetful of her fame and royal trust, 280
Dissolvd in ease, abandond to her lust.
The goddess widely spreads the loud report,
And flies at length to King Hyarbas court.
When first possessd with this unwelcome news
Whom did he not of men and gods accuse? 285
This prince, from ravishd Garamantis born,
A hundred temples did with spoils adorn,
In Ammons honor, his celestial sire;
A hundred altars fed with wakeful fire;
And, thro his vast dominions, priests ordaind, 290
Whose watchful care these holy rites maintaind.
The gates and columns were with garlands crownd,
And blood of victim beasts enrichd the ground.
He, when he heard a fugitive could move
The Tyrian princess, who disdaind his love, 295
His breast with fury burnd, his eyes with fire,
Mad with despair, impatient with desire;
Then on the sacred altars pouring wine,
He thus with prayrs implord his sire divine:
Great Jove! propitious to the Moorish race, 300
Who feast on painted beds, with offrings grace
Thy temples, and adore thy powr divine
With blood of victims, and with sparkling wine,
Seest thou not this? or do we fear in vain
Thy boasted thunder, and thy thoughtless reign? 305
Do thy broad hands the forky lightnings lance?
Thine are the bolts, or the blind work of chance?
A wandring woman builds, within our state,
A little town, bought at an easy rate;
She pays me homage, and my grants allow 310
A narrow space of Libyan lands to plow;
Yet, scorning me, by passion blindly led,
Admits a banishd Trojan to her bed!
And now this other Paris, with his train
Of conquerd cowards, must in Afric reign! 315
(Whom, what they are, their looks and garb confess,
Their locks with oil perfumd, their Lydian dress.)
He takes the spoil, enjoys the princely dame;
And I, rejected I, adore an empty name.
His vows, in haughty terms, he thus preferrd, 320
And held his altars horns. The mighty Thundrer heard;
Then cast his eyes on Carthage, where he found
The lustful pair in lawless pleasure drownd,
Lost in their loves, insensible of shame,
And both forgetful of their better fame. 325
He calls Cyllenius, and the god attends,
By whom his menacing command he sends:
Go, mount the western winds, and cleave the sky;
Then, with a swift descent, to Carthage fly:
There find the Trojan chief, who wastes his days 330
In slothful riot and inglorious ease,
Nor minds the future city, givn by fate.
To him this message from my mouth relate:
Not so fair Venus hopd, when twice she won
Thy life with prayrs, nor promisd such a son. 335
Hers was a hero, destind to command
A martial race, and rule the Latian land,
Who should his ancient line from Teucer draw,
And on the conquerd world impose the law.
If glory cannot move a mind so mean, 340
Nor future praise from fading pleasure wean,
Yet why should he defraud his son of fame,
And grudge the Romans their immortal name!
What are his vain designs! what hopes he more
From his long lingring on a hostile shore, 345
Regardless to redeem his honor lost,
And for his race to gain th Ausonian coast!
Bid him with speed the Tyrian court forsake;
With this command the slumbring warrior wake.
Hermes obeys; with golden pinions binds 350
His flying feet, and mounts the western winds:
And, whether oer the seas or earth he flies,
With rapid force they bear him down the skies.
But first he grasps within his awful hand
The mark of sovreign powr, his magic wand; 355
With this he draws the ghosts from hollow graves;
With this he drives them down the Stygian waves;
With this he seals in sleep the wakeful sight,
And eyes, tho closd in death, restores to light.
Thus armd, the god begins his airy race, 360
And drives the racking clouds along the liquid space;
Now sees the tops of Atlas, as he flies,
Whose brawny back supports the starry skies;
Atlas, whose head, with piny forests crownd,
Is beaten by the winds, with foggy vapors bound. 365
Snows hide his shoulders; from beneath his chin
The founts of rolling streams their race begin;
A beard of ice on his large breast depends.
Here, poisd upon his wings, the god descends:
Then, rested thus, he from the towring height 370
Plungd downward, with precipitated flight,
Lights on the seas, and skims along the flood.
