The Æneids of Virgil, by William Morris

Book i.


Æneas and his Trojans being driven to Libya by a Tempest, have good welcome of Dido, Queen of Carthage.

Lo I am he who led the song through slender reed to cry,

And then, come forth from out the woods, the fields that are thereby

In woven verse I bade obey the hungry tillers’ need:

Now I, who sang their merry toil, sing Mars and dreadful deed.

I sing of arms, I sing of him, who from the Trojan land

Thrust forth by Fate, to Italy and that Lavinian strand

First came: all tost about was he on earth and on the deep

By heavenly might for Juno’s wrath, that had no mind to sleep:

And plenteous war he underwent ere he his town might frame

And set his Gods in Latian earth, whence is the Latin name,

And father-folk of Alba-town, and walls of mighty Rome.

Say, Muse, what wound of godhead was whereby all this must come,

How grieving, she, the Queen of Gods, a man so pious drave

To win such toil, to welter on through such a troublous wave: 10

— Can anger in immortal minds abide so fierce and fell?

There was a city of old time where Tyrian folk did dwell,

Called Carthage, facing far away the shores of Italy

And Tiber-mouth; fulfilled of wealth and fierce in arms was she,

And men say Juno loved her well o’er every other land,

Yea e’en o’er Samos: there were stored the weapons of her hand,

And there her chariot: even then she cherished the intent

To make her Lady of all Lands, if Fate might so be bent;

Yet had she heard how such a stem from Trojan blood should grow,

As, blooming fair, the Tyrian towers should one day overthrow, 20

That thence a folk, kings far and wide, most noble lords of fight,

Should come for bane of Libyan land: such web the Parcæ dight.

The Seed of Saturn, fearing this, and mindful how she erst

For her beloved Argive walls by Troy the battle nursed —

— Nay neither had the cause of wrath nor all those hurts of old

Failed from her mind: her inmost heart still sorely did enfold

That grief of body set at nought in Paris’ doomful deed,

The hated race, and honour shed on heaven-rapt Ganymede —

So set on fire, that Trojan band o’er all the ocean tossed,

Those gleanings from Achilles’ rage, those few the Greeks had lost, 30

She drave far off the Latin Land: for many a year they stray

Such wise as Fate would drive them on by every watery way.

— Lo, what there was to heave aloft in fashioning of Rome!

Now out of sight of Sicily the Trojans scarce were come

And merry spread their sails abroad and clave the sea with brass,

When Juno’s heart, who nursed the wound that never thence would pass,

Spake out:

                      “And must I, vanquished, leave the deed I have begun,

Nor save the Italian realm a king who comes of Teucer’s son?

The Fates forbid it me forsooth? And Pallas, might not she

Burn up the Argive fleet and sink the Argives in the sea 40

For Oileus’ only fault and fury that he wrought?

She hurled the eager fire of Jove from cloudy dwelling caught,

And rent the ships and with the wind the heaped-up waters drew,

And him a-dying, and all his breast by wildfire smitten through,

The whirl of waters swept away on spiky crag to bide.

While I, who go forth Queen of Gods, the very Highest’s bride

And sister, must I wage a war for all these many years

With one lone race? What! is there left a soul that Juno fears

Henceforth? or will one suppliant hand gifts on mine altar lay?”

So brooding in her fiery heart the Goddess went her way 50

Unto the fatherland of storm, full fruitful of the gale,

Æolia hight, where Æolus is king of all avail,

And far adown a cavern vast the bickering of the winds

And roaring tempests of the world with bolt and fetter binds:

They set the mountains murmuring much, a-growling angrily

About their bars, while Æolus sits in his burg on high,

And, sceptre-holding, softeneth them, and strait their wrath doth keep:

Yea but for that the earth and sea, and vault of heaven the deep,

They eager-swift would roll away and sweep adown of space:

For fear whereof the Father high in dark and hollow place 60

Hath hidden them, and high above a world of mountains thrown

And given them therewithal a king, who, taught by law well known,

Now draweth, and now casteth loose the reins that hold them in:

To whom did suppliant Juno now in e’en such words begin:

“The Father of the Gods and men hath given thee might enow,

O Æolus, to smooth the sea, and make the storm-wind blow.

Hearken! a folk, my very foes, saileth the Tyrrhene main

Bearing their Troy to Italy, and Gods that were but vain:

Set on thy winds, and overwhelm their sunken ships at sea,

Or prithee scattered cast them forth, things drowned diversedly. 70

Twice seven nymphs are in my house of body passing fair:

Of whom indeed Deïopea is fairest fashioned there.

I give her thee in wedlock sure, and call her all thine own

To wear away the years with thee, for thy deserving shown

To me this day; of offspring fair she too shall make thee sire.”

To whom spake Æolus: “O Queen, to search out thy desire

Is all thou needest toil herein; from me the deed should wend.

Thou mak’st my realm; the sway of all, and Jove thou mak’st my friend,

Thou givest me to lie with Gods when heavenly feast is dight,

And o’er the tempest and the cloud thou makest me of might.” 80

Therewith against the hollow hill he turned him spear in hand

And hurled it on the flank thereof, and as an ordered band

By whatso door the winds rush out o’er earth in whirling blast,

And driving down upon the sea its lowest deeps upcast.

The East, the West together there, the Afric, that doth hold

A heart fulfilled of stormy rain, huge billows shoreward rolled.

