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The Aeneid of Virgil
Fate sends AEneas to Latium to found Rome, but Juno's hostility long
delays his success (1-45). Descrying him and his Trojans in sight
of Italy, she bribes AEolus to raise a storm for their destruction
(46-99). The tempest (100-116). The despair of AEneas (117-126). One
Trojan ship is already lost, when Neptune learns the plot and lays
the storm (127-189). AEneas escapes, lands in Libya, and heartens
his men (190-261). Venus appeals to Jupiter, who comforts her with
assurance that AEneas shall yet be great in Italy. His son shall found
Alba and his son's sons Rome. Juno shall eventually relent, and Rome
under Augustus shall be empress of the world (262-351). Mercury is
sent to secure from Dido, Queen of Libya, a welcome for AEneas. AEneas
and Achates, while reconnoitring, meet Venus in the forest disguised
as a nymph. She tells them Dido's story. AEneas in reply bewails his
own troubles, but is interrupted with promises of success. Let him
but persist, all will be well (352-478). Venus changes before their
eyes from nymph to goddess, and vanishes before AEneas can utter his
reproaches. Hidden in a magic mist, the pair approach Carthage, which
they find still building. They reach the citadel unobserved, and are
encouraged on seeing pictures of scenes from the Trojan war (479-576).
Dido appears and takes her state. To her enter, as suppliants, Trojan
leaders, whom AEneas had imagined dead. Ilioneus, their spokesman,
tells the story of the storm and asks help. "If only AEneas were
here!" (577-661). Dido speaks him fair and echoes his words, "If
AEneas were here!" The mist scatters. AEneas appears; thanks Dido,
and greets Ilioneus (662-723). Dido welcomes AEneas to Carthage and
prepares a festival in his honour. AEneas sends Achates to summon
his son and bring gifts for Dido (724-774).
Cupid, persuaded by Venus to personate Ascanius and inspire Dido with love for AEneas, comes
with the gifts to Dido's palace, while Ascanius is carried away to
Idalia. The night is passed in feasting. After the feast Iopas sings
the wonders of the firmament, and Dido, bewitched by Cupid, begs
AEneas to tell the whole story of his adventures (775-891).
I. Of arms I sing, and of the man, whom Fate
First drove from Troy to the Lavinian shore.
Full many an evil, through the mindful hate
Of cruel Juno, from the gods he bore,
Much tost on earth and ocean, yea, and more
In war enduring, ere he built a home,
And his loved household-deities brought o'er
To Latium, whence the Latin people come,
Whence rose the Alban sires, and walls of lofty Rome.
II. O Muse, assist me and inspire my song,
The various causes and the crimes relate,
For what affronted majesty, what wrong
To injured Godhead, what offence so great
Heaven's Queen resenting, with remorseless hate,
Could one renowned for piety compel
To brave such troubles, and endure the weight
Of toils so many and so huge. O tell
How can in heavenly minds such fierce resentment dwell?
III. There stood a city, fronting far away
The mouths of Tiber and Italia's shore,
A Tyrian settlement of olden day,
Rich in all wealth, and trained to war's rough lore,
Carthage the name, by Juno loved before
All places, even Samos. Here were shown
Her arms, and here her chariot; evermore
E'en then this land she cherished as her own,
And here, should Fate permit, had planned a world-wide throne.
IV. But she had heard, how men of Trojan seed
Those Tyrian towers should level, how again
From these in time a nation should proceed,
Wide-ruling, tyrannous in war, the bane
(So Fate was working) of the Libyan reign.
This feared she, mindful of the war beside
Waged for her Argives on the Trojan plain;
Nor even yet had from her memory died
The causes of her wrath, the pangs of wounded pride,--
V. The choice of Paris, and her charms disdained,
The hateful race, the lawless honours ta'en
By ravished Ganymede--these wrongs remained.
So fired with rage, the Trojans' scanty train
By fierce Achilles and the Greeks unslain
She barred from Latium, and in evil strait
For many a year, on many a distant main
They wandered, homeless outcasts, tost by Fate;
So huge, so hard the task to found the Roman state.
VI. Scarce out of sight of Sicily, they set
Their sails to sea, and merrily ploughed the main,
With brazen beaks, when Juno, harbouring yet
Within her breast the ever-rankling pain,
Mused thus: "Must I then from the work refrain,
Nor keep this Trojan from the Latin throne,
Baffled, forsooth, because the Fates constrain?
Could Pallas burn the Grecian fleet, and drown
Their crews, for one man's crime, Oileus' frenzied son?
VII. "She, hurling Jove's winged lightning, stirred the deep
And strewed the ships. Him, from his riven breast
The flames outgasping, with a whirlwind's sweep
She caught and fixed upon a rock's sharp crest.
But I, who walk the Queen of Heaven confessed,
Jove's sister-spouse, shall I forevermore
With one poor tribe keep warring without rest?
Who then henceforth shall Juno's power adore?
Who then her fanes frequent, her deity implore?"
VIII. Such thoughts revolving in her fiery mind,
Straightway the Goddess to AEolia passed,
The storm-clouds' birthplace, big with blustering wind.
Here AEolus within a dungeon vast
The sounding tempest and the struggling blast
Bends to his sway and bridles them with chains.
They, in the rock reverberant held fast,
Moan at the doors. Here, throned aloft, he reigns;
His sceptre calms their rage, their violence restrains:
IX. Else earth and sea and all the firmament
The winds together through the void would sweep.
