The Death of Dido
—Aeneid IV, 692-705
She searched the sky for light, and moaned to find it. Then mighty Juno, for pity on long pain and a hard-dying soul, sent Iris to unbind her from the struggle in her knotted limbs, insane with grief, burning with grief before her hour. And being this was no deserved or fated death, Proserpina had not yet snipped a lock of yellow hair nor assigned the queen to her station beneath. Thus, dewy, saffron-winged Iris, trailing a rush of colours opposite the sun, across the sky, alights by Dido's head. “I will sanctify this token to Dis and loose you from your flesh” —she speaks, and grips and shears a tress, and here, warmth ebbs to nothing, life fades and thins on air.
—De Rerum Natura II, 352-370
Take humans—but also shoals of scaley swimmers, and peaceful herds, and the fiercest of wild beasts, all breeds of fowls, those flocking in wetlands, in pleasant places, on banks and brooks and lakes, and those that flit and flutter through trackless woods— examine any individual, of any species, and you will find all differ in appearance. By no other means could a cub pick out its dam, or mother know her child, as we see they can no less surely than we can, by certain signs. Often there's a sacrifice—a calf is slain at the gods' trimmed shrine, the incense-smudged altar, and breathes out the hot gush of his heart's blood. His grieving mother roams the green uplands and licks his cleft-footed prints from the soil. She looks unresting everywhere, anxious to happen on her missing young, then stands and louds the leafy grove with lowing; now goes, and again, to his stall, pierced by need of him. No tender willows nor grass thriving in dew, nor any streams descending between low banks, divert her mind or dull this sharpest grief; and the sight of other calves grazing sweet pasture cannot pull her to them or lessen her pain, so direly she needs what she knows as her own. Meanwhile, the young, tremulous-voiced kids recognize their horned mothers, and playful lambs their bleating flocks. Thus nature would have it— each returns surely to its own milky teat.