Therewith came clamour of the men and whistling through the shrouds

And heaven and day all suddenly were swallowed by the clouds

Away from eyes of Teucrian men; night on the ocean lies,

Pole thunders unto pole, and still with wildfire glare the skies, 90

And all things hold the face of death before the seamen’s eyes.

Now therewithal Æneas’ limbs grew weak with chilly dread,

He groaned, and lifting both his palms aloft to heaven, he said:

“O thrice and four times happy ye, that had the fate to fall

Before your fathers’ faces there by Troy’s beloved wall!

Tydides, thou of Danaan folk the mightiest under shield,

Why might I never lay me down upon the Ilian field,

Why was my soul forbid release at thy most mighty hand,

Where eager Hector stooped and lay before Achilles’ wand,

Where huge Sarpedon fell asleep, where Simoïs rolls along 100

The shields of men, and helms of men, and bodies of the strong?”

Thus as he cried the whistling North fell on with sudden gale

And drave the seas up toward the stars, and smote aback the sail;

Then break the oars, the bows fall off, and beam on in the trough

She lieth, and the sea comes on a mountain huge and rough.

These hang upon the topmost wave, and those may well discern

The sea’s ground mid the gaping whirl: with sand the surges churn.

Three keels the South wind cast away on hidden reefs that lie

Midmost the sea, the Altars called by men of Italy,

A huge back thrusting through the tide: three others from the deep 110

The East toward straits, and swallowing sands did miserably sweep,

And dashed them on the shoals, and heaped the sand around in ring:

And one, a keel the Lycians manned, with him, the trusty King

Orontes, in Æneas’ sight a toppling wave o’erhung,

And smote the poop, and headlong rolled, adown the helmsman flung;

Then thrice about the driving flood hath hurled her as she lay,

The hurrying eddy swept above and swallowed her from day:

And lo! things swimming here and there, scant in the unmeasured seas,

The arms of men, and painted boards, and Trojan treasuries.

And now Ilioneus’ stout ship, her that Achates leal 120

And Abas ferried o’er the main, and old Aletes’ keel

The storm hath overcome; and all must drink the baneful stream

Through opening leaky sides of them that gape at every seam.

But meanwhile Neptune, sorely moved, hath felt the storm let go,

And all the turmoil of the main with murmur great enow;

The deep upheaved from all abodes the lowest that there be:

So forth he put his placid face o’er topmost of the sea,

And there he saw Æneas’ ships o’er all the main besprent,

The Trojans beaten by the flood and ruin from heaven sent.

But Juno’s guile and wrathful heart her brother knew full well: 130

So East and West he called to him, and spake such words to tell:

“What mighty pride of race of yours hath hold upon your minds,

That earth and sea ye turmoil so without my will, O winds;

That such upheaval and so great ye dare without my will?

Whom I— But first it comes to hand the troubled flood to still:

For such-like fault henceforward though with nought so light ye pay.

Go get you gone, and look to it this to your king to say:

That ocean’s realm and three-tined spear of dread are given by Fate

Not unto him but unto me? he holds the cliffs o’ergreat,

Thine houses, Eurus; in that hall I bid him then be bold, 140

Thine Æolus, and lord it o’er his winds in barred hold.”

So saying and swifter than his word he layed the troubled main,

And put to flight the gathered clouds, and brought the sun again;

And with him Triton fell to work, and fair Cymothoë,

And thrust the ships from spiky rocks; with triple spear wrought he

To lift, and opened swallowing sands, and laid the waves alow.

Then on light wheels o’er ocean’s face soft gliding did he go.

And, like as mid a people great full often will arise

Huge riot, and all the low-born herd to utter anger flies,

And sticks and stones are in the air, and fury arms doth find: 150

Then, setting eyes perchance on one of weight for noble mind,

And noble deeds, they hush them then and stand with pricked-up ears,

And he with words becomes their lord, and smooth their anger wears;

— In such wise fell all clash of sea when that sea-father rose,

And looked abroad: who turned his steeds, and giving rein to those,

Flew forth in happy-gliding car through heaven’s all-open way.

Æneas’ sore forewearied host the shores that nearest lay

Stretch out for o’er the sea, and turn to Libyan land this while.

There goes a long firth of the sea, made haven by an isle,

Against whose sides thrust out abroad each wave the main doth send 160

Is broken, and must cleave itself through hollow bights to wend:

Huge rocks on this hand and on that, twin horns of cliff, cast dread

On very heaven; and far and wide beneath each mighty head

Hushed are the harmless waters; lo, the flickering wood above

And wavering shadow cast adown by darksome hanging grove:

In face hereof a cave there is of rocks o’erhung, made meet

With benches of the living stone and springs of water sweet,

The house of Nymphs: a-riding there may way-worn ships be bold

To lie without the hawser’s strain or anchor’s hookèd hold.

That bight with seven of all his tale of ships Æneas gained, 170

And there, by mighty love of land the Trojans sore constrained,

Leap off-board straight, and gain the gift of that so longed-for sand,

And lay their limbs with salt sea fouled adown upon the strand:

And first Achates smote alive the spark from out the flint,

And caught the fire in tinder-leaves, and never gift did stint

Of feeding dry; and flame enow in kindled stuff he woke;

Then Ceres’ body spoilt with sea, and Ceres’ arms they took,

And sped the matter spent with toil, and fruit of furrows found

They set about to parch with fire and ‘twixt of stones to pound.

Meanwhile Æneas scaled the cliff and far and wide he swept 180

The main, if anywhere perchance the sea his Antheus kept,

Tossed by the wind, if he might see the twi-banked Phrygians row;

If Capys, or Caïcus’ arms on lofty deck might show.

