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Dido to Aeneas


Æneas would from Dido part,
    But Dido not content,
She mou'd him first with words,
    And then this Letter sent.

So at Meanders streames,
    when fates bids life be gone:
The snowe white Swan on mossie grasse,
    out-stretched tunes his mone.
Not hoping thee to moue,

    this suite I vndertake,
The heauens at the motion fround
    when first we did it make:
But fame of due desert,
    my body and my minde
So lewdly lost; the losse is light,
    to loose these words of winde.
Resolu'd thou art to go,
    and wofull Dido leaue:
Those windes shall blowe thy faith away

    that shall thy sailes vpheaue.
Resolu'd thy ships at once,
    and promise to vntie,
To seeke Italian Realmes, which yet
    thou knowst not where they lie.
Nought mou'd, with Carthage new,
    nor walles that growing be,
Nor that there was committed all
    the soueraigntie to thee.
Thou leauest things full made,

    thou seekest new to make,
To search about for Lands vnfound,
    Land found thou doest forsake.
But graunt the land thou finde,
    to thee who will it giue?
Why will the soyle to straungers yeeld,
    whereon themselues do liue?
Thou must an other Loue,
    An other Dido finde:
And which againe thou maist vndo,

    An other promise binde.
When wilt thou into forme
    a Towne like Carthage bring:
And from thy Pallace top behold,
    thy subiects as their King?
If all things else succeed,
    and nothing crosse thy minde:
What place will euer yeeld to thee
    a wife to thee so kinde?
For I like waxen torch

    in Sulphur rold do burne:
Each day, each night Æneas makes
    vnto my thoughts returne.
Vnthankfull he indeed,
    And deafe to what I giue:
And such, as were I not a foole,
    I would without him liue.
Yet though his thoughts be ill,
    I hate him not therefore:
Complaine I do of his vntroath,

    complaining Loue therefore.
Thy daughter Venus spare,
    thy brother hard embrace:
O brother Loue, within thy Campe,
    point him a Souldiers place.
Or me, who first began,
    for Loue I not disdaine,
Let him but onely subiect yeeld,
    to this my carefull paine.
But ah I am beguilde,

    his bostes are bosted lyes:
Of mothers line: from mothers kinde,
    in all his course he flyes.
Thee some vnwieldie stone,
    or Rockey Mountaines bred:
Or oakes which on high rocks do grow,
    or beasts by Rauen fed.
Or Sea with windes turmoild,
    as now thou seest it sho:
Yet thitherward art ready bent,

    in spight of waues to go.
What mean'st thou? winter lets,
    let winters suite preuaile:
See with what force the Easterne blasts
    the rolling waues assaile.
Since windes and waters do,
    then thou more iustice showe,
Let me, what more to thee I would,
    to winde and waters owe.
I am not so much worth,

    which sure thou dost not thinke.
That while on Seas from me thou flyest,
    thy selfe in Seas shouldst shrinke.
Thou precious hatred bear'st,
    and pearst exceeding hie:
If so thou mayst of me be rid,
    thou count it cheape to die.
The windes their windie force
    anon will lay aside:
And Triton will with Azure steeds

    On leueld waters glide.
Now (would the gods) as they
    so thou couldst chaunged be:
Thou wilt vnles thy hardnesse do
    far passe the hardest tree.
What if of furious Seas
    the force thou didst not know?
Which tride so oft and found so ill,
    yet still to sea wilt go.
And though they serue at will,

    when thou dost Anchors way:
Yet in so long a voyage, chaunce
    no fewe mischaunces may.
And sure to crosse the Seas,
    small fruite faith-breakers gaine:
That place on false deceiuers doth
    inflict their falshoods paine.
But most when Loue is wrongd,
    for why? of Loue the Dame,
First naked out of watrie waues,

    about Cythera came.
Least hurt who hurteth me
    vndone, vndo I shall,
I feare, and least by wrack on seas,
    In seas my foes shall fall.
Liue: so I better shall
    then thee by death destroy:
Thou of my death, not I of thine,
    the Title shall enioy.
Suppose a whirlwinde swift,

