Dido, it would have ended anyway.
Command the sun to linger at its crest
in hot abeyance—order noon to stand
stopped, as if there isn’t any west—
maybe you can get it to obey.
Not love. There’s never been an almanac
that tells when an Aeneas (overdue
in Latium) will leave. No, faithfulness
is for Achates: Love? It barely tops
its hottest summer height before it drops—
as your desire—burnt out—would have, too.
Try something easier, for practice; try
to anchor the daylight and hold the bright ship back
that carries the sun across the windy sky.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 20 Number 5, on page 39
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