haec mihi narraras et
me mouere./ merentem/
ure: minor culpa poena futura mea est.
nec mihi mens dubia est, quin te tua numina/ damnent:
per mare, per terras septima iactat hiems.
fluctibus/ eiectum/ tuta statione recepi
uixque bene audito/ nomine regna dedi.
his tamen officiis/ utinam/ contenta/ fuissem,
nec mea concubitu fama sepulta foret!
illa dies nocuit, qua nos decliue/sub antrum
caeruleus/ subitis compulit imber aquis.
audieram uocem: nymphas/ ululasse putaui;
Eumenides/ fati signa dedere mei.
exige/, laese/ pudor, poenas, uiolataque lecti
iura nec ad cineres fama retenta meos,
uosque, mei/ manes, animaeque cinisque Sychaei
ad quem, me miseram,/ plena/ pudoris eo.
You had told me these things and they moved me: burn me,
the one who deserves it. My punishment will be less than my fault merits.
My mind is not doubtful that your gods condemn you:
the seventh winter tosses you through the sea, through the lands.
I welcomed you, who had been ejected from the waves, with a safe position,
And although I had barely heard your name, I gave you a kingdom.
Nevertheless, I wish that I had been content with these services,
And that the story of our union were buried!
That day harmed me, when a dark rainstorm drove us
Under a sloping cave by means of sudden water.
I had heard a voice: I thought that nymphs howled;
the Furies gave the signals of my doom.
Exact the punishment, oh my broken chastity and violated laws
of the marriage bed and the rumor not relaxed among my ashes,
and you, spirits of my dead people, and the ghost and the ashes of Sychaeus
to whom I go, wretched and full of shame.
haec: accusative, plural,neuter; substantive
;Refers to the account Aeneas told Dido of the disappearance of his wife
Cruesa (Aeneid 2:738-40). Here Dido recalls that she had been
moved by the story and implies that in retrospect she should have seen
the incident as an indication of Aeneas’ lack of fidelity.1
narraras: 2nd person, singular, pluperfect, indicative, active; syncopated form = narra(ve)ras; from narro, narrare
mouere: 3rd person, singular, perfect, active, indicative; from moueo, mouere
merentem: present active participle; accusative, singular, feminine; direct object of ure; from mereo, merere;
ure: 2nd person, singular, present, active, imperative; from ure, urere;
Ovid, echoing Virgil, uses the ideas of fire and burning to refer literally to the Dido’s funeral pyre, while alluding to the fire of love.1
culpa: ablative, singular, feminine; ablative of comparison
futura: future, active, participle; nominative, singular, feminine; modifies poena; from sum, esse
mihi: dative, singular, feminine; dative of possession
quin: conjunction in a negative clause of doubting
damnent: 3rd person, plural, present, active, subjunctive; verb in a clause of doubting
tua numina: nominative, plural, neuter; refers to the household gods which, according to Virgil, Aeneas carried with him from Troy
septima: nominative, singular, feminine; modifies hiems; from septimus,- a,- um;
fluctibus: ablative, plural, masculine; ablative of separation
eiectum: present active participle; accusative, singular, masculine; direct object of recepi; from eiecto, eiectare
In the Aeneid, Aeneas met Dido after he was shipwrecked off the coast of Carthage.
tuta statione: ablative, singular, feminine; ablative of means
audito: perfect passive participle, ablative, singular, neuter; ablative absolute with nomine; literally ‘your name having been heard’
nomine: ablative, singular, neuter; see audito above
dedi: 1st person, singular, perfect, active, indicative; main verb; from do, dare
utinam: introduces a clause of wishing, ‘but that’
contenta fuissem: 1st person, singular, pluperfect, passive, subjunctive; optative subjunctive; the pluperfect subjunctive is used here to indicate a wish in past time that is incapable of fulfillment.
his officiis: ablative, plural, masculine; ablative of respect. According to Knox, this reference is ironic, as Dido had no obligation to Aeneas.1
concubitu: ablative, singular, masculine; ablative of cause; Virgil uses this same word to refer to the ambiguous “marriage” of Dido and Aeneas (Aeneid 4:168). Lines 92-96 contain many allusions to the marriage scene in the cave in the Aeneid 4:160-72.
sepulta foret: 3rd person, perfect, passive, subjunctive; optative subjunctive; subject is fama; from sepelio, sepelire;
According to Knox, translate as ‘consigned to oblivion’.1
nocuit: 3rd person, singular, perfect, active, indicative; main verb; from noceo, nocere;
decliue: accusative, singular, neuter; modifies antrum
sub: preposition + accusative of direction of motion; ‘under, beneath, below’
caeruleus: nominative, singular, masculine; modifies imber
subitis aquis: ablative, plural, feminine; ablative of means
nymphas: accusative, plural, feminine; subject in indirect statement; nymphas ululasse is a direct reference to the Aeneid 4:168.
ululasse: perfect active infinitive; verb in indirect statement
Eumenides: nominative, plural, feminine; In the Aeneid (4: 166-68), Juno and Primeval Earth give the signal for the “marriage” of Dido and Aeneas to begin. Here, Dido revises her perception, seeing the Furies, personifications of the spirit of revenge, as the ones who gave the signal.
fati: genitive, singular, masculine; objective genitive
dedere: 3rd person, plural, perfect, active, indicative; from do, dare
exige: 2nd person, singular, present, active, imperative; from exigo, exigere;
laese: perfect passive participle; vocative, singular, masculine, modifies pudor; from laedo, laedere; introduces a string of vocatives which recall the vocatives employed by Virgil in Dido’s cursing of Aeneas as he leaves her (Aeneid 4:607-12).
pudor: vocative, singular, masculine; ‘chastity, modesty’; contrast this meaning with the use of pudor, meaning ‘shame’ in line 99.
lecti: genitive, singular, masculine; ‘the bridal bed’ (i.e., marriage); modifies iura
Line 97b: This line and lecti in line 97a are left out of most texts due to manuscript difficulties. As a result, there is controversy about whether these lines can be attributed to Ovid.1
iura: vocative, plural, neuter; from ius, iuris;
retenta: perfect passive participle; vocative, singular, feminine,.; modifies fama; from retineo, retinere
uos: = vos
mei: genitive, singular, feminine; possessive genitive
manes: vocative, plural, masculine; ; from manes, manium; ‘shades of the dead’, ‘ghosts’
Sychaei: genitive, singular, masculine; possessive genitive with anima and cinis
miseram: accusative, singular, feminine; accusative of respect; from miser, -a, -um
plena: nominative, singular, feminine; modifies the subject of eo (i.e., Dido)
pudoris: genitive, singular, masculine; objective genitive; modifies plena
Note: All superscript numbers (i.e., 1) refer
to Peter Knox's commentary.