P. Ovidii Nasonis Amorum Liber Secundus
ELEGIA 1Quodpro gigantomochia amores scribere sit coactus
I Ovid Poet of my wantonnesse,
Borne at Peligny, to write more addresse.
So Cupid wills, farre hence be the severe,
You are unapt my looser lines to heare.
Let Maydes whom hot desire to husbands leade,
And rude boyes toucht with unknowne love me reade,
That some youth hurt as I am with loves bowe
His owne flames best acquainted signes may knowe,
And long admiring say by what meanes learnd
Hath this same Poet my sad chaunce discernd?
I durst the great celestiall battells tell,
Hundred-hand Gyges, and had done it well,
With earthes revenge and how Olimpus toppe
High Ossa bore, mount Pelion up to proppe.
Jove and Joves thunderbolts I had in hand
Which for his heaven fell on the Gyants band.
My wench her dore shut, Joves affares I left,
Even Jove himselfe out off my wit was reft.
Pardon me Jove, thy weapons ayde me nought,
Her shut gates greater lightning then thyne brought.
Toyes, and light Elegies my darts I tooke,
Quickly soft words hard dores wide open strooke.
Verses deduce the horned bloudy moone
And call the sunnes white horses backe at noone.
Snakes leape by verse from caves of broken mountaines
And turned streames run back-ward to their fountaines.
Verses ope dores, and lockes put in the poast
Although of oake, to yeeld to verses boast.
What helpes it me of fierce Achill to sing?
What good to me wil either Ajax bring?
Or he who war'd and wand'red twenty yeare?
Or wofull Hector whom wilde jades did teare?
But when I praise a pretty wenches face
Shee in requitall doth me oft imbrace.
A great reward: Heroes of famous names
Farewel, your favour nought my minde inflames.
Wenches apply your faire lookes to my verse
Which golden love doth unto me rehearse.
ELEGIA 2Ad Bagoum, ut custodiam puelloe sibi commissoe laxiorem habeat
Bagous whose care doth thy Mistrisse bridle,
While I speake some fewe, yet fit words be idle.
I sawe the damsell walking yesterday
There where the porch doth Danaus fact display.
Shee pleas'd me, soone I sent, and did her woo,
Her trembling hand writ back she might not doo.
And asking why, this answeare she redoubled,
Because thy care too much thy Mistresse troubled.
Keeper if thou be wise cease hate to cherish,
Beleeve me, whom we feare, we wish to perish.
Nor is her husband wise, what needes defence
When un-protected ther is no expence?
But fliriously he follow his loves fire
And thinke her chast whom many doe desire.
Stolne liberty she may by thee obtaine,
Which giving her, she may give thee againe.
Wilt thou her fault leame, she may make thee tremble,
Feare to be guilty, then thou maiest desemble.
Thinke when she reades, her mother letters sent her,
Let him goe forth knowne, that unknowne did enter,
Let him goe see her though she doe not languish
And then report her sicke and full of anguish.
If long she stayes, to thinke the time more short
Lay downe thy forehead in thy lap to snort.
Enquire not what with Isis may be done
Nor feare least she to th' theater's runne.
Knowing her scapes thine honour shall encrease,
And what lesse labour then to hold thy peace?
Let him please, haunt the house, be kindly usd,
Enjoy the wench, let all else be refusd.
Vaine causes fame of him the true to hide,
And what she likes, let both hold ratifide.
When most her husband bends the browes and frownes,
His fauning wench with her desire he crownes.
But yet sometimes to chide thee let her fall
Counterfet teares: and thee lewd hangman call.
Object thou then what she may well excuse,
To staine all faith in truth, by false crimes use.
Of wealth and honour so shall grow thy heape,
Do this and soone thou shalt thy freedome reape.
On tell-tales neckes thou seest the linke-knitt chaines,
The filthy prison faithlesse breasts restraines.
Water in waters, and fruite flying touch
Tantalus seekes, his long tongues game is such.
While Junos watch-man Io too much eyde,
Him timelesse death tooke, she was deifide.
I sawe ones legges with fetters blacke and blewe,
By whom the husband his wives incest knewe.