But, fearing this, the Sire omnipotent
Hath buried them in caverns dark and deep,
And o'er them piled huge mountains in a heap,
And set withal a monarch, there to reign,
By compact taught at his command to keep
Strict watch, and tighten or relax the rein.
Him now Saturnia sought, and thus in lowly strain:
X. "O AEolus, for Jove, of human kind
And Gods the sovran Sire, hath given to thee
To lull the waves and lift them with the wind,
A hateful people, enemies to me,
Their ships are steering o'er the Tuscan sea,
Bearing their Troy and vanquished gods away
To Italy. Go, set the storm-winds free,
And sink their ships or scatter them astray,
And strew their corpses forth, to weltering waves a prey.
XI. "Twice seven nymphs have I, beautiful to see;
One, Deiopeia, fairest of the fair,
In lasting wedlock will I link to thee,
Thy life-long years for such deserts to share,
And make thee parent of an offspring fair."--
"Speak, Queen," he answered, "to obey is mine.
To thee I owe this sceptre and whate'er
Of realm is here; thou makest Jove benign,
Thou giv'st to rule the storms and sit at feasts divine."
XII. So spake the God and with her hest complied,
And turned the massive sceptre in his hand
And pushed the hollow mountain on its side.
Out rushed the winds, like soldiers in a band,
In wedged array, and, whirling, scour the land.
East, West and squally South-west, with a roar,
Swoop down on Ocean, and the surf and sand
Mix in dark eddies, and the watery floor
Heave from its depths, and roll huge billows to the shore.
XIII. Then come the creak of cables and the cries
Of seamen. Clouds the darkened heavens have drowned,
And snatched the daylight from the Trojans' eyes.
Black night broods on the waters; all around
From pole to pole the rattling peals resound
And frequent flashes light the lurid air.
All nature, big with instant ruin, frowned
Destruction. Then AEneas' limbs with fear
Were loosened, and he groaned and stretched his hands in prayer:
XIV. "Thrice, four times blest, who, in their fathers' face
Fell by the walls of Ilion far away!
O son of Tydeus, bravest of the race,
Why could not I have perished, too, that day
Beneath thine arm, and breathed this soul away
Far on the plains of Troy, where Hector brave
Lay, pierced by fierce AEacides, where lay
Giant Sarpedon, and swift Simois' wave
Rolls heroes, helms and shields, whelmed in one watery grave?"
XV. E'en as he cried, the hurricane from the North
Struck with a roar against the sail. Up leap
The waves to heaven; the shattered oars start forth;
Round swings the prow, and lets the waters sweep
The broadside. Onward comes a mountain heap
Of billows, gaunt, abrupt. These, horsed astride
A surge's crest, rock pendent o'er the deep;
To those the wave's huge hollow, yawning wide,
Lays bare the ground below; dark swells the sandy tide.
XVI. Three ships the South-wind catching hurls away
On hidden rocks, which (Latins from of yore
Have called them "Altars") in mid ocean lay,
A huge ridge level with the tide. Three more
Fierce Eurus from the deep sea dashed ashore
On quicks and shallows, pitiful to view,
And round them heaped the sandbanks. One, that bore
The brave Orontes and his Lycian crew,
Full in AEneas' sight a toppling wave o'erthrew.
XVII. Dashed from the tiller, down the pilot rolled.
Thrice round the billow whirled her, as she lay,
Then whelmed below. Strewn here and there behold
Arms, planks, lone swimmers in the surges grey,
And treasures snatched from Trojan homes away.
Now fail the ships wherein Achates ride
And Abas; old Aletes' bark gives way,
And brave Ilioneus'. Each loosened side
Through many a gaping seam lets in the baleful tide.
XVIII. Meanwhile great Neptune, sore amazed, perceived
The storm let loose, the turmoil of the sky,
And ocean from its lowest depths upheaved.
With calm brow lifted o'er the sea, his eye
Beholds Troy's navy scattered far and nigh,
And by the waves and ruining heaven oppressed
The Trojan crews. Nor failed he to espy
His sister's wiles and hatred. East and West
He summoned to his throne, and thus his wrath expressed.
XIX. "What pride of birth possessed you, Earth and air
Without my leave to mingle in affray,
And raise such hubbub in my realm? Beware--
Yet first 'twere best these billows to allay.
Far other coin hereafter ye shall pay
For crimes like these. Presumptuous winds, begone,
And take your king this message, that the sway
Of Ocean and the sceptre and the throne
Fate gave to me, not him; the trident is my own.
XX. "He holds huge rocks; these, Eurus, are for thee,
There let him glory in his hall and reign,
But keep his winds close prisoners." Thus he,
And, ere his speech was ended, smoothed the main,
And chased the clouds and brought the sun again.
Triton, Cymothoe from the rock's sharp brow
Push off the vessels. Neptune plies amain
His trident-lever, lays the sandbanks low,
On light wheels shaves the deep, and calms the billowy flow.
XXI. As when in mighty multitudes bursts out
Sedition, and the wrathful rabble rave;
Rage finds them arms; stones, firebrands fly about,
Then if some statesman reverend and grave,
Stand forth conspicuous, and the tumult brave
All, hushed, attend; his guiding words restrain
Their angry wills; so sank the furious wave,
When through the clear sky looking o'er the main,
The sea-king lashed his steeds and slacked the favouring rein.