Nor any ship there was in sight, but on the strand he saw

Three stags a-wandering at their will, and after them they draw

The whole herd following down the dales long strung out as they feed:

So still he stood, and caught in hand his bow and shafts of speed,

The weapons that Achates staunch was bearing then and oft;

And first the very lords of those, that bore their heads aloft

With branching horns, he felled, and then the common sort, and so 190

Their army drave he with his darts through leafy woods to go:

Nor held his hand till on the earth were seven great bodies strown,

And each of all his ships might have one head of deer her own.

Thence to the haven gat he gone with all his folk to share,

And that good wine which erst the casks Acestes made to bear,

And gave them as they went away on that Trinacrian beach,

He shared about; then fell to soothe their grieving hearts with speech:

“O fellows, we are used ere now by evil ways to wend;

O ye who erst bore heavier loads, this too the Gods shall end.

Ye, ye have drawn nigh Scylla’s rage and rocks that inly roar, 200

And run the risk of storm of stones upon the Cyclops’ shore:

Come, call aback your ancient hearts and put your fears away!

This too shall be for joy to you remembered on a day.

Through diverse haps, through many risks wherewith our way is strown,

We get us on to Latium, the land the Fates have shown

To be for peaceful seats for us: there may we raise up Troy.

Abide, endure, and keep yourselves for coming days of joy.”

So spake his voice: but his sick heart did mighty trouble rack,

As, glad of countenance, he thrust the heavy anguish back.

But they fall to upon the prey, and feast that was to dight, 210

And flay the hide from off the ribs, and bare the flesh to sight.

Some cut it quivering into steaks which on the spits they run,

Some feed the fire upon the shore, and set the brass thereon.

And so meat bringeth might again, and on the grass thereby,

Fulfilled with fat of forest deer and ancient wine, they lie.

But when all hunger was appeased and tables set aside,

Of missing fellows how they fared the talk did long abide;

Whom, weighing hope and weighing fear, either alive they trow,

Or that the last and worst has come, that called they hear not now.

And chief of all the pious King Æneas moaned the pass 220

Of brisk Orontes, Amycus, and cruel fate that was

Of Lycus, and of Bias strong, and strong Cloanthus gone.

But now an end of all there was, when Jove a-looking down

From highest lift on sail-skimmed sea, and lands that round it lie,

And shores and many folk about, in topmost burg of sky

Stood still, and fixed the eyes of God on Libya’s realm at last:

To whom, as through his breast and mind such cares of godhead passed,

Spake Venus, sadder than her due with bright eyes gathering tears:

“O thou, who rulest with a realm that hath no days nor years,

Both Gods and men, and mak’st them fear thy thunder lest it fall, 230

What then hath mine Æneas done so great a crime to call?

What might have Trojan men to sin? So many deaths they bore

‘Gainst whom because of Italy is shut the wide world’s door.

Was it not surely promised me that as the years rolled round

The blood of Teucer come again should spring from out the ground,

The Roman folk, such very lords, that all the earth and sea

Their sway should compass? Father, doth the counsel shift in thee?

This thing indeed atoned to me for Troy in ashes laid,

And all the miserable end, as fate ‘gainst fate I weighed:

But now the self-same fortune dogs men by such troubles driven 240

So oft and oft. What end of toil then giv’st thou, King of heaven?

Antenor was of might enow to ‘scape the Achæan host,

And safe to reach the Illyrian gulf and pierce Liburnia’s coast,

And through the inmost realms thereof to pass Timavus’ head,

Whence through nine mouths midst mountain roar is that wild water shed,

To cast itself on fields below with all its sounding sea:

And there he made Patavium’s town and Teucrian seats to be,

And gave the folk their very name and Trojan arms did raise:

Now settled in all peace and rest he passeth quiet days.

But we, thy children, unto whom thou giv’st with bowing head 250

The heights of heaven, our ships are lost, and we, O shame! betrayed,

Are driven away from Italy for anger but of one.

Is this the good man’s guerdon then? is this the promised throne?”

The Sower of the Gods and men a little smiled on her

With such a countenance as calms the storms and upper air;

He kissed his daughter on the lips, and spake such words to tell:

“O Cytherean, spare thy dread! unmoved the Fates shall dwell

Of thee and thine, and thou shalt see the promised city yet,

E’en that Lavinium’s walls, and high amidst the stars shalt set

Great-souled Æneas: nor in me doth aught of counsel shift 260

But since care gnaws upon thine heart, the hidden things I lift

Of Fate, and roll on time for thee, and tell of latter days.

Great war he wars in Italy, and folk full wild of ways

He weareth down, and lays on men both laws and wallèd steads,

Till the third summer seeth him King o’er the Latin heads,

And the third winter’s wearing brings the fierce Rutulians low.

Thereon the lad Ascanius, Iulus by-named now,

(And Ilus was he once of old, when Ilium’s city was,)

Fulfilleth thirty orbs of rule with rolling months that pass,

And from the town Lavinium shifts the dwelling of his race, 270

And maketh Alba-town the Long a mighty fencèd place.

Here when for thrice an hundred years untouched the land hath been

Beneath the rule of Hector’s folk, lo Ilia, priestess-queen,

Goes heavy with the love of Mars, and bringeth twins to birth.

‘Neath yellow hide of foster-wolf thence, mighty in his mirth,

Comes Romulus to bear the folk, and Mavors’ walls to frame,

And by the word himself was called the Roman folk to name.