As waterfowl, who seek their fishy food,
Less, and yet less, to distant prospect show;
By turns they dance aloft, and dive below: 375
Like these, the steerage of his wings he plies,
And near the surface of the water flies,
Till, having passd the seas, and crossd the sands,
He closd his wings, and stoopd on Libyan lands:
Where shepherds once were housd in homely sheds, 380
Now towrs within the clouds advance their heads.
Arriving there, he found the Trojan prince
New ramparts raising for the towns defense.
A purple scarf, with gold embroiderd oer,
(Queen Didos gift,) about his waist he wore; 385
A sword, with glittring gems diversified,
For ornament, not use, hung idly by his side.
Then thus, with winged words, the god began,
Resuming his own shape: Degenerate man,
Thou womans property, what makst thou here, 390
These foreign walls and Tyrian towrs to rear,
Forgetful of thy own? All-powrful Jove,
Who sways the world below and heavn above,
Has sent me down with this severe command:
What means thy lingring in the Libyan land? 395
If glory cannot move a mind so mean,
Nor future praise from flitting pleasure wean,
Regard the fortunes of thy rising heir:
The promisd crown let young Ascanius wear,
To whom th Ausonian scepter, and the state 400
Of Romes imperial name is owd by fate.
So spoke the god; and, speaking, took his flight,
Involvd in clouds, and vanishd out of sight.
The pious prince was seizd with sudden fear;
Mute was his tongue, and upright stood his hair. 405
Revolving in his mind the stern command,
He longs to fly, and loathes the charming land.
What should he say? or how should he begin?
What course, alas! remains to steer between
Th offended lover and the powrful queen? 410
This way and that he turns his anxious mind,
And all expedients tries, and none can find.
Fixd on the deed, but doubtful of the means,
After long thought, to this advice he leans:
Three chiefs he calls, commands them to repair 415
The fleet, and ship their men with silent care;
Some plausible pretense he bids them find,
To color what in secret he designd.
Himself, meantime, the softest hours would choose,
Before the love-sick lady heard the news; 420
And move her tender mind, by slow degrees,
To suffer what the sovreign powr decrees:
Jove will inspire him, when, and what to say.
They hear with pleasure, and with haste obey.
But soon the queen perceives the thin disguise: 425
(What arts can blind a jealous womans eyes!)
She was the first to find the secret fraud,
Before the fatal news was blazd abroad.
Love the first motions of the lover hears,
Quick to presage, and evn in safety fears. 430
Nor impious Fame was wanting to report
The ships repaird, the Trojans thick resort,
And purpose to forsake the Tyrian court.
Frantic with fear, impatient of the wound,
And impotent of mind, she roves the city round. 435
Less wild the Bacchanalian dames appear,
When, from afar, their nightly god they hear,
And howl about the hills, and shake the wreathy spear
At length she finds the dear perfidious man;
Prevents his formd excuse, and thus began: 440
Base and ungrateful! could you hope to fly,
And undiscoverd scape a lovers eye?
Nor could my kindness your compassion move,
Nor plighted vows, nor dearer bands of love?
Or is the death of a despairing queen 445
Not worth preventing, tho too well foreseen?
Evn when the wintry winds command your stay,
You dare the tempests, and defy the sea.
False as you are, suppose you were not bound
To lands unknown, and foreign coasts to sound; 450
Were Troy restord, and Priams happy reign,
Now durst you tempt, for Troy, the raging main?
See whom you fly! am I the foe you shun?
Now, by those holy vows, so late begun,
By this right hand, (since I have nothing more 455
To challenge, but the faith you gave before
I beg you by these tears too truly shed,
By the new pleasures of our nuptial bed;
If ever Dido, when you most were kind,
Were pleasing in your eyes, or touchd your mind; 460
By these my prayrs, if prayrs may yet have place,
Pity the fortunes of a falling race.