XXII. Tired out, the Trojans seek the nearest land
And turn to Libya.--In a far retreat
There lies a haven; towards the deep doth stand
An island, on whose jutting headlands beat
The broken billows, shivered into sleet.
Two towering crags, twin giants, guard the cove,
And threat the skies. The waters at their feet
Sleep hushed, and, like a curtain, frowns above,
Mixt with the glancing green, the darkness of the grove.
XXIII. Beneath a precipice, that fronts the wave,
With limpid springs inside, and many a seat
Of living marble, lies a sheltered cave,
Home of the Sea-Nymphs. In this haven sweet
Cable nor biting anchor moors the fleet.
Here with seven ships, the remnant of his band,
AEneas enters. Glad at length to greet
The welcome earth, the Trojans leap to land,
And lay their weary limbs still dripping on the sand.
XXIV. First from a flint a spark Achates drew,
And lit the leaves and dry wood heaped with care
And set the fuel flaming, as he blew.
Then, tired of toiling, from the ships they bear
The sea-spoiled corn, and Ceres' tools prepare,
And 'twixt the millstones grind the rescued grain
And roast the pounded morsels for their fare:
While up the crag AEneas climbs, to gain
Full prospect far and wide, and scan the distant main.
XXV. If aught of Phrygian biremes he discern
Antheus or Capys, tost upon the seas,
Or arms of brave Caicus high astern.
No sail, but wandering on the shore he sees
Three stags, and, grazing up the vale at ease,
The whole herd troops behind them in a row.
He stops, and from Achates hastes to seize
His chance-brought arms, the arrows and the bow,
The branching antlers smites, and lays the leader low.
XXVI. Next fall the herd; and through the leafy glade
In mingled rout he drives the scattered train,
Plying his shafts, nor stays his conquering raid
Till seven huge bodies on the ground lie slain,
The number of his vessels; then again
He seeks the crews, and gives a deer to each,
Then opes the casks, which good Acestes, fain
At parting, filled on the Trinacrian beach,
And shares the wine, and soothes their drooping hearts with speech.
XXVII. "Comrades! of ills not ignorant; far more
Than these ye suffered, and to these as well
Will Jove give ending, as he gave before.
Ye know mad Scylla, and her monsters' yell,
And the dark caverns where the Cyclops dwell.
Fear not; take heart; hereafter, it may be
These too will yield a pleasant tale to tell.
Through shifting hazards, by the Fates' decree,
To Latin shores we steer, our promised land to see.
XXVIII. "There quiet settlements the Fates display,
There Troy her ruined fortunes shall repair.
Bear up; reserve you for a happier day."
He spake, and heart-sick with a load of care,
Suppressed his grief, and feigned a cheerful air.
All straightway gird them to the feast. These flay
The ribs and thighs, and lay the entrails bare.
Those slice the flesh, and split the quivering prey,
And tend the fires and set the cauldrons in array.
XXIX. So wine and venison, to their hearts' desire,
Refreshed their strength. And when the feast was sped,
Their missing friends in converse they require,
Doubtful to deem them, betwixt hope and dread,
Alive or out of hearing with the dead.
All mourned, but good AEneas mourned the most,
And bitter tears for Amycus he shed,
Gyas, Cloanthus, bravest of his host,
Lycus, Orontes bold, all counted with the lost.
XXX. Now came an end of mourning and of woe,
When Jove, surveying from his prospect high
Shore, sail-winged sea, and peopled earth below,
Stood, musing, on the summit of the sky,
And on the Libyan kingdom fixed his eye,
To him, such cares revolving in his breast,
Her shining eyes suffused with tears, came nigh
Fair Venus, for her darling son distrest,
And thus in sorrowing tones the Sire of heaven addressed;
XXXI. "O Thou, whose nod and awful bolts attest
O'er Gods and men thine everlasting reign,
Wherein hath my AEneas so transgressed,
Wherein his Trojans, thus to mourn their slain,
Barred from the world, lest Italy they gain?
Surely from them the rolling years should see
New sons of ancient Teucer rise again,
The Romans, rulers of the land and sea.
So swar'st thou; Father, say, why changed is thy decree?
XXXII. "That word consoled me, weighing fate with fate,
For Troy's sad fall. Now Fortune, as before,
Pursues the woe-worn victims of her hate.
O when, great Monarch, shall their toil be o'er?
Safe could Antenor pass th' Illyrian shore
Through Danaan hosts, and realms Liburnian gain,
And climb Timavus and her springs explore,
Where through nine mouths, with roaring surge, the main
Bursts from the sounding rocks and deluges the plain.
XXXIII. "Yet there he built Patavium, yea, and named
The nation, and the Trojan arms laid down,
And now rests happy in the town he framed.
But we, thy progeny, to whom alone
Thy nod hath promised a celestial throne,
Our vessels lost, from Italy are barred,
O shame! and ruined for the wrath of one.
Thus, thus dost thou thy plighted word regard,
Our sceptred realms restore, our piety reward?"
XXXIV. Then Jove, soft-smiling with the look that clears
The storms, and gently kissing her, replies;
"Firm are thy fates, sweet daughter; spare thy fears.
Thou yet shalt see Lavinium's walls arise,
And bear thy brave AEneas to the skies.
My purpose shifts not. Now, to ease thy woes,
Since sorrow for his sake hath dimmed thine eyes,
More will I tell, and hidden fates disclose.
