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What helps it thou wert given to please my wench ?
Birds' hapless glory, death thy life doth quench.
Thou with thy quills mightst make green emeralds dark,
And pass our scarlet of red saffron's mark.
No such voice-feigning bird was on the ground;
Thou spok'st thy words so well with stammering sound.
Envy hath rapt thee: no fierce wars thou mov’d'st ;
Vain-babbling speech and pleasant peace thou lov’d'st.
Behold, how quails among their battles live!
Which do perchance old age unto them give.
A little fill'd thee ; and, for love of talk,
Thy mouth to taste of many meats did balk.
Nuts were thy food, and poppy caus'd thee sleep;
Pure water's moisture thirst away did keep.
The ravenous vulture lives; the puttock hovers
Around the air ; the cadess rain discovers ;
And crow survives arms-bearing Pallas' hate,
Whose life níne ages scarce bring out of date.
Dead is that speaking image of man's voice,
The parrot given me, the far world's best choice.
The greedy spirits take the best things first,
Supplying their void places with the worst.
Thersites did Protesilaus survive ;
And Hector died, his brothers yet alive.
My wench's vows for thee what should I show,
Which stormy south winds into sea did blow?
The seventh day came ; none following mightst thou
And the Fate's distaff empty stood to thee.
Yet words in thy benummed palate rung ;
“ Farewell, Corinna,” cried thy dying tongue.
Elysium bath a wood of holm trees black,
Whose earth doth not perpetual green grass lack.
There good birds rest (if we believe things hidden),
Whence unclean fowls are said to be forbidden.
There harmless swans feed all abroad the river ;
There lives the phenix, one alone bird ever ;
There Juno's bird displays his gorgeous feather,
And loving doves kiss eagerly together.
The parrot, into wood receiv'd with these,
Turns all the godly birds to what she please.
A grave her bones hides : on her corps' great grave,
The little stones these little verses have
This tomb approves I plcas'd my mistress well ;
My mouth in speaking did all birds cccelo
AD AMNEM, DUM ITER FACERET AD AMICAM.
Flood with reed-grown slime banks, till I be past,
Thy waters stay ; I to my mistress hast.
Thou hast no bridge, nor boat with ropes to throw,
That may transport me, without oars to row.
Thee I have pass'd, and knew thy stream none such,
When thy wave's brim did scarce my ankles touch.
With snow thaw'd from the next hill now thou gushest,
And in thy foul deep waters thick thou rushest.
What helps my haste ? what to have ta’en small
rest? What day and night to travel in her quest ! If, standing here, I can by no means get My foot upon the further bank to set. Now wish I those wings noble Perseus had, Bearing the head with dreadful adders clad; Now wish the chariot whence corn-fields were found First to be thrown upon the untillid ground: I speak old poets' wonderful inventions ; Ne'er was, nor [e'er) shall be, what my verse mentions. Rather, thou large bank-overflowing river, Slide in thy bounds ; so shalt thou run for ever. Trust me, land-stream, thou shalt no envy lack, If I a lover be by thee held back. Great floods ought to assist young men in love ; Great floods the force of it do often prove. In mid Bithynia, 'tis said, Inachus Grew pale, and, in cold fords, hot lecherous. Troy had not yet been ten years' siege' outstander, When nymph Neæra rapt thy looks, Scamander. What, not Alpheus in strange lands to run, Th’ Arcadian virgin', constant love hath won ? And Crusa unto Xanthus first asfied, They say, Penets near Phthia's town did hide. What should I name Asop, that Thebe lov'd, Thebe, who mother of five daughters prov'd 3 If, Achelous, I ask where thy horns stand, Thou say'st, broko with Alcides' angry hand.
Not Calydon nor Ætolia did please ;
One Deïanira was more worth than these.
Rich Nile, by seven mouths to the vast sea flowing,
Who so well keeps his water's head from knowing,
Is by Evadne thought to take such flame,
As his deep whirlpools could not quench the same.
Dry Enipeus, Tyro to embrace,
Fly back his stream charg'd; the stream charg'd, gave
pass I thee, who hollow rocks down tumbling, In Tibur's field with watery foam art rumbling ; Whom Ilia pleas'd, though in her looks grief revellid, Her cheeks were scratch'd, her goodly hairs dishevellid. She, wailing Mars' sin and her uncle's crime, Stray'd barefoot through sole places on a time. Her, from his swift waves, the bold flood perceiv'd, And from the mid ford his hoarse voice upheav'd, Saying, Why sadly tread’st my banks upon, Ilia, sprung from Idæan Laomedon? Where's thy attire ? why wander'st here alone ? To stay thy tresses white veil hast thou none ? Why weep'st, and spoil'st with tears thy watery eyes ? And fiercely knock’st thy breast that open lies ? His heart consists of flint and hardest steel, That, seeing thy tears, can any joy then feel. Fear not: to thee our court stands open wide ; There shalt be lov'd : Ilia, lay fear aside. Thou o'er a hundred nymphs or more shalt reign, For five-score nymphs or more our floods contain.
Nor, Roman stock, scorn me so much, I crave :
Gifts than my promise greater thou shalt have."
This said he. She her modest eyes held down ;
Her woful bosom a warm shower did drown.
Thrice she prepar'd to fly, thrice she did stay,
By fear depriv'd of strength to run away.
Yet, rending with enragèd thumb her tresses,
Her trembling mouth these unmeet sounds expresses :
“O, would in my forefathers' tomb deep laid
My bones had been, while yet I was a maid I
Why, being a vestal, am I woo'd to wed,
Deflower'd and stained in unlawful bed ?
Why stay I? men point at me for a whore ;
Shame, that should make me blush, I have no more."
This said, her coat hoodwink'd her fearful eyes,
And into water desperately she flies.
'Tis said the slippery stream held up her breast,
and kindly gave her what she liked best.
And I believe some wench thou hast affected ;
But woods and groves keep your faults undetected.
While thus I speak, the waters more abounded,
And from the channel all abroad surrounded.
Mad stream, why dost our mutual joys defer ?
Clown, from my journey why dost me deter?
How wouldst thou flow, wert thou a noble flood ?
If thy great fame in every region stood ?
Thou hast no name, but com’st froin snowy mountains ;
No certain house thou hast, nor any fountains ;
Thy springs are naught but rain and melted snow,