For you I have provokd a tyrants hate,
Incensd the Libyan and the Tyrian state;
For you alone I suffer in my fame, 465
Bereft of honor, and exposd to shame.
Whom have I now to trust, ungrateful guest?
(That only name remains of all the rest!)
What have I left? or whither can I fly?
Must I attend Pygmalions cruelty, 470
Or till Hyarba shall in triumph lead
A queen that proudly scornd his profferd bed?
Had you deferrd, at least, your hasty flight,
And left behind some pledge of our delight,
Some babe to bless the mothers mournful sight, 475
Some young Æneas, to supply your place,
Whose features might express his fathers face;
I should not then complain to live bereft
Of all my husband, or be wholly left.
Here pausd the queen. Unmovd he holds his eyes, 480
By Joves command; nor sufferd love to rise,
Tho heaving in his heart; and thus at length replies:
Fair queen, you never can enough repeat
Your boundless favors, or I own my debt;
Nor can my mind forget Elizas name, 485
While vital breath inspires this mortal frame.
This only let me speak in my defense:
I never hopd a secret flight from hence,
Much less pretended to the lawful claim
Of sacred nuptials, or a husbands name. 490
For, if indulgent Heavn would leave me free,
And not submit my life to fates decree,
My choice would lead me to the Trojan shore,
Those relics to review, their dust adore,
And Priams ruind palace to restore. 495
But now the Delphian oracle commands,
And fate invites me to the Latian lands.
That is the promisd place to which I steer,
And all my vows are terminated there.
If you, a Tyrian, and a stranger born, 500
With walls and towrs a Libyan town adorn,
Why may not welike you, a foreign race
Like you, seek shelter in a foreign place?
As often as the night obscures the skies
With humid shades, or twinkling stars arise, 505
Anchises angry ghost in dreams appears,
Chides my delay, and fills my soul with fears;
And young Ascanius justly may complain
Of his defrauded fate and destind reign.
Evn now the herald of the gods appeard: 510
Waking I saw him, and his message heard.
From Jove he came commissiond, heavnly bright
With radiant beams, and manifest to sight
(The sender and the sent I both attest):
These walls he enterd, and those words expressd. 515
Fair queen, oppose not what the gods command;
Forcd by my fate, I leave your happy land.
Thus while he spoke, already she began,
With sparkling eyes, to view the guilty man;
From head to foot surveyd his person oer, 520
Nor longer these outrageous threats forebore:
False as thou art, and, more than false, forsworn!
Not sprung from noble blood, nor goddess-born,
But hewn from hardend entrails of a rock!
And rough Hyrcanian tigers gave thee suck! 525
Why should I fawn? what have I worse to fear?
Did he once look, or lent a listning ear,
Sighd when I sobbd, or shed one kindly tear?
All symptoms of a base ungrateful mind,
So foul, that, which is worse, tis hard to find. 530
Of mans injustice why should I complain?
The gods, and Jove himself, behold in vain
Triumphant treason; yet no thunder flies,
Nor Juno views my wrongs with equal eyes;
Faithless is earth, and faithless are the skies! 535
Justice is fled, and Truth is now no more!
I savd the shipwrackd exile on my shore;
With needful food his hungry Trojans fed;
I took the traitor to my throne and bed:
Fool that I wast is little to repeat 540
The restI stord and riggd his ruind fleet.
I rave, I rave! A gods command he pleads,
And makes Heavn accessary to his deeds.
Now Lycian lots, and now the Delian god,
Now Hermes is employd from Joves abode, 545
To warn him hence; as if the peaceful state
Of heavnly powrs were touchd with human fate!
But go! thy flight no longer I detain
Go seek thy promisd kingdom thro the main!
Yet, if the heavns will hear my pious vow, 550
The faithless waves, not half so false as thou,
Or secret sands, shall sepulchers afford
To thy proud vessels, and their perjurd lord.