More he deserv'd, to both great harme he fram'd,
The man did grieve, the woman was defam'd.
Trust me all husbands for such faults are sad
Nor make they any man that heare them glad.
If he loves not, deafe eares thou doest importune,
Or if he loves, thy tale breedes his misfortune.
Nor is it easily prov'd though manifest,
She safe by favour of her judge doth rest.
Though himselfe see; heele credit her denyall,
Condemne his eyes, and say there is no tryall.
Spying his mistrisse teares, he will lament
And say this blabbe shall suffer punnishment.
Why fightst galust oddes? to thee being cast do happe
Sharpe stripes, she sitteth in the judges lappe.
To meete for poyson or vilde facts we crave not,
My hands an unsheath'd shyning weapon have not.
Wee seeke that through thee safely love we may,
What can be easier then the thing we pray?
ELEGIA 3Ad Eunuchum servantem dominam
Aye me an Eunuch keepes my mistrisse chaste,
That cannot Venus mutuall pleasure taste.
Who first depriv'd yong boyes of their best part,
With selfe same woundes he gave, he ought to smart.
To kinde requests thou wouldst more gentle prove,
If ever wench had made luke-warme thy love:
Thou wert not borne to ride, or armes to beare,
Thy hands agree not with the warlike speare.
Men handle those, all manly hopes resigne,
Thy mistrisse enseignes must be likewise thine.
Please her, her hate makes others thee abhorre,
If she discardes thee, what use servest thou for?
Good forme there is, yeares apt to play togither,
Unmeete is beauty without use to wither.
Shee may deceive thee, though thou her protect,
What two determine never wants effect.
Our prayers move thee to assist our drift,
While thou hast time yet to bestowe that gift.
ELEGIA 4Quod amet mulieres, cuiuscunque formoe sint
I meane not to defend the scapes of any,
Or justifie my vices being many,
For I confesse, if that might merite favour,
Heere I display my lewd and loose behaviour.
I loathe, yet after that I loathe, I runne:
Oh how the burthen irkes, that we should shun.
I cannot rule my selfe, but where love please
Am driven like a ship upon rough seas,
No one face likes me best, all faces moove,
A hundred reasons makes me ever love.
If any eie mee with a modest looke,
I burne, and by that blushfiill glance am tooke:
And she thats coy I like for being no clowne,
Me thinkes she should be nimble when shees downe.
Though her sowre looks a Sabines browe resemble,
I thinke sheele doe, but deepely can dissemble.
If she be learned, then for her skill I crave her,
If not, because shees simple I would have her.
Before Callimachus one preferres me farre,
Seeing she likes my bookes, why should we jarre?
Another railes at me, and that I write,
Yet would I lie with her if that I might.
Trips she, it likes me well, plods she, what than?
She would be nimbler, lying with a man.
And when one sweetely sings, then straight I long,
To quaver on her lippes even in her song,
Or if one touch the lute with art and cunning,
Who would not love those hands for their swift running?
And she I like that with a majestie,
Foldes up her armes, and makes low curtesie.
To leave my selfe, that am in love with all,
Some one of these might make the chastest fall.
If she be tall, shees like an Amazon,
And therefore filles the bed she lies uppon:
If short, she lies the rounder: to speake troth,
Both short and long please me, for I love both:
I thinke what one undeckt would be, being drest;
Is she attired, then shew her graces best.
A white wench thralles me, so doth golden yellowe,
And nut-browne girles in doing have no fellowe.
If her white necke be shadowde with blacke haire,
Why so was Ledas, yet was Leda faire.
Amber trest is shee, then on the morne thinke I,
My love alludes to everie historie:
A yong wench pleaseth, and an old is good,
This for her looks, that for her woman-hood:
Nay what is she that any Romane loves,
But my ambitious ranging mind approoves?
ELEGIA 5Ad amicam corruptam
No love is so dere (quiverd Cupid flie)
That my chiefe wish should be so oft to die.
Minding thy fault, with death I wish to revill,
Alas a wench is a perpetuall evill.
No intercepted lines thy deedes display,
No gifts given secretly thy crime bewray.
