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Quote of the day: One Musonius Rufus, a man of equestrian
Display Latin text
The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book I Chapter 37: A feast
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Cupid straightway
obeyed his mother's word and bore the gifts,
each worthy of a king, as offerings
to greet the Tyrian throne; and as he went
he clasped Achates' friendly hand, and smiled.
Father Aeneas now, and all his band
of Trojan chivalry, at social feast,
on lofty purple-pillowed couches lie;
deft slaves fresh water on their fingers pour,
and from reed-woven basketry renew
the plenteous bread, or bring smooth napery
of softest weave; fifty handmaidens serve,
whose task it is to range in order fair
the varied banquet, or at altars bright
throw balm and incense on the sacred fires.
A hundred more serve with an equal band
of beauteous pages, whose obedient skill
piles high the generous board and fills the bowl.
The Tyrians also to the festal hall
come thronging, and receive their honor due,
each on his painted couch; with wondering eyes
Aeneas' gifts they view, and wondering more,
mark young Iulus' radiant brows divine,
his guileful words, the golden pall he bears,
and broidered veil with saffron lilies bound.
The Tyrian Queen ill-starred, already doomed
to her approaching woe, scanned ardently,
with kindling cheek and never-sated eyes,
the precious gifts and wonder-gifted boy.
He round Aeneas' neck his arms entwined,
fed the deep yearning of his seeming sire,
then sought the Queen's embrace; her eyes, her soul
clave to him as she strained him to her breast.
For Dido knew not in that fateful hour
how great a god betrayed her. He began,
remembering his mother (she who bore
the lovely Acidalian Graces three),
to make the dear name of Sichaeus fade,
and with new life, new love, to re-possess
her long-since slumbering bosom's lost desire.

Events: The Gods interfere in the Aeneid, Aeneas in Carthago, Dido falls in love with Aeneas

Iamque ibat dicto parens et dona Cupido
regia portabat Tyriis, duce laetus Achate.
Cum venit, aulaeis iam se regina superbis
aurea composuit sponda mediamque locavit.
Iam pater Aeneas et iam Troiana iuventus
conveniunt, stratoque super discumbitur ostro.
Dant famuli manibus lymphas, Cereremque canistris
expediunt, tonsisque ferunt mantelia villis.
Quinquaginta intus famulae, quibus ordine longam
cura penum struere, et flammis adolere Penatis;
centum aliae totidemque pares aetate ministri,
qui dapibus mensas onerent et pocula ponant.
Nec non et Tyrii per limina laeta frequentes
convenere, toris iussi discumbere pictis.
Mirantur dona Aeneae, mirantur Iulum
flagrantisque dei voltus simulataque verba,
[pallamque et pictum croceo velamen acantho.]
Praecipue infelix, pesti devota futurae,
expleri mentem nequit ardescitque tuendo
Phoenissa, et pariter puero donisque movetur.
Ille ubi complexu Aeneae colloque pependit
et magnum falsi implevit genitoris amorem,
reginam petit haec oculis, haec pectore toto
haeret et interdum gremio fovet, inscia Dido,
insidat quantus miserae deus; at memor ille
matris Acidaliae paulatim abolere Sychaeum
incipit, et vivo temptat praevertere amore
iam pridem resides animos desuetaque corda.