Friday, May 15, 2009

Desertion Reconsidered

"Non tamen Aenean, quamvis male cogitat, odi."

I pitied Dido, that her pious lord
Did not slacken his sails or bless her nearness.
My prayers are with him, for his conscience' sake;
His broken vows must vex him, and fate's goading.
His only crime was that he did did not want
For rest except the rest that fate had promised.
But though his mourning her was no event,
Her once loved flesh reduced to unwept ash,
Curse not his coldness, balanced with itself.
The host and queen and mistress met in her
Showed much to him of peace, but could not show
The shadow of Troy's sins that trailed behind.
Gods guide him to his home on Sabine hills;
Beside Sychaeus she resumes her place
And flinches from her quondam king's unfaith,
Who could not know to love her as a church.

-Thomas Banks-

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