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Elegy X.

Now Ceres' feast is come, the trees are blown,
And my Corinna now must lie alone.
And why, good Ceres, must thy feast destroy
Man's chief delight, and why disturb his joy ?
The world esteems you bountiful and good,
You led us from the field and from the wood,
And gave us fruitful corn, and wholesome food.
Till then poor wretched man on acorns fed;
Oaks gave him meat, and flow'ry fields a bed.
First Ceres made our wheat and barley grow,
And taught us how to plough, and how to mow;
Who then can think that she designs to prove
Our piety, by coldness in our love ?
Or make poor lovers sigh, lament, and groan,
Or charge her votaries to lie alone ?
For Ceres, though she loves the fruitful fields,
Yet sometimes feels the force of love, and yields:
This Crete can witness, (Crete not always lies)
Crete that nurs'd Jove, and heard his infant cries,
There he was suckled who now rules the skies.
That Jove his education there receiv'd,
Will raise her fame, and make her be believ'd;
Nay she herself will never strive to hide
Her love, 'tis too well known to be denied:
She saw young Jasius in the Cretan grove
Pursue the deer, she saw, and fell in love.
She then perceived when first she felt the fire,
On this side modesty, on that desire;
Desire prevail'd, and then the field grew dry,
The farmer lost his crop and knew not why;
When he had toil'd, manur'd his grounds, and plough' d,
Harrow'd his fields, and broke his clods, and sow'd,
No corn appear'd, none to reward his pain,
His labour and his wishes were in vain.
For Ceres wand'red in the woods and groves,
And often heard, and often told her loves:
Then Crete alone a fruitful summer knew,
Where'er the goddess came a harvest grew.
Ida was grey with corn, the furious boar
Grew fat with wheat, and wonder'd at the store:
The Cretans wish'd that such all years would prove,
They wish'd that Ceres would be long in love.
Well then, since then 'twas hard for you to lie
All night alone, why at your feast must I ?
Why must I mourn, when you rejoice to know
Your daughter safe, and queen of all below?
'Tis holy-day, and calls for wine and love;
Come, let's the height of mirth and humor prove,
These gifts will please our master pow'rs above.

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load focus English (Christopher Marlowe)
load focus Latin (R. Ehwald, 1907)
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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 35
    • John Conington, Commentary on Vergil's Aeneid, Volume 2, 10.3
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