Verse > Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey > Poetical Works
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–47).  The Poetical Works.  1880.
 
The Fourth Book of Virgil’s Æneid
 
  BUT now the wounded Queen, with heavy care,
Throughout the veins she nourished the plaie,
Surprised with blind flame; and to her mind
’Gan eke resort the prowess of the man,
And honour of his race: while in her breast        5
Imprinted stack his words, and pictures form.
Ne to her limbs care granteth quiet rest.
  The next morrow, with Phœbus’ lamp the earth
Alighted clear; and eke the dawning day
The shadows dark ’gan from the pole remove:        10
When all unsound, her sister of like mind
Thus spake she to: ‘O! Sister Anne, what dreams
Be these, that me tormented thus affray?
What new guest this, that to our realm is come?
What one of cheer? how stout of heart in arms?        15
Truly I think (ne vain is my belief)
Of Goddish race some offspring should he be:
Cowardry notes hearts swerved out of kind.
He driven, lord! with how hard destiny!
What battles eke achieved did he recount!        20
But that my mind is fixt unmovably,
Never with wight in wedlock aye to join,
Sith my first love me left by death dissever’d;
If genial brands and bed me loathed not,
To this one guilt perchance yet might I yield.        25
Anne, for I grant, sith wretched Sychee’s death,
My spouse and house with brother’s slaughter stain’d,
This only man hath made my senses bend,
And pricked forth the mind that ’gan to slide:
Now feelingly I taste the steps of mine old flame.        30
But first I wish the earth me swallow down,
Or with thunder the mighty Lord me send
To the pale ghosts of hell, and darkness deep;
Ere I thee stain, shamefastness, or thy laws.
He that with me first coupled, took away        35
My love with him; enjoy it in his grave.’
  Thus did she say, and with surprised tears
Bained her breast. Whereto Anne thus replied:
  ‘O Sister, dearer beloved than the light:
Thy youth alone in plaint still wilt thou spill?        40
Ne children sweet, ne Venus’ gifts wilt know?
Cinders, thinkest thou, mind this? or graved ghosts?
Time of thy doole, thy spouse new dead, I grant,
None might thee move: no, not the Libyan king,
Nor yet of Tyre; Iarbas set to light,        45
And other princes mo’; whom the rich soil
Of Afric breeds, in honours triumphant.
Wilt thou also gainstand thy liked love?
Comes not to mind upon whose land thou dwell’st?
On this side, lo! the Getule town behold,        50
A people bold, unvanquished in war;
Eke the undaunted Numides compass thee;
Also the Sirtes unfriendly harbrough.
On th’ other hand, a desert realm for-thrust,
The Barceans, whose fury stretcheth wide.        55
What shall I touch the wars that move from Tyre?
Or yet thy brother’s threats?——
By Gods’ purveyance it blew, and Juno’s help,
The Troiaynes ships, I think, to run this course.
Sister, what town shalt thou see this become?        60
Through such ally how shall our kingdom rise?
And by the aid of Troyan arms how great?
How many ways shall Carthages glory grow?
Thou only now beseech the Gods of grace
By sacrifice: which ended, to thy house        65
Receive him, and forge causes of abode:
Whiles winter frets the seas, and wat’ry Orion,
The ships shaken, unfriendly the season.’
  Such words inflamed the kindled mind with love,
Loosed all shame, and gave the doubtful hope.        70
And to the temples first they haste, and seek
By sacrifice for grace, with hogrels of two years,
Chosen, as ought, to Ceres that gave laws,
To Phœbus, Bacchus, and to Juno chief,
Which hath in care the bands of marriage.        75
Fair Dido held in her right hand the cup,
Which ’twixt the horns of a white cow she shed
In presence of the Gods, passing before
The altars fat; which she renewed oft
With gifts that day, and beasts deboweled;        80
Gazing for counsel on the entrails warm.
Ay me! unskilful minds of prophesy!
Temples or vows, what boot they in her rage?
A gentle flame the marrow doth devour,
Whiles in the breast the silent wound keeps life.        85
Unhappy Dido burns, and in her rage
Throughout the town she wand’reth up and down.
Like the stricken hind with shaft, in Crete
Throughout the woods which chasing with his dart
Aloof, the shepherd smiteth at unwares,        90
And leaves unwist in her the thirling head:
That through the groves, and lands glides in her flight;
Amid whose side the mortal arrow sticks.
  Æneas now about the walls she leads,
The town prepared, and Carthage wealth to shew,        95
Off’ring to speak, amid her voice, she whists.
And when the day gins fail new feasts she makes;
The Troies travails to hear a-new she lists,
Enraged all; and stareth in his face
That tells the tale. And when they were all gone,        100
And the dim moon doth eft withhold the light,
And sliding stars provoke unto sleep;
Alone she mourns within her palace void,
And sets her down on her forsaken bed.
And, absent, him she hears, when he is gone,        105
And seeth eke. Oft in her lap she holds
Ascanius, trapp’d by his father’s form:
So to beguile the love, cannot be told.