On them I lay no bonds of time, no bonds of earthly part;

I give them empire without end: yea, Juno, hard of heart,

Who wearieth now with fear of her the heavens and earth and sea, 280

Shall gather better counsel yet, and cherish them with me;

The Roman folk, the togaed men, lords of all worldly ways.

Such is the doom. As weareth time there come those other days,

Wherein Assaracus shall bind Mycenæ of renown,

And Phthia, and shall lord it o’er the Argives beaten down.

Then shall a Trojan Cæsar come from out a lovely name,

The ocean-stream shall bound his rule, the stars of heaven his fame,

Julius his name from him of old, the great Iulus sent:

Him too in house of heaven one day ‘neath spoils of Eastlands bent

Thou, happy, shalt receive; he too shall have the prayers of men. 290

The wars of old all laid aside, the hard world bettereth then,

And Vesta and the hoary Faith, Quirinus and his twin

Now judge the world; the dreadful doors of War now shut within

Their iron bolts and strait embrace the godless Rage of folk,

Who, pitiless, on weapons set, and bound in brazen yoke

Of hundred knots aback of him foams fell from bloody mouth.”

Such words he spake, and from aloft he sent down Maia’s youth

To cause the lands and Carthage towers new-built to open gate

And welcome in the Teucrian men; lest Dido, fooled of fate,

Should drive them from her country-side. The unmeasured air he beat 300

With flap of wings, and speedily in Libya set his feet:

And straightway there his bidding wrought, and from the Tyrians fall,

God willing it, their hearts of war; and Dido first of all

Took peace for Teucrians to her soul, and quiet heart and kind.

Now good Æneas through the night had many things in mind,

And set himself to fare abroad at first of holy day

To search the new land what it was, and on what shore he lay

Driven by the wind; if manfolk there abode, or nought but deer,

(For waste it seemed), and tidings true back to his folk to bear.

So in that hollow bight of groves beneath the cavern cleft, 310

All hidden by the leafy trees and quavering shades, he left

His ships: and he himself afoot went with Achates lone,

Shaking in hand two slender spears with broad-beat iron done.

But as he reached the thicket’s midst his mother stood before,

Who virgin face, and virgin arms, and virgin habit bore,

A Spartan maid; or like to her who tames the Thracian horse,

Harpalyce, and flies before the hurrying Hebrus’ course.

For huntress-wise on shoulder she had hung the handy bow,

And given all her hair abroad for any wind to blow,

And, naked-kneed, her kirtle long had gathered in a lap: 320

She spake the first:

                                          “Ho youths,” she said, “tell me by any hap

If of my sisters any one ye saw a wandering wide

With quiver girt, and done about with lynx’s spotted hide,

Or following of the foaming boar with shouts and eager feet?”

So Venus; and so Venus’ son began her words to meet:

“I have not seen, nor have I heard thy sisters nigh this place,

O maid:— and how to call thee then? for neither is thy face

Of mortals, nor thy voice of men: O very Goddess thou!

What! Phoebus’ sister? or of nymphs whom shall I call thee now?

But whosoe’er thou be, be kind and lighten us our toil, 330

And teach us where beneath the heavens, which spot of earthly soil

We are cast forth; unlearned of men, unlearned of land we stray,

By might of wind and billows huge here driven from out our way.

Our right hands by thine altar-horns shall fell full many a host.”

Spake Venus: “Nowise am I worth so much of honour’s cost:

The Tyrian maids are wont to bear the quiver even as I,

And even so far upon the leg the purple shoe-thong tie.

The Punic realm thou seest here, Agenor’s town and folk,

But set amidst of Libyan men unused to bear the yoke.

Dido is Lady of the Land, who fled from Tyre the old, 340

And from her brother: weary long were all the ill deed told,

And long its winding ways, but I light-foot will overpass.

Her husband was Sychæus hight, of land most rich he was

Of all Phoenicians: she, poor wretch! loved him with mighty love,

Whose father gave her, maid, to him, and first the rites did move

Of wedlock: but as King of Tyre her brother did abide,

Pygmalion, more swollen up in sin than any man beside:

Mad hatred yoked the twain of them, he blind with golden lust,

Godless with stroke of iron laid Sychæus in the dust

Unwares before the altar-horns; nor of the love did reck 350

His sister had, but with vain hope played on the lover sick,

And made a host of feignings false, and hid the matter long.

Till in her sleep the image came of that unburied wrong,

Her husband dead; in wondrous wise his face was waxen pale:

His breast with iron smitten through, the altar of his bale,

The hooded sin of evil house, to her he open laid,

And speedily to flee away from fatherland he bade;

And for the help of travel showed earth’s hidden wealth of old,

A mighty mass that none might tell of silver and of gold.

Sore moved hereby did Dido straight her flight and friends prepare: 360

They meet together, such as are or driven by biting fear,

Or bitter hatred of the wretch: such ships as hap had dight

They fall upon and lade with gold; forth fare the treasures bright

Of wretch Pygmalion o’er the sea, a woman first therein.

And so they come unto the place where ye may see begin

The towers of Carthage, and the walls new built that mighty grow,

And bought the Byrsa-field good cheap, as still the name shall show,

So much of land as one bull’s hide might scantly go about

— But ye forsooth, what men are ye, from what land fare ye out,

And whither go ye on your ways?” 370

                                                                  Her questioning in speech

He answered, and a heavy sigh from inmost heart did reach:

“O Goddess, might I tread again first footsteps of our way,

And if the annals of our toil thine hearkening ears might stay,

Yet Vesper first on daylight dead should shut Olympus’ door.

