ELEGIA 1Quemadmodum a Cupidine, pro bellis amores scribere coactus sit
We which were Ovids five books, now are three,
For these before the rest preferreth he:
If reading five thou plainst of tediousnesse,
Two tane away, thy labor will be lesse:
With Muse upreard I meant to sing of armes,
Choosing a subject fit for feirse alarmes:
Both verses were alike till Love (men say)
Began to smile and tooke one foote away.
Rash boy, who gave thee power to change a line?
We are the Muses prophets, none of thine.
What if thy Mother take Dianas bowe,
Shall Dian fanne when love begins to glowe?
In wooddie groves ist meete that Ceres Raigne,
And quiver bearing Dian till the plaine:
Who'le set the faire treste sunne in battell ray,
While Mars doth take the Aonian harpe to play?
Great are thy kingdomes, over strong and large,
Ambitious Imp, why seekst thou further charge?
Are all things thine? the Muses Tempe thine?
Then scarse can Phoebus say, this harpe is mine.
When in this workes first verse I trod aloft,
Love slackt my Muse, and made my numbers soft.
I have no mistris, nor no favorit,
Being fittest matter for a wanton wit,
Thus I complaind, but Love unlockt his quiver,
Tooke out the shaft, ordaind my hart to shiver:
And bent his sinewy bow upon his knee,
Saying, Poet heers a worke beseeming thee.
Oh woe is me, he never shootes but hits,
I burne, love in my idle bosome sits.
Let my first verse be sixe, my last five feete,
Fare well sterne warre, for blunter Poets meete.
Elegian Muse, that warblest amorous laies,
Girt my shine browe with sea banke mirtle praise.