  The turrets now arise not, erst begun;
Neither the youth wields arms, nor they advance        110
The ports, nor other meet defence for war:
Broken there hang the works and mighty frames
Of walls high raised, threatening the sky.
Whom as soon as Jove’s dear wife saw infect
With such a plague, ne fame resist the rage;        115
Saturnès’ daughter thus burdes Venus then:
‘Great praise,’ quod she, ‘and worthy spoils you win,
You and your son; great Gods of memory!
By both your wiles one woman to devour.
Yet am not I deceived, that foreknew        120
Ye dread our walls, and buildings ’gan suspect
Of high Carthage. But what shall be the end?
Or whereunto now serveth such debate?
But rather peace, and bridal bands knit we,
Sith thou hast sped of that thy heart desired;        125
Dido doth burn with love: rage frets her bones,
This people now as common to us both,
With equal favour let us govern then;
Lawful be it to serve a Trojan spouse;
And Tyrians yield to thy right hand in dower.’        130
  To whom Venus replied thus, that knew
Her words proceeded from a feigned mind,
To Libyan coasts to turn th’ empire from Rome.
‘What wight so fond such offer to refuse?
Or yet with thee had liever strive in war?        135
So be it fortune thy tale bring t’ effect:
But destinies I doubt; lest Jove nill grant,
That folk of Tyre, and such as came from Troy,
Should hold one town; or grant these nations
Mingled to be, or joined aye in league.        140
Thou art his wife: lawful it is for thee
For to attempt his fancy by request:
Pass on before; and follow thee I shall.’
  Queen Juno then thus took her tale again:
‘This travail be it mine. But by what mean        145
(Marke), in few words I shall thee learn eftsoons,
This work in hand may now be compassed.
Æneas now, and wretched Dido eke,
To the forest a hunting mind to wend
To-morn, as soon as Titan shall ascend,        150
And with his beams hath overspread the world:
And whiles the wings of youth do swarm about,
And whiles they range to overset the groves,
A cloudy shower mingled with hail I shall
Pour down, and then with thunder shake the skies.        155
Th’ assembly scattered the mist shall cloke.
Dido a cave, the Troyan prince the same
Shall enter too; and I will be at hand:
And if thy will stick unto mine, I shall
In wedlock sure knit, and make her his own:        160
Thus shall the marriage be.’ To whose request
Without debate Venus did seem to yield,
And smiled soft, as she that found the wile.
  Then from the seas the dawning ’gan arise:
The sun once up, the chosen youth ’gan throng        165
Out at the gates: the hayes so rarely knit,
The hunting staves with their broad heads of steel;
And of Masile the horsemen forth they brake;
Of scenting hounds a kennel huge likewise.
And at the threshold of her chamber door        170
The Carthage lords did on the Queen attend.
The trampling steed with gold and purple trapp’d,
Chewing the foamy bit, there fiercely stood.
Then issued she, awaited with great train,
Clad in a cloak of Tyre embroider’d rich.        175
Her quiver hung behind her back, her tress
Knotted in gold, her purple vesture eke
Button’d with gold. The Troyans of her train
Before her go, with gladsome Iulus.
Æneas eke, the goodliest of the rout,        180
Makes one of them, and joineth close the throngs:
Like when Apollo leaveth Lycia,
His wint’ring place, and Xanthus’ floods likewise,
To visit Delos, his mother’s mansion,
Repairing eft and furnishing her choir:        185
The Candians, and folks of Driopes,
With painted Agathyrsies shout, and cry,
Environing the altars round about;
When that he walks upon mount Cynthus’ top:
His sparkled tress repress’d with garlands soft        190
Of tender leaves, and trussed up in gold;
His quivering darts clatt’ring behind his back.
So fresh and lusty did Æneas seem;
Such lordly port in present countenance.
  But to the hills and wild holts when they came;        195
From the rock’s top the driven savage rose.
Lo from the hill above on th’ other side,
Through the wide lawns they ’gan to take their course.
The harts likewise in troops taking their flight,
Raising the dust, the mountain fast forsake.        200
The child Iulus, blithe of his swift steed,
Amid the plain now pricks by them, now these;
And to encounter wisheth oft in mind
The foaming boar instead of fearful beasts;
Or Lion brown might from the hill descend.        205
  In the mean while the skies ’gan rumble sore;
In tail thereof, a mingled shower with hail.
The Tyrian folk, and eke the Troyans youth,
And Venus’ nephew the cottages? for fear
Sought round about; the floods fell from the hills.        210
Dido a den, the Troyan prince the same,
Chanced upon. Our mother then, the Earth,
And Juno that hath charge of marriage,
First tokens gave with burning gleads of flame;
And, privy to the wedlock, lightning skies;        215
And the Nymphs yelled from the mountains top.
  Ay me! this was the first day of their mirth,
And of their harms the first occasion eke.
Respect of fame no longer her withholds:
Nor museth now to frame her love by stealth.        220
Wedlock she calls it: under the pretence
Of which fair name she cloaketh now her fault.
  Forthwith Fame flieth through the great Libyan towns:
A mischief Fame, there is none else so swift;
That moving grows, and flitting gathers force.        225
First small for dread, soon after climbs the skies;
Stayeth on earth, and hides her head in clouds.
