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We which were Ovid's five books, now are three,
For these before the rest preferreth he:
If reading five thou 'plain'st of tediousness,
Two ta'en away, the labour will be less; *
With muse prepar'd, I meant to sing of arms,
Choosing a subject fit for fierce alarms:
Both verses were alike till Love (men say)
Began to smile and took one foot away.
Rash boy, who gave thee power to change a line !
We are the Muses' prophets, none of thine.
What, if thy mother take Diana's bow,
Shall Dian fan when love begins to glow 2
In woody groves is't meet that Ceres reign,
And quiver bearing Dian till the plain 2
Who'll set the fair tress'd son in battle 'ray,
While Mars doth take the Aonion harp to play ?
Great are thy kingdoms, over strong and large,
Ambitious imp! why seek'st thou further charge?
Are all things thine 2 the Muses' Tempe thine?
Then scarce can Phoebus say, this harp is mine.
When in this work's first verse I trod aloft,
! slack'd my muse, and made my number soft :
I have no mistress nor no favorite,
Being fittest matter for a wanton wit.
Thus I complain'd, but love unlock'd his quiver,
Took out the shaft, ordain'd my heart to shiver,
And bent his sinewy bow upon his knee,
Saying, Poet here's a work beseeming thee.
Oh, woe is me! he never shoots but hits,
I burn, love in my idle bosom sits:
Let my first verse be six, my last five feet;
Farewell stern war, for blunter poets meet!
Elegian muse, that warblest amorous lays,
Girt my shine brow, with seabank myrtle praise!
ELEG IA 2.” Quod primo amore correptus, in triumphun duci se a Cupidine patiatur. WHAT makes my bed seem hard seeing it is so soft' Or why slips down the coverlet so oft? Although the nights be long I sleep not through, My sides are sore with tumbling to and fro. Were love the cause it's like I should descry him. Or lies he close and shoots where none can spy bir.” 'Twas so he struck me with a tender dart, "Tis cruel love turmoils my captive heart. Yielding or struggling do we give him might, Let's yield, a burden easily borne is light. I saw a brandish'd fire inscrease in strength, Which being not slak'd, I saw it die at length.
Young oxen newly yok'd are beaten more,
Than oxen which have drawn the plough before:
And rough jades' mouths with stubborn bits are torn,
But manag'd horses' heads are lightly borne.
Unwilling lovers, love doth more torment,
Than such as in their bondage feel content.
Lo! I confess, I am thy captive I,
And hold my conquer'd hands for thee to tie.
What need'st thou war 2 I sue to thee for grace:
With arms to conquer armless men is base.
Yoke Venus' Doves, put myrtle on thy hair,
Vulcan will give thee chariots rich and fair:
The people thee applauding, thou shalt stand,
Guiding the harmless pigeons with thy hand.
Young men and women shalt thou lead as thrall,
So will thy triumphs seem magnifical;
I, lately caught, will have a new made wound,
And captive-like be manacled and bound:
Good meaning shame, and such as seek loves wrack
Shall follow thee, their hands tied at their back.
Thee all shall fear, and worship as a king
Io, triumphing shall thy people sing.
Smooth speeches, fear and rage shall by thee ride,
Which troops have always been on Cupid's side:
Thou with these soldiers conquerst gods and men,
Take these away where is thine honor then 2
Thy mother shall from heaven applaud this show,
And on their faces heaps of roses strow,
With beauty of thy wings, thy fair hair gilded,
Ride golden Love in chariots richly builded !
Unless I err, full many shalt thou burn,
And give wounds infinite at every turn.
In spite of thee, forth will thine arrows fly,
A scorching flame burns all the standers by.
So having conquer'd Inde, was Bacchus hue,
Thee pompous birds and him two tigers drew;
Then seeing I grace thy shew in following thee,
Forbear to hurt thyself in spoiling me.
Behold thy kinsman Caesar's prosperous bands,
Who guards thee conquered with his conqueringhands.
I Ask but right, let her that caught me late,
Either love, or cause that I may never hate:
I ask too much—would she but let me love her;
Jove knows with such like prayers I daily move her.
Accept him that will serve thee all his youth,
Accept him that will love thee with spotless truth.
If lofty titles cannot make me thine,
That am descended but of knightly line,
(Soon may you plough the little lands I have;
I gladly grant my parents given to save;)
Apollo, Bacchus, and the Muses may ;
And Cupid who hath mark'd me for thy prey;
My spotless life, which but to gods give place,
Naked simplicity, and modest grace.
I love but one, and her I love change never,
If men have faith, I'll live with thee for ever.
The years that fatal destiny shall give
I'll live with thee, and die, ere thou shalt grieve.
Be thou the happy subject of my books
That I may write things worthy thy fair looks.
By verses horned Io got her name;
And she to whom in shape of swan Jove came;
And she that on a feign'd Bull swam to land,
Griping his false horns with her virgin hand.
So likewise we will through the world be rung,
And with my name shall thine be always sung.
Amicam, qua arte, quibusque nutibus in caena presente viro uti debeat, admonet.
THY husband to a banquet goes with me,
Pray God it may his latest supper be.
Shall I sit gazing as a bashful guest,
While others touch the damsel I love best ?
Wilt lying under him, his bosom clip 7
About thy neck shall he at pleasure skip 2
Marvel not, though the fair bride did incite,
The drunken Centaurs to a sudden fight.
I am no half horse, nor in woods I dwell,
Yet scarce my hands from thee contain I well.
But how thou should'st behave thyself now know,
Nor let the winds away my warnings blow.
Before thy husband come, though I not see
What may be done, yet there before him be.
Lie with him gently, when his limbs he spread
Upon the bed, but on my feet first tread.