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his stratagem, and all the coming change
perceived ere it began. Her jealous fear
counted no hour secure. That unclean tongue
of Rumor told her fevered heart the fleet
was fitting forth, and hastening to be gone.
Distractedly she raved, and passion-tossed
roamed through her city, like a Maenad roused
by the wild rout of Bacchus, when are heard
the third year's orgies, and the midnight scream
to cold Cithaeron calls the frenzied crew.
Finding Aeneas, thus her plaint she poured:
“Didst hope to hide it, false one, that such crime
was in thy heart,—to steal without farewell
out of my kingdom? Did our mutual joy
not move thee; nor thine own true promise given
once on a time? Nor Dido, who will die
a death of sorrow? Why compel thy ships
to brave the winter stars? Why off to sea
so fast through stormy skies? O, cruelty!
If Troy still stood, and if thou wert not bound
for alien shore unknown, wouldst steer for Troy
through yonder waste of waves? Is it from me
thou takest flight? O, by these flowing tears,
by thine own plighted word (for nothing more
my weakness left to miserable me),
by our poor marriage of imperfect vow,
if aught to me thou owest, if aught in me
ever have pleased thee—O, be merciful
to my low-fallen fortunes! I implore,
if place be left for prayer, thy purpose change!
Because of thee yon Libyan savages
and nomad chiefs are grown implacable,
and my own Tyrians hate me. Yes, for thee
my chastity was slain and honor fair,
by which alone to glory I aspired,
in former days. To whom dost thou in death
abandon me? my guest!—since but this name
is left me of a husband! Shall I wait
till fell Pygmalion, my brother, raze
my city walls? Or the Gaetulian king,
Iarbas, chain me captive to his car? .
O, if, ere thou hadst fled, I might but bear
some pledge of love to thee, and in these halls
watch some sweet babe Aeneas at his play,
whose face should be the memory of thine own —
I were not so forsaken, Iost, undone!”
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