Night fell and weary bodies everywhere
Sought rest. The woods and the killing seas were still,
The stars mild in mid-orbit – all nature rested,
The beasts and the colored birds and whatever widely
The lapsing waters hide or the hard earth holds in thicket,
All were enthralled in sleep.
But Dido, no.
She could not sleep. Nor eye nor heart could close.
Redoubled anguish, unrequitable love
And burning anger pulsed in her soul in turn;
Obsessed, consumed, with room for nothing else.
“What shall I do next? Ogle the neighbors
I mocked before? Go on my knees to seduce
Those desert sheiks I have so often scorned?
Shall I follow the fleet and the flick of a Trojan finger?
What will they care that once I helped them, what will it
And even if I chose to, who would receive me now
Into his proud ship?
Do I still not understand
The falsity of Laomedon’s foul race?
Shall I go alone then and prostitute my body
To the mocking sailors? Shall I uproot my people?
I emigrated from Sidon and bade them sail
By law to face the vagaries of the winds.
Die as deserve you! Sheathe your grief in a sword!
O Anna, my sister, it was you who forced me
On my foe. I was mad – you made me seem I was sane.
I broke every law of the essence of true marriage,
I broke them like a beast, my faith vowed to Sychaeus,
I broke every vow like a beast: could I escape scot-free
And think I would not suffer the uttermost?”
Her heart was bursting with such agonizings.