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Elegy V: By Duke

'Twas noon when I, scorch'd with the double fire
Of the hot sun and my more hot desire,
Stretch'd on my downy couch at ease was laid,
Big with expectance of the lovely maid.
The curtains but half drawn, a light let in
Such as in shades of thickest groves is seen,
Such as remains when the sun flies away,
Or when night's gone, and yet it is not day.
This light to modest maids must be allow'd,
Where shame may hope its guilty head to shroud.
And now my love Corinna did appear,
Loose on her neck fell her divided hair;
Loose as her flowing gown, that wanton'd in the air.
In such a garb, with such a grace and mien,
To her rich bed came the Assyrian queen;
So Lais looked when all the youth of Greece
With adoration did her charms confess.
Her envious gown to pull away I tried,
But she resisted still, and still denied;
But so resisted that she seem'd to be
Unwilling to obtain the victory;
So I at last an easy conquest had,
Whilst my fair combatant herself betray'd.
But when she naked stood before my eyes,
Gods, with what charms did she my soul surprise!
What snowy arms did I both see and feel!
With what rich globes did her soft bosom swell!
Plump as ripe clusters rose each glowing breast,
Courting the hand, and suing to be press'd!
What a smooth plain was on her belly spread,
Where thousand little loves and graces play'd!
What thighs! what legs ! but why strive I in vain,
Each limb, each grace, each feature to explain
One beauty did through her whole body shine;
I saw, admir'd, and press'd it close to mine
The rest who knows not? Thus entranc'd we lay,
Till in each other's arms we died away;
0 give me such a noon, ye gods, to ev'ry day!

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load focus Latin (R. Ehwald, 1907)
load focus English (Christopher Marlowe)
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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 69
    • George W. Mooney, Commentary on Apollonius: Argonautica, 3.45
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