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Elegy II: By Creech

Ah me! why am I so uneasy grown?
Ah! why so restless on my bed of down?
Why do I wish to sleep, but wish in vain?
Why am I all the tedious night in pain?
What cause is this, that ease, that rest denies?
And why my words break forth in gentle sighs?
Sure I should know if love had fix'd his dart;
Or creeps he softly in with treacherous art,
And then grows tyrant, there and wounds the heart?
'Tis so, the shaft sticks deep, and galls my breast;
'Tis tyrant love, that robs my thoughts of rest!
Well, shall I tamely yield, or must I fight?
I'll yield; 'tis patience makes a burden light:
A shaken torch grows fierce, and sparks arise;
But, if unmov'd, the fire looks pale and dies.
The hard-mouth'd horse smarts for his fierce disdain
The gentle's ridden with a looser rein.
Love smooths the gentle, but the fierce reclaims;
He fires their breasts, and fills their souls with flames.
I yield; great Love, my former crimes forgive,
Forget my rebel thoughts, and let me live;
No need of force: I willingly obey,
And now unarm'd, shall prove no glorious prey.
Go take thy mother's doves, thy myrtle crown,
And for thy chariot, Mars shall lend his own;
There thou shalt sit in thy triumphant pride,
And, whilst glad shouts resound on ev'ry side,
Thy gentle hands thy mother's doves shall guide.
And there to make thy glorious pomp and state,
A train of sighing youths, and maids shall wait,
Yet none complain of an unhappy fate.
There newly conquer'd I, still fresh my wound,
Will march along, my hands with myrtle bound;
There modesty, with veils thrown o'er her face,
Now doubly blushing at her own disgrace;
There sober thoughts, and whatso'er disdains
Love's rules, shall feel his power, and bear his chains:
Then all shall fear, all bow, yet all rejoice;
"Io triumphe" be the public voice.
Thy constant guards, soft fancy, hope and fear,
Anger, and soft caresses shall be there:
By these strong guards are men and gods o'erthrown;
These conquer for thee, Love, and these alone,
Thy mother, from the sky thy pomp shall grace,
And scatter sweetest roses in thy face:
There glorious Love shall ride, profusely dress'd
With all the richest jewels of the east:
Rich gems thy quiver, and thy wheels infold,
And hide the poorness of the baser gold.
Then thou shalt conquer many, then.thy darts
Shall scatter thousand wounds on tender hearts:
Thy shafts themselves will fly, thy neighb'ring fire
Will catch mens' breasts, and kindle warm desire.
Thus conqu'ring Bacchus looks in Indian groves,
He drawn by tigers, thou by murm'ring doves.
Well then, since I too can increase thy train,
Spend not thy force on me, and rage in vain;
Look on thy kinsman Caesar's happy slaves,
The same victorious arm that conquers, saves.

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load focus Latin (R. Ehwald, 1907)
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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), FRENUM
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