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What to have lain alone in empty bed?
When bad fates take good men, I am forbod,
By secret thoughts to think there is a God.
Live godly, thou shalt die, though honour'd heaven,
Yet shall thy life be forcibly bereaven.
Trust in good verse, Tibullus feels death's pains,
Scarce rests of all what a small urn contains.
Thee sacred poet could sad flames destroy?
Nor feared they thy body to annoy?
The holy gods' gilt temples they might fire,
That durst to so great wickedness aspire.
Eryx, bright empress, turn'd her looks aside,
And some, that she refrain'd tears, have denied.
Yet better is't, than if Corcyra's Isle,
Had thee unknown interr'd in ground most vile.
Thy dying eyes here did thy mother close,
Nor did thy ashes her last offerings lose.
Part of her sorrow here thy sister bearing,
Comes forth her uncomb'd locks asunder tearing.
Nemesis and thy first wench join their kisses
With thine, nor this last fire their presence misses.
Delia departing, happier loved she saith,
Was I: thou liv’dst, while thou esteem’dst faith.
Nemesis answers, what's my loss to thee?
His fainting hand in death engrasped me.
If ought remains of us but name and spirit,
Tibullus doth Elysium's joy inherit.
Their youthful brows with ivy girt to meet him,
With Calvus, learn'd Catullus comes to greet him.
And thou, if falsely charged to wrong thy friend,
Gallus, that car’dst not life and blood to spend,
With these thy soul walks: souls if death release,
The godly sweet Tibullus doth increase.
Thy bones, I pray, may in the urn safe rest,
And may the earth's weight thy ashes nought molest.
Ad Cererem, conquerens quod ejus sacris cum amica
concumbere non permittatur.
COME were the times of Ceres' sacrifice;
In empty bed alone my mistress lies.
Golden-hair'd Ceres crown'd with ears of corn,
Why are our pleasures by thy means forborn ?
Thee, goddess, bountiful, all nations judge,
Nor less at man's prosperity any grudge.
Rude husbandmen bak'd not their corn before,
Nor on the earth was known the name of four.
On mast of oaks, first oracles, men fed,
This was their meat, the soft grass was their bed.
First Ceres taught the seed in fields to swell,
And ripe-ear'd corn with sharp-edg'd scythe to fell.
She first constrain’d bulls necks to bear the yoke,
And untillid ground with crooked ploughshares broke.
Who thinks her to be glad at lovers' smart,
And worshipp'd by their pain, and lying apart?
Nor is she, though she loves the fertile fields,
A clown, nor no love from her warm breast yields:
Be witness Crete (nor Crete doth all things feign)
Crete proud that Jove her nursery maintain.
There, he who rules the world's star-spangled towers,
A little boy drunk tea-distilling showers.
Faith to the witness Jove's praise doth apply;
Ceres, I think, no known fault will deny.
The goddess saw lasion on Candian Ide,
With strong hand striking wild beasts' bristled hide.
She saw, and as her marrow took the flame,
Was divers ways distract with love and shame.
Love conquer'd shame, the furrows dry were burn'd,
And corn with least part of itself return'd.
When well-toss'd mattocks did the ground prepare,
Being fit-broken with the crooked share,
And seeds were equally in large fieids cast,
The ploughman's hopes were frustrate at the last.
The grain-rich goddess in high woods did stray,
Her long hair's ear-wrought garland fell away.
Only was Crete fruitful that plenteous year,
Where Ceres went, each place was harvest there.
Ida, the seat of groves, did sing with corn,
Which by the wild boar in the woods was shorn.
Law-giving Minos did such years desire,
And wish'd the goddess long might feel love's fire.
Ceres, what sports to thee so grievous were,
As in thy sacrifice we them forbear ?
Why am I sad, when Proserpine is found,
And Juno like with Dis reigns under ground?
Festival days ask Venus, songs, and wine,
These gists are meet to please the powers
Ad amicam a cujus amore discedere non potest. Long have I borne much, mad thy faults me make; Dishonest love, my wearied breast forsake ! Now have I freed myself, and fled the chain, And what I have borne, shame to bear again.
We vanquish, and tread tam'd love under feet,
Victorious wreaths at length my temples greet.
Suffer, and harden: good grows by this grief,
Oft bitter juice brings to the sick relief.
I have sustain'd, so oft thrust from the door,
To lay my body on the hard moist floor.
I know not whom thou lewdiy did'st embrace,
When I to watch supplied a servant's place.
I saw when forth a tired lover went,
His side past service, and his courage spent.
Yet this is less, than if he had seen me;
May that shame fall mine enemies chance to be.
When have not I, fix'd to thy side, close laid?
I have thy husband, guard, and fellow play
The people by my company she pleas'd;
My love was cause that more men's love she seiz'd.
What, should I tell her vain tongue's filthy lyes,
And to my loss, god-wronging perjuries?
What secret becks in banquets with her youths,
With privy signs, and talk-dissembling truths ?
Hearing her to be sick, I thither ran,
But with my rival sick she was not than;
These hardened me, with what I keep obscure :
Some other seek, who will these things endure.
Now my ship in the wished haven crowod,
With joy hears Neptune's swelling waters sound.
Leave thy once powerful words, and flatteries,
I am not as I was before, unwise.
Now love and hate my light breast each way move,
But victory, I think will hap to love.
I'll hate, if I can ; if not, love 'gainst my will,
Bulls hate the yoke, yet what they hate have still.
I flie her lust, but follow beauty's creature,
I loath her manners, love her body's feature.
Nor with thee, nor without thee can I live,
And doubt to which desire the palm to give.
Or less fair, or less lewd would thou might'st be:
Beauty, with lewdness doth right ill agree.
Her deeds gain hate, her face entreateth love,
Ah, she doth more worth than her vices prove.
Spare me, O by our fellow bed, by all
The gods, who by thee, to be perjured fall.
And by thy face to me a power divine,
And by thine eyes whose radiance burns out mine.
Whate'er thou art, mine art thou : choose this course,
Wilt have me willing, or to love by force.
Rather I'll hoist up sale, and use the wind,
That I may love yet, though against my mind.
ELEGIA 12. Dolet amicam suam ita suis carminibus innotuissam ut rivales
multos sibi pararit. What day was that, which all sad haps to bring, White birds to lovers did not always sing ? Or is't I think
my wish against the stars? Or shall I plain some god against me wars? Who mine was callid, whom I lov'd more than any, I fear with me is common now to many. Err 1 ? or by my looks is she so known? 'Tis so : by my wit her abuse is grown.