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one last kiss on the couch. “Though for my death
no vengeance fall, O, give me death!” she cried.
“O thus! O thus! it is my will to take
the journey to the dark. From yonder sea
may his cold Trojan eyes discern the flames
that make me ashes! Be this cruel death
his omen as he sails!” She spoke no more.
But almost ere she ceased, her maidens all
thronged to obey her cry, and found their Queen
prone fallen on the sword, the reeking steel
still in her bloody hands. Shrill clamor flew
along the lofty halls; wild rumor spread
through the whole smitten city: Ioud lament,
groans and the wail of women echoed on
from roof to roof, and to the dome of air
the noise of mourning rose. Such were the cry
if a besieging host should break the walls
of Carthage or old Tyre, and wrathful flames
o'er towers of kings and worshipped altars roll.
Her sister heard. Half in a swoon, she ran
with trembling steps, where thickest was the throng,
beating her breast, while with a desperate hand
she tore at her own face, and called aloud
upon the dying Queen. “Was it for this
my own true sister used me with such guile?
O, was this horrid deed the dire intent
of altars, Iofty couch, and funeral fires?
What shall I tell for chiefest of my woes?
Lost that I am! Why, though in death, cast off
thy sister from thy heart? Why not invite
one mortal stroke for both, a single sword,
one agony together? But these hands
built up thy pyre; and my voice implored
the blessing of our gods, who granted me
that thou shouldst perish thus—and I not know!
In thy self-slaughter, sister, thou hast slain
myself, thy people, the grave counsellors
of Sidon, and yon city thou didst build
to be thy throne!—Go, fetch me water, there!
That I may bathe those gashes! If there be
one hovering breath that stays, let my fond lips
discover and receive!” So saying, she sprang up
from stair to stair, and, clasping to her breast
her sister's dying form, moaned grievously,
and staunched the dark blood with her garment's fold.
Vainly would Dido lift her sinking eyes,
but backward fell, while at her heart the wound
opened afresh; three times with straining arm
she rose; three times dropped helpless, her dimmed eyes
turned skyward, seeking the sweet light of day, —
which when she saw, she groaned.
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