Honos

Paul Cézanne, Énée recontre Didon à Carthage (ca. 1875)

Tum sic reginam adloquitur cunctisque repente
improvisus ait: ‘coram, quem quaeritis, adsum,
Troïus Aeneas, Libycis ereptus ab undis.
o sola infandos Troiae miserata labores,
quae nos, reliquias Danaum, terraeque marisque
omnibus exhaustos iam casibus, omnium egenos,
urbe, domo socias, grates persolvere dignas
non opis est nostrae, Dido, nec quidquid ubique est
gentis Dardaniae, magnum quae sparsa per orbem.
di tibi, si qua pios respectant numina, si quid
usquam iustitiae est, et mens sibi conscia recti,
praemia digna ferant. quae te tam laeta tulerunt
saecula? qui tanti talem genuere parentes?
in freta dum fluvii current, dum montibus umbrae
lustrabunt convexa, polus dum sidera pascet,
semper honos nomenque tuum laudesque manebunt,
quae me cumque vocant terrae.’ sic fatus, amicum
Ilionea petit dextra laevaque Serestum,
post alios, fortemque Gyan fortemque Cloanthum.
(Vergil, Aeneid 1.594-612)

Then thus he addresses the queen, and, unforeseen by all, suddenly speaks: ‘I, whom you seek, am here before you, Aeneas of Troy, snatched from the Libyan waves. O you who alone have pitied Troy’s unutterable woes, you who grant us—the remnant left by the Greeks, now outworn by every mischance of land and sea, and destitute of all—a share in your city and home, to pay you fitting thanks, Dido, is not in our power, nor in theirs who anywhere survive of Trojan race, scattered over the wide world. May the gods, if any divine powers have regard for the good, if there is any justice anywhere—may the gods and the consciousness of right bring you worthy rewards! What happy ages bore you? What glorious parents gave birth to so noble a child? While rivers run to ocean, while on the mountains shadows move over slopes, while heaven feeds the stars, ever shall your honour, your name, and your praises abide, whatever be the lands that summon me!’ So saying, he grasps his dear Ilioneus with the right hand, and with the left Serestus; then others, brave Gyas and brave Cloanthus.

(tr. Henry Rushton Fairclough, revised by George P. Goold)

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