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I cannot conceal, goddesses, in what way Allius has aided me, or with how many good services he has assisted me, lest the flight of time through ages of forgetfulness cover with night's blindness this care of his. But I shall tell it to you, and you in time to come declare it to many yousands, and make this paper, grown old, speak of it ... And let him be more and more noted when dead, nor let the spider aloft, weaving her thin-drawn web, carry on her work over the neglected name of Allius. For you know what anxiety of mind twofold Amathusia gave me, and in what manner she overthrew me, when I was burning like the Trinacrian rocks, or the Malian fount in Oetaean Thermopylae; and my sorrowful eyes did not cease to dissolve with continual weeping, or did my cheeks to be dampened with sad showers. As the transparent stream gushes forth from the moss-grown rock on the airy crest of the mountain, which, when it has rolled headlong prone down the valley, softly wends its way through the midst of the populous parts, sweet solace to the wayfarer sweating with weariness, when the oppressive heat cracks the burnt-up fields agape: or, as to sailors tempest-tossed in black whirlpool, there comes a favourable and a gently-moving breeze, implored by prayer now to Pollux, now to Castor: of such kind was Allius' help to us. He laid open my closed field with a wide path; he gave us a home and he gave it to our mistress, in which we both might exercise our loves in common. There with gracious gait my bright-hued goddess betook herself, and pressed her shining sole on the worn threshold with creaking sandal; as once came Laodamia, flaming with love for her husband, to the home of Protesilaus,—a home begun in vain—not yet had a victim appeased the lords of the heavens with sacred blood. May nothing please me overmuch, Rhamnusian virgin, that is undertaken rashly against the will of those lords! How the thirsty altar craves the pious blood Laodamia was taught by the loss of her husband, being compelled to abandon the neck of her new spouse before one winter and another had come, in whose long nights she might sate her eager passion, so she could live despite her broken marriage-yoke. The Parcae decreed that this would not be long distant, if her husband went a soldier to the walls of Ilium. For then with Helen's rape Troy had begun to summon the Argive chiefs to itself; Troy (accursed!) the common grave of Asia and of Europe, Troy, the bitter ashes of heroes and of every noble deed, that also lamentably brought death to our brother. O brother taken from unhappy me! O delightful light taken from an unhappy brother! together with you is buried all our house, together with you have perished all our joys, which your sweet love nurtured during life. Whom now so far away Troy, obscene, baleful Troy, an alien land, holds in far-distant soil laid not among familiar tombs or near the ashes of his kindred. There, it is said, hastening together from all parts, the Greek youth forsook their hearths and homes, lest Paris enjoy his abducted trollop with freedom and leisure in a peaceful bed. Such then was your case, loveliest Laodamia, to be bereft of husband sweeter than life and breath; the tide of love swallowing you in so great a current bore you off into its steep abyss, as the Greeks say Pheneus near Cyllene drains off the soil from the rich swampland. Once the falsely-born son of Amphitryon is heard to have dug this soil, having cut through the marrow of the mountain, at the time when he knocked down the Stymphalian monsters with sure arrows at the command of his inferior lord, so that the gate of heaven might be pressed by a greater number of deities, and Hebe might not remain in long virginity. But deeper than that abyss was your deep love which taught you then, untamed, to bear the yoke. For not as dear to the parent consumed with age is the head of the late-born grandchild an only daughter rears, who, [an heir] found at last for the ancestral wealth, scarcely having brought his name into the public records, casts off the impious joys of mocking kinsmen and stirs away the vulture from the whitened head; nor so much does any dove rejoice in her snow-white consort, which they say is always plucking kisses with her nibbling beak: more shamelessly than a woman who is especially passionate. But you alone surpassed the great frenzies of these, when you were once united to your yellow-haired husband. Worthy to yield to her in no respect or in little, my light brought herself into my embrace, round whom Cupid, often running here and there, gleamed radiantly in his saffron tunic. Although she is not content with Catullus alone, we will bear the rare intrigues of our coy lady, lest we may be too much a bother, after the manner of fools. Often even Juno, greatest of heaven-dwellers, boiled with flaring wrath at her husband's fault, knowing the many intrigues of passionate Jove. Yet it is not fair to compare men with the gods ... bear up the ungrateful burden of a trembling father. After all she was not handed to me by a father's right hand when she came to my house fragrant with Assyrian perfume, but she gave me her stolen favors in the wondrous night, taken away from the embrace of her own husband. Therefore it is enough if to us alone she gives that day which she marks with a whiter stone.

This gift to you, Allius, completed in what verse I can, is in return for many services, so that this day and that, and other and other of days may not touch your name with flaking rust. To this the gods will add the many gifts, which Themis once used to bring to the pious of old. May you be happy, both you and your life's-love together, and your home in which we have sported, and its mistress, and he who first gave us earth takes it away, from whom all my good fortunes were first born, and lastly she whose very self is dearer to me than all these,—my light, who living, living is sweet to me.

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