Dido to Aeneas.

(Aeneid, Book IV. vv. 805-330.)

Thou breaker of all bonds, was thine the hope1
To hide the vastness of thy villany2
From me, and steal from these my shores without3
One word? That love once ours, that hand once mine,4
Can these not hold thee from thy flight; nor I,5
Thy Dido, brought to bitter death by thee?6
Oh hard of heart, why haste to sail beneath7
The frown of winter stars, amidst the rage8
Of Northern blasts? If Troy thou wouldst not seek9
Through seas of storm, did olden Troy still stand,10
Why fly upon the tempest’s wing to fields11
Far off, and unfamiliar homes? Am I,12
Am I, the object shunned by thee? Then by13
These tears of mine, then by thy plighted hand14
(All that is left me in my misery),15
By all our bridal bliss, and bonds begun.16
If e’er my boon deserved a boon from thee,17
If ever aught of mine seemed sweet to thee,18
Smile on my home that sinks without thy smile;19
Put off thy flight—if prayer of mine can move20
Thy mind—seeing for thee, for thee alone21
I braved my people’s wrath, bore all the hate22
Of Libyan clans, and Nomad chiefs, and quenched23
For thee the brightness of my blameless name,24
My only pathway to the starry heavens.25
Thus left with death alone before mine eyes,26
To whom wilt thou abandon me, my guest?27
(Guest of my present, husband of my past).28
Why should I longer live—until my walls29
Shall perish by Pygmalion’s wrath—until30
The Moor Iarbas make a thrall of me?31
Yet if, before thy flight, a son were mine,32
A young Aeneas, born of thee and me,33
To make my palace pleasant with his play,34
And bring thy features back to me, not all35
Deserted and deceived my heart would feel.36