From Troy the old, if yet perchance your ears have felt before

That name go by, do we come forth, and, many a water past,

A chance-come storm hath drifted us on Libyan shores at last.

I am Æneas, God-lover; I snatched forth from the foe

My Gods to bear aboard with me, a fame for heaven to know.

I seek the Italian fatherland, and Jove-descended line; 380

Twice ten the ships were that I manned upon the Phrygian brine,

My Goddess-mother led the way, we followed fate god-given;

And now scarce seven are left to me by wave and east-wind riven;

And I through Libyan deserts stray, a man unknown and poor,

From Asia cast, from Europe cast,”

                                                                      She might abide no more

To hear his moan: she thrusts a word amidst his grief and saith:

“Nay thou art not God’s castaway, who drawest mortal breath,

And fairest to the Tyrian town, if aught thereof I know.

Set on to Dido’s threshold then e’en as the way doth show.

For take the tidings of thy ships and folk brought back again 390

By shifting of the northern wind all safe from off the main:

Unless my parents learned me erst of soothsaying to wot

But idly. Lo there twice seven swans disporting in a knot,

Whom falling from the plain of air drave down the bird of Jove

From open heaven: strung out at length they hang the earth above,

And now seem choosing where to pitch, now on their choice to gaze,

As wheeling round with whistling wings they sport in diverse ways

And with their band ring round the pole and cast abroad their song.

Nought otherwise the ships and youth that unto thee belong

Hold haven now, or else full sail to harbour-mouth are come. 400

Set forth, set forth and tread the way e’en as it leadeth home.”

She spake, she turned, from rosy neck the light of heaven she cast,

And from her hair ambrosial the scent of Gods went past

Upon the wind, and o’er her feet her skirts fell shimmering down,

And very God she went her ways. Therewith his mother known,

With such a word he followed up a-fleeing from his eyes:

“Ah cruel as a God! and why with images and lies

Dost thou beguile me? wherefore then is hand to hand not given

And we to give and take in words that come from earth and heaven?”

Such wise he chided her, and then his footsteps townward bent: 410

But Venus with a dusky air did hedge them as they went,

And widespread cloak of cloudy stuff the Goddess round them wrapped,

Lest any man had seen them there, or bodily had happed

Across their road their steps to stay, and ask their dealings there.

But she to Paphos and her home went glad amidst the air:

There is her temple, there they stand, an hundred altars meet,

Warm with Sabæan incense-smoke, with new-pulled blossoms sweet.

But therewithal they speed their way as led the road along;

And now they scale a spreading hill that o’er the town is hung,

And looking downward thereupon hath all the burg in face. 420

Æneas marvels how that world was once a peasants’ place,

He marvels at the gates, the roar and rattle of the ways.

Hot-heart the Tyrians speed the work, and some the ramparts raise,

Some pile the burg high, some with hand roll stones up o’er the ground;

Some choose a place for dwelling-house and draw a trench around;

Some choose the laws, and lords of doom, the holy senate choose.

These thereaway the havens dig, and deep adown sink those

The founding of the theatre walls, or cleave the living stone

In pillars huge, one day to show full fair the scene upon.

As in new summer ‘neath the sun the bees are wont to speed 430

Their labour in the flowery fields, whereover now they lead

The well-grown offspring of their race, or when the cells they store

With flowing honey, till fulfilled of sweets they hold no more;

Or take the loads of new-comers, or as a watch well set

Drive off the lazy herd of drones that they no dwelling get;

Well speeds the work, and thymy sweet the honey’s odour is.

“Well favoured of the Fates are ye, whose walls arise in bliss!”

Æneas cries, a-looking o’er the housetops spread below;

Then, wonderful to tell in tale, hedged round with cloud doth go

Amid the thickest press of men, and yet of none is seen. 440

A grove amid the town there is, a pleasant place of green,

Where erst the Tyrians, beat by waves and whirling of the wind,

Dug out the token Juno once had bidden them hope to find,

An eager horse’s head to wit: for thus their folk should grow

Far-famed in war for many an age, of victual rich enow.

There now did Dido, Sidon-born, uprear a mighty fane

To Juno, rich in gifts, and rich in present godhead’s gain:

On brazen steps its threshold rose, and brass its lintel tied,

And on their hinges therewithal the brazen door-leaves cried.

And now within that grove again a new thing thrusting forth 450

‘Gan lighten fear; for here to hope Æneas deemed it worth,

And trust his fortune beaten down that yet it might arise.

For there while he abode the Queen, and wandered with his eyes

O’er all the temple, musing on the city’s fate to be,

And o’er the diverse handicraft and works of mastery,

Lo there, set out before his face the battles that were Troy’s,

And wars, whereof all folk on earth had heard the fame and noise;

King Priam, the Atridæ twain, Achilles dire to both.

He stood, and weeping spake withal:

                                                                        “Achates, lo! forsooth

What place, what land in all the earth but with our grief is stored? 460

Lo Priam! and even here belike deed hath its own reward.

Lo here are tears for piteous things that touch men’s hearts anigh:

Cast off thy fear! this fame today shall yet thy safety buy.”

And with the empty painted thing he feeds his mind withal,

Sore groaning, and a very flood adown his face did fall.

For there he saw, as war around of Pergamus they cast,

Here fled the Greeks, the Trojan youth for ever following fast;

There fled the Phrygians, on their heels high-helmed Achilles’ car;

Not far off, fair with snowy cloths, the tents of Rhesus are;

He knew them weeping: they of old in first of sleep betrayed, 470

Tydides red with many a death a waste of nothing made,

And led those fiery steeds to camp ere ever they might have

One mouthful of the Trojan grass, or drink of Xanthus’ wave.

