And styled by modern Lombards pensive Chess.
Yet some that fled from Troy to Rome report,
Penthesilea Priam did oblige;
Her Amazons his Trojans taught this sport,
To pass the tedious hours of ten years’ siege.
There she presents herself, whilst kings and peers
Look gravely on whilst fierce Bellona fights;
Yet maiden modesty her motions steers,
Nor rudely skips o’er bishops’ heads like knights. 20
Having at large declared Jove’s embassy,
Cyllenius from Aeneas straight doth fly;
He, loth to disobey the god’s command,
Nor willing to forsake this pleasant land,
Ashamed the kind Eliza to deceive,
But more afraid to take a solemn leave,
He many ways his lab’ring thoughts revolves;
But fear o’ercoming shame, at last resolves
(Instructed by the god of thieves) to steal
Himself away, and his escape conceal. 10
He calls his captains, bids them rig the fleet,
That at the port they privately should meet;
And some dissembled colour to project,
That Dido should not their design suspect;
But all in vain he did his plot disguise;
No art a watchful lover can surprise.
She the first motion finds; love though most sure,
Yet always to itself seems unsecure.
That wicked fame which their first love proclaim’d,
Foretells the end: the queen with rage inflamed, 20
Thus greets him: ’Thou dissembler! would’st thou fly
Out of my arms by stealth perfidiously?
Could not the hand I plighted, nor the love,
Nor thee the fate of dying Dido move?
And in the depth of winter, in the night,
Dark as thy black designs to take thy flight,
To plough the raging seas to coasts unknown,
The kingdom thou pretend’st to not thine own!
Were Troy restored, thou shouldst mistrust a wind
False as thy vows, and as thy heart unkind. 30
Fly’st thou from me? By these dear drops of brine
I thee adjure, by that right hand of thine,
By our espousals, by our marriage-bed,
If all my kindness ought have merited;
If ever I stood fair in thy esteem,
From ruin me and my lost house redeem.
Cannot my prayers a free acceptance find?
Nor my tears soften an obdurate mind?
My fame of chastity, by which the skies
I reached before, by thee extinguish’d dies. 40
Into my borders now Iarbas falls,
And my revengeful brother scales my walls;
The wild Numidians will advantage take;
For thee both Tyre and Carthage me forsake.
Hadst thou before thy flight but left with me
A young Aeneas who, resembling thee,
Might in my sight have sported, I had then
Not wholly lost, nor quite deserted been;
By thee, no more my husband, but my guest,
Betray’d to mischiefs, of which death’s the least.’ 50