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gazed steadfastly away; and in his heart
with strong repression crushed his cruel pain;
then thus the silence broke: “O Queen, not one
of my unnumbered debts so strongly urged
would I gainsay. Elissa's memory
will be my treasure Iong as memory holds,
or breath of life is mine. Hear my brief plea!
'T was not my hope to hide this flight I take,
as thou hast dreamed. Nay, I did never light
a bridegroom's torch, nor gave I thee the vow
of marriage. Had my destiny decreed,
that I should shape life to my heart's desire,
and at my own will put away the weight
of foil and pain, my place would now be found
in Troy, among the cherished sepulchres
of my own kin, and Priam's mansion proud
were standing still; or these my loyal hands
had rebuilt Ilium for her vanquished sons.
But now to Italy Apollo's power
commands me forth; his Lycian oracles
are loud for Italy. My heart is there,
and there my fatherland. If now the towers
of Carthage and thy Libyan colony
delight thy Tyrian eyes; wilt thou refuse
to Trojan exiles their Ausonian shore?
I too by Fate was driven, not less than thou,
to wander far a foreign throne to find.
Oft when in dewy dark night hides the world,
and flaming stars arise, Anchises' shade
looks on me in my dreams with angered brow.
I think of my Ascanius, and the wrong
to that dear heart, from whom I steal away
Hesperia, his destined home and throne.
But now the winged messenger of Heaven,
sent down by Jove (I swear by thee and me!),
has brought on winged winds his sire's command.
My own eyes with unclouded vision saw
the god within these walls; I have received
with my own ears his word. No more inflame
with lamentation fond thy heart and mine.
'T is not my own free act seeks Italy.”
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