VENUS. What should this mean? My doves are back returned,
Who warn me of such danger prest at hand
To harm my sweet Ascanius' lovely life.
Juno, my mortal foe, what make you here?
Avaunt, old witch, and trouble not my wits.
JUNO. Fie, Venus, that such causeless words of wrath
Should e'er defile so fair a mouth as thine.
Are not we both sprung of celestial race
And banquet as two sisters with the gods?
Why is it then displeasure should disjoin
Whom kindred and acquaintance co-unites?
VENUS. Out, hateful hag! Thou wouldst have slain my son,
Had not my doves discovered thy intent.
But I will tear thy eyes from forth thy head,
And feast the birds with their blood-shotten balls,
If thou but lay thy fingers on my boy.
JUNO. Is this then all the thanks that I shall have
For saving him from snakes' and serpents' stings
That would have killed him, sleeping as he lay?
What though I was offended with thy son,
And wrought him mickle woe on sea and land,
When, for the hate of Trojan Ganymede,
That was advanced by my Hebe's shame,
And Paris' judgment of the heavenly ball,
I mustered all the winds unto his wrack
And urged each element to his annoy.
Yet now I do repent me of his ruth
And wish that I had never wronged him so.
Bootless, I saw, it was to war with fate
That hath so many unresisted friends,
Wherefore I changed my counsel with the time
And planted love where envy erst had sprung.
VENUS. Sister of Jove, if that thy love be such
As these thy protestations do paint forth,
We two as friends one fortune will divide.
Cupid shall lay his arrows in thy lap
And to a sceptre change his golden shafts;
Fancy and modesty shall live as mates
And thy fair peacocks by my pigeons perch.
Love my Aeneas, and desire is thine;
The day, the night, my swans, my sweets, are thine.
JUNO. More than melodious are these words to me,
That overcloy my soul with their content.
Venus, sweet Venus, how may I deserve
Such amorous favours at thy beauteous hand?
But that thou mayst more easily perceive
How highly I do prize this amity,
Hark to a motion of eternal league,
Which I will make in quittance of thy love.
Thy son, thou know'st, with Dido now remains
And feeds his eyes with favours of her court;
She likewise in admiring spends her time
And cannot talk nor think of aught but him.
Why should not they then join in marriage
And bring forth mighty kings to Carthage town,
Whom casualty of sea hath made such friends?
And, Venus, let there be a match confirmed
Betwixt these two whose loves are so alike,
And both our deities, conjoined in one,
Shall chain felicity unto their throne.
VENUS. Well could I like this reconcilement's means,
But much I fear my son will ne'er consent,
Whose armed soul, already on the sea,
Darts forth her light to Lavinia's shore.
JUNO. Fair queen of love, I will divorce these doubts
And find the way to weary such fond thoughts.
This day they both a-hunting forth will ride
Into these woods adjoining to these walls,
When in the midst of all their gamesome sports,
I'll make the clouds dissolve their wat'ry works
And drench Silvanus' dwellings with their showers.
Then in one cave the queen and he shall meet
And interchangeably discourse their thoughts,
Whose short conclusion will seal up their hearts
Unto the purpose which we now propound.
VENUS. Sister, I see you savour of my wiles.
Be it as you will have it for this once.
Meantime Ascanius shall be my charge,
Whom I will bear to Ida in mine arms,
And couch him in Adonis' purple down.