He in Italia long shall battle with his foes,
XXXV. "And crush fierce tribes, and milder ways ordain,
And cities build and wield the Latin sway,
Till the third summer shall have seen him reign,
And three long winter-seasons passed away
Since fierce Rutulia did his arms obey.
Then, too, the boy Ascanius, named of late
Iulus--Ilus was he in the day
When firm by royalty stood Ilium's state--
Shall rule till thirty years complete the destined date.
XXXVI. "He from Lavinium shall remove his seat,
And gird Long Alba for defence; and there
'Neath Hector's kin three hundred years complete
The kingdom shall endure, till Ilia fair,
Queen-priestess, twins by Mars' embrace shall bear.
Then Romulus the nation's charge shall claim,
Wolf-nursed and proud her tawny hide to wear,
And build a city of Mavortian fame,
And make the Roman race remembered by his name.
XXXVII. "To these no period nor appointed date,
Nor bounds to their dominion I assign;
An endless empire shall the race await.
Nay, Juno, too, who now, in mood malign,
Earth, sea and sky is harrying, shall incline
To better counsels, and unite with me
To cherish and uphold the imperial line,
The Romans, rulers of the land and sea,
Lords of the flowing gown. So standeth my decree.
XXXVIII. "In rolling ages there shall come the day
When heirs of old Assaracus shall tame
Phthia and proud Mycene to obey,
And terms of peace to conquered Greeks proclaim.
Caesar, a Trojan,--Julius his name,
Drawn from the great Iulus--shall arise,
And compass earth with conquest, heaven with fame,
Him, crowned with vows and many an Eastern prize,
Thou, freed at length from care, shalt welcome to the skies.
XXXIX. "Then wars shall cease and savage times grow mild,
And Remus and Quirinus, brethren twain,
With hoary Faith and Vesta undefiled,
Shall give the law. With iron bolt and chain
Firm-closed the gates of Janus shall remain.
Within, the Fiend of Discord, high reclined
On horrid arms, unheeded in the fane,
Bound with a hundred brazen knots behind,
And grim with gory jaws, his grisly teeth shall grind."
XL. So saying, the son of Maia down he sent,
To open Carthage and the Libyan state,
Lest Dido, weetless of the Fates' intent,
Should drive the Trojan wanderers from her gate.
With feathered oars he cleaves the skies, and straight
On Libya's shores alighting, speeds his hest.
The Tyrians, yielding to the god, abate
Their fierceness. Dido, more than all the rest,
Warms to her Phrygian friends, and wears a kindly breast.
XLI. But good AEneas, pondering through the night
Distracting thoughts and many an anxious care,
Resolved, when daybreak brought the gladsome light,
To search the coast, and back sure tidings bear,
What land was this, what habitants were there,
If man or beast, for, far as the eye could rove,
A wilderness the region seemed, and bare.
His ships he hides within a sheltering cove,
Screened by the caverned rock, and shadowed by the grove,
XLII. Then wielding in his hand two broad-tipt spears,
Alone with brave Achates forth he strayed,
When lo, before him in the wood appears
His mother, in a virgin's arms arrayed,
In form and habit of a Spartan maid,
Or like Harpalyce, the pride of Thrace,
Who tires swift steeds, and scours the woodland glade,
And outstrips rapid Hebrus in the race.
So fair the goddess seemed, apparelled for the chase.
XLIII. Bare were her knees, and from her shoulders hung
The wonted bow, kept handy for the prey
Her flowing raiment in a knot she strung,
And loosed her tresses with the winds to play.
"Ho, Sirs!" she hails them, "saw ye here astray
Ought of my sisters, girt in huntress wise
With quiver and a spotted lynx-skin gay,
Or following on the foaming boar with cries?"
Thus Venus spake, and thus fair Venus' son replies;
XLIV. "Nought of thy sisters have I heard or seen.
What name, O maiden, shall I give to thee,
For mortal never had thy voice or mien?
O Goddess surely, whether Nymph I see,
Or Phoebus' sister; whosoe'er thou be,
Be kind, for strangers and in evil case
We roam, tost hither by the stormy sea.
Say, who the people, what the clime and place,
And many a victim's blood thy hallowed shrine shall grace."
XLV. "Nay, nay, to no such honour I aspire."
Said Venus, "But a simple maid am I,
And 'tis the manner of the maids of Tyre
To wear, like me, the quiver, and to tie
The purple buskin round the ankles high.
The realm thou see'st is Punic; Tyrians are
The folk, the town Agenor's. Round them lie
The Libyan plains, a people rough in war.
Queen Dido rules the land, who came from Tyre afar,
XLVI. "Flying her brother. Dark the tale of crime,
And long, but briefly be the sum supplied.
Sychaeus was her lord, in happier time
The richest of Phoenicians far and wide
In land, and worshipped by his hapless bride.
Her, in the bloom of maidenhood, her sire
Had given him, and with virgin rites allied.
But soon her brother filled the throne of Tyre,
Pygmalion, swoln with sin; 'twixt whom a feud took fire.
XLVII. "He, reckless of a sister's love, and blind
With lust of gold, Sychaeus unaware
Slew by the altar, and with impious mind
Long hid the deed, and flattering hopes and fair
Devised, to cheat the lover of her care.
But, lifting features marvellously pale,
The ghost unburied in her dreams laid bare
His breast, and showed the altar and the bale
Wrought by the ruthless steel, and solved the crime's dark tale.