Then shalt thou call on injurd Didos name:
Dido shall come in a black sulphry flame, 555
When death has once dissolvd her mortal frame;
Shall smile to see the traitor vainly weep:
Her angry ghost, arising from the deep,
Shall haunt thee waking, and disturb thy sleep.
At least my shade thy punishment shall know, 560
And Fame shall spread the pleasing news below.
Abruptly here she stops; then turns away
Her loathing eyes, and shuns the sight of day.
Amazd he stood, revolving in his mind
What speech to frame, and what excuse to find. 565
Her fearful maids their fainting mistress led,
And softly laid her on her ivry bed.
But good Æneas, tho he much desird
To give that pity which her grief requird;
Tho much he mournd, and labord with his love, 570
Resolvd at length, obeys the will of Jove;
Reviews his forces: they with early care
Unmoor their vessels, and for sea prepare.
The fleet is soon afloat, in all its pride,
And well-calkd galleys in the harbor ride. 575
Then oaks for oars they felld; or, as they stood,
Of its green arms despoild the growing wood,
Studious of flight. The beach is coverd oer
With Trojan bands, that blacken all the shore:
On evry side are seen, descending down, 580
Thick swarms of soldiers, loaden from the town.
Thus, in battalia, march embodied ants,
Fearful of winter, and of future wants,
T invade the corn, and to their cells convey
The plunderd forage of their yellow prey. 585
The sable troops, along the narrow tracks,
Scarce bear the weighty burthen on their backs:
Some set their shoulders to the pondrous grain;
Some guard the spoil; some lash the lagging train;
All ply their sevral tasks, and equal toil sustain. 590
What pangs the tender breast of Dido tore,
When, from the towr, she saw the coverd shore,
And heard the shouts of sailors from afar,
Mixd with the murmurs of the watry war!
All-powrful Love! what changes canst thou cause 595
In human hearts, subjected to thy laws!
Once more her haughty soul the tyrant bends:
To prayrs and mean submissions she descends.
No female arts or aids she left untried,
Nor counsels unexplord, before she died. 600
Look, Anna! look! the Trojans crowd to sea;
They spread their canvas, and their anchors weigh.
The shouting crew their ships with garlands bind,
Invoke the sea gods, and invite the wind.
Could I have thought this threatning blow so near, 605
My tender soul had been forewarnd to bear.
But do not you my last request deny;
With yon perfidious man your intrest try,
And bring me news, if I must live or die.
You are his favrite; you alone can find 610
The dark recesses of his inmost mind:
In all his trusted secrets you have part,
And know the soft approaches to his heart.
Haste then, and humbly seek my haughty foe;
Tell him, I did not with the Grecians go, 615
Nor did my fleet against his friends employ,
Nor swore the ruin of unhappy Troy,
Nor movd with hands profane his fathers dust:
Why should he then reject a suit so just!
Whom does he shun, and whither would he fly! 620
Can he this last, this only prayr deny!
Let him at least his dangrous flight delay,
Wait better winds, and hope a calmer sea.
The nuptials he disclaims I urge no more:
Let him pursue the promisd Latian shore. 625
A short delay is all I ask him now;
A pause of grief, an interval from woe,
Till my soft soul be temperd to sustain
Accustomd sorrows, and inurd to pain.
If you in pity grant this one request, 630
My death shall glut the hatred of his breast.
This mournful message pious Anna bears,
And seconds with her own her sisters tears:
But all her arts are still employd in vain;
Again she comes, and is refusd again. 635
His hardend heart nor prayrs nor threatnings move;
Fate, and the god, had stoppd his ears to love.
As, when the winds their airy quarrel try,
Justling from evry quarter of the sky,
This way and that the mountain oak they bend, 640
His boughs they shatter, and his branches rend;
With leaves and falling mast they spread the ground;
The hollow valleys echo to the sound:
Unmovd, the royal plant their fury mocks,
Or, shaken, clings more closely to the rocks; 645
Far as he shoots his towring head on high,
So deep in earth his fixd foundations lie.