And lo again, where Troilus is fleeing weaponless,

Unhappy youth, and all too weak to bear Achilles’ stress,

By his own horses, fallen aback, at empty chariot borne,

Yet holding on the reins thereof; his neck, his tresses torn

O’er face of earth, his wrested spear a-writing in the dust.

Meanwhile were faring to the fane of Pallas little just

The wives of Troy with scattered hair, bearing the gown refused, 480

Sad they and suppliant, whose own hands their very bosoms bruised,

While fixed, averse, the Goddess kept her eyes upon the ground.

Thrice had Achilles Hector dragged the walls of Troy around,

And o’er his body, reft of soul, was chaffering now for gold.

Deep groaned Æneas from his heart in such wise to behold

The car, the spoils, the very corpse of him, his fellow dead,

To see the hands of Priam there all weaponless outspread.

Yea, thrust amidst Achæan lords, his very self he knew;

The Eastland hosts he saw, and arms of Memnon black of hue.

There mad Penthesilea leads the maids of moony shield, 490

The Amazons, and burns amidst the thousands of the field,

And with her naked breast thrust out above the golden girth,

The warrior maid hath heart to meet the warriors of the earth.

But while Æneas, Dardan lord, beholds the marvels there,

And, all amazed, stands moving nought with eyes in one set stare,

Lo cometh Dido, very queen of fairest fashion wrought,

By youths close thronging all about unto the temple brought.

Yea, e’en as on Eurotas’ rim or Cynthus’ ridges high

Diana leadeth dance about, a thousandfold anigh

The following Oreads gather round, with shoulder quiver-hung 500

She overbears the Goddesses her swift feet fare among,

And great Latona’s silent breast the joys of godhead touch.

Lo, such was Dido; joyously she bore herself e’en such

Amidst them, eager for the work and ordered rule to come;

Then through the Goddess’ door she passed, and midmost ‘neath the dome,

High raised upon a throne she sat, with weapons hedged about,

And doomed, and fashioned laws for men, and fairly sifted out

And dealt their share of toil to them, or drew the lot as happed.

There suddenly Æneas sees amidst a concourse wrapped

Antheus, Sergestus, and the strong Cloanthus draw anigh, 510

And other Teucrians whom the whirl, wild, black, all utterly

Had scattered into other lands afar across the sea.

Amazed he stood, nor stricken was Achates less than he

By joy, by fear: they hungered sore hand unto hand to set;

But doubt of dealings that might be stirred in their hearts as yet;

So lurking, cloaked in hollow cloud they note what things betide

Their fellows there, and on what shore the ships they manned may bide,

And whence they come; for chosen out of all the ships they bear

Bidding of peace, and, crying out, thus temple-ward they fare.

But now when they were entered in, and gained the grace of speech, 520

From placid heart Ilioneus the elder ‘gan beseech:

“O Queen, to whom hath Jove here given a city new to raise,

And with thy justice to draw rein on men of wilful ways,

We wretched Trojans, tossed about by winds o’er every main,

Pray thee forbid it from our ships, the dreadful fiery bane.

Spare pious folk, and look on us with favouring kindly eyes!

We are not come with sword to waste the Libyan families,

Nor drive adown unto the strand the plunder of the strong:

No such high hearts, such might of mind to vanquished folk belong.

There is a place, Hesperia called of Greeks in days that are, 530

An ancient land, a fruitful soil, a mighty land in war.

Oenotrian folk first tilled the land, whose sons, as rumours run,

Now call it nought but Italy from him who led them on.

And thitherward our course was turned,

When sudden, stormy, tumbling seas, Orion rose on us,

And wholly scattering us abroad with fierce blasts from the south,

Drave us, sea-swept, by shallows blind, to straits with wayless mouth:

But to thy shores we few have swum, and so betake us here.

What men among men are ye then? what country’s soil may bear

Such savage ways? ye grudge us then the welcome of your sand, 540

And fall to arms, and gainsay us a tide-washed strip of strand.

But if men-folk and wars of men ye wholly set at nought,

Yet deem the Gods bear memory still of good and evil wrought

Æneas was the king of us; no juster was there one,

No better lover of the Gods, none more in battle shone:

And if the Fates have saved that man, if earthly air he drink,

Nor ‘neath the cruel deadly shades his fallen body shrink,

Nought need we fear, nor ye repent to strive in kindly deed

With us: we have in Sicily fair cities to our need.

And fields we have; Acestes high of Trojan blood is come. 550

Now suffer us our shattered ships in haven to bring home,

To cut us timber in thy woods, and shave us oars anew.

Then if the Italian cruise to us, if friends and king are due,

To Italy and Latium then full merry wend we on.

But if, dear father of our folk, hope of thy health be gone,

And thee the Libyan water have, nor hope Iulus give,

Then the Sicanian shores at least, and seats wherein to live,

Whence hither came we, and the King Acestes let us seek.”

So spake he, and the others made as they the same would speak,

The Dardan-folk with murmuring mouth. 560

But Dido, with her head hung down, in few words answer gave:

“Let fear fall from you, Teucrian men, and set your cares aside;

Hard fortune yet constraineth me and this my realm untried

To hold such heed, with guard to watch my marches up and down.

Who knoweth not Æneas’ folk? who knoweth not Troy-town,

The valour, and the men, and all the flame of such a war?