XLVIII. "Then bade her fly the country, and revealed,
To aid her flight, an old and unknown weight
Of gold and silver, in the ground concealed.
Thus roused, her friends she gathers. All await
Her summons, who the tyrant fear or hate.
Some ships at hand, chance-anchored in the bay,
They seize and load them with the costly freight,
And far off o'er the deep is borne away
Pygmalion's hoarded pelf. A woman leads the way.
XLIX. "Hither, where now the walls and fortress high,
Of Carthage, and her rising homes are found,
They came, and there full cheaply did they buy,
Such space--called Byrsa from the deed--of ground
As one bull's-hide could compass and surround.
But who are ye, pray answer? on what quest
Come ye? and whence and whither are ye bound?"
Her then AEneas, from his inmost breast
Heaving a deep-drawn sigh, with labouring speech addressed:
L. "O Goddess, should I from the first unfold,
Or could'st thou hear, the annals of our woe,
Eve's star were shining, ere the tale were told.
From ancient Troy--if thou the name dost know--
A chance-met storm hath driven us to and fro,
And tost us on the Libyan shores. My name
Is good AEneas; from the flames and foe
I bear Troy's rescued deities. My fame
Outsoars the stars of heaven; a Jove-born race, we claim
LI. "A home in fair Italia far away.
With twice ten ships I climbed the Phrygian main,
My goddess-mother pointing out the way,
As Fate commanded. Now scarce seven remain,
Wave-worn and shattered by the tempest's strain.
Myself, a stranger, friendless and unknown,
From Europe driven and Asia, roam in vain
The wilds of Libya"--Then his plaintive tone
No more could Venus bear, but interrupts her son;
LII. "Stranger," she answered, "whosoe'er thou be;
Not unbeloved of heavenly powers, I ween,
Thou breath'st the vital air, whom Fate's decree
Permits a Tyrian city to have seen.
But hence, and seek the palace of the queen.
Glad news I bear thee, of thy comrades brought,
The North-wind shifted and the skies serene;
Thy ships have gained the harbour which they sought,
Else vain my parents' lore the augury they taught.
LIII. "See yon twelve swans, in jubilant array,
Whom late Jove's eagle scattered through the sky;
Now these alight, now those the pitch survey.
As they, returning, sport with joyous cry,
And flap their wings and circle in the sky,
E'en so thy vessels and each late-lost crew
Safe now and scatheless in the harbour lie,
Or, crowding canvas, hold the port in view.
But hence, where leads the path, thy forward steps pursue."
LIV. So saying, she turned, and all refulgent showed
Her roseate neck, and heavenly fragrance sweet
Was breathed from her ambrosial hair. Down flowed
Her loosened raiment, streaming to her feet,
And by her walk the Goddess shone complete.
"Ah, mother mine!" he chides her, as she flies,
"Art thou, then, also cruel? Wherefore cheat
Thy son so oft with images and lies?
Why may I not clasp hands, and talk without disguise?"
LV. Thus he, reproaching. Towards the town they fare
In haste. But Venus round them on the way
Wrapt a thick mist, a mantle of dark air,
That none should see them, none should touch nor stay,
Nor, urging idle questions, breed delay.
Then back, rejoicing, through the liquid air
To Paphos and her home she flies away,
Where, steaming with Sabaean incense rare,
An hundred altars breathe with garlands fresh and fair.
LVI. They by the path their forward steps pursued,
And climbed a hill, whose fronting summit frowned
Steep o'er the town. Amazed, AEneas viewed
Tall structures rise, where whilom huts were found,
The streets, the gates, the bustle and the sound.
Hotly the Tyrians are at work. These draw
The bastions' lines, roll stones and trench the ground;
Or build the citadel; those clothe with awe
The Senate; there they choose the judges for the law.
LVII. These delve the port; the broad foundations there
They lay for theatres of ample space,
And columns, hewn from marble rocks, prepare,
Tall ornaments, the future stage to grace.
As bees in early summer swarm apace
Through flowery fields, when forth from dale and dell
They lead the full-grown offspring of the race,
Or with the liquid honey store each cell,
And make the teeming hive with nectarous sweets to swell.
LVIII. These ease the comers of their loads, those drive
The drones afar. The busy work each plies,
And sweet with thyme and honey smells the hive.
"O happy ye, whose walls already rise!"
Exclaimed AEneas, and with envious eyes
Looked up where pinnacles and roof-tops showed
The new-born city; then in wondrous wise,
Clothed in the covering of the friendly cloud,
Passed through the midst unseen, and mingled with the crowd.
LIX. A grove stood in the city, rich in shade,
Where storm-tost Tyrians, past the perilous brine,
Dug from the ground, by royal Juno's aid,
A war-steed's head, to far-off days a sign
That wealth and prowess should adorn the line.
Here, by the goddess and her gifts renowned,
Sidonian Dido built a stately shrine.
All brazen rose the threshold; brass was round
The door-posts; brazen doors on grating hinges sound.
LX. Here a new sight AEneas' hopes upraised,
And fear was softened, and his heart was mann'd.
For while, the queen awaiting, round he gazed,
And marvelled at the happy town, and scanned
The rival labours of each craftsman's hand,
Behold, Troy's battles on the walls appear,
The war, since noised through many a distant land,
There Priam and th' Atridae twain, and here
Achilles, fierce to both, still ruthless and severe.
