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O sacred power! what power soe'er thou art,
To thy blessed orders I resign my heart.
Lead thou the way ; protect thy 'Trojan bands,
And prosper the design thy will commands.”—
He said; and, drawing forth his flaming sword,
His thundering arm divides the many-twisted cord.
An emulating zeal inspires his train:
They run; they snatch; they rush into the main.
With headlong haste they leave the desert shores,
And brush the liquid seas with labouring oars.
Aurora now had left her saffron bed,
And beams of early light the heavens o'erspread,
When, from a tower, the queen, with wakeful eyes,
Saw day point upward from the rosy skies. .
She looked to seaward; but the sea was void,
And scarce in ken the sailing ships descried.
Stung with despite, and furious with despair,
She struck her trembling breast, and tore her hair.
" And shall the ungrateful traitor go, (she said,)
My land forsaken, and my love betrayed ?
Shall we not arm ? not rush from every street,
To follow, sink, and burn, bis perjured fleet?
Haste, haul my galleys out! pursue the foe!
Bring flaming brands! set sail, and swiftly row!-
What have I said? where am I? Fury turns
My brain; and my distempered bosom burns.
Then, when I gave my person and my throne,
This hate, this rage, had been more timely shown.
See now the promised faith, the vaunted name,
The pious man, who, rushing through the flame,
Preserved his gods, and to the Phrygian shore
The burden of his feeble father bore!
I should have torn him piece-meal-strewed in floods
His scattered limbs, or left exposed in woods—
Destroyed his friends, and son; and, from the fire,
Have set the reeking boy before the sire.
Events are doubtful, which on battle wait :
Yet where's the doubt, to souls secure of fate?
My Tyrians, at their injured queen's command,
Had tossed their fires amid the Trojan band;
At once extinguished all the faithless name;
And I myself, in vengeance of my shame,
Had fallen upon the pile, to mend the funeral flame.
Thou Sun, who view'st at once the world below!
Thou Juno, guardian of the nuptial vow!
Thou Hecate, hearken from thy dark abodes !
Ye Furies, Fiends, and violated Gods!
All powers invoked with Dido's dying breath,
Attend her curses, and avenge her death!
If so the Fates ordain, and Jove commands,
The ungrateful wretch should find the Latian lands,
Yet let a race untamed, and haughty foes,
His peaceful entrance with dire arms oppose:
Oppressed with numbers in the unequal field,
His men discouraged, and himself expelled,
Let him for succour sue from place to place,
Torn from his subjects, and his son's embrace.
First, let him see his friends in battle slain,
And their untimely fate lament in vain :
And when, at length, the cruel war shall cease,
On hard conditions may be buy his peace:
Nor let him then enjoy supreme command;
But fall, untimely, by some hostile hand,
And lie unburied on the barren sand!
These are my prayers, and this my dying will;
And you, my Tyrians, every curse fulfil.
Perpetual hate, and mortal wars proclaim,
Against the prince, the people, and the name.
These grateful offerings on my grave bestow;
Nor league, nor love, the hostile nations know!
Now, and from hence, in every future age,
When rage excites your arms, and strength supplies
Rise some avenger of our Libyan blood,
With fire and sword pursue the perjured brood;
Our arms, our seas, our shores, opposed to theirs;
And the same hate descend on all our heirs !"
This said, within her anxious mind she weighs
The means of cutting short her odious days.
Then to Sichæus' nurse she briefly said,
(For, when she left her country, her's was dead,)
à Go, Barce, call my sister. Let her care
The solemn rites of sacrifice prepare ;
The sheep, and all the atoning offerings, bring;
Sprinkling her body from the crystal spring
With living drops; then let her come, and thou
With sacred fillets bind thy hoary brow.
Thus will I pay my vows to Stygian Jove,
And end the cares of my disastrous love;
Then cast the Trojan image on the fire,
And, as that burns, my passion shall expire.
