Addressed to Cynthia1 What's the point of walking around, love, with your hair all done up?
Why does Coan clothing cover your delicate breasts?
Why do you drench your hair in Orontean myrrh
and sell yourself with foreign enticements?
You lose your natural charm with storebought sophistication,
you don't allow your limbs their native splendor.
Believe me, there's no way to improve your figure:
nude Love doesn't love artifice in beauty.
Look what colors the beautiful earth sends forth,
how the ivies come better of their own accord.
The arbutus surges most deliciously in lonely caves,
and water, untaught, knows how to run its course.
The shore gleams, painted in its own stones
and birds sing sweetest without any art.
Phoebe didn't turn on Castor, nor did her sister,
Hilaira, Pollux, with sophistication.
Nor did the daughter of Euenus on her native shore,
when there was that quarrel between Phoebus and Idas.
It wasn't fake beauty that got Hippodamia
a Phrygian husband and a trip on foreign wheels.
Her face wasn't ruined by gems
the color of Apelles' work.
None of them conquered their lovers commonly:
Modesty was beauty enough for them.
I'm not afraid you'll think less of me for saying this:
if she's pleasing to one man, a girl is sophisticated enough.
Especially when Phoebus gives you his songs,
and Calliope is liberal with the Aonian lyre.
It lacks no grace, your happy speech,
which is everything Venus, everything Minerva approves.
That's how you'll always be the best thing in my life:
when those horrible luxuries bore you.