Whom our mother the earth, tempted by wrath
Of Gods, begat; the last Sister (they write)
To Cäéus, and to Enceladus eke:        230
Speedy of foot, of wing likewise as swift,
A monster huge, and dreadful to descrive.
In every plume that on her body sticks
(A thing indeed much marvelous to hear)
As many waker eyes lurk underneath,        235
So many mouths to speak, and listening ears.
By night she flies amid the cloudy sky,
Shrieking, by the dark shadow of the earth,
Ne doth decline to the sweet sleep her eyes.
By day she sits to mark on the house top,        240
Or turrets high; and the great towns affrays;
As mindful of ill and lies, as blasing truth.
  This monster blithe with many a tale gan sow
This rumor then into the common ears:
As well things done, as that was never wrought:        245
As, that there comen is to Tyrian’s court
Æneas, one outsprung of Troyan blood,
To whom fair Dido would herself be wed:
And that, the while, the winter long they pass
In foul delight, forgetting charge of reign;        250
Led against honour with unhonest lust.
  This in each mouth the filthy Goddess spreads;
And takes her course to king Hiarbas straight,
Kindling his mind; with tales she feeds his wrath;
Gotten was he by Ammon Jupiter        255
Upon the ravish’d nymph of Garamant.
A hundred hugy, great temples he built
In his far stretching realms to Jupiter;
Altars as many kept with waking flame,
A watch always upon the Gods to tend;        260
The floors embru’d with yielded blood of beasts,
And threshold spread with garlands of strange hue.
He woode of mind, kindled by bitter bruit
Tofore th’ altars, in presence of the Gods,
With reared hands gan humbly Jove entreat:        265
  ‘Almighty God! whom the Moores’ nation
Fed at rich tables presenteth with wine,
See’st thou these things? or fear we thee in vain,
When thou lettest fly thy thunder from the clouds?
Or do those flames with vain noise us affray?        270
A woman, that wandering in our coasts hath bought
A plot for price, where she a city set;
To whom we gave the strond for to manure,
And laws to rule her town, our wedlock loathed,
Hath chose Æneas to command her realm.        275
That Paris now, with his unmanly sort,
With mitred hats, with ointed bush and beard,
His rape enjoyeth: whiles to thy temples we
Our offerings bring, and follow rumours vain.’
  Whom praying in such sort, and griping eke        280
The altars fast, the mighty father heard;
And writhed his look toward the royal walls,
And lovers eke, forgetting their good name.
To Mercury then gave he thus in charge:
‘Hence, son, in haste! and call to thee the winds;        285
Slide with thy plumes, and tell the Troyan prince
That now in Carthage loitereth, rechless
Of the towns granted him by destiny.
Swift through the skies see thou these words convey:
His fair Mother behight him not to us        290
Such one to be; ne therefore twice him saved
From Greekish arms: but such a one
As meet might seem great Italy to rule,
Dreadful in arms, charged with seigniory,
Shewing in proof his worthy Teucrian race;        295
And under laws the whole world to subdue.
If glory of such things nought him enflame,
Ne that he lists seek honour by some pain;
The towers yet of Rome, being his sire,
Doth he envy to young Ascanius?        300
What mindeth he to frame? or on what hope
In en’mies land doth he make his abode?
Ne his offspring in Italy regards?
Ne yet the land of Lavine doth behold?
Bid him make sail: have here the sum and end;        305
Our message thus report.’ When Jove had said,
Then Mercury ’gan bend him to obey
His mighty father’s will: and to his heels
His golden wings he knits, which him transport,
With a light wind above the earth and seas.        310
And then with him his wand he took, whereby
He calls from hell pale ghosts; and other some
Thither also he sendeth comfortless:
Whereby he forceth sleeps, and them bereaves;
And mortal eyes he closeth up in death.        315
By power whereof he drives the winds away,
And passeth eke amid the troubled clouds,
Till in his flight he ’gan descry the top
And the steep flanks of rocky Atlas’ hill,
That with his crown sustains the welkin up:        320
Whose head forgrown with pine, circled alway
With misty clouds, is beaten with wind and storm;
His shoulders spread with snow; and from his chin
The springs descend; his beard frozen with ice.
Here Mercury with equal shining wings        325
First touched; and with body headling bet,
To the water then took he his descent:
Like to the fowl that endlong coasts and stronds
Swarming with fish, flies sweeping by the sea;
Cutting betwixt the winds and Libyan lands,        330
From his grandfather by the mother’s side,
Cyllène’s child so came, and then alight
Upon the houses with his winged feet;
Tofore the towers where he Æneas saw
Foundations cast, arearing lodges new;        335
Girt with a sword of jasper, starry bright;
A shining ’parel, flamed with stately eye
Of Tyrian purple, hung his shoulders down,
The gift and work of wealthy Dido’s hand,
Striped throughout with a thin thread of gold.        340
  Thus he encounters him: ‘Oh careless wight!
Both of thy realm, and of thine own affairs;
A wife-bound man now dost thou rear the walls
Of high Carthage, to build a goodly town!
