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Then Venus: “Nay, I boast not to receive
honors divine. We Tyrian virgins oft
bear bow and quiver, and our ankles white
lace up in purple buskin. Yonder lies
the Punic power, where Tyrian masters hold
Agenor's town; but on its borders dwell
the Libyans, by battles unsubdued.
Upon the throne is Dido, exiled there
from Tyre, to flee th' unnatural enmity
of her own brother. 'T was an ancient wrong;
too Iong the dark and tangled tale would be;
I trace the larger outline of her story:
Sichreus was her spouse, whose acres broad
no Tyrian lord could match, and he was-blessed
by his ill-fated lady's fondest love,
whose father gave him her first virgin bloom
in youthful marriage. But the kingly power
among the Tyrians to her brother came,
Pygmalion, none deeper dyed in crime
in all that land. Betwixt these twain there rose
a deadly hatred,—and the impious wretch,
blinded by greed, and reckless utterly
of his fond sister's joy, did murder foul
upon defenceless and unarmed Sichaeus,
and at the very altar hewed him down.
Long did he hide the deed, and guilefully
deceived with false hopes, and empty words,
her grief and stricken love. But as she slept,
her husband's tombless ghost before her came,
with face all wondrous pale, and he laid bare
his heart with dagger pierced, disclosing so
the blood-stained altar and the infamy
that darkened now their house. His counsel was
to fly, self-banished, from her ruined land,
and for her journey's aid, he whispered where
his buried treasure lay, a weight unknown
of silver and of gold. Thus onward urged,
Dido, assembling her few trusted friends,
prepared her flight. There rallied to her cause
all who did hate and scorn the tyrant king,
or feared his cruelty. They seized his ships,
which haply rode at anchor in the bay,
and loaded them with gold; the hoarded wealth
of vile and covetous Pygmalion
they took to sea. A woman wrought this deed.
Then came they to these lands where now thine eyes
behold yon walls and yonder citadel
of newly rising Carthage. For a price
they measured round so much of Afric soil
as one bull's hide encircles, and the spot
received its name, the Byrsa. But, I pray,
what men are ye? from what far land arrived,
and whither going?” When she questioned thus,
her son, with sighs that rose from his heart's depths,
this answer gave:

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load focus Latin (J. B. Greenough, 1900)
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