In the Roman legend Aeneid, Aeneas's (a Trojan warrior) ship is blown off course, leaving him shipwrecked in Carthage. He and Dido, the queen of Carthage, have a love affair which is disrupted when Aeneas is summoned back to Italy. Heartbroken, Queen Dido orders a large pyre built. On the pyre, she impales herself and is set on fire so Aeneas will see it from the ship. In the opera, she sings this song right before her death.
Watch videos with other singers performing The Queen of Carthage: