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Aeneas to Dido.

(transcription)

Æneas read what Dido wrote,
    And sent her this replie;
And sought to cure the curelesse wound,
    Which
Dido made to die.

When my deare Countrey once most stately Troy
Of Asie Queene of gods the handy worke,
Mine eyes beheld the furious flames destroy,
Which hidden erst in wodden horse did lurke.
    I deemd me drownd in deepest gulfe of wo,
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    Deeper then which, no griefe could make me go.

But when my fortune guided me to see
Poore old Prince Priam at the Altar slaine,
More deepe then deepest fell I one degree,
And felt increast my past increasing paine.
    And cryed enrag'd: Conspire now heauens all,
    I am at worst, no worse can me befall.


Yet since Creusa my most louing wife,
Of noblest birth, and no lesse noble mind:
My deare Creusa loued more then life,
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In haplesse haste I flying left behind:
    Where weary she, or missing of her way,
    To bloody Greekes, a bloody death did pay.

And since my father comfort of my care,
I lost likewise, by death from me bereft,
My faithfull friends by shipwrack swallowed are:
And is there yet some further sorrow left?
    Some further wrack to make me more accurst?
    Since fier, sword, seas, & death haue done their worst?

In vaine alas I doubt of what I know,
30

And seeke at thee what in my selfe I finde,
I muse: Liue I and know this? thee forgoe,
To whom so many, such deserts me binde.
    What words can serue this anguish to display,
    Where waight of woe, doth reason ouerway?

Yet since thy selfe hast made thy pen descry
Thy griefes to me, which I with griefe haue red:
Vouchsafe (sweet Queene) to lend these lines thine eye,
And daine to know what reasons haue me led.
    And as thou knowst them, take them to be true,
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    The truer they, the more their truth I rue.

And first (O Queene) I neuer will denie,
On me bestow'd more fauours can be told.
By any words; nor euer greeue shall I,
Elisas name in memorie to hold:
    Whiles of my selfe, my selfe shall mindfull bide,
    Whiles liuely breath, these lims of mine shal gide.

But for the rest, in briefe I neuer ment,
(Deeme not amisse) by stealth my flight to take:
Nor neuer yet pretended such intent
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To any wife, an husband me to make.
    I sought it not, I came for no such band,
    When tost by seas, I lighted on this Land.

If ftiendly Fates such grace to me would yeeld,
As there to rest, where I to rest would choose:
Sweete Troy that now liest equall with the feeld,
Thou shouldst at least, not all thy bewties loose.
    In thee rebuilt againe I would replace,
    The vanquisht remnant of the Troian race.

But now Appollo bids to Italie,
60

To Italie the Lycian gods commaund:
Here must our home, our rest, our countrey bee:
To this our Loue, to this our life is paund.
    If thou a stranger, countries strange mightst seeke,
    What in like case, lets vs to do the leeke.

I neuer do recline my head to rest,
When night the Earth in moystie shade bewraps:
But fancie straight with fearefull sights opprest,
Presents my father in sleepe-waking naps.
    This place with terror bidding me to leaue,
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    And not my sonne of fatall Lands bereaue.

And now of Gods the fatall Messenger
From Ioue himselfe (they both my witnesse be)
Hath message brought, I saw the god most cleere:
I plainely heard what words he spake to me.
    Leaue then with plaints to set vs both on fier,
    Constraind I go, not with wine owne desier.

And what wight can necessitie resist,
Whose Iron bands, both men and gods enchaine?
What she hath spun, who striueth to vntwist,
80

Or sencelesse is, or pleasure takes in paine?
    The sturdie tree holds not his foote so fast,
    As lythie Reed, that bends to euery blast.

Who euer saw those, which of Neptunes land
The waued soyle with yoked Ores to plow:
With top and top against the storme to stand,
Which Aol's youth with blustring breath doth blow
    They rather yeeld vnto his windie will,
    Then choose their liues in bootlesse strife to spill.

And is it then my life I hold so deare,
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That life to hold, I Dido would forgoe?
Or is it death that I so much do feare,
That death to flye I would procure her woe?
    Then Gods me graunt a liuing death to leade
    In greefe, in shame, still dying neuer dead.

But care of my succeeding progenie,
To whom by fates forepointed is their place:
To whom by heauens of earthly Monarchie,
The crowne to weare foregraunted is the grace:
    This care I say, with care for to fulfill,
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    The gods behest reuersed hath my will.

And honors selfe, (which long a sleepe hath laine,
Rockt in Loues cradle) now awaked new,
Cries on vs both : and shall he crie in vaine:
To leaue him quite, or yeeld him seruice dew?
    You hitherto haue euer famous beene,
    Forget not now, what fame becomes a Queene.

And me whom men (perhaps vnworthy) call,
The godly wight and second vnto none:
In Pietie, from pietie to fall,
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Were fouler blot, then any other one.
    Admit (O Queene) that I by thee be staid,
    By wandring Fame, what will of both be said.

Loe here the man that out of Troy burn'd,
Preseru'd his gods, now quite by him contemn'd:
Lo here whose chaste affection cleane is turn'd
To lawlesse lust, late by her selfe condemn'd.
    He leaud, she light, he wicked, she vnwise,
    This fame to earth, this earth will blaze to skies.

You know that Monsters many eyes and eares,
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Listning and prying still to heare and see,
Her tongues and wings which infinite she beares,
As lying oft, so flying alwayes be.
    Of Peeres and Princes euer speaking worst,
    It is her kind, she was by enuie nurst.

