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For both to thee, both books and verses too,
If I had aught would I most gladly send;
But now, O goddesses, the praises due
To Manlius, and how he aye did lend
His help to me, and all his powers bend
To serve me, this to speak as is most right
I will not spare, that all may know my friend,

And lest oblivious time in rapid flight
Should veil the memory of his deeds in endless night.

But I will speak to you,


To many thousands what I here have said,
And may this


when it hath waxen old
Still keep the memory of that dearest head,
And as years pass, though he himself be dead,
May these poor verses his renown proclaim
Still more and more, nor may the spider spread,

Over the book that holds his vanished name,
Her cobwebs light, but may remembrance guard his fame.

For how false Venus stirred me ye do know, (1)
And how with anguish dark she racked me till
My bosom with internal pain did glow
Like to the fire of the Trinacrian hill,
Or like the waters which in scalding rill
Through deep Thermopylæ the ocean seek,
The never-ceasing floods of tears did fill

For when together flocked the gathering host,
All hearths were then deserted, so 'tis said,
To seek base Paris on the Phrygian coast,
Lest tranquil peace her influence should shed
Over the joys of his adulterous bed ;
Then wast thou struck, fair queen, by fortune's blow,
Dearer than life or breath that dearest head

Was taken from thee, such a mighty flow
Of love had plunged thee in a sheer abyss of woe.

So deep near Pheneus was that soil, they say,
Which dried when Hercules the marsh did drain,
When he, Amphitryon's false son, a way (3)
Through the hill's inmost centre dug amain.
What time, too, the Stymphalian birds were slain,
A weak lord bidding, by his shaft divine,
That so the gate which leads to heaven's high fane

Might ’neath a new god's footsteps polished shine, And Hebe his fair bride no more a virgin pine.

But deeper was thy love than that abyss,
For thy love taught thy lord the yoke to bear.
A late-born child, an only daughter's bliss,
Who to ancestral wealth is born the heir,
Whose name in the will-deed is entered fair,
And whose late birth doth disappointment spread

Among the heirs-at-law, when disappear

The hopes on which the hungry kinsmen fed, Who vulture-like had hovered round the old man's head,

Is to his aged grandsire not so dear
As erst thy husband was, O queen, to thee,
Nor can the joys of any dove compare
With thy deep love, although 'tis said that she
Doth with her biting beak unceasingly
Snatch tender kisses while her mate sits by;
And though a woman's love most fickle be,

Yet with thy passion none of these could vie
When thou wast joined with thy fair lord in marriage tie.

In grace thy equal, or almost thy peer,
Did my fair darling seek my loving breast,
Around her sported Cupid here and there,
Arrayed refulgent in a saffron vest,
And though content with me she did not rest,
Still I can pardon her caprice of love,
Nor may I be with jealousy opprest

As fools are : Juno, queen of gods above
Did daily rage, seeing the faults of fickle Jove.

His many lawless passions she did know,
But to compare with gods it is not meet.
Then let the anxious father's troubles go,


For she her lover, deck'd with unguents sweet,
Was by no father's hand led forth to meet;
But secretly in that delicious night
Leaving her husband's arms my love did greet :

That is enough, that one fair day's delight,
That she doth ever mark that day with stone-mark white.

Wherefore to thee this gift of verse I send,
The best I could compose, thou well might'st claim
Such meed for all thy kindness done, my friend,
Lest cold oblivion's rust should touch thy name,
And this or that day lose thy memory's fame;
And may the gods, too, those rewards bestow
Which erst from Themis to those heroes came,

Who in the path of virtue aye did go,
May thou and she who is thy life all blessings know;

And may that house which saw our amorous play,
And its fair mistress, bliss enjoy, and he
Who made us friends; for from that happy day
On which I made acquaintance first with thee,
All my good fortune then began for me;
But before all, may she I love the best,
The light of all my days most happy be,

Who dearer is than life to my fond breast,
And whose existence aye doth make my days more blest


My mistress says that there is none
Whom she would rather wed than me,
Even if mighty Saturn's son
Should woo her, faithful would she be.
Thus says she, but what women swear
To eager lovers it should seem
Should be inscribed on wandering air,
Or on an ever-running stream.


Once did'st thou say that I alone,
My Lesbia, all thy breast did own,
Nor e’en to be Jove's heavenly bride
Would'st thou e'er part thee from my

And then the love I bore for thee-
'Twas not a lover's passion wild,
But rather as is wont to be
A sire's affection for his child.
But now I know thee as thou art-
Though thou art worthless in my eyes,
And can't no longer touch my heart,
Yet doth my passion for thee rise

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