O would my proofes as vaine might be withstood,
Aye me poore soule, why is my cause so good.
He's happy, that his love dares boldly credit,
To whom his wench can say, I never did it.
He's cruell, and too much his griefe doth favour
That seekes the conquest by her loose behaviour.
Poore wretch I sawe when thou didst thinke I slumbred,
Not drunke, your faults in the spilt wine I numbred.
I sawe your nodding eye-browes much to speake,
Even from your cheekes parte of a voice did breake.
Not silent were thine eyes, the boord with wine
Was scribled, and thy fingers writ a line.
I knew your speech (what do not lovers see?)
And words that seem'd for certaine markes to be.
Now many guests were gone, the feast being done,
The youthfull sort to divers pastimes runne.
I sawe you then unlawfull kisses joyne,
(Such with my tongue it likes me to purloyne).
None such the sister gives her brother grave,
But such kinde wenches let their lovers have.
Phoebus gave not Diana such tis thought,
But Venus often to her Mars such brought.
What doest, I cryed, transportst thou my delight?
My lordly hands ile throwe upon my right.
Such blisse is onely common to us two,
In this sweete good, why hath a third to do?
This, and what grife inforc'd me say I say'd,
A scarlet blush her guilty face arayed.
Even such as by Aurora hath the skie,
Or maides that their betrothed husbands spie.
Such as a rose mixt with a lilly breedes,
Or when the Moone travailes with charmed steedes.
Or such, as least long yeares should turne the die,
Arackne staynes Assyrian ivory.
To these, or some of these like was her colour,
By chaunce her beauty never shined fuller.
She viewed the earth: the earth to viewe, beseem'd her.
She looked sad: sad, comely I esteem'd her.
Even kembed as they were, her lockes to rend,
And scratch her faire soft cheekes I did intend.
Seeing her face, mine upreard armes discended,
With her owne armor was my wench defended.
I that ere-while was fierce, now humbly sue,
Least with worse kisses she should me indue.
She laught, and kissed so sweetely as might make
Wrath-kindled Jove away his thunder shake.
I grieve least others should such good perceive,
And wish hereby them all unknowne to leave.
Also much better were they then I tell,
And ever seemed as some new sweete befell.
Tis ill they pleas'd so much, for in my lips,
Lay her whole tongue hid, mine in hers she dips.
This grieves me not, no joyned kisses spent,
Bewaile I onely, though I them lament.
No where can they be taught but in the bed,
I know no maister of so great hire sped.
ELEGIA 6In mortem psittaci
The parrat from east India to me sent,
Is dead, al-fowles her exequies frequent.
Go goodly birdes, striking your breasts bewaile,
And with rough clawes your tender cheekes assaile.
For wofull haires let piece-torne plumes abound,
For long shrild trumpets let your notes resound.
Why Philomele doest Tereus leudnesse mourne?
All wasting years have that complaint out worne.
Thy tunes let this rare birdes sad funerall borrowe,
Itis is great, but auntient cause of sorrowe.
All you whose pineons in the cleare aire sore,
But most thou friendly turtle-dove, deplore.
Full concord all your lives was you betwixt,
And to the end your constant faith stood fixt.
What Pylades did to Orestes prove,
Such to the parrat was the turtle dove.
But what availde this faith? her rarest hue?
Or voice that howe to change the wilde notes knew?
What helpes it thou wert given to please my wench,
Birdes haples glory, death thy life doth quench.
Thou with thy quilles mightst make greene Emeralds darke,
And passe our scarlet of red saifrons marke.
No such voice-feigning bird was on the ground,
Thou spokest thy words so well with stammering sound.
Envy hath rapt thee, no fierce warres thou movedst,
Vaine babling speech, and pleasant peace thou lovedst.
Behould how quailes among their battailes live,
Which do perchance old age unto them give.
A little fild thee, and for love of talke,
Thy mouth to taste of many meates did balke.
Nuts were thy food, and Poppie causde thee sleepe,
Pure waters moisture thirst away did keepe.
The ravenous vulture lives, the Puttock hovers
Around the aire, the Cadesse raine discovers,
And Crowes survive armes-bearing Pallas hate,
Whose life nine ages scarce bring out of date.