    God make these words but wi nde
Catch thee vnwares, what courage the~, [n]
    what thoughts will passe thy minde?
Loe, straight with falshood fraught,
    thy periur'd tongue appeares:
And Dido driuen by Troians guile,
    of life to short her yeares.
Of thy betraied wife,
    will stand before thy sight:
The Imagc sad;disheneiled,

    with bleeding wounds bedight.
Let come (then wilt thou say)
    I haue deseru'd this all:
And bent at thee thou wilt suppose,
    what euer lightnings fall.
Both seas and thou do rage,, [n]
    let both and breathing take:
This small delay (no small reward)
    thy Iourney safe shall make.
For thee my care is least,

    thy childe let spared be:
Thou hast the glory of my death,
    sufficient that for thee.
What hath thy little sonne?
    what hath thy gods deseru'd?
That them the waters swallow should
    from fyers force preseru'd.
But false thou hast no such,
    as me thy brags haue told,
Nor euer didst on shoulders lift,

    thy gods and father old.
Thou lyest in this and all,
    thy tongue his guilefull part
Begins not first on me to play,
    nor I first feele the smart.
Aske where the mother is,
    of faire Iulus gone:
Her stonie husband her forsooke,
    and so she died alone.
It pittied me to heare,

    which iust recompence:
For me had bene, but that such paine
    is lesse then mine offence.
That thee thy gods condemne,
    my heart doth me assure:
Who seuen yeares now on land on seas
    such tossing doest endure.
I thee by wrack vpthrow'n
    in harbour sure did saue,
And scarcely hauing heard thy name,

    to thee my Kingdome gaue.
O would with these good turnes
    I me content had found:
And that in famous fame of mine
    were buried deepe in ground.
That day my woe was wrought,
    when vnder stooping bower
Of mossie denne we met alone,
    compeld by sodaine shower.
Some howling sounds I heard,

    the Nymphs I thought did so,
They Furyes were, who in that sort
    foretold my fatall woe.
Chast Law of shamefast Loue,
    reuenge on me this blame:
Ill to Sicheus kept, to whom
    aye me I go with shame.
Whose sacred Image I
    in marble Chappell keepe,
With leauie branches hid from sight,

    and wooll of whitest sheepe.
Hence thrice I heard me cald,
    I knew his well knowne voyce,
Himselfe thrice sayd: Come Dido, Come:
    with softly wispring noyse.
I come without delay,
    which once was onely thine,
Yet me the more to linger makes,
    this shamefull fact of mine.
But pardon thou my fault,

    whose deed might well deceaue,
To others he in mine offence,
    the lesse offence doth leaue.
His mother heauens Impe,
    his sire a godly lode,
Vnto his sonne by reason bred
    sure hope of his abode.
If needs I must haue er'd
    mine error had good ground,
Put faith in him, he no way els

    vnworthy shall be found.
My faults to end persist,
    as they at first begun:
And their vnluckie spindels still
    in one like tenor run.
My husband fell to ground
    before the Altars slaine,
My brother of that wicked act
    doth reape the wicked gaine.
My selfe exild, his graue

    and countrey both forsake:
And forced am, by foe pursude
    vneasie wayes to take.
I land on land vnknowne
    escapt from foe and waue:
And bought the shore which freely yet
    to thee false wretch I gaue.
A Towne I built, whose wals
    far out extended lie:
Prouoking places neere about

    maligning to enuie.
Wars grow, poore stranger I,
    and woman vext with warres:
Scarse know how armour to prouide
    and strength my gate with barres.
When thousands to me su'de:
    now all against me come:
Grieu'd that before their beds, I haue
    preferd I know not whom.
Why stick'st to yeeld me bownd

    into Hiarbas hands,
I will not sticke to yeeld mine armes
    to bide thy wicked bands.
A brother eke I haue,
    who wicked hands anew,
Imbrewed first in husbands blood,
    would faine in mine imbrew.
Lay downe thy sacred Gods,
    whom touching dost pollute,
Vnseemly with vngodly hands

