did you, even now, hope
to shut your eyes to so huge a crime,
my treacherous one, to think you could
stilly withdraw from my kingdom?
did our love not once hold you?
our ardent vows? or even I, Dido,
preparing to succumb barbaric death?
how could you, callous you!,
take wing to prepare your fleet in winter
—i’m sure to run aground—
when Boreas thrashes against the heavens?
but, if you weren’t pursuing unfamiliar soil
or incited to father a distant nation,
if ancient Ilium sturdily grimed through the war,
would you keep piercing the
wave-washed oceans in your armada?
why do you elude me; is it
because i have acceded irreality?
am i worthless, now?—i implore you!
by these tears, and your troth,
by our wedding vows, and this oath
before ***** we began:
if i deserve anything good from you,
or if you think, i was good enough
for you; pity this household
decaying before us! it was once yours, too.
and if my prayers are still yours,
gut them from my mind!
for now the Libyans and Numidians
hate me! dear Tyre is virulent!
as my honour and once-righteous
stature has vanished, just as i was
about to touch my constellated infamy.
for what destiny, my foreign one,
do you set me aside; ever-knowing
my imminent death?
seeing that only your name endures
from this union, why do i bother to keep living?
am i waiting for my brother, Pygmalion,
to destroy my Carthage’s walls, or a
Gætulian Iarbus to make me his concubine?
if only you gave me a son,
a little Æneas to play in my courts,
a boy to remind me of you;
only then, perhaps,
would i not be so utterly
quis fallere possit amantem?
who can delude a lover?
a modern reworking of Vergil's Æneid IV.305-330 from the original Latin
I've been wanting to do a translation of the Æneid for a while now; this is the beginning. I've studied that book more than even Latin teachers have - I am versed! - but now, I guess I need to put my spin on things. It was late March 2014 when I was depressed with my life again (It happens a lot, but it helps me feel & understand what others go through). I put myself in Dido's shoes and tried to feel as she would when Æneas just got up and started leaving…your life was pulled out from under you and there's nowhere to go. She was angry and heartbroken. Book 4 is my favourite, and this oration Dido spoke to Æneas somehow landed on my mind and I translated according to my feelings.
I was singing Björk's "Sonnets/Unrealities XI"…and I thought, e.e.cummings's words and Björk's musical representation fit perfectly into Dido's frame of reference. "It may not always be so, and I say, that if your lips, which I have loved, should touch another's..." It's just as if Dido is singing these words from the underworld, after she couldn't take the pain of not having Æneas with her & committed suicide. Dido's looking at Lavinia in Æneas’s arms, and it's killing her more, even though she's already dead. "If this should be, I say, if this should be. You, Æneas, of my heart, send me a little word, that I may go to Lavinia and take her hand, saying, accept all happiness from me." The fates have spoken and there's nothing left for Dido to do but to roam the lost lands with Sychaeus.