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on all earth's weary creatures; the loud seas
and babbling forests entered on repose;
now midway in their heavenly course the stars
wheeled silent on; the outspread lands below
lay voiceless; all the birds of tinted wing,
and flocks that haunt the merge of waters wide
or keep the thorny wold, oblivious lay
beneath the night so still; the stings of care
ceased troubling, and no heart its burden knew.
Not so the Tyrian Queen's deep-grieving soul!
To sleep she could not yield; her eyes and heart
refused the gift of night; her suffering
redoubled, and in full returning tide
her love rebelled, while on wild waves of rage
she drifted to and fro. So, ceasing not
from sorrow, thus she brooded on her wrongs:
“What refuge now? Shall I invite the scorn
of my rejected wooers, or entreat
of some disdainful, nomad blackamoor
to take me to his bed—though many a time
such husbands I made mock of? Shall I sail
on Ilian ships away, and sink to be
the Trojans' humble thrall? Do they rejoice
that once I gave them bread? Lives gratitude
in hearts like theirs for bygone kindnesses?
O, who, if so I stooped, would deign to bear
on yon proud ships the scorned and fallen Queen?
Lost creature! Woe betide thee! Knowest thou not
the perjured children of Laomedon?
What way is left? Should I take flight alone
and join the revelling sailors? Or depart
with Tyrians, the whole attending train
of my own people? Hard the task to force
their hearts from Sidon's towers; how once more
compel to sea, and bid them spread the sail?
Nay, perish! Thou hast earned it. Let the sword
from sorrow save thee! Sister of my blood—
who else but thee,—my own tears borne down,
didst heap disaster on my frantic soul,
and fling me to this foe? Why could I not
pass wedlock by, and live a blameless life
as wild things do, nor taste of passion's pain?
But I broke faith! I cast the vows away
made at Sichaeus' grave.”
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