The text, and the Purcell opera, allude to the Aeneid, the Roman legend of the Trojan warrior Aeneas, traveling to Italy from the betrayed and fallen Troy Aeneas falls in love with their queen, Dido, but dutifully departs for Italy leaving her.
When I am laid, am laid in earth, May my wrongs create No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate. Remember me, but ah! forget my fate.