From the bright skies the ruler of the Gods        345
Sent me to thee, that with his beck commands
Both heav’n and earth: in haste he gave me charge
Through the light air this message thee to say.
What framest thou? or on what hope thy time
In idleness dost waste in Afric land?        350
Of so great things if nought the fame thee stir,
Ne list by travail honour to pursue;
Ascanius yet, that waxeth fast, behold;
And the hope of Iulus’ seed, thine heir;
To whom the realm of Italy belongs,        355
And soil of Rome.’ When Mercury had said,
Amid his tale far off from mortal eyes
Into light air he vanish’d out of sight.
  Æneas with that vision striken down,
Well near distraught, upstart his hair for dread,        360
Amid his throatal his voice likewise ’gan stick.
For to depart by night he longeth now,
And the sweet land to leave, astoined sore
With this advise and message of the Gods.
What may he do, alas! or by what words        365
Dare he persuade the raging Queen in love?
Or in what sort may he his tale begin?
Now here, now there his rechless mind ’gan run,
And diversely him draws, discoursing all.
After long doubts this sentence seemed best:        370
Mnestheus first, and strong Cloanthus eke
He calls to him, with Sergest; unto whom
He gave in charge his navy secretly
For to prepare, and drive to the sea coast
His people; and their armour to address;        375
And for the cause of change to feign excuse:
And that he, when good Dido least foreknew,
Or did suspect so great a love could break,
Would wait his time to speak thereof most meet;
The nearest way to hasten his intent.        380
Gladly his will and biddings they obey.
  Full soon the Queen this crafty sleight ’gan smell
(Who can deceive a lover in forecast?)
And first foresaw the motions for to come;
Things most assured fearing. Unto whom        385
That wicked Fame reported, how to flight
Was arm’d the fleet, all ready to avale.
Then ill bested of counsel, rageth she;
And whisketh through the town: like Bacchus’ nun
As Thyas stirs, the sacred rites begun,        390
And when the wonted third years sacrifice
Doth prick her forth, hearing Bacchus’ name hallowed,
And that the feastful night of Citheron
Doth call her forth, with noise of dancing.
  At length herself bordeth Æneas thus:        395
Unfaithful wight! to cover such a fault
Couldest thou hope? unwist to leave my land?
Not thee our love, nor yet right hand betrothed,
Ne cruel death of Dido may withhold?
But that thou wilt in winter ships prepare,        400
And try the seas in broil of whirling winds?
What if the land thou seekest were not strange!
If not unknowen? or ancient Troy yet stood?
In rough seas yet should Troye town be sought?
Shunnest thou me? By these tears, and right hand,        405
(For nought else have I, wretched, left myself)
By our spousals and marriage begun,
If I of thee deserved ever well,
Or thing of mine were ever to thee lief;
Rue on this realm, whose ruin is at hand.        410
If ought be left that prayer may avail,
I thee beseech to do away this mind.
The Libyans, and tyrants of Nomadane,
For thee me hate: my Tyrians eke for thee
Are wroth; by thee my shamefastness eke stained,        415
And good renown, whereby up to the stars
Peerless I clamb. To whom wilt thou me leave,
Ready to die, my sweet guest? sith this name
Is all, as now, that of a spouse remains.
But whereto now should I prolong my death?        420
What! until my brother Pigmalion
Beat down my walls? or the Getulian king
Hiarbas, yet captive lead me away?
Before thy flight a child had I once borne,
Or seen a young Æneas in my court        425
Play up and down, that might present thy face,
All utterly I could not seem forsaken.’
  Thus said the Queen. He to the God’s advice,
Unmoved held his eyes, and in his breast
Represt his care, and strove against his will:        430
And these few words at last then forth he cast.
‘Never shall I deny, Queen, thy desert;
Greater than thou in words may well express.
To think on thee ne irk me aye it shall,
Whiles of myself I shall have memory;        435
And whiles the spirit these limbs of mine shall rule.
For present purpose somewhat shall I say.
Never meant I to cloak the same by stealth,
Slander me not, ne to escape by flight:
Nor I to thee pretended marriage;        440
Ne hither came to join me in such league.
If destiny at mine own liberty,
To lead my life would have permitted me,
After my will, my sorrow to redoub,
Troy and the remainder of our folk        445
Restore I should: and with these scaped hands
The walls again unto these vanquished,
And palace high of Priam eke repair.
But now Apollo, called Grineus,
And prophecies of Lycia me advise        450
To seize upon the realm of Italy:
That is my love, my country, and my land.
If Carthage turrets thee, Phœnician born,
And of a Libyan town the sight detain;
To us Troyans why doest thou then envy        455
In Italy to make our resting seat?
Lawful is eke for us strange realms to seek.
As oft as night doth cloak with shadows dark
The earth, as oft as flaming stars appear,
The troubled ghost of my father Anchises        460
So oft in sleep doth fray me, and advise:
The wronged head by me of my dear son,
Whom I defraud of the Hesperian crown,
And lands allotted him by destiny.
The messenger eke of the Gods but late        465
Sent down from Jove (I swear by either head)
Passing the air, did this to me report.
