His dictis impenso animum flammavit amore
spemque dedit dubiae menti solvitque pudorem .
principio delubra adeunt pacemque per aras
exquirunt ; mactant lectas de more bidentis
legiferae Cereri Phoeboque patrique Lyaeo ,
Iunoni ante omnis , cui vincla iugalia curae .
ipsa tenens dextra pateram pulcherrima Dido
candentis vaccae media inter cornua fundit ,
aut ante ora deum pinguis spatiatur ad aras ,
instauratque diem donis , pecudumque reclusis
pectoribus inhians spirantia consulit exta .
heu , vatum ignarae mentes ! quid vota furentem ,
quid delubra iuvant ? est mollis flamma medullas
interea et tacitum vivit sub pectore vulnus .
uritur infelix Dido totaque vagatur
urbe furens , qualis coniecta cerva sagitta ,
quam procul incautam nemora inter Cresia fixit
pastor agens telis liquitque volatile ferrum
nescius : illa fuga silvas saltusque peragrat
Dictaeos ; haeret lateri letalis harundo .
nunc media Aenean secum per moenia ducit
Sidoniasque ostentat opes urbemque paratam ,
incipit effari mediaque in voce resistit ;
nunc eadem labente die convivia quaerit ,
Iliacosque iterum demens audire labores
exposcit pendetque iterum narrantis ab ore .
post ubi digressi , lumenque obscura vicissim
luna premit suadentque cadentia sidera somnos ,
sola domo maeret vacua stratisque relictis
incubat . illum absens absentem auditque videtque ,
aut gremio Ascanium genitoris imagine capta
detinet , infandum si fallere possit amorem .
non coeptae adsurgunt turres , non arma iuventus
exercet portusve aut propugnacula bello
tuta parant : pendent opera interrupta minaeque
murorum ingentes aequataque machina caelo .
By saying this she inflames the queen’s burning heart with love
and raises hopes in her anxious mind , and weakens her sense
of shame . First they visit the shrines and ask for grace at the altars :
they sacrifice chosen animals according to the rites ,
to Ceres , the law-maker , and Phoebus , and father Lycaeus ,
and to Juno above all , in whose care are the marriage ties :
Dido herself , supremely lovely , holding the cup in her hand ,
pours the libation between the horns of a white heifer
or walks to the rich altars , before the face of the gods ,
celebrates the day with gifts , and gazes into the opened
chests of victims , and reads the living entrails .
Ah , the unknowing minds of seers ! What use are prayers
or shrines to the impassioned ? Meanwhile her tender marrow
is aflame , and a silent wound is alive in her breast .
Wretched Dido burns , and wanders frenzied through the city ,
like an unwary deer struck by an arrow , that a shepherd hunting
with his bow has fired at from a distance , in the Cretan woods ,
leaving the winged steel in her , without knowing .
She runs through the woods and glades of Dicte :
the lethal shaft hangs in her side .
Now she leads Aeneas with her round the walls
showing her Sidonian wealth and the city she’s built :
she begins to speak , and stops in mid-flow :
now she longs for the banquet again as day wanes ,
yearning madly to hear about the Trojan adventures once more
and hangs once more on the speaker’s lips .
Then when they have departed , and the moon in turn
has quenched her light and the setting constellations urge sleep ,
she grieves , alone in the empty hall , and lies on the couch
he left . Absent she hears him absent , sees him ,
or hugs Ascanius on her lap , taken with this image
of his father , so as to deceive her silent passion .
The towers she started no longer rise , the young men no longer
carry out their drill , or work on the harbour and the battlements
for defence in war : the interrupted work is left hanging ,
the huge threatening walls , the sky-reaching cranes .
This appeal made the spark of passion blaze ,
Lent hope to hesitation , melted shame .
First they approached each temple and each altar .
With pleas and slaughtered chosen sleep in ritual
For Phoebus , law-giving Ceres , Father Bacchus ---
But Juno first , who joins the bonds of marriage .
In her right hand lovely Dido held the bowl
And tipped it on a snow-white heifer’s forehead ;
Paraded past gods’ statues to rich altars ,
Opened each day with gifts , searched for the meaning
Cut open in the steaming guts of beasts .
Oh , empty-minded prophets ! In her madness ,
What use were prayers and temples ? Flame devoured
Her tender marrow , Her heart’s wound throbbed in hiding ;
Soon Dido burned and raved all through the city ,
As when a deer is wounded from far off
By a shepherd who is not aware his arrow
Has found its mark ; through Dicte’s woods the quarry
Runs , with the death reed buried in her side .
Now Dido leads Aeneas through the fortress ,
Shows him Sidonian wealth , the rising city ,
Begins to speak but leaves her words half-said .
At fall of daylight , she repeats her banquet
And asks to hear again of Trojan suffering .
Again , she fixates on the teller’s words .
Her guests go , and the moon puts out its dim light ,
And falling constellations counsel sleep ;
She sorrows in the empty house , reclining
On the couch he left . She sees and hears his absence .
She holds Ascanius - so like his father ! -
In her lap , and cheats her real and shameful love .
The towers she started do not rise . The young men
No longer drill or build defending ramparts
Or ports . The work stalls , halfway done - the menace
Of high walls , and the cranes as tall as heaven .
So sickness gripped the queen , who let her folly
Outrun her good name . Juno , Jove’s dear wife
And Saturn’s daughter , saw and went to Venus .
" Truly , your son and and you have won such glory ,
Such huge spoils . Power worth eternal praise
Shows in two gods who dupe a mortal woman .
I know that you’ve been wary of our walls here ,
Distrustful when you saw high Carthage settled .
Where will this end ? Where will this fierce fight take us ?
Why not a lasting treaty and a contract
Of marriage ? What your heart desired , you have .
Dido’s love burns . Her bones draw in its fury .
Why not make these one people ? We can rule them
Together . As a Phyrigian husband’s slave ,
She’ll hand you all these Tyrians as a dowry . "
But Venus felt the trick in this , the effort
To steer Italian power into Libya .
She countered : " To agree is merely sane .
Who would prefer to take up arms against you ?
If only what you plan succeeds in practice…
Fate-to me- sways , uncertain . Is Jove’s plan
One town for Trojan refugees and Tyrians ,
An alliance , or a blended population ?
You , as his wife , could rightly probe his thinking .
Ash him , then I’ll be with you . " Juno answered ,
" Leave me to do that . Briefly now I’ll say-
So listen- how we finish what’s at hand .
Poor Dido and Aeneas are preparing
A woodland hunting trip at dawn tomorrow ,
When the Sun’s rising rays reveal the curved earth .
While horsemen rush to cordon off the passes ,
I’ll mingle rain and hail in a black storm cloud
And pour it down and shake the sky with thunder .
Their retinue will scatter in the dark .
The same cave will receive the Trojan leader