Dead is that speaking image of mans voice,
The Parrat given me, the farre worlds best choice.
The greedy spirits take the best things first,
Supplying their voide places with the worst.
Thersites did Protesilaus survive,
And Hector dyed his brothers yet alive.
My wenches vowes for thee what should I show,
Which storrnie South-windes into sea did blowe?
The seventh day came, none following mightst thou see,
And the fates distaffe emptie stood to thee,
Yet words in thy benummed palate rung,
Farewell Corinna cryed thy dying tongue.
Elisium hath a wood of holme trees black,
Whose earth doth not perpetuall greene-grasse lacke,
There good birds rest (if we beleeve things hidden)
Whence uncleane fowles are said to be forbidden.
There harrnelesse Swans feed all abroad the river,
There lives the Phoenix one alone bird ever.
There Junoes bird displayes his gorgious feather,
And loving Doves kisse eagerly together.
The Parrat into wood receiv'd with these,
Turnes all the goodly birdes to what she please.
A grave her bones hides, on her corps great grave,
The little stones these little verses have.
This tombe approoves, I pleasde my mistresse well,
My mouth in speaking did all birds excell.
ELEGIA 7Amica se purgat, quod ancillam non amet
Doost me of new crimes aiwayes guilty frame?
To over-come, so oft to fight I shame.
If on the Marble Theater I looke,
One among many is to grieve thee tooke.
If some faire wench me secretly behold,
Thou arguest she doth secret markes unfold.
If I praise any, thy poore haires thou tearest,
If blame, dissembling of my fault thou fearest.
If I looke well, thou thinkest thou doest not move,
If ill, thou saiest I die for others love.
Would I were culpable of some offence,
They that deserve paine, beare't with patience.
Now rash accusing, and thy vaine beliefe,
Forbid thine anger to procure my griefe.
Loe how the miserable great eared Asse,
Duld with much beating slowly forth doth passe.
Behold Cypassis wont to dresse thy head,
Is charg'd to violate her mistresse bed.
The Gods from this sinne rid me of suspition,
To like a base wench of despisd condition.
With Venus game who will a servant grace?
Or any back made rough with stripes imbrace?
Adde she was diligent thy locks to braide,
And for her skill to thee a grateflill maide.
Should I sollicit her that is so just:
To take repulse, and cause her shew my lust?
I sweare by Venus, and the wingd boyes bowe,
My selfe unguilty of this crime I know.
ELEGIA 8Ad Cypassim ancillam Corinnoe
Cypassis that a thousand wayes trimst haire,
Worthy to keembe none but a Goddesse faire,
Our pleasant scapes shew thee no clowne to be,
Apt to thy mistrisse, but more apt to me.
Who that our bodies were comprest bewrayde?
Whence knowes Corinna that with thee I playde?
Yet blusht I not, nor usde I any saying,
That might be urg'd to witnesse our false playing.
What if a man with bond-women offend,
To prove him foolish did I ere contend?
Achilles burnt with face of captive Briseis,
Great Agamemnon lov'd his servant Chriseis.
Greater then these my selfe I not esteeme,
What graced Kings, in me no shame I deeme.
But when on thee her angry eyes did rush,
In both thy cheekes she did perceive thee blush,
But being present, might that worke the best,
By VenusDeity how did I protest.
Thou Goddesse doest command a warme South-blast,
My false oathes in Carpathian seas to cast.
For which good turne my sweete reward repay,
Let me lie with thee browne Cypasse to day.
Ungrate why feignest new feares? and doest refuse;
Well majest thou one thing for thy Mistresse use.
If thou deniest foole, lie our deeds expresse,
And as a traitour mine owne fault confesse.
Telling thy mistresse, where I was with thee,
How oft, and by what meanes we did agree.
ELEGIA 9Ad Cupidinem
O Cupid that doest never cease my smart,
O boy that lyest so slothfull in my heart.
Why me that alwayes was thy souldiour found,
Doest harme, and in thy tents why doest me wound?
Why burnes thy brand, why strikes thy bow thy friends?
More