LXI. Pensive he stood, and with a rising tear,
"What lands, Achates, on the earth, but know
Our labours? See our Priam! Even here
Worth wins her due, and there are tears to flow,
And human hearts to feel for human woe.
Fear not," he cries, "Troy's glory yet shall gain
Some safety." Thus upon the empty show
He feeds his soul, while ever and again
Deeply he sighs, and tears run down his cheeks like rain.
LXII. He sees, how, fighting round the Trojan wall,
Here fled the Greeks, the Trojan youth pursue,
Here fled the Phrygians, and, with helmet tall,
Achilles in his chariot stormed and slew.
Not far, with tears, the snowy tents he knew
Of Rhesus, where Tydides, bathed in blood,
Broke in at midnight with his murderous crew,
And drove the hot steeds campward, ere the food
Of Trojan plains they browsed, or drank the Xanthian flood.
LXIII. There, reft of arms, poor Troilus, rash to dare
Achilles, by his horses dragged amain,
Hangs from his empty chariot. Neck and hair
Trail on the ground; his hand still grasps the rein;
The spear inverted scores the dusty plain.
Meanwhile, with beaten breasts and streaming hair,
The Trojan dames, a sad and suppliant train,
The veil to partial Pallas' temple bear.
Stern, with averted eyes the Goddess spurns their prayer.
LXIV. Thrice had Achilles round the Trojan wall
Dragged Hector; there the slayer sells the slain.
Sighing he sees him, chariot, arms and all,
And Priam, spreading helpless hands in vain.
Himself he knows among the Greeks again,
Black Memnon's arms, and all his Eastern clan,
Penthesilea's Amazonian train
With moony shields. Bare-breasted, in the van,
Girt with a golden zone, the maiden fights with man.
LXV. Thus while AEneas, with set gaze and long,
Hangs, mute with wonder, on the wildering scene,
Lo! to the temple, with a numerous throng
Of youthful followers, moves the beauteous Queen.
Such as Diana, with her Oreads seen
On swift Eurotas' banks or Cynthus' crest,
Leading the dances. She, in form and mien,
Armed with her quiver, towers above the rest,
And tranquil pleasure thrills Latona's silent breast.
LXVI. E'en such was Dido; so with joyous mien,
Urging the business of her rising state,
Among the concourse passed the Tyrian queen;
Then, girt with guards, within the temple's gate
Beneath the centre of the dome she sate.
There, ministering justice, she presides,
And deals the law, and from her throne of state,
As choice determines or as chance decides,
To each, in equal share, his separate task divides.
LXVII. Sudden, behold a concourse. Looking down,
His late-lost friends AEneas sees again,
Sergestus, brave Cloanthus of renown,
Antheus and others of the Trojan train,
Whom the black squall had scattered o'er the main,
And driven afar upon an alien strand.
At once, 'twixt joy and terror rent in twain,
Amazed, AEneas and Achates stand,
And long to greet old friends and clasp a comrade's hand.
LXVIII. Yet wildering wonder at so strange a scene
Still holds them mute, while anxious thoughts divide
Their doubtful minds, and in the cloud unseen,
Wrapt in its hollow covering, they abide
And note what fortune did their friends betide,
And whence they come, and why for grace they sue,
And on what shore they left the fleet to bide,
For chosen captains came from every crew,
And towards the sacred fane with clamorous cries they drew.
LXIX. Then, audience granted, as the fane they filled,
Thus calmly spake the eldest of the train,
Ilioneus: "O queen, whom Jove hath willed
To found this new-born city, here to reign,
And stubborn tribes with justice to refrain,
We, Troy's poor fugitives, implore thy grace,
Storm-tost and wandering over every main,--
Forbid the flames our vessels to deface,
Mark our afflicted plight, and spare a pious race.
LXX. "We come not hither with the sword to rend
Your Libyan homes, and shoreward drive the prey.
Nay, no such violence our thoughts intend,
Such pride suits not the vanquished. Far away
There lies a place--Greeks style the land to-day
Hesperia--fruitful and of ancient fame
And strong in arms. OEnotrian folk, they say,
First tilled the soil. Italian is the name
Borne by the later race, with Italus who came.
LXXI. "Thither we sailed, when, rising with the wave,
Orion dashed us on the shoals, the prey
Of wanton winds, and mastering billows drave
Our vessels on the pathless rocks astray.
We few have floated to your shore. O say,
What manner of mankind is here? What land
Is this, to treat us in this barbarous way?
They grudge the very shelter of the sand,
And call to arms and bar our footsteps from the strand!
LXXII. "If human kind and mortal arms ye scorn,
Think of the Gods, who judge the wrong and right.
A king was ours, AEneas; ne'er was born
A man more just, more valiant in the fight,
More famed for piety and deeds of might.
If yet he lives and looks upon the sun,
Nor cruel death hath snatched him from the light,
No fear have we, nor need hast thou to shun
A Trojan guest, or rue kind offices begun.
LXXIII. "Towns yet for us in Sicily remain,
And arms, and, sprung from Trojan sires of yore,
Our kinsman there, Acestes, holds his reign.
Grant us to draw our scattered fleet ashore,
And fit new planks and branches for the oar.