Nay, surely nought so dull as this the souls within us are,

Nor turns the sun from Tyrian town, so far off yoking steed.

So whether ye Hesperia great, and Saturn’s acres need,

Or rather unto Eryx turn, and King Acestes’ shore, 570

Safe, holpen will I send you forth, and speed you with my store:

Yea and moreover, have ye will in this my land to bide.

This city that I build is yours: here leave your ships to ride:

Trojan and Tyrian no two wise at hands of me shall fare.

And would indeed the King himself, Æneas, with us were,

Driven by that self-same southern gale: but sure men will I send,

And bid them search through Libya from end to utmost end,

Lest, cast forth anywhere, he stray by town or forest part.”

Father Æneas thereupon high lifted up his heart,

Nor stout Achates less, and both were fain the cloud to break; 580

And to Æneas first of all the leal Achates spake:

“O Goddess-born, what thought hereof ariseth in thy mind?

All safe thou seest thy ships; thy folk fair welcomed dost thou find:

One is away, whom we ourselves saw sunken in the deep;

But all things else the promised word thy mother gave us keep.”

Lo, even as he spake the word the cloud that wrapped them cleaves,

And in the open space of heaven no dusk behind it leaves;

And there Æneas stood and shone amid the daylight clear,

With face and shoulders of a God: for loveliness of hair

His mother breathed upon her son, and purple light of youth, 590

And joyful glory of the eyes: e’en as in very sooth

The hand gives ivory goodliness, or when the Parian stone,

Or silver with the handicraft of yellow gold is done:

And therewithal unto the Queen doth he begin to speak,

Unlooked-for of all men:

                                                “Lo here the very man ye seek,

Trojan Æneas, caught away from Libyan seas of late!

Thou, who alone of toils of Troy hast been compassionate,

Who takest us, the leavings poor of Danaan sword, outworn

With every hap of earth and sea, of every good forlorn,

To city and to house of thine: to thank thee to thy worth, 600

Dido, my might may compass not; nay, scattered o’er the earth

The Dardan folk, for what thou dost may never give thee meed:

But if somewhere a godhead is the righteous man to heed,

If justice is, or any soul to note the right it wrought,

May the Gods give thee due reward. What joyful ages brought

Thy days to birth? what mighty ones gave such an one today?

Now while the rivers seaward run, and while the shadows stray

O’er hollow hills, and while the pole the stars is pasturing wide,

Still shall thine honour and thy name, still shall thy praise abide

What land soever calleth me.” 610

                                                            Therewith his right hand sought

His very friend Ilioneus, his left Serestus caught,

And then the others, Gyas strong, Cloanthus strong in fight.

Sidonian Dido marvelled much, first at the hero’s sight,

Then marvelled at the haps he had, and so such word doth say:

“O Goddess-born, what fate is this that ever dogs thy way

With such great perils? What hath yoked thy life to this wild shore?

And art thou that Æneas then, whom holy Venus bore

Unto Anchises, Dardan lord, by Phrygian Simoïs’ wave?

Of Teucer unto Sidon come a memory yet I have,

Who, driven from out his fatherland, was seeking new abode 620

By Belus’ help: but Belus then, my father, over-rode

Cyprus the rich, and held the same as very conquering lord:

So from that tide I knew of Troy and bitter Fate’s award,

I knew of those Pelasgian kings — yea, and I knew thy name.

He then, a foeman, added praise to swell the Teucrian fame,

And oft was glad to deem himself of ancient Teucer’s line.

So hasten now to enter in ‘neath roofs of me and mine.

Me too a fortune such as yours, me tossed by many a toil,

Hath pleased to give abiding-place at last upon this soil,

Learned in illhaps full wise am I unhappy men to aid.” 630

Such tale she told, and therewith led to house full kingly made

Æneas, bidding therewithal the Gods with gifts to grace;

Nor yet their fellows she forgat upon the sea-beat place,

But sendeth them a twenty bulls, an hundred bristling backs

Of swine, an hundred fatted lambs, whereof his ewe none lacks,

And gifts and gladness of the God.

Meanwhile the gleaming house within with kingly pomp is dight,

And in the midmost of the hall a banquet they prepare:

Cloths laboured o’er with handicraft, and purple proud is there;

Great is the silver on the board, and carven out of gold 640

The mighty deeds of father-folk, a long-drawn tale, is told,

Brought down through many and many an one from when their race began.

Æneas, through whose father’s heart unquiet love there ran,

Sent on the swift Achates now unto the ships to speed,

To bear Ascanius all these haps, and townward him to lead;

For on Ascanius well beloved was all his father’s thought:

And therewithal gifts good to give from Ilium’s ruin caught

He bade him bring: a cope all stiff with golden imagery;

With saffron soft acanthus twine a veil made fair to see;

The Argive Helen’s braveries, brought from Mycenæ erst, 650

When she was seeking Pergamos and wedding all accursed:

Her mother Leda gave her these and marvellous they were.

A sceptre too that Ilione in days agone did bear,

The eldest-born of Priam’s maids; a neckchain pearl bestrown,

And, doubly wrought with gold and gems, a kingly-fashioned crown.

So to the ships Achates went these matters forth to speed.