In bright day-light the God myself I saw
Enter these walls, and with these ears him heard.
Leave then with plaint to vex both thee and me:        470
Against my will to Italy I go.’
  Whiles in this sort he did his tale pronounce,
With wayward look she ’gan him aye behold,
And rolling eyes, that moved to and fro;
With silent look discoursing over all:        475
And forth in rage at last thus ’gan she upbraid:
  ‘Faithless! forsworn! ne Goddess was thy dam!
Nor Dardanus beginner of thy race!
But of hard rocks mount Caucase monstruous
Bred thee, and teats of Tyger gave thee suck.        480
But what should I dissemble now my cheer?
Or me reserve to hope of greater things?
Minds he our tears? or ever moved his eyen?
Wept he for ruth? or pitied he our love?
What shall I set before? or where begin?        485
Juno, nor Jove with just eyes this beholds.
Faith is no where in surety to be found.
Did I not him, thrown up upon my shore
In need receive, and fonded eke invest
Of half my realm? his navy lost, repair?        490
From death’s danger his fellows eke defend?
Ay me! with rage and furies, lo! I drive.
Apollo now, now Lycian prophecies,
Another while, the messenger of Gods,
He says, sent down from mighty Jove himself.        495
The dreadful charge amid the skies hath brought.
As though that were the travail of the Gods,
Or such a care their quietness might move!
I hold thee not, nor yet gainsay thy words:
To Italy pass on by help of winds;        500
And through the floods go search thy kingdom new
If ruthful Gods have any power, I trust
Amid the rocks thy guerdon thou shalt find;
When thou shalt clepe full oft on Dido’s name.
With burial brandes I, absent, shall thee chase:        505
And when cold death from life these limbs divides,
My ghost each where shall still on thee await.
Thou shalt abye; and I shall hear thereof,
Among the souls below the bruit shall come.’
  With such like words she cut off half her tale,        510
With pensive heart abandoning the light.
And from his sight herself ’gan far remove;
Forsaking him, that many things in fear
Imagined, and did prepare to say.
Her swouning limbs her damsels ’gan relieve,        515
And to her chamber bare of marble stone;
And laid her on her bed with tapets spread.
  But just Æneas, though he did desire
With comfort sweet her sorrows to appease,
And with his words to banish all her care;        520
Wailing her much, with great love overcome:
The Gods’ will yet he worketh, and resorts
Unto his navy. Where the Troyans fast
Fell to their work, from the shore to unstock
High rigged ships: now fletes the tallowed keel;        525
Their oars with leaves yet green from wood they bring;
And masts unshave for haste, to take their flight.
You might have seen them throng out of the town
Like ants, when they do spoil the bing of corn,
For winter’s dread, which they bear to their den:        530
When the black swarm creeps over all the fields,
And thwart the grass by strait paths drags their prey:
The great grains then some on their shoulders truss,
Some drive the troop, some chastise eke the slow:
That with their travail chafed is each path.        535
  Beholding this, what thought might Dido have?
What sighs gave she? when from her towers high
The large coasts she saw haunted with Troyan’s works,
And in her sight the seas with din confounded?
O, witless Love! what thing is that to do        540
A mortal mind thou canst not force thereto?
Forced she is to tears ay to return,
With new requests to yield her heart to love:
And lest she should before her causeless death
Leave any thing untried: ‘O Sister Anne!’        545
Quoth she, ‘behold the whole coast round about,
How they prepare, assembled every where;
The streaming sails abiding but for wind:
The shipmen crown their ships with boughs for joy
O sister! if so great a sorrow I        550
Mistrusted had, it were more light to bear.
Yet natheless this for me wretched wight,
Anne, shalt thou do: for faithless, thee alone
He reverenced, thee eke his secrets told;
The meetest time thou knowest to borde the man:        555
To my proud foe thus, Sister, humbly say;
I with the Greeks within the port Aulide
Conjured not, the Troyans to destroy;
Nor to the walls of Troy yet sent my fleet:
Nor cinders of his father Anchises        560
Disturbed have, out of his sepulture.
Why lets he not my words sink in his ears
So hard to overtreat? Whither whirls he?
This last boon yet grant he to wretched love
Prosperous winds for to depart with ease        565
Let him abide; the foresaid marriage now,
That he betray’d, I do not him require;
Nor that he should fair Italy forgo:
Neither I would he should his kingdom leave.
Quiet I ask, and a time of delay,        570
And respite eke my fury to assuage,
Till my mishap teach me, all comfortless,
How for to wail my grief. This latter grace,
Sister, I crave: have thou remorse of me;
Which, if thou shalt vouchsafe, with heaps I shall        575
Leave by my death redoubled unto thee.’
  Moisted with tears thus wretched gan she plain:
Which Anne reports, and answer brings again.
Nought tears him move, ne yet to any words
He can be framed with gentle mind to yield.        580
The Werdes withstand, a God stops his meek ears.
