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Elegy XV: The Poet addresses the ring which he has sent a present to his mistress. By an unknown hand.

Go, happy ring, who art about to bind
The fair one's finger; may the fair be kind.
Small is the present, tho' the love be great;
May she swift slip thee on thy taper seat.
As she and I, may thou with her agree,
And not too large, nor yet too little be.
To touch her hand thou wilt the pleasure have;
I now must envy what myself I gave.
O! would a Proteus or a Circe change
Me to thy form, that I like thee might range !
Then would I wish thee with her breasts to play,
And her left hand beneath her robes to stray.
Tho' straight she thought me, I will then appear
Loose and unfix'd, and slip I know not where.
Whene'er she writes some secret lines of love,
Lest the dry gum and wax should sticking prove,
He first she moistens : then sly care I take,
And but, when lines I like, impression make.
Of in her pocket fain she would me hide,
Close will I press her finger, and not slide;
Then cry, "My life, I ne'er shall thee disgrace,
And I am light; give me my proper place.
Still let me stick when in the bath you are;
If I catch damage,'tis not worth your care.
Yea, when the ring thy naked body spies,
It will transform, and I a man arise."
Why do I rave? thou little trifle, go,
And that I die for her let the dear creature know.

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