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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book I Chapter 34: Welcome to Aeneas
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Sidonian Dido felt her heart stand still |
when first she looked on him; and thrilled again
to hear what vast adventure had befallen
so great a hero. Thus she welcomed him:
What chance, O goddess-born, o'er danger's path
impels? What power to this wild coast has borne?
Art thou Aeneas, great Anchises' son,
whom lovely Venus by the Phrygian stream
of Simois brought forth unto the day?
Now I bethink me of when Teucer came
to Sidon, exiled, and of Belus' power
desired a second throne. For Belus then,
our worshipped sire, despoiled the teeming land
of Cyprus, as its conqueror and king.
And since that hour I oft have heard the tale
of fallen Troy, of thine own noble name,
and of Achaean kings. Teucer was wont,
although their foe, to praise the Teucrian race,
and boasted him of that proud lineage sprung.
Therefore, behold, our portals are swung wide
for all your company. I also bore
hard fate like thine. I too was driven of storms
and after long toil was allowed at last
to call this land my home. O, I am wise
in sorrow, and I help all suffering souls!
So saying, she bade Aeneas welcome take
beneath her royal roof, and to the gods
made sacrifice in temples, while she sent
unto the thankful Trojans on the shore
a score of bulls, and of huge, bristling swine,
a herd of a whole hundred, and a flock
of goodly lambs, a hundred, who ran close
beside the mother-ewes: and all were given
in joyful feast to please the Heavenly Powers.
Her palace showed a monarch's fair array
all glittering and proud, and feasts were spread
within the ample court. Rich broideries
hung deep incarnadined with Tyrian skill;
the board had massy silver, gold-embossed,
where gleamed the mighty deeds of all her sires,
a graven chronicle of peace and war
prolonged, since first her ancient line began,
from royal sire to son.
Event: Aeneas in Carthago
Obstipuit primo aspectu Sidonia Dido,
casu deinde viri tanto, et sic ore locuta est:
'Quis te, nate dea, per tanta pericula casus
insequitur? Quae vis immanibus applicat oris?
Tune ille Aeneas, quem Dardanio Anchisae
alma Venus Phrygii genuit Simoentis ad undam?
Atque equidem Teucrum memini Sidona venire
finibus expulsum patriis, nova regna petentem
auxilio Beli; genitor tum Belus opimam
vastabat Cyprum, et victor dicione tenebat.
Tempore iam ex illo casus mihi cognitus urbis
Troianae nomenque tuum regesque Pelasgi.
Ipse hostis Teucros insigni laude ferebat,
seque ortum antiqua Teucrorum ab stirpe volebat.
Quare agite, O tectis, iuvenes, succedite nostris.
Me quoque per multos similis fortuna labores
iactatam hac demum voluit consistere terra.
Non ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco.'
Sic memorat; simul Aenean in regia ducit
tecta, simul divom templis indicit honorem.
Nec minus interea sociis ad litora mittit
viginti tauros, magnorum horrentia centum
terga suum, pinguis centum cum matribus agnos,
munera laetitiamque dii.
At domus interior regali splendida luxu
instruitur, mediisque parant convivia tectis:
arte laboratae vestes ostroque superbo,
ingens argentum mensis, caelataque in auro
fortia facta patrum, series longissima rerum
per tot ducta viros antiqua ab origine gentis.