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My idle thoughts delighted her no more,
Than did the robe or garment which she wore.
Yet might her touch make youthful Pylius fire,
And Tithon livelier than his years require.
Even her I had, and she had me in vain,
What might I crave more, if I ask again?
I think the great gods griev'd they had bestow'd,
The benefit: which lewdly I foreslow'd.
I wish'd to be received in, in I get me,
To kiss, I kiss'd : to lie with her, she let me.
Why was I blest ? why made king to refuse it?
Chufft like had I not gold and could not use it?
So in a spring thrives he that told so much,
And looks upon the fruits he cannot touch.
Hath any rose so fresh from a young maid,
As she might straight have gone to church and
Well I believe, she kiss'd not as she should,
Nor used the sleight and cunning which she could.
Huge oaks, hard adamants might she have moved,
And with sweet words cause deaf rocks to have
Worthy she was to move both gods and men,
But neither was I man nor lived then.
Can deaf ear take delight when Phaemius sings?
Or Thamyris in curious painted things 2
What sweet thought is there but I had the same?
And one gave place still as another came.
Yet notwithstanding, like one dead I lay,
Drooping more like a rose pull'd yesterday.
Now when he should not jet, he bolts upright,
And craves his task, and seeks to be at fight.
Lie down with shame, and see thou stir no more,
Seeing thou would'st deceive me as before.
Thou cozen'st me: by thee surpris'd am I,
And bide sore loss with endless infamy.
Nay more, the wench did not disdain a whit
To take it in her hand, and play with it.
But when she saw it would by no means stand,
But still droop'd down, regarding not her hand,
Why mock'st thou me she cried? or being ill,
Who bade thee lie down here against thy will?
Either thou art witch'd with blood of frogs new dead,
Or jaded cam'st thou from some other's bed.
With her loose gown on from me she cast her,
In skipping out her naked feet much graced her.
And lest her maid should know of this disgrace,
To cover it, spilt water in the place.
ELEG IA 8.
Quod ab amica non recipiatur, dolet.
What man will now take liberal arts in hand,
Or think soft verse in any stead to stand?
Wit was sometimes more precious than gold;
Now poverty great barbarism we hold.
When our books did my mistress fair content,
I might not go whither my papers went.
She praised me, yet the gate shut fast upon her,
I here and there go, witty with dishonour.
See a rich chuff, whose wounds great wealth inferr'd,
For bloodshed knighted, before me preferr'd.
Fool, can'st thou him in thy white arms embrace’
Fool, canst thou lie in his enfolding space?
Know'st not this head a helm was wont to bear !
This side that serves thee, a sharp sword did wear.
His left hand whereon gold doth ill alight
A target bore: blood-sprinkled was his right.
Can'st touch that hand where with some one lies dead?
Ah, whither is thy breast's soft nature fled 2
Behold the signs of ancient fight, his scars,
Whate'er he hath his body gain'd in wars.
Perhaps he'll tell how oft he slew a man,
Confessing this, why do'st thou touch him then?
I, the pure priest of Phoebus and the Muses,
At thy deaf doors sing in verse my abuses.
Not what we slothful know, let wise men learn;
But follow trembling camps and battles stern.
And for a good verse draw the first dart forth :
Homer without this shall be nothing worth.
Jove, being admonish'd gold had sovereign power,
To win the maid came in a golden shower.
Till then, rough was her father, she severe,
The posts of brass, the walls of iron were.
But when in gifts the wise adulterer came,
She held her lap ope to receive the same.
Yet when old Saturn heaven's rule possest,
All gain in darkness the deep earth supprest.
Gold, silver, iron's heavy weight, and brass,
In hell were harbour'd, here was found no mass.
But better things it gave, corn without ploughs,
Apples, and honey in oaks' hollow boughs.
With strong ploughshares no man the earth did cleave,
The ditcher no marks on the ground did leave.
Nor hanging oars the troubled seas did sweep,
Men kept the shore and sail'd not in the deep.
Against thyself, man's nature, thou wert cunning,
And to thine own loss was thy wit swift running.
Why gird'st thy cities with a towered wall,
Why let'st discordant hands to armour fall?
What dost with seas? with th'earth thou wert content;
Why seek'st not heav'n the third realm to frequent?
Heaven thou affects: with Romulus, temples brave,
Bacchus, Alcides, and now Caesar have.
Gold from the earth instead of fruits we pluck;
Soldiers by blood to be inrich'd have luck.
Courts shut the poor out: wealth gives estimation,
Thence grows the judge, and knight of reputation.
All, thee possess: they govern fields, and laws,
They manage peace, and raw war's bloody jaws.
Only our loves let not such rich churls gain:
'Tis well, if some wench for the poor remain.
Now, Sabine-like, though chaste she seems to live,
One she commands, who many things can give.
For me, she doth keeper and husband fear,
If I should give, both would the house forbear.
If of scorn'd lovers god be venger just,
O let him change goods so ill got to dust.
• ELEG IA 9.
Tibulli mortem deflet.
If Thetis, and the Morn their sons did wail,
And envious fates great goddesses assail;
WOL. III. 37
Sad Elegy, thy woeful hairs unbind:
Ah, now a name too true thou hast I find.
Tibullus, thy works' poet, and thy fame,
Burns his dead body in the funeral flame.
Lo, Cupid brings his quiver spoiled quite,
His broken bow, his firebrand without light-
How piteously with drooping wings he stands,
And knocks his bare brest with self-angry hands.
The locks spread on his neck receive his tears,
And shaking sobs his mouth for speeches bears.
So at Æneas' burial men report,
Fair-fac’d Iulus; he went forth thy court.
And Venus grieves, Tibullus' life being spent,
As when the wild boar Adonis' groin had rent.
The gods care we are call'd, and men of piety,
And some there be that think we have a deity.
Outrageous death profanes all holy things,
And o'er all creatures obscure darkness brings.
To Thracean Orpheus what did parents good 2
Or songs, amazing wild beasts of the wood 2
Where Linus by his father Phoebus laid,
To sing with his unequal harp is said,
See Homer, from whose fountain ever fill'd,
Pierian dew to poets is distil’d.
Him the last day in black Avern hath drown'd :
Verses alone are with continuance crown'd.
The work of poets lasts, Troy's labours' fame,
And that slow web night's falsehood did unframe.
So Nemesis, so Delia famous are,
The one his first love, th'other his new care.
What profit to us hath our pure life bred?