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When the main feast is over, they replace
the banquet with huge bowls, and crown the wine
with ivy-leaf and rose. Loud rings the roof
with echoing voices; from the gilded vault
far-blazing cressets swing, or torches bright
drive the dark night away. The Queen herself
called for her golden chalice studded round
with jewels, and o'er-brimming it with wine
as Belus and his proud successors use,
commanded silence, and this utterance made:
“Great Jove, of whom are hospitable laws
for stranger-guest, may this auspicious day
bless both our Tyrians and the wanderers
from Trojan shore. May our posterity
keep this remembrance! Let kind Juno smile,
and Bacchus, Iord of mirth, attend us here!
And, O ye Tyrians, come one and all,
and with well-omened words our welcome share!”
So saying, she outpoured the sacred drop
due to the gods, and lightly from the rim
sipped the first taste, then unto Bitias gave
with urgent cheer; he seized it, nothing loth,
quaffed deep and long the foaming, golden bowl,
then passed to others. On a gilded Iyre
the flowing-haired Iopas woke a song
taught him by famous Atlas: of the moon
he sang, the wanderer, and what the sun's
vast labors be; then would his music tell
whence man and beast were born, and whence were bred
clouds, lightnings, and Arcturus' stormful sign,
the Hyades, rain-stars, and nigh the Pole
the great and lesser Wain; for well he knew
why colder suns make haste to quench their orb
in ocean-stream, and wintry nights be slow.
Loudly the Tyrians their minstrel praised,
and Troy gave prompt applause. Dido the while
with varying talk prolonged the fateful night,
and drank both long and deep of love and wine.
Now many a tale of Priam would she crave,
of Hector many; or what radiant arms
Aurora's son did wear; what were those steeds
of Diomed, or what the stature seemed
of great Achilles. “Come, illustrious guest,
begin the tale,” she said, “begin and tell
the perfidy of Greece, thy people's fall,
and all thy wanderings. For now,—Ah, me!
Seven times the summer's burning stars have seen
thee wandering far o'er alien lands and seas.”

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hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), CANDE´LA
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), FUNA´LE
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