But Cytherea in her heart turned over new-wrought rede,

New craft; how, face and fashion changed, her son the very Love

For sweet Ascanius should come forth, and, gift-giving, should move

The Queen to madness, make her bones the yoke-fellows of flame. 660

Forsooth the doubtful house she dreads, the two-tongued Tyrian name;

And bitter Juno burneth her, and care the night doth wake:

Now therefore to the winged Love such words as this she spake:

“O son, my might, my only might, who fearest nought at all

How his, the highest Father’s bolts, Typhoeus’ bane, may fall,

To thee I flee, and suppliant so thy godhead’s power beseech:

Thy brother, e’en Æneas, tossed on every sea-side beach

Thou knowest; all the fashioning of wrongful Juno’s hate

Thou knowest; oft upon my grief with sorrow wouldst thou wait.

Him now Phoenician Dido holds, and with kind words enow 670

Delays him there, but unto what Junonian welcomes grow

I fear me: will she hold her hand when thus the hinge is dight?

Now therefore am I compassing to catch their craft in flight,

To ring the Queen about with flame that her no power may turn,

That she may cling to me and sore for mine Æneas yearn.

Now hearken how I counsel thee to bring about my will:

The kingly boy his father calls, he whom I cherish still,

To that Sidonian city now is ready dight to fare,

And gifts, the gleanings of the sea and flames of Troy, doth bear,

Whom soaked in sleep forthwith will I in high Cythera hide, 680

Or in Idalium’s holy place where I am wont to bide,

Lest any one the guile should know and thrust themselves between:

But thou with craft his fashion feign, and with his face be seen

Well known of all, for no more space than one night’s wearing by;

And so, when Dido, gladdest grown, shall take thee up to lie

Upon her breast ‘twixt queenly board and great Lyæus’ wave,

And thou the winding of her arms and kisses sweet shalt have,

Then breathe the hidden flame in her and forge thy venomed guile.”

His lovesome mother Love obeyed, and doffed his wings awhile,

And as Iulus goeth now rejoicing on his way. 690

But Venus all Ascanius’ limbs in quiet rest doth lay,

And cherished in her goddess’ breast unto Idalian groves

She bears him, where the marjoram still soft about him moves

And breatheth sweet from scented shade and blossoms on the air.

Love wrought her will, and bearing now those royal gifts and rare,

Unto the Tyrians joyous went, e’en as Achates led.

But when he came into the house, there on her golden bed

With hangings proud Queen Dido lay amidmost of the place:

The father then, Æneas, then the youth of Trojan race,

There gather, and their bodies cast on purple spread abroad. 700

Folk serve them water for their hands, and speed the baskets stored

With Ceres, and the towels soft of close-clipped nap they bear.

Within were fifty serving-maids, whose long array had care

To furnish forth the meat and drink, and feed the house-gods’ flame;

An hundred more, and youths withal of age and tale the same,

Set on the meat upon the board and lay the cups about.

And now through that wide joyous door came thronging from without

The Tyrians, and, so bidden, lie on benches painted fair.

They wonder at Æneas’ gifts, and at Iulus there,

The flaming countenance of God, and speech so feigned and fine; 710

They wonder at the cope and veil with that acanthus twine.

And chiefly that unhappy one doomed to the coming ill,

Nor hungry hollow of her heart nor burning eyes may fill

With all beholding: gifts and child alike her heart do move.

But he, when he had satisfied his feignèd father’s love,

And clipped Æneas all about, and round his neck had hung,

Went to the Queen, who with her eyes and heart about him clung,

And whiles would strain him to her breast — poor Dido! knowing nought

What God upon her bosom sat; who ever had in thought

His Acidalian mother’s word, and slowly did begin 720

To end Sychæus quite, and with a living love to win

Her empty soul at rest, and heart unused a weary tide.

But when the feasting first was stayed, and boards were done aside,

Great beakers there they set afoot, and straight the wine they crowned.

A shout goes up within the house, great noise they roll around

The mighty halls: the candles hang adown from golden roof

All lighted, and the torches’ flame keeps dusky night aloof.

And now a heavy bowl of gold and gems the Queen bade bring

And fill with all unwatered wine, which erst used Belus king,

And all from Belus come: therewith through the hushed house she said: 730

“O Jupiter! they say by thee the guesting laws were made;

Make thou this day to Tyrian folk, and folk come forth from Troy,

A happy day, and may our sons remember this our joy!

Mirth-giver Bacchus, fail thou not from midst our mirth! be kind,

O Juno! and ye Tyrian folk, be glad this bond to bind!”

She spake, and on the table poured the glorious wave of wine,

Then touched the topmost of the bowl with dainty lip and fine,

And, egging on, to Bitias gave: nought slothful to be told

The draught he drained, who bathed himself within the foaming gold;

Then drank the other lords of them: long-haired Iopas then 740

Maketh the golden harp to sing, whom Atlas most of men

Erst taught: he sings the wandering moon and toiling of the sun,

And whence the kind of men and beasts, how rain and fire begun,

Arcturus, the wet Hyades, and twin-wrought Northern Bears:

And why so swift the winter sun unto his sea-bath fares,

And what delayeth night so long upon the daylight’s hem.

Then praise on praise the Tyrians shout, the Trojans follow them.

Meanwhile unhappy Dido wore the night-tide as it sank

In diverse talk, and evermore long draughts of love she drank,

And many a thing of Priam asked, of Hector many a thing: 750

With what-like arms Aurora’s son had come unto the King;

What were the steeds of Diomed, how great Achilles was.

At last she said:

                                    “But come, O guest, tell all that came to pass

From earliest tide; of Danaan craft, and how thy land was lorn,

And thine own wanderings; for as now the seventh year is worn

That thee a-straying wide away o’er earth and sea hath borne.”

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:58