No less a storm the Trojan hero bears;
Thick messages and loud complaints he hears,
And bandied words, still beating on his ears. 650
Sighs, groans, and tears proclaim his inward pains;
But the firm purpose of his heart remains.
The wretched queen, pursued by cruel fate,
Begins at length the light of heavn to hate,
And loathes to live. Then dire portents she sees, 655
To hasten on the death her soul decrees:
Strange to relate! for when, before the shrine,
She pours in sacrifice the purple wine,
The purple wine is turnd to putrid blood,
And the white offerd milk converts to mud. 660
This dire presage, to her alone reveald,
From all, and evn her sister, she conceald.
A marble temple stood within the grove,
Sacred to death, and to her murtherd love;
That honord chapel she had hung around 665
With snowy fleeces, and with garlands crownd:
Oft, when she visited this lonely dome,
Strange voices issued from her husbands tomb;
She thought she heard him summon her away,
Invite her to his grave, and chide her stay. 670
Hourly t is heard, when with a boding note
The solitary screech owl strains her throat,
And, on a chimneys top, or turrets height,
With songs obscene disturbs the silence of the night.
Besides, old prophecies augment her fears; 675
And stern Æneas in her dreams appears,
Disdainful as by day: she seems, alone,
To wander in her sleep, thro ways unknown,
Guideless and dark; or, in a desart plain,
To seek her subjects, and to seek in vain: 680
Like Pentheus, when, distracted with his fear,
He saw two suns, and double Thebes, appear;
Or mad Orestes, when his mothers ghost
Full in his face infernal torches tossd,
And shook her snaky locks: he shuns the sight, 685
Flies oer the stage, surprisd with mortal fright;
The Furies guard the door and intercept his flight.
Now, sinking underneath a load of grief,
From death alone she seeks her last relief;
The time and means resolvd within her breast, 690
She to her mournful sister thus addressd
(Dissembling hope, her cloudy front she clears,
And a false vigor in her eyes appears):
Rejoice! she said. Instructed from above,
My lover I shall gain, or lose my love. 695
Nigh rising Atlas, next the falling sun,
Long tracts of Ethiopian climates run:
There a Massylian priestess I have found,
Honord for age, for magic arts renownd:
Th Hesperian temple was her trusted care; 700
T was she supplied the wakeful dragons fare.
She poppy seeds in honey taught to steep,
Reclaimd his rage, and soothd him into sleep.
She watchd the golden fruit; her charms unbind
The chains of love, or fix them on the mind: 705
She stops the torrents, leaves the channel dry,
Repels the stars, and backward bears the sky.
The yawning earth rebellows to her call,
Pale ghosts ascend, and mountain ashes fall.
Witness, ye gods, and thou my better part, 710
How loth I am to try this impious art!
Within the secret court, with silent care,
Erect a lofty pile, exposd in air:
Hang on the topmost part the Trojan vest,
Spoils, arms, and presents, of my faithless guest. 715
Next, under these, the bridal bed be placd,
Where I my ruin in his arms embracd:
All relics of the wretch are doomd to fire;
For so the priestess and her charms require.
Thus far she said, and farther speech forbears; 720
A mortal paleness in her face appears:
Yet the mistrustless Anna could not find
The secret funral in these rites designd;
Nor thought so dire a rage possessd her mind.
Unknowing of a train conceald so well, 725
She feard no worse than when Sichæus fell;
Therefore obeys. The fatal pile they rear,
Within the secret court, exposd in air.
The cloven holms and pines are heapd on high,
And garlands on the hollow spaces lie. 730
Sad cypress, vervain, yew, compose the wreath,
And evry baleful green denoting death.
The queen, determind to the fatal deed,
The spoils and sword he left, in order spread,
And the mans image on the nuptial bed. 735
And now (the sacred altars placd around)
The priestess enters, with her hair unbound,
And thrice invokes the powrs below the ground.
