Stark R (Vergil) Crater

Not far from thence, the Mournful Fields appear 

So call’d from lovers that inhabit there. 

The souls whom that unhappy flame invades, 

In secret solitude and myrtle shades 

Make endless moans, and, pining with desire, 

Lament too late their unextinguish’d fire. 

Here Procris, Eriphyle here he found, 

Baring her breast, yet bleeding with the wound 

Made by her son. He saw Pasiphae there, 

With Phaedra’s ghost, a foul incestuous pair. 

There Laodamia, with Evadne, moves, 

Unhappy both, but loyal in their loves: 

Caeneus, a woman once, and once a man, 

But ending in the sex she first began. 

Not far from these Phoenician Dido stood, 

Fresh from her wound, her bosom bath’d in blood; 

Whom when the Trojan hero hardly knew, 

Obscure in shades, and with a doubtful view, 

(Doubtful as he who sees, thro’ dusky night, 

Or thinks he sees, the moon’s uncertain light,) 

With tears he first approach’d the sullen shade; 

And, as his love inspir’d him, thus he said: 

“Unhappy queen! then is the common breath 

Of rumor true, in your reported death, 

And I, alas! the cause? By Heav’n, I vow, 

And all the pow’rs that rule the realms below, 

Unwilling I forsook your friendly state, 

Commanded by the gods, and forc’d by fate- 

Those gods, that fate, whose unresisted might 

Have sent me to these regions void of light, 

Thro’ the vast empire of eternal night. 

Nor dar’d I to presume, that, press’d with grief, 

My flight should urge you to this dire relief. 

Stay, stay your steps, and listen to my vows: 

‘T is the last interview that fate allows!” 

In vain he thus attempts her mind to move 

With tears, and pray’rs, and late-repenting love. 

Disdainfully she look’d; then turning round, 

But fix’d her eyes unmov’d upon the ground, 

And what he says and swears, regards no more 

Than the deaf rocks, when the loud billows roar; 

But whirl’d away, to shun his hateful sight, 

Hid in the forest and the shades of night; 

Then sought Sichaeus thro’ the shady grove, 

Who answer’d all her cares, and equal’d all her love.


Publius Virgillius Maro, better known in English as the poet Vergil, lived from 70 – 19 B.C.E. during the Augustan period of the Roman Empire. He is perhaps known for his epic poem the Aeneid, which was written between the years 29 – 19 B.C.E.


The name Vergil Crater was never adopted by the IAU. The approved name for this lunar feature is Stark R.