Like to the aged boisteous bodied oak,
The which among the Alps the Northern winds
Blowing now from this quarter, now from that,
Betwixt them strive to overwhelm with blasts:        585
The whistling air among the branches roars,
Which all at once bow to the earth her crops,
The stock once smit: whiles in the rocks the tree
Sticks fast; and look, how high to the heav’n her top
Rears up, so deep her root spreads down to hell.        590
So was this Lord now here now there beset
With words; in whose stout breast wrought many cares.
But still his mind in one remains; in vain
The tears were shed. Then Dido, fray’d of Fates,
Wisheth for death, irked to see the skies.        595
And that she might the rather work her will,
And leave the light, (a grisly thing to tell)
Upon the altars burning full of ’cense
When she set gifts of sacrifice, she saw
The holy water stocks wax black within;        600
The wine eke shed, change into filthy gore:
This she to none, not to her sister told.
A marble temple in her palace eke,
In memory of her old spouse, there stood,
In great honour and worship, which she held,        605
With snow white clothes deck’d, and with boughs of feast:
Whereout was heard her husband’s voice, and speech
Cleping for her, when dark night hid the earth:
And oft the owl with rueful song complain’d
From the housetop, drawing long doleful tunes.        610
And many things forespoke by prophets past
With dreadful warning ’gan her now affray:
And stern Æneas seemed in her sleep
To chase her still about, distraught in rage:
And still her thought, that she was left alone        615
Uncompanied, great voyages to wend,
In desert land, her Tyrian folk to seek.
Like Pentheus, that in his madness saw
Swarming in flocks the furies all of hell;
Two suns remove, and Thebès town shew twain.        620
Or like Orestes Agamemnon’s son,
In tragedies who represented aye
Is driven about, that from his mother fled
Armed with brands, and eke with serpent’s black
That sitting found within the temple’s porch        625
The ugly furies his slaughter to revenge.
  Yelden to woe, when phrensy had her caught,
Within herself then ’gan she well debate,
Full bent to die, the time and eke the mean;
And to her woful sister thus she said,        630
In outward cheer dissembling her intent,
Presenting hope under a semblant glad:
  ‘Sister, rejoice! for I have found the way
Him to return, or loose me from his love.
Toward the end of the great ocean flood,        635
Whereas the wandering sun descendeth hence,
In the extremes of Ethiope, is a place
Where huge Atlas doth on his shoulders turn
The sphere so round with flaming stars beset.
Born of Massyle, I hear should be a Nun;        640
That of the Hesperian sisters’ temple old,
And of their goodly garden keeper was;
That gives unto the Dragon eke his food,
That on the tree preserves the holy fruit;
That honey moist, and sleeping poppy casts.        645
This woman doth avaunt, by force of charm,
What heart she list to set at liberty;
And other some to pierce with heavy cares:
In running flood to stop the waters’ course;
And eke the stars their movings to reverse;        650
T’ assemble eke the ghosts that walk by night:
Under thy feet the earth thou shalt behold
Tremble and roar; the oaks come from the hill.
The Gods and thee, dear Sister, now I call
In witness, and thy head to me so sweet,        655
To magic arts against my will I bend.
Right secretly within our inner court,
In open air rear up a stack of wood;
And hang thereon the weapon of this man,
The which he left within my chamber, stick:        660
His weeds dispoiled all, and bridal bed,
Wherein, alas! Sister, I found my bane,
Charge thereupon; for so the Nun commands,
To do away what did to him belong,
Of that false wight that might remembrance bring.        665
  Then whisted she; the pale her face ’gan stain.
Ne could yet Anne believe, her sister meant
To cloke her death by this new sacrifice;
Nor in her breast such fury did conceive:
Neither doth she now dread more grievous thing        670
Than followed Sycheës death; wherefore
She put her will in ure. But then the Queen,
When that the stack of wood was reared up
Under the air within the inward court
With cloven oak, and billets made of fir,        675
With garlands she doth all beset the place,
And with green boughs eke crown the funeral,
And thereupon his weeds and sword yleft,
And on a bed his picture she bestows,
As she that well foreknew what was to come.        680
The altars stand about, and eke the Nun
With sparkled tress; the which three hundred Gods
With a loud voice doth thunder out at once,
Erebus the grisly, and Chaos huge,
And eke the threefold Goddess Hecate,        685
And three faces of Diana the virgin:
And sprinkles eke the water counterfeit
Like unto black Avernus’ lake in hell:
And springing herbs reap’d up with brazen scythes
Were sought, after the right course of the Moon;        690
The venom black intermingled with milk;
The lump of flesh ’tween the new born foals eyen
To reave, that winneth from the dam her love.
She, with the mole all in her hands devout,
Stood near the altar, bare of the one foot,        695
With vesture loose, the bands unlaced all;
Bent for to die, calls the Gods to record,
And guilty stars eke of her destiny:
And if there were any God that had care
Of lovers’ hearts not moved with love alike,        700
Him she requires of justice to remember.
