Thursday, November 17

Carthago Delenda Est

The arrow-threat of occupation sighted firmly on my high-walled city, a looming specter of dissolution above the harbor. A pyre built of memories and shame. Pile it up, then, throw oil onto my fires and let the world burn as I do. As for you, Tyrians that were, people of my people--lash his children and all his people with your hatred, give me their suffering as a gift, a holy sacrifice to these ashes. Let there be no affection between these peoples, let there be no unbroken treaty between our tribes.

Now the couch that we shared is ablaze, the fragrant oil burning blue where his dark head once rested, the hungry flames advancing to my seat. As I rise to greet the stars at the dawning of the world, may every god bear witness. The sword is sharp. My time is short. Let the shore make war upon the shore, waves against waves, weapons against weapons; let those fools and their descendants be at war forever. Let them rue each smear of char, each drop of royal blood.  

And you, O avenger, unknown. May you rise from my bones and make them regret. Make them remember. With the strength of my hatred arisen from a wretched heart, make them pay this funeral gift.  

Like Tanit I arise to the night in flames, singing of the sea.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Major Bedhead challenged me with "I don't want the world, I just want your half. - Ana Ng, They Might Be Giants" and I challenged Floreksa with "I hate strategy games."

Queen Elissa of Carthage, more famously known as Dido, makes her most dramatic appearance in Virgil's Aeneid. I found a glorious translation of her final speech (by Mike Salter at Ars Latet Arte), which appears to not only be my favorite part of the whole book, but his as well. If you read that (you ought), you will note that I based this piece heavily upon Mr. Salter's translation, because it was so perfect.  I encourage you to visit his site and read the Latin to yourself, out loud, repeatedly.