The nurse moves onward with officious care, And all the speed her aged limbs can bear. But furious Dido, with dark thoughts involved, Shook at the mighty mischief she resolved. With livid spots dis-inguished was her face; Red were her rolling eyes, and discomposed her pace; Ghastly she gazed, with pain she drew her breath, And nature shivered at approaching death.
Then swiftly to the fatal place she passed, And mounts the funeral pile with furious haste; Unsheaths the sword the Trojan left behind, (Not for so dire an enterprize designed.) But when she viewed the garments loosely spread, Which once he wore, and saw the conscious bed, She paused, and, with a sigh, the robes embraced, Then on the couch her trembling body cast, Repressed the ready tears, and spoke her last :“ Dear pledges of my love, while heaven so pleased, Reccive a soul, of mortal anguish eased.
My fatal course is finished; and I go,
A glorious name, among the ghosts below.
A lofty city by my hands is raised;
Pygmalion punished, and my lord appeased.
What could my fortune have afforded more,
Had the false Trojan never touched my shore ?"
Then kissed the couch; and “ Must I die,” she said,
“ And unrevenged ? 'tis doubly to be dead!
Yet even this death with pleasure I receive:
On any terms, 'tis better than to live.
These flames, from far, may the false Trojan view;
These boding omens his base flight pursue!"
She said, and struck; deep entered in her side
The piercing steel, with reeking purple dyed:
Clogged in the wound the cruel weapon stands;
The spouting blood came streaming on her hands.
Her sad attendants saw the deadly stroke,
And with loud cries the sounding palace shook.
Distracted, from the fatal sight they fled,
And through the town the dismal rumour spread.
First, from the frighted court the yell began;
Redoubled, thence from house to house it ran:
The groans of men, with shrieks, laments, and cries
Of mixing women, mount the vaulted skies.
Not less the clamour, than if-ancient Tyre,
Or the new Carthage, set by foes on fire-
The rolling ruin, with their loved abodes,
Involved the blazing temples of their gods.
Her sister hears; and, furious with despair,
She beats her breast, and rends her yellow hair,
And, calling on Eliza's name aloud,
Runs breathless to the place, and breaks the crowd.
“ Was all that pomp of woe for this prepared,
These fires, this funeral pile, these altars reared ?
Was all this train of plots contrived, (said she,
All only to deceive unhappy me?
Which is the worst ? Didst thou in death pretend
To scorn thy sister, or delu le thy friend ?
Thy summoned sister, and thy friend, had come;
One sword had served us both, one common tomb:
Was I to raise the pile, the powers invoke,
Not to be present at the fatal stroke?
At once thou hast destroyed thyself and me,
Thy town, thy senate, and thy colony!
Bring water ! bathe the wound; while I in death
Lay close my lips to hers, and catch the flying breath.
This said, she mounts the pile with eager haste,
And in her arms the gasping queen embraced;
Her temples chafed; and her own garments tore,
To staunch the streaming blood, and cleanse the gore.
Thrice Dido tried to raise her drooping head,
And, fainting, thrice fell grovelling on the bed;
Thrice oped her heavy eyes, and saw the light,
But, having found it, sickened at the sight,
And closed her lids at last in endless night.
Then Juno, grieving that she should sustain
A death so lingering, and so full of pain,
Sent Iris down, to free her from the strife
Of labouring nature, and dissolve her life.
For, since she died, not doomed by heaven's decree,
Or her own crime, but human casualty,
And rage of love, that plunged her in despair,
The Sisters had not cut the topmost hair,
Which Proserpine and they can only know;
Nor made her sacred to the shades below.-
Downward the various Goddess took her flight,
And drew a thousand colours from the light;
Then stood above the dying lover's head,
And said, “ I thus devote thee to the dead.
This offering to the infernal gods I bear.”
Thus while she spoke, she cut the fatal hair :
The struggling soul was loosed, and life dissolved in