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The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book VI Chapter 18: The other side: Dido
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Now hears he sobs, and piteous, lisping cries
Of souls of babes upon the threshold plaining;
Whom, ere they took their portion of sweet life,
Dark Fate from nursing bosoms tore, and plunged
In bitterness of death. Nor far from these,
The throng of dead by unjust judgment slain.
Not without judge or law these realms abide:
Wise Minos there the urn of justice moves,
And holds assembly of the silent shades,
Hearing the stories of their lives and deeds.
Close on this place those doleful ghosts abide,
Who, not for crime, but loathing life and light
With their own hands took death, and cast away
The vital essence. Willingly, alas!
They now would suffer need, or burdens bear,
If only life were given! But Fate forbids.
Around them winds the sad, unlovely wave
Of Styx: nine times it coils and interflows.
Not far from hence, on every side outspread,
The Fields of Sorrow lie, -- such name they bear;
Here all whom ruthless love did waste away
Wander in paths unseen, or in the gloom
Of dark myrtle grove: not even in death
Have they forgot their griefs of long ago.
Here impious Phaedra and poor Procris bide;
Lorn Eriphyle bares the vengeful wounds
Her own son's [Note 1] dagger made; Evadne here,
And foul Pasiphae are seen; hard by,
Laodamia, nobly fond and fair;
And Caeneus, not a boy, but maiden now,
By Fate remoulded to her native seeming.
Here Tyrian Dido, too, her wound unhealed,
Roamed through a mighty wood. The Trojan's eyes
Beheld her near him through the murky gloom,
As when, in her young month and crescent pale,
One sees th' o'er-clouded moon, or thinks he sees.
Down dropped his tears, and thus he fondly spoke:
O suffering Dido! Were those tidings true
That thou didst fling thee on the fatal steel?
Thy death, ah me! I dealt it. But I swear
By stars above us, by the powers in Heaven,
Or whatsoever oath ye dead believe,
That not by choice I fled thy shores, O Queen!
Divine decrees compelled me, even as now
Among these ghosts I pass, and thread my way
Along this gulf of night and loathsome land.
How could I deem my cruel taking leave
Would bring thee at the last to all this woe?
O, stay! Why shun me? Wherefore haste away?
Our last farewell! Our doom! I speak it now!
Thus, though she glared with fierce, relentless gaze,
Aeneas, with fond words and tearful plea,
Would soothe her angry soul. But on the ground
She fixed averted eyes. For all he spoke
Moved her no more than if her frowning brow
Were changeless flint or carved in Parian stone.
Then, after pause, away in wrath she fled,
And refuge took within the cool, dark grove,
Where her first spouse, Sichaeus, with her tears
Mingled his own in mutual love and true.
Aeneas, none the less, her guiltless woe
With anguish knew, watched with dimmed eyes her way,
And pitied from afar the fallen Queen.

Note 1: son = Alcmaeon

Events: Aeneas visits the Underworld, Cephalus and Procris, Death of Eriphyle, Love and Death of Dido

Continuo auditae uoces uagitus et ingens
infantumque animae flentes, in limine primo
quos dulcis uitae exsortis et ab ubere raptos
abstulit atra dies et funere mersit acerbo;
hos iuxta falso damnati crimine mortis.
nec uero hae sine sorte datae, sine iudice, sedes:
quaesitor Minos urnam mouet; ille silentum
consiliumque uocat uitasque et crimina discit.
proxima deinde tenent maesti loca, qui sibi letum
insontes peperere manu lucemque perosi
proiecere animas. quam uellent aethere in alto
nunc et pauperiem et duros perferre labores!
fas obstat, tristisque palus inamabilis undae
alligat et nouies Styx interfusa coercet
Nec procul hinc partem fusi monstrantur in omnem
Lugentes campi; sic illos nomine dicunt.
hic quos durus amor crudeli tabe peredit
secreti celant calles et myrtea circum
silua tegit; curae non ipsa in morte relinquunt.
his Phaedram Procrinque locis maestamque Eriphylen
crudelis nati monstrantem uulnera cernit,
Euadnenque et Pasiphaen; his Laodamia
it comes et iuuenis quondam, nunc femina, Caeneus
rursus et in ueterem fato reuoluta figuram.
inter quas Phoenissa recens a uulnere Dido
errabat silua in magna; quam Troius heros
ut primum iuxta stetit agnouitque per umbras
obscuram, qualem primo qui surgere mense
aut uidet aut uidisse putat per nubila lunam,
demisit lacrimas dulcique adfatus amore est:
'infelix Dido, uerus mihi nuntius ergo
uenerat exstinctam ferroque extrema secutam?
funeris heu tibi causa fui? per sidera iuro,
per superos et si qua fides tellure sub ima est,
inuitus, regina, tuo de litore cessi.
sed me iussa deum, quae nunc has ire per umbras,
per loca senta situ cogunt noctemque profundam,
imperiis egere suis; nec credere quiui
hunc tantum tibi me discessu ferre dolorem.
siste gradum teque aspectu ne subtrahe nostro.
quem fugis? extremum fato quod te adloquor hoc est.'
talibus Aeneas ardentem et torua tuentem
lenibat dictis animum lacrimasque ciebat.
illa solo fixos oculos auersa tenebat
nec magis incepto uultum sermone mouetur
quam si dura silex aut stet Marpesia cautes.
tandem corripuit sese atque inimica refugit
in nemus umbriferum, coniunx ubi pristinus illi
respondet curis aequatque Sychaeus amorem.
nec minus Aeneas casu percussus iniquo
prosequitur lacrimis longe et miseratur euntem.