So, if with king and comrades brought again,
The Fates allow us to reach Italia's shore,
Italia gladly and the Latian plain
Seek we; but else, if thoughts of safety be in vain,
LXXIV. "If thee, dear Sire, the Libyan deep doth hide,
Nor hopes of young Iulus more can cheer,
Back let our barks to the Sicanian tide
And proffered homes and king Acestes steer."
He spake; the Dardans answered with a cheer.
Then Dido thus, with downcast look sedate;
"Take courage, Trojans, and dismiss your fear.
My kingdom's newness and the stress of Fate
Force me to guard far off the frontiers of my state.
LXXV. "Who knows not Troy, th' AEneian house of fame,
The deeds and doers, and the war's renown
That fired the world? Not hearts so dull and tame
Have Punic folk; not so is Phoebus known
To turn his back upon our Tyrian town.
Whether ye sail to great Hesperia's shore
And Saturn's fields, or seek the realms that own
Acestes' sway, where Eryx reigned of yore,
Safe will I send you hence, and speed you with my store.
LXXVI. "Else, would ye settle in this realm, the town
I build is yours; draw up your ships to land.
Trojan and Tyrian will I treat as one.
Would that your king AEneas here could stand,
Driven by the gale that drove you to this strand!
Natheless, to scour the country, will I send
Some trusty messengers, with strict command
To search through Libya to the furthest end,
Lest, cast ashore, through town or lonely wood he wend."
LXXVII. Roused by these words, long since the sire of Troy
Yearned, like his friend, their comrades to surprise
And burst the cloud. Then first with eager joy
"O Goddess-born," the bold Achates cries,
"How now--what purpose doth thy mind devise?
Lo! all are safe--ships, comrades brought again;
One only fails us, who before our eyes
Sank in the midst of the engulfing main.
All else confirms the tale thy mother told thee plain."
LXXVIII. Scarce had he said, when straight the ambient cloud
Broke open, melting into day's clear light,
And bathed in sunshine stood the chief, endowed
With shape and features most divinely bright.
For graceful tresses and the purple light
Of youth did Venus in her child unfold,
And sprightly lustre breathed upon his sight,
Beauteous as ivory, or when artists mould
Silver or Parian stone, enchased in yellow gold.
LXXIX. Then to the queen, all wondering, he exclaimed,
"Behold me, Troy's AEneas; I am here,
The man ye seek, from Libyan waves reclaimed.
Thou, who alone Troy's sorrows deign'st to hear,
And us, the gleanings of the Danaan spear,
Poor world-wide wanderers and in desperate case,
Hast ta'en to share thy city and thy cheer,
Meet thanks nor we, nor what of Dardan race
Yet roams the earth, can give to recompense thy grace.
LXXX. "The gods, if gods the good and just regard,
And thy own conscience, that approves the right,
Grant thee due guerdon and a fit reward.
What happy ages did thy birth delight?
What godlike parents bore a child so bright?
While running rivers hasten to the main,
While yon pure ether feeds the stars with light,
While shadows round the hill-slopes wax and wane,
Thy fame, where'er I go, thy praises shall remain."
LXXXI. So saying AEneas with his left hand pressed
Serestus, and Ilioneus with his right,
Brave Gyas, brave Cloanthus and the rest.
Then Dido, struck with wonder at the sight
Of one so great and in so strange a plight,
"O Goddess-born! what fate through dangers sore,
What force to savage coasts compels thy flight?
Art thou, then, that AEneas, whom of yore
Venus on Simois' banks to old Anchises bore?
LXXXII. "Ay, well I mind me how in days of yore
To Sidon exiled Teucer crossed the main,
To seek new kingdoms and the aid implore
Of Belus. He, my father Belus, then
Ruled Cyprus, victor of the wasted plain,
Since then thy name and Ilion's fate are known,
And all the princes of Pelasgia's reign.
Himself, a foe, oft lauded Troy's renown,
And claimed the Teucrian sires as kinsmen of his own.
LXXXIII. "Welcome, then, heroes! Me hath Fortune willed
Long tost, like you, through sufferings, here to rest
And find at length a refuge. Not unskilled
In woe, I learn to succour the distrest."
So to the palace she escorts her guest,
And calls for festal honours in the shrine.
Then shoreward sends beeves twenty to the rest,
A hundred boars, of broad and bristly chine,
A hundred lambs and ewes and gladdening gifts of wine.
LXXXIV. Meanwhile with regal splendour they arrayed
The palace-hall, where feast and banquet high
All in the centre of the space is laid,
And forth they bring the broidered tapestry,
With purple dyed and wrought full cunningly.
The tables groan with silver; there are told
The deeds of prowess for the gazer's eye,
A long, long series, of their sires of old,
Traced from the nation's birth, and graven in the gold.
LXXXV. But good AEneas--for a father's care
No rest allows him--to the ships sends down
Achates, to Ascanius charged to bear
The welcome news, and bring him to the town.
The father's fondness centres on the son.
Rich presents, too, he sends for, saved of old
From Troy, a veil, whose saffron edges shone
Fringed with acanthus, glorious to behold,
A broidered mantle, stiff with figures wrought in gold.
LXXXVI. Fair Helen's ornaments, from Argos brought,
The gift of Leda, when the Trojan shore
And lawless nuptials o'er the waves she sought.
Therewith the royal sceptre, which of yore
Ilione, Priam's eldest daughter, bore;
Her shining necklace, strung with costly beads,
And diadem, rimmed with gold and studded o'er
With sparkling gems. Thus charged, Achates heeds,
And towards the ships forthwith in eager haste proceeds.
