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HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY


Sébastien Bourdon. Death of Dido. c1640.
Sébastien Bourdon. Death of Dido. c1640.


from

BOOK IV of VIRGIL'S AENEID.


[THE DEATH OF DIDO, QUEEN OF CARTHAGE]


      But trembling Dido eagerly now bent
Upon her stern determination;
Her bloodshot eyes rolling within her head;
Her quivering cheeks flecked with deadly stain,
Both pale and wan to think on death to come;
Into the inward wards of her palace
She rusheth in, and clamb up, as distraught,
The burial stack, and drew the Troyan sword,
Her gift sometime, but meant to no such use.
Where when she saw his weed, and wellknowen bed,
Weeping awhile in study 'gan she stay,
Fell on the bed, and these last words she said:
      'Sweet spoils, whiles God and destinies it would,
Receive this sprite, and rid me of these cares:
I lived and ran the course fortune did grant;
And under earth my great ghost now shall wend:
A goodly town I built, and saw my walls;
Happy, alas, too happy, if these coasts
The Troyan ships had never touchèd aye.'
      This said, she laid her mouth close to the bed.
'Why then,' quoth she, 'unwroken shall we die?
But let us die: for this! and in this sort
It liketh us to seek the shadows dark!
And from the seas the cruel Troyan's eyes
Shall well discern this flame; and take with him
Eke these unlucky tokens of my death!'
      As she had said, her damsels might perceive
Her with these words fall pierced on a sword;
The blade embrued, and hands besprent with gore.
The clamour rang unto the palace top;
The bruit ran throughout all the astonied town:
With wailing great, and women's shrill yelling
The roofs 'gan roar; the air resound with plaint:
As though Carthage, or the ancient town of Tyre
With press of entered enemies swarmed full:
Or when the rage of furious flame doth take
The temples' tops, and mansions eke of men.





Source:
Surrey, Henry Howard, Earl of. "Fourth Book of Virgil's Aeneid."
Poetical Works of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. Robert Bell, Ed.
London: John W. Parker & Sons, 1854. 201-202.




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