Night, Erebus, and Chaos she proclaims,
And threefold Hecate, with her hundred names, 740
And three Dianas: next, she sprinkles round
With feignd Avernian drops the hallowd ground;
Culls hoary simples, found by Phbes light,
With brazen sickles reapd at noon of night;
Then mixes baleful juices in the bowl, 745
And cuts the forehead of a newborn foal,
Robbing the mothers love. The destind queen
Observes, assisting at the rites obscene;
A leavend cake in her devoted hands
She holds, and next the highest altar stands: 750
One tender foot was shod, her other bare;
Girt was her gatherd gown, and loose her hair.
Thus dressd, she summond, with her dying breath,
The heavns and planets conscious of her death,
And evry powr, if any rules above, 755
Who minds, or who revenges, injurd love.
T was dead of night, when weary bodies close
Their eyes in balmy sleep and soft repose:
The winds no longer whisper thro the woods,
Nor murmring tides disturb the gentle floods. 760
The stars in silent order movd around;
And Peace, with downy wings, was brooding on the ground.
The flocks and herds, and party-colord fowl,
Which haunt the woods, or swim the weedy pool,
Stretchd on the quiet earth, securely lay, 765
Forgetting the past labors of the day.
All else of natures common gift partake:
Unhappy Dido was alone awake.
Nor sleep nor ease the furious queen can find;
Sleep fled her eyes, as quiet fled her mind. 770
Despair, and rage, and love divide her heart;
Despair and rage had some, but love the greater part.
Then thus she said within her secret mind:
What shall I do? what succor can I find?
Become a suppliant to Hyarbas pride, 775
And take my turn, to court and be denied?
Shall I with this ungrateful Trojan go,
Forsake an empire, and attend a foe?
Himself I refugd, and his train relievd
T is truebut am I sure to be receivd? 780
Can gratitude in Trojan souls have place!
Laomedon still lives in all his race!
Then, shall I seek alone the churlish crew,
Or with my fleet their flying sails pursue?
What force have I but those whom scarce before 785
I drew reluctant from their native shore?
Will they again embark at my desire,
Once more sustain the seas, and quit their second Tyre?
Rather with steel thy guilty breast invade,
And take the fortune thou thyself hast made. 790
Your pity, sister, first seducd my mind,
Or seconded too well what I designd.
These dear-bought pleasures had I never known,
Had I continued free, and still my own;
Avoiding love, I had not found despair, 795
But shard with salvage beasts the common air.
Like them, a lonely life I might have led,
Not mournd the living, nor disturbd the dead.
These thoughts she brooded in her anxious breast.
On board, the Trojan found more easy rest. 800
Resolvd to sail, in sleep he passd the night;
And orderd all things for his early flight.
To whom once more the winged god appears;
His former youthful mien and shape he wears,
And with this new alarm invades his ears: 805
Sleepst thou, O goddess-born! and canst thou drown
Thy needful cares, so near a hostile town,
Beset with foes; nor hearst the western gales
Invite thy passage, and inspire thy sails?
She harbors in her heart a furious hate, 810
And thou shalt find the dire effects too late;
Fixd on revenge, and obstinate to die.
Haste swiftly hence, while thou hast powr to fly.
The sea with ships will soon be coverd oer,
And blazing firebrands kindle all the shore. 815
Prevent her rage, while night obscures the skies,
And sail before the purple morn arise.
Who knows what hazards thy delay may bring?
Woman s a various and a changeful thing.
Thus Hermes in the dream; then took his flight 820
Aloft in air unseen, and mixd with night.
Twice warnd by the celestial messenger,
The pious prince arose with hasty fear;
Then rousd his drowsy train without delay:
Haste to your banks; your crooked anchors weigh, 825
And spread your flying sails, and stand to sea.
A god commands: he stood before my sight,
And urgd us once again to speedy flight.
O sacred powr, what powr soeer thou art,
To thy blest orders I resign my heart. 830
Lead thou the way; protect thy Trojan bands,
And prosper the design thy will commands.
