Before, she made music with lute and voice. It was not her only pursuit, for a virtuous Roman woman must spin and weave to clothe her family, and an activity that produced nothing tangible seemed to savor too much of frivolity. But music was her delight. Before, even stern Titus smiled to hear her play, drawing a rippling fall of music from the instrument or singing the ancient hymns to the gods in due season. Now that music was lost to her, a small loss among so many losses, and yet it was not the least of the things she wept for.
The night after Titus Andronicus was buried in the tomb of his ancestors, Lavinia dreamed of a youth with a golden bow at his back and the sunlight caught in his hair. “This was an ill deed,” he said, and frowned. “If your father had not been too impatient, I myself would have taken vengeance for your wrongs. It is I, the god of Delos, who take heed even for the birds who nest in my temple eaves. Have they taken your voice, sweet bird, and the hands with which you used to play for me? You have lost your voice, but I will lend you mine. Come to my temple, and there become my priestess. My prophetic voice will speak through you, and I will guide the Roman state.”
And so it was that Lavinia lived as a priestess in Apollo’s temple for the rest of her days, honored by her fellow servants of the god and reverenced by the people of Rome.