You thoughtlesse sit within your Princely bower,
Or minding only loue or liues delight:
Your fame meanetime, like tender springtide flower
The busie blasts of bitter tongues do bite.
    Each deed, each word, yea countenance and thought
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    Of simplest sort, are vnder censure brought.

It is our fate, if not our fault it be,
Which highest mounted, set on Fortunes wheele,
With our owne sense we neither heare nor see,
Which makes vs pinched long before we feele.
    For foes are pleas'd and would it not amend,
    And friends are grieu'd, yet dare not vs offend.

Go then neas, honor bids thee goe,
Honour vnto whose yoke the freest necks are thrall:
For her sake fly, if wilt not for thine owne:
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Though what herein befals, to both befall.
    Protesting still that no mislike or hate,
    Mou'd thee to go, but force of cruell fate.

For were but Dido halfe so finely formd,
VVere Didos eyes but halfe so beamie Ieate:
VVere Didos face, but such as might be scornd,
Her Country poore, her Towne a simple seate,
    Yet hauing there such louing kindnesse found,
    VVhat flinty breast to loue would not be bound.

Much more in me, kind hearted Venus child:
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Not by the lame Smith, but her lustie Loue:
My blinded brother might his bower build,
VVhere so great helps encourage him to proue.
    Her forme, her face, her eyes, her seate, her soyle,
    Disdaining match, so farre from taking foyle.

I both Oenone and the Spartan Queene,
I courtly Dames, and Nymphs of woods and wels:
I haue Chryseis & Bryseis seene,
Yea, Venus selfe, in whom perfection dwels.
    But if some god to chuse would me assigne,
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    I all would prayse, but Dido should be mine.

But hard's my choise, when there the thundering
(Ioue, destruction threatens if I disobay:
And here my friendly foe, heart-pursuing Loue,
By all his powers, coniures my mind to stay.
    Alas, ye gods, your discord lay aside,
    I am but one, and cannot go and bide.

Or Ioue frame thou my destinies anew,
Allot to others fertile Italie,
Or rather Loue at once bid both adew,
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And both restore to former libertie.
    By reasons rule, the younger and the child,
    Should to the elder and the father yeild.

But thou madde dogge, whose reason lies in rage:
Who no rule els, but retchlesnes doth know,
Nor reuerence bearest to thy fathers age,
Nor from thy brother canst abstaine thy blow.
    And least for that fault might with thee be found
    By onely vs, thou didst thy mother wound.

But not to loue, nor any els that dwell
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In starrie house, I for my selfe would speake,
Let gods, let men, let ghosts of gastly hell,
Their wrath on me, with all their mallice wreake:
    Let me be tost as erst, with wracke on seas,
    With warre on land, nor here nor there in ease.

Let all that els can mind or body grieue,
Grieue without meane, my body and my mind:
Only to thee, that only didst relieue
My woes and wants, let me not proue vnkind.
    But thankfull still, that fame may so relate
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    Me thankful still, but stil infortunate.

For where the Seas before mine eyes thou set,
With other daungers likely to ensue:
And how I will an other Dido get,
Alas I meane no getting of a new.
    My head is busied more a thousand fold,
    How since I must, I may forgo the old.

And who hath past as I, the stormes of fire,
Which crazie towers threw topsie turuie downe:
Will litle care, though winters stormie Ire
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With swelling face, makes Tethis face to frowne.
    In sum, I can all paine with patience take,
    But not (O Queene) with patience thee forsake. [n]

Not that I doubt least proud Hyarbas power,
Shall able be, to make my Dido thrall:
Carthage is strong with many a mightie tower,
With broad deepe ditch, vauntgarding stately wall.
    This may and will thee from the Tyrant rid,
    Thee from thy selfe, O Gods the luck forbid. [n]

Where Loue with losse, Impatient meetes with Ire,
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Shame calls in sorrow, hatred brings disdaine;
And all in one, do oftentimes conspire,
To kill the Patient, so to cure the paine.
    Which done, for shame away each other slides,
    But shame, as shamelesse euermore abides.

Far better read sometimes a Wizard old,
How of lost Loue to ease the curelesse wound:
When Paris left her to honour told,
Wherein she said, she greatest comfort found.
    Her hearbs and charmes eased not so her hart,
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    As these plaine precepts of his homely Art.

He bad her banish both from sight and minde,
All Monuments, but chiefly from her sight:
VVhich he departing thence, did leaue behinde,
As pictures, garments, armes, and all that might
    His absent person to remembrance bring:
    For loue of sight, sight doth from obiect spring.

Refraine (qd. he) from comming in the place,
VVhich hath bene priuie to your sweetest ioyes:
Neuer record, or euer with disgrace
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His words and deeds, but cause of your annoyes.
    Deem him & them, and when you think him on,
    Thinke what cause had the Traitor to be gon.

But yet at first in no sort seeke to swage,
These eager torments of heart-breaking griefe:
But whiles Rage runneth, yeeld to running rage,
Till time takes truce, and respit brings reliefe.
    For mightie beasts, and mightie passions both,
    By following tam'd, by stop are made more wroth.

Obserue thou must as diet to this cure,
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That Idlenesse and loanlinesse thou flie:
That vertuous accounts still thou haue in vre,
And sort your selfe with fitting companie.
    For Loue erects in idle breasts his throne,
    And like a Monach loues to sit alone.

Thus much and more the good old man did teach,
That Ida Nymph, in that forsaken state,
As he was hers, so let him be your leach,
Since vnto me all praier comes too late.
    Religion, Honour, Destinies decree,
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    Three by poore one, how can resisted bee?
Tout. Seule.

FINIS.

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