He said: and, drawing forth his flaming sword,
His thundring arm divides the many-twisted cord.
An emulating zeal inspires his train: 835
They run; they snatch; they rush into the main.
With headlong haste they leave the desert shores,
And brush the liquid seas with labring oars.
Aurora now had left her saffron bed,
And beams of early light the heavns oerspread, 840
When, from a towr, the queen, with wakeful eyes,
Saw day point upward from the rosy skies.
She lookd to seaward; but the sea was void,
And scarce in ken the sailing ships descried.
Stung with despite, and furious with despair, 845
She struck her trembling breast, and tore her hair.
And shall th ungrateful traitor go, she said,
My land forsaken, and my love betrayd?
Shall we not arm? not rush from evry street,
To follow, sink, and burn his perjurd fleet? 850
Haste, haul my galleys out! pursue the foe!
Bring flaming brands! set sail, and swiftly row!
What have I said? where am I? Fury turns
My brain; and my distemperd bosom burns.
Then, when I gave my person and my throne, 855
This hate, this rage, had been more timely shown.
See now the promisd faith, the vaunted name,
The pious man, who, rushing thro the flame,
Preservd his gods, and to the Phrygian shore
The burthen of his feeble father bore! 860
I should have torn him piecemeal; strowd in floods
His scatterd limbs, or left exposd in woods;
Destroyd his friends and son; and, from the fire,
Have set the reeking boy before the sire.
Events are doubtful, which on battles wait: 865
Yet wheres the doubt, to souls secure of fate?
My Tyrians, at their injurd queens command,
Had tossd their fires amid the Trojan band;
At once extinguishd all the faithless name;
And I myself, in vengeance of my shame, 870
Had falln upon the pile, to mend the funral flame.
Thou Sun, who viewst at once the world below;
Thou Juno, guardian of the nuptial vow;
Thou Hecate hearken from thy dark abodes!
Ye Furies, fiends, and violated gods, 875
All powrs invokd with Didos dying breath,
Attend her curses and avenge her death!
If so the Fates ordain, and Jove commands,
Th ungrateful wretch should find the Latian lands,
Yet let a race untamd, and haughty foes, 880
His peaceful entrance with dire arms oppose:
Oppressd with numbers in th unequal field,
His men discouragd, and himself expelld,
Let him for succor sue from place to place,
Torn from his subjects, and his sons embrace. 885
First, let him see his friends in battle slain,
And their untimely fate lament in vain;
And when, at length, the cruel war shall cease,
On hard conditions may he buy his peace:
Nor let him then enjoy supreme command; 890
But fall, untimely, by some hostile hand,
And lie unburied on the barren sand!
These are my prayrs, and this my dying will;
And you, my Tyrians, evry curse fulfil.
Perpetual hate and mortal wars proclaim, 895
Against the prince, the people, and the name.
These grateful offrings on my grave bestow;
Nor league, nor love, the hostile nations know!
Now, and from hence, in evry future age,
When rage excites your arms, and strength supplies the rage, 900
Rise some avenger of our Libyan blood,
With fire and sword pursue the perjurd brood;
Our arms, our seas, our shores, opposd to theirs;
And the same hate descend on all our heirs!
This said, within her anxious mind she weighs 905
The means of cutting short her odious days.
Then to Sichæus nurse she briefly said
(For, when she left her country, hers was dead):
Go, Barce, call my sister. Let her care
The solemn rites of sacrifice prepare; 910
The sheep, and all th atoning offrings, bring,
Sprinkling her body from the crystal spring
With living drops; then let her come, and thou
With sacred fillets bind thy hoary brow.
Thus will I pay my vows to Stygian Jove, 915
And end the cares of my disastrous love;
Then cast the Trojan image on the fire,
And, as that burns, my passions shall expire.
The nurse moves onward, with officious care,
And all the speed her aged limbs can bear. 920
But furious Dido, with dark thoughts involvd,
Shook at the mighty mischief she resolvd.