LXXXVII. But crafty Cytherea planned meanwhile
New arts, new schemes,--that Cupid should conspire,
In likeness of Ascanius, to beguile
The queen with gifts, and kindle fierce desire,
And turn the marrow of her bones to fire.
Fierce Juno's hatred rankles in her breast;
The two-faced house, the double tongues of Tyre
She fears, and with the night returns unrest;
So now to winged Love this mandate she addressed:
LXXXVIII. "O son, sole source of all my strength and power,
Who durst high Jove's Typhoean bolts disdain,
To thee I fly, thy deity implore.
Thou know'st, who oft hast sorrowed with my pain,
How, tost by Juno's rancour, o'er the main
Thy brother wanders. Him with speeches fair
And sweet allurements doth the queen detain;
But Juno's hospitality I fear;
Scarce at an hour like this will she her hand forbear.
LXXXIX. "Soft snares I purpose round the queen to weave,
And wrap her soul in flames, that power malign
Shall never change her, but her heart shall cleave
Fast to AEneas with a love like mine.
Now learn, how best to compass my design.
To Tyrian Carthage hastes the princely boy,
Prompt at the summons of his sire divine,
My prime solicitude, my chiefest joy,
Fraught with brave store of gifts, saved from the flames of Troy.
XC. "Him on Idalia, lulled into a dream,
Will I secrete, or on the sacred height
Of lone Cythera, lest he learn the scheme,
Or by his sudden presence mar the sleight.
Take thou his likeness, only for a night,
And wear the boyish features that are thine;
And when the queen, in rapture of delight,
Amid the royal banquet and the wine,
Shall lock thee in her arms, and press her lips to thine,
XCI. "Then steal into her bosom, and inspire
Through all her veins with unsuspected sleight
The poisoned sting of passion and desire."
Young Love obeys, and doffs his plumage light,
And, like Iulus, trips forth with delight.
She o'er Ascanius rains a soft repose,
And gently bears him to Idalia's height,
Where breathing marjoram around him throws
Sweet shade, and odorous flowers his slumbering limbs compose.
XCII. Forth Cupid, at his mother's word, repairs,
And merrily, for brave Achates led,
The royal presents to the Tyrians bears.
There, under gorgeous curtains, at the head
Sate Dido, throned upon a golden bed.
There, flocking in, the Trojans and their King
Recline on purple coverlets outspread.
Bread, heaped in baskets, the attendants bring,
Towels with smooth-shorn nap, and water from the spring.
XCIII. Within are fifty maidens, charged with care
To dress the food, and nurse the flames divine.
A hundred more, and youths like-aged, prepare
To load the tables and arrange the wine.
There, entering too, on broidered seats recline
The Tyrians, crowding through the festive court.
They praise the boy, his glowing looks divine,
The words he feigned, the royal gifts he brought,
The robe, the saffron veil with bright acanthus wrought.
XCIV. Doomed to devouring Love, the hapless queen
Burns as she gazes, with insatiate fire,
Charmed by his presents and his youthful mien:
He, fondly clinging to his fancied sire,
Gave all the love that parents' hearts desire,
Then seeks the queen. She, fixing on the boy
Her eyes, her soul, impatient to admire,
Now, fondling, folds him to her lap with joy;
Weetless, alas! what god is plotting to destroy.
XCV. True to his Paphian mother, trace by trace,
Slowly the Love-god with prevenient art,
Begins the lost Sychaeus to efface,
And living passion to a breast impart
Long dead to feeling, and a vacant heart.
Now, hushed the banquet and the tables all
Removed, huge wine-bowls for each guest apart
They wreathe with flowers. The noise of festival
Rings through the spacious courts, and rolls along the hall.
XCVI. There, blazing from the gilded roof, are seen
Bright lamps, and torches turn the night to day.
Now for the ponderous goblet called the Queen,
Of jewelled gold, which Belus used and they
Of Belus' line, and poured the wine straightway,
And prayed, while silence filled the crowded hall:
"Great Jove, the host's lawgiver, bless this day
To these my Tyrians and the Trojans all.
Long may our children's sons this solemn feast recall.
XCVII. "Come, jolly Bacchus, giver of delight;
Kind Juno, come; and ye with fair accord
And friendly spirit hold the feast aright."
So spake the Queen, and on the festal board
The prime libation to the gods outpoured,
Then lightly to her lips the goblet pressed,
And gave to Bitias. Challenged by the word,
He dived into the brimming gold with zest,
And quaffed the foaming bowl, and after him, the rest.
XCVIII. His golden lyre long-haired Iopas tunes,
And sings what Atlas taught in loftiest strain;
The suns' eclipses and the changing moons,
Whence man and beast, whence lightning and the rain,
Arcturus, watery Hyads and the Wain;
What causes make the winter nights so long,
Why sinks the sun so quickly in the main;
All this he sings, and ravished at the song,
Tyrians and Trojan guests the loud applause prolong.
XCIX. With various talk the night poor Dido wore,
And drank deep love, and nursed her inward flame,
Of Priam much she asks, of Hector more,
Now in what arms Aurora's offspring came,
Of Diomede's horses and Achilles' fame.
"Tell me," she says, "thy wanderings; stranger, come,
Thy friends' mishaps and Danaan wiles proclaim;
For seven long summers now have seen thee roam
O'er every land and sea, far from thy native home."