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En ego cum patria caream, vobisque domoque:
Me tamen exstincto, fama superstes erit;
The history of Pylades and Orestes.
Nos quoque amicitiae nomen bene novimus, hospes,
Decolor affuso tincta cruore rubet.
1 Suis... de montibus. The seven hills on which Rome was built.
2 Consortem Phoebi. Diana,
twin sister of Phoebus. Her
Regna Thoas habuit, Maeotide clarus in ora;
Par fuit his aetas, et amor; quorum alter Orestes,
Ritus is est gentis. Qua vos tamen urbe venitis?
1 Infula. A loose flock of wool, round which a band (vitta) was twisted to keep it in shape, and bind it to the head of the victim. Below, "Exstitit hoc," etc., is "This was the only case
in which there was no agreement between them." They never differed except in this one instance, when each wished to die for the other.
Exstitit hoc unum, quo non convenerit illis;
Dum peragunt pulchri juvenes certamen amoris;
Ad fratrem mandata dabat; cuique1 illa dabantur, (Humanos casus aspice) frater erat.
Nec mora; de templo rapiunt simulacra Dianae ;
On the death of Tibullus.
Memnona 2 si mater, mater ploravit Achillem,
Fratris 1 in Aeneae sic illum funere dicunt
Nec minus est confusa Venus moriente Tibullo,
Quid pater Ismario, quid mater profuit Orpheo?3 Carmine quid victas obstupuisse feras?
Aelinon in silvis idem pater, Aelinon, altis
Adice Maeoniden, a quo, ceu fonte perenni,
Hunc quoque summa dies nigro submersit Averno:
Cum rapiant mala fata bonos (ignoscite fasso)
Vive pius; moriere pius: 5 cole sacra; colentem
1 Fratris. Cupid (puer Veneris) and Aeneas were both sons of Venus. Cupid is here spoken of as attending the funeral of Aeneas, as it left the house of his son Iulus, at Lavinium, probably in Latium. Below, juveni" is Adonis, who was killed by the tusk of a boar.
2 At sacri. "And yet we are called," etc. Poets die like other people, although they are said to be especially under the care of the gods, and therefore might be supposed certain to live long.
3 Orpheo. Orpheus was son of Aeagrus, king of Thrace and Calliope, but he did not there
fore escape being torn to pieces by women at the Bacchanalian orgies. Ismarus (or Ismara) was a mountain of Thrace. The construction is "Quid pater profuit Orpheo. . . quid profuit feras obstupuisse," etc.
4 Aelinon. A Greek word for "lament, or dirge." Avernus was a lake in Campania, in Italy, from which foul vapours rose up. It was one of the supposed entrances into Tartarus.
5 Moriere pius. "Yet in spite of your piety you will die." Below, Eryx was a mountain on the west of Sicily, where Venus had a famous temple (so Horat. i. 2: "Sive tu mavis
Carminibus confide bonis, jacet ecce Tibullus,
Aurea sanctorum potuissent templa Deorum
Sunt quoque, qui lacrimas continuisse negant. 40 Sed tamen hoc melius, quam si Phaeacia tellus 1 Ignotum vili supposuisset humo.
Hinc certe madidos fugientes pressit ocellos
Si tamen e nobis aliquid, nisi nomen et umbra,
Auxisti numeros, culte Tibulle, pios.
Erycina ridens ").
i Phacacia tellus. Corcyra. Tibullus went to serve as a soldier in the East, was taken ill at Corcyra, and returned to Rome, where he shortly after died. It would have been still worse than it was, if Tibullus had been buried in Phacacia, once a by-word for indolent luxury. Cf. Hor. Epist. i. 15, 24: "Pinguis ut inde domum possim Phaeaxque reverti." This explains "vili humo."
2 Hedera. Ivy was the
especial crown for lyric poets. So Horace (Carm. i. 1, 29): "Me doctarum hederae praemia frontium Dis miscent superis. Quod si me lyricis vatibus inseris." Gallus was banished by Augustus from Rome, and threw away his life by committing suicide. Horace (Carm. i. 12, 37) has the same phrase, "Animaeque magnae Prodigum Paullum" (although Paullus did not kill himself).
3 Si quid modo. The spirits of the dead were supposed to