With livid spots distinguishd was her face;
Red were her rolling eyes, and discomposd her pace;
Ghastly she gazd, with pain she drew her breath, 925
And nature shiverd at approaching death.
Then swiftly to the fatal place she passd,
And mounts the funral pile with furious haste;
Unsheathes the sword the Trojan left behind
(Not for so dire an enterprise designd). 930
But when she viewd the garments loosely spread,
Which once he wore, and saw the conscious bed,
She pausd, and with a sigh the robes embracd;
Then on the couch her trembling body cast,
Repressd the ready tears, and spoke her last: 935
Dear pledges of my love, while Heavn so pleasd,
Receive a soul, of mortal anguish easd:
My fatal course is finishd; and I go,
A glorious name, among the ghosts below.
A lofty city by my hands is raisd, 940
Pygmalion punishd, and my lord appeasd.
What could my fortune have afforded more,
Had the false Trojan never touchd my shore!
Then kissd the couch; and, Must I die, she said,
And unrevengd? T is doubly to be dead! 945
Yet evn this death with pleasure I receive:
On any terms, t is better than to live.
These flames, from far, may the false Trojan view;
These boding omens his base flight pursue!
She said, and struck; deep enterd in her side 950
The piercing steel, with reeking purple dyed:
Cloggd in the wound the cruel weapon stands;
The spouting blood came streaming on her hands.
Her sad attendants saw the deadly stroke,
And with loud cries the sounding palace shook. 955
Distracted, from the fatal sight they fled,
And thro the town the dismal rumor spread.
First from the frighted court the yell began;
Redoubled, thence from house to house it ran:
The groans of men, with shrieks, laments, and cries 960
Of mixing women, mount the vaulted skies.
Not less the clamor, than ifancient Tyre,
Or the new Carthage, set by foes on fire
The rolling ruin, with their lovd abodes,
Involvd the blazing temples of their gods. 965
Her sister hears; and, furious with despair,
She beats her breast, and rends her yellow hair,
And, calling on Elizas name aloud,
Runs breathless to the place, and breaks the crowd.
Was all that pomp of woe for this prepard; 970
These fires, this funral pile, these altars reard?
Was all this train of plots contrivd, said she,
All only to deceive unhappy me?
Which is the worst? Didst thou in death pretend
To scorn thy sister, or delude thy friend? 975
Thy summond sister, and thy friend, had come;
One sword had servd us both, one common tomb:
Was I to raise the pile, the powrs invoke,
Not to be present at the fatal stroke?
At once thou hast destroyd thyself and me, 980
Thy town, thy senate, and thy colony!
Bring water; bathe the wound; while I in death
Lay close my lips to hers, and catch the flying breath.
This said, she mounts the pile with eager haste,
And in her arms the gasping queen embracd; 985
Her temples chafd; and her own garments tore,
To stanch the streaming blood, and cleanse the gore.
Thrice Dido tried to raise her drooping head,
And, fainting thrice, fell grovling on the bed;
Thrice opd her heavy eyes, and sought the light, 990
But, having found it, sickend at the sight,
And closd her lids at last in endless night.
Then Juno, grieving that she should sustain
A death so lingring, and so full of pain,
Sent Iris down, to free her from the strife 995
Of labring nature, and dissolve her life.
For since she died, not doomd by Heavns decree,
Or her own crime, but human casualty,
And rage of love, that plungd her in despair,
The Sisters had not cut the topmost hair, 1000
Which Proserpine and they can only know;
Nor made her sacred to the shades below.
Downward the various goddess took her flight,
And drew a thousand colors from the light;
Then stood above the dying lovers head, 1005
And said: I thus devote thee to the dead.
This offring to th infernal gods I bear.
Thus while she spoke, she cut the fatal hair:
The struggling soul was loosd, and life dissolvd in air.
The Aeneid of Virgil: Book 4written by
Publius Vergilius Maro
BUT anxious cares already seizd the queen:
© Publius Vergilius Maro