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Quote of the day: And that he might also soften the rememb
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The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book IV Chapter 25: Dido's curse
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Aurora's first young beams to earth were pouring
as from Tithonus' saffron bed she sprang;
while from her battlements the wakeful Queen
watched the sky brighten, saw the mated sails
push forth to sea, till all her port and strand
held not an oar or keel. Thrice and four times
she smote her lovely breast with wrathful hand,
and tore her golden hair. Great Jove, she cries,
Shall that departing fugitive [Note 1] make mock
of me, a queen? Will not my men-at-arms
draw sword, give chase, from all my city thronging?
Down from the docks, my ships! Out, out! Begone!
Take fire and sword! Bend to your oars, ye slaves!
What have I said? Where am I? What mad thoughts
delude this ruined mind? Woe unto thee,
thou wretched Dido, now thy impious deeds
strike back upon thee. Wherefore struck they not,
as was most fit, when thou didst fling away
thy sceptre from thy hand? O lying oaths!
O faith forsworn! of him who brings, they boast,
his father's gods along, and bowed his back
to lift an age-worn sire! Why dared I not
seize on him, rend his body limb from limb,
and hurl him piecemeal on the rolling sea?
Or put his troop of followers to the sword,
Ascanius too, and set his flesh before
that father for a feast? Such fearful war
had been of doubtful issue. Be it so!
What fears a woman dying? Would I had
attacked their camp with torches, kindled flame
from ship to ship, until that son and sire,
with that whole tribe, were unto ashes burned
in one huge holocaust -- myself its crown!
Great orb of light whose holy beam surveys
all earthly deeds! Great Juno, patroness
of conjugal distress, who knowest all!
Pale Hecate, whose name the witches cry
at midnight crossways! O avenging furies!
O gods that guard Queen Dido's dying breath!
Give ear, and to my guiltless misery
extend your power. Hear me what I pray!
If it be fated that yon creature curst
drift to the shore and happy haven find,
if Father love's irrevocable word
such goal decree -- there may he be assailed
by peoples fierce and bold. A banished man,
from his Iulus' kisses sundered far,
may his own eyes see miserably slain
his kin and kind, and sue for alien arms.
nor when he basely bows him to receive
terms of unequal peace, shall he be blest
with sceptre or with life; but perish there
before his time, and lie without a grave
upon the barren sand. For this I pray.
This dying word is flowing from my heart
with my spilt blood. And -- O ye Tyrians! I
sting with your hatred all his seed and tribe
forevermore. This is the offering
my ashes ask. Betwixt our nations twain,
No love! No truce or amity! Arise,
Out of my dust, unknown Avenger, rise!
To harry and lay waste with sword and flame
those Dardan settlers, and to vex them sore,
to-day, to-morrow, and as long as power
is thine to use! My dying curse arrays
shore against shore and the opposing seas
in shock of arms with arms. May living foes
pass down from sire to son insatiate war!

Event: Love and Death of Dido

Note 1: fugitive = Aeneas

Et iam prima nouo spargebat lumine terras
Tithoni croceum linquens Aurora cubile.
regina e speculis ut primam albescere lucem
uidit et aequatis classem procedere uelis,
litoraque et uacuos sensit sine remige portus,
terque quaterque manu pectus percussa decorum
flauentisque abscissa comas 'pro Iuppiter! ibit
hic,' ait 'et nostris inluserit aduena regnis?
non arma expedient totaque ex urbe sequentur,
diripientque rates alii naualibus? ite,
ferte citi flammas, date tela, impellite remos!
quid loquor? aut ubi sum? quae mentem insania mutat?
infelix Dido, nunc te facta impia tangunt?
tum decuit, cum sceptra dabas. en dextra fidesque,
quem secum patrios aiunt portare penatis,
quem subiisse umeris confectum aetate parentem!
non potui abreptum diuellere corpus et undis
spargere? non socios, non ipsum absumere ferro
Ascanium patriisque epulandum ponere mensis?
uerum anceps pugnae fuerat fortuna. fuisset:
quem metui moritura? faces in castra tulissem
implessemque foros flammis natumque patremque
cum genere exstinxem, memet super ipsa dedissem.
Sol, qui terrarum flammis opera omnia lustras,
tuque harum interpres curarum et conscia Iuno,
nocturnisque Hecate triuiis ululata per urbes
et Dirae ultrices et di morientis Elissae,
accipite haec, meritumque malis aduertite numen
et nostras audite preces. si tangere portus
infandum caput ac terris adnare necesse est,
et sic fata Iouis poscunt, hic terminus haeret,
at bello audacis populi uexatus et armis,
finibus extorris, complexu auulsus Iuli
auxilium imploret uideatque indigna suorum
funera; nec, cum se sub leges pacis iniquae
tradiderit, regno aut optata luce fruatur,
sed cadat ante diem mediaque inhumatus harena.
haec precor, hanc uocem extremam cum sanguine fundo.
tum uos, o Tyrii, stirpem et genus omne futurum
exercete odiis, cinerique haec mittite nostro
munera. nullus amor populis nec foedera sunto.
exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor
qui face Dardanios ferroque sequare colonos,
nunc, olim, quocumque dabunt se tempore uires.
litora litoribus contraria, fluctibus undas
imprecor, arma armis: pugnent ipsique nepotesque.'