    doth godly worship sute.
If they from fire escapt,
    that thou mightst them adore:
That euer they escapt from fire
    thy Gods repent them sore.
And what, O wicked man, [n]
    with child if Dido be:
And of thy selfe some part of thee
    there lies inclosde in me?
The Dame and ruthfull babe

    at once shall be forlorne:
And by thy meanes to death be broght
    who yet was neuer borne.
So with his parent shall
    Iulus brother die:
One death at once shall two dispatch,
    whose liues in one doth lie.
But God bids thee to go,
    would God he had forbid
To come; that of thy Troian troupes

    my Carthage had bin rid.
This God no doubt your guide,
    doth you those tempests rayse:
And makes you on those flowing floods
    so long to spend your dayes.
To Troy backe to turne,
    it scarse were worth thy payne:
If as whiles Hector liu'd it was,
    so now it were againe.
Not to Seamander you,

    but Tibers streames doe goe,
Where graunt ariu'd, what are you els,
    but such as no man know?
But as that land is hid,
    and from thy fleet doth make,
It seemes old age will sooner thee,
    then thou it ouertake.
Yet rather as my dower,
    this Realme of mine receaue,
With all Pigmalions wealth I brought,

    and farther wandering leaue.
And into Carthage Troy
    with better hap translate,
Where thou shalt sacred Scepter beare,
    enthron'd in royall state.
If thou do wars affect,
    or if thy sonnes desire,
Of triumph matter to procure
    by martiall meanes aspire:
That nought may wanting be,

    such foes we will him yeild,
This place for lawes of peace is apt,
    apt is for speare and sheeld.
Now by thy mother thou
    thy brother quiuer'd boy,
By the companions of thy flight
    thy gods, the gods of Troy.
So may thy remnant left,
    in field all conquest win,
As Troian warre of all thy losse,

    the finall end haue bin.
Ascanius liue his yeeres,
    with all good fortune blest:
And softly may the buried bones
    of old Anchises rest.
Spare now, O spare thine house, [n]
    which giues it selfe to thee:
But that indeed I haue thee lou'd,
    what fault canst find in me?
Of Pythia I am not,

    nor great Mycenae borne,
My husband nor my father hath
    against thee armour worne.
Of wife if thou thinke skorne,
    not wife, cut hostesse call:
So thine she be, what Dido be,
    she nought regards at all.
The seas to me are knowne,
    on Affricke coast that lie:
At times they do free passage graunt,

    at times they do denie.
When weather will permit,
    hoyse sayle and set from land:
For now the lauuching of thy shippes
    the flowing weedes withstand.
Charge me to wait the time
    thou shalt go sure away:
Not then, no though thy selfe desire,
    my selfe will let thee stay.
Thy mates some rest require,

    thy Fleet sore rent with waues:
And scarsely yet halfe rigd anew,
    for some small respite craues.
For w hat haue I deseru'd?
    what owe to thee I may
Henceforth, for all my marriage hopes,
    I craue but small delay.
Whiles stormie seas grow calme,
    while custome tempers loue:
How patiently mishaps to beare,

    I shall the practise proue.
If not, my life to spill
    with full intent I mind:
Of crueltie thou canst not long
    in me a subiect find.
Would God thou didst but see
    mine Image as I wright:
I wright, and full against my breast
    thy naked sword is pight.
And downe my cheeks along

    the teares do trickling fall:
Which by and by in stead of teares,
    ingrayne in blood I shall.
How well with this my fate,
    these gifts of thine agree,
To furnish out my funerall,
    the cost will slender be.
My breast shall not be now
    first pierced with this blade,
For why? there is a former wound,

    which cruell Loue hath made.
Anne sister, sister Anne,
    ill priuie to my falt,
Performe thy last obsequious loue,
    vnto my bones thou shalt.
When flames haue me consum'd,
    write not on marble graue:
Here Dido lies, Sicheus wife.
    but this verse let me haue.
Aeneas, Dido gaue

    both cause and sword of death:
Dido vsing her owne hand,
    depriu'd her selfe of breath.

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