  It was then night; the sound and quiet sleep
Had through the earth the wearied bodies caught;
The woods, the raging seas were fallen to rest;
When that the stars had half their course declined;        705
The fields whist, beasts, and fowls of divers hue,
And what so that in the broad lakes remained,
Or yet among the bushy thicks of brier,
Laid down to sleep by silence of the night
’Gan swage their cares, mindless of travails past.        710
Not so the spirit of this Phenician;
Unhappy she that on no sleep could chance,
Nor yet night’s rest enter in eye or breast:
Her cares redouble; love doth rise and rage again,
And overflows with swelling storms of wrath.        715
Thus thinks she then, this rolls she in her mind:
  ‘What shall I do? shall I now bear the scorn,
For to assay mine old wooers again?
And humbly yet a Numid spouse require,
Whose marriage I have so oft disdained?        720
The Troyan navy, and Teucrian vile commands
Follow shall I? as though it should avail,
That whilom by my help they were relieved;
Or for because with kind and mindful folk
Right well doth sit the passed thankful deed?        725
Who would me suffer (admit this were my will)?
Or me scorned to their proud ships receive?
Oh, woe-begone! full little knowest thou yet
The broken oaths of Laomedon’s kind.
What then? alone on merry mariners        730
Shall I wait? or board them with my power
Of Tyrians assembled me about?
And such as I with travail brought from Tyre
Drive to the seas, and force them sail again?
But rather die, even as thou hast deserved;        735
And to this woe with iron give thou end.
And thou, Sister, first vanquish’d with my tears,
Thou in my rage with all these mischiefs first
Didst burden me, and yield me to my foe.
Was it not granted me from spousals free,        740
Like to wild beasts, to live without offence,
Without taste of such cares? is there no faith
Reserved to the cinders of Sychee?’
  Such great complaints brake forth out of her breast:
Whiles Æneas full minded to depart,        745
All things prepared, slept in the poop on high.
To whom in sleep the wonted Godhead’s form
Gan aye appear, returning in like shape
As seemed him; and ’gan him thus advise:
Like unto mercury in voice and hue,        750
With yellow bush, and comely limbs of youth.
‘O Goddess son, in such case canst thou sleep?
Ne yet, bestraught, the dangers dost foresee,
That compass thee? nor hear’st the fair winds blow?
Dido in mind rolls vengeance and deceit;        755
Determ’d to die, swells with unstable ire.
Wilt thou not flee whiles thou hast time of flight?
Straight shalt thou see the seas covered with sails,
The blazing brands the shore all spread with flame,
And if the morrow steal upon thee here.        760
Come off, have done, set all delay aside;
For full of change these women be alway.’
This said, in the dark night he ’gan him hide.
  Æneas, of this sudden vision
Adread, starts up out of his sleep in haste;        765
Calls up his feres: ‘Awake, get up, my men,
Aboard your ships, and hoise up sail with speed;
A God me wills, sent from above again,
To haste my flight, and wreathen cables cut.
O holy God, what so thou art, we shall        770
Follow thee, and all blithe obey thy will;
Be at our hand, and friendly us assist;
Address the stars with prosperous influence.’
And with that word his glistering sword unsheaths;
With which drawn he the cables cut in twain.        775
The like desire the rest embraced all.
All thing in haste they cast, and forth they whirl;
The shores they leave; with ships the seas are spread;
Cutting the foam by the blue seas they sweep.
  Aurora now from Titan’s purple bed        780
With new daylight had overspread the earth;
When by her windows the Queen the peeping day
Espied, and navy with ’splay’d sails depart
The shore, and eke the port of vessels void.
Her comely breast thrice or four times she smote        785
With her own hand, and tore her golden tress.
‘Oh Jove,’ quoth she, ‘shall he then thus depart,
A stranger thus, and scorn our kingdom so?
Shall not my men do on their armour prest,
And eke pursue them throughout all the town?        790
Out of the road soon shall the vessel warp.
Haste on, cast flame, set sail, and wield your oars.
What said I? but where am I? what phrensy
Alters thy mind? Unhappy Dido, now
Hath thee beset a froward destiny.        795
Then it behoved, when thou didst give to him
His sceptre. Lo! his faith and his right hand!
That leads with him, they say, his country Gods,
That on his back his aged father bore!
His body might I not have caught and rent?        800
And in the seas drenched him and his feres?
And from Ascanius his life with iron reft,
And set him on his father’s board for meat?
Of such debate perchance the fortune might
Have been doubtful: would God it were assay’d!        805
Whom should I fear, sith I myself must die?
Might I have throwen into that navy brands,
And filled eke their decks with flaming fire,
The father, son, and all their nation
Destroy’d, and fallen myself dead over all!        810
Sun with thy beams, that mortal works descriest;
And thou, Juno, that well these travails know’st;
Proserpine, thou, upon whom folk do use
To howl, and call in forked ways by night;
Infernal Furies eke, ye wreakers of wrong;        815
And Dido’s Gods, who stands at point of death,
Receive these words, and eke your heavy power
Withdraw from me, that wicked folk deserve:
And our request accept we you beseech:
If so that yonder wicked head must needs        820
Recover port, and sail to land of force;
And if Jove’s will have so resolved it,
And such end set as no wight can foredo;
Yet at the least assailed might he be
With arms and wars of hardy nations;        825
From the bounds of his kingdom far exiled;
Iulus eke ravish’d out of his arms;
Driven to call for help, that may he see
The guiltless corpses of his folk lie dead:
And after hard conditions of peace,        830
His realm, nor life desired may he brook;
But fall before his time, ungraved amid the sands.
This I require; these words with blood I shed.
And, Tyrians, ye his stock and all his race
Pursue with hate; reward our cinders so.        835
No love nor league betwixt our peoples be;
And of our bones some wreaker may there spring,
With sword and flame that Troyans may pursue:
And from henceforth, when that our power may stretch,
Our coasts to them contrary be for aye,        840
I crave of God; and our streams to their floods;
Arms unto arms; and offspring of each race
With mortal war each other may fordo.’
  This said, her mind she writhed on all sides,
Seeking with speed to end her irksome life.        845
To Sychees’ nurse Barcen then thus she said,
(For hers at home in ashes did remain):
‘Call unto me, dear Nurse, my Sister Anne:
Bid her in haste in water of the flood
She sprinkle the body, and bring the beasts,        850
And purging sacrifice I did her shew;
So let her come: and thou thy temples bind
With sacred garlands: for the sacrifice
That I to Pluto have begun, my mind
Is to perform, and give end to these cares;        855
And Troyan statue throw into the flame.’
  When she had said, redouble ’gan her nurse
Her steps, forth on an aged woman’s trot.
  But trembling Dido eagerly now bent
Upon her stern determination;        860
Her bloodshot eyes rolling within her head;
Her quivering cheeks flecked with deadly stain,
Both pale and wan to think on death to come;
Into the inward wards of her palace
She rusheth in, and clamb up, as distraught,        865
The burial stack, and drew the Troyan sword,
Her gift sometime, but meant to no such use.
Where when she saw his weed, and well knowen bed,
Weeping awhile in study ’gan she stay,
Fell on the bed, and these last words she said:        870
  ‘Sweet spoils, whiles God and destinies it would,
Receive this sprite, and rid me of these cares:
I lived and ran the course fortune did grant;
And under earth my great ghost now shall wend:
A goodly town I built, and saw my walls;        875
Happy, alas, too happy, if these coasts
The Troyan ships had never touched aye.’
  This said, she laid her mouth close to the bed.
‘Why then,’ quoth she, ‘unwroken shall we die?
But let us die: for this! and in this sort        880
It liketh us to seek the shadows dark!
And from the seas the cruel Troyan’s eyes
Shall well discern this flame; and take with him
Eke these unlucky tokens of my death!’
  As she had said, her damsels might perceive        885
Her with these words fall pierced on a sword;
The blade embrued, and hands besprent with gore
The clamour rang unto the palace top;
The bruit ran throughout all th’ astonied town:
With wailing great, and women’s shrill yelling        890
The roofs ’gan roar; the air resound with plaint:
As though Carthage, or th’ ancient town of Tyre
With press of enter’d enemies swarmed full:
Or when the rage of furious flame doth take
The temples’ tops, and mansions eke of men.        895
  Her sister Anne, spriteless for dread to hear
This fearful stir, with nails ’gan tear her face;
She smote her breast, and rushed through the rout
And her dying she cleps thus by her name:
  ‘Sister, for this with craft did you me bourd?        900
The stack, the flame, the altars, bred they this?
What shall I first complain, forsaken wight?
Loathest thou in death thy sister’s fellowship?
Thou shouldst have call’d me to like destiny;
One woe, one sword, one hour, might end us both.        905
This funeral stack built I with these hands,
And with this voice cleped our native Gods?
And, cruel, so absentest me from thy death?
Destroy’d thou hast, Sister, both thee and me,
Thy people eke, and princes born of Tyre.        910
Give here; I shall with water wash her wounds;
And suck with mouth her breath, if ought be left.’
  This said, unto the high degrees she mounted,
Embracing fast her sister now half dead,
With wailful plaint: whom in her lap she laid,        915
The black swart gore wiping dry with her clothes.
But Dido striveth to lift up again
Her heavy eyen, and hath no power thereto:
Deep in her breast that fixed wound doth gape.
Thrice leaning on her elbow ’gan she raise        920
Herself upward; and thrice she overthrew
Upon the bed: ranging with wand’ring eyes
The skies for light, and wept when she it found.
  Almighty Juno having ruth by this
Of her long pains, and eke her lingering death,        925
From heaven she sent the Goddess Iris down,
The throwing sprite, and jointed limbs to loose.
For that neither by lot of destiny,
Nor yet by kindly death she perished,
But wretchedly before her fatal day,        930
And kindled with a sudden rage of flame,
Proserpine had not from her head bereft
The golden hair, nor judged her to hell.
The dewy Iris thus with golden wings,
A thousand hues shewing against the Sun,        935
Amid the skies then did she fly adown
On Dido’s head: where as she ’gan alight,
‘This hair,’ quod she, ‘to Pluto consecrate,
Commanded I reave; and thy spirit unloose
From this body. And when she thus had said,        940
With her right hand she cut the hair in twain:
And therewithal the kindly heat ’gan quench,
And into wind the life forthwith resolve.
 
 
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