Nota mihi freta sunt Afrum plangentia litus;

  temporibus certis dantque negantque uiam.

Cum dabit aura uiam, praebebis carbasa uientis;

  nunc leuis eiectam continet alga ratem.

Tempus ut obseruem, manda mihi: certior ibis,

  nec te, si cupies, ipsa manere sinam.

Et socii requiem poscunt, laniataque classis

  postulat exiguas semirefecta moras.

Pro meritis et siqua tibi praebebimus ultra ,

  non spe coniguii tempora parua peto,

dum freta mitescunt et amor, dum tempore et usu

  fortiter edisco tristia posse pati.

Si minus, est animus nobis effundere uitam;

  in me crudelis non potes esse diu.


The seas beating on the African shores were well-known to me;

  at certain times they give the path, and at certain times deny it.

When the breeze will give the way, you will give your sail to the wind;

  now the light seaweed holds your ship driven ashore.   

Entrust to me the watching of the weather; you will sail more certainly,

  I, although you desire, will not allow you to stay.  

Even your allies demand rest, and your mangled,

  half-repaired fleet calls for a short delay;

due to your kindnesses and some other thing that I will give to you,

  due to my hope of wedlock, I seek a little time,

while the seas and my love grow mild, while through time and need

  I learn to be able to put up with my woes strongly.  

If less, my purpose is to pour forth my life;

  you are not able to be cruel to me for long.   


plangentia: present, neuter, participle with freta ( nominative, plural, neuter), object is Afrum litus ; verb plango normally refers to the beating of one’s breast 1

nota sunt: 3rd person, plural, perfect, passive, indicative; from nosco, noscere

temporibus: ablative of time when; ‘temporibus certis’ used in meteorological observation 1, Dido here is altering her appeal for Aeneas to stay by using poor weather conditions as a deterrent. dantque, negantque: 3rd person, plural, active, present, indicative

cum dabit: future used in place of subjunctive in a temporal cum clause

eiactam: perfect passive participle; accusative, singular, feminine; modifies ratem; Dido here is reminding Aeneas how he arrived in Carthage1, thrown by the storm of Hera’s planning

continet alga ratem:   seaweed piled on a shore was a sign of stormy seas 1

tempus ut obseruem: idiom, ‘watch for an opportunity’1

manda: future imperative; manda mihi ut observem tempus; ut introduces result clause

ibis: 2nd person, singular, future, active, indicative; from < eo, ivi

si:, = etsi, used as concessive; ‘although’

manere: present, active, infinitive, complementary with sinam

sinam: 1st person, singular, future, active, indicative; from sino, sinere

laniata, semirefecta: perfect passive participles; nominative, singular, feminine; modifying classis

pro: used with peto; ‘due to … and…, I seek….’

siqua … ultra: an allusion to the possibility of her pregnancy1

spe: ablative, singular, feminine; used with pro taken from line 177; other sources of Heroides VII have pro in place of non here

mitescunt: 3rd person, plural, present, active, indicative; subject ‘freta et amor’,   from mitesco, mitescere; Dido is comparing her love to the waves of the sea

tempore: ablative, singular, neuter; ablative of attendant circumstances

usu: ablative, singular, masculine; ablative of attendant circumstances

posse: present active infinitive, used with edisco; introduces pati

pati: present passive infinitive; form of deponent verb (thus active meaning), infinitive complementary to posse: edisco posse pati, ‘I learn to be able to put up with….’

si minus: minus = non manes; Dido is threatening to take her own life if Aeneas does not stay 1

effundere: present active infinitive, used as predicate adjective of animus: nobis animus est effundere; ‘my purpose is to pour forth’

crudelis: nominative, singular, masculine; predicate adjective modifying subject of non potes (Aeneas)

diu: adverb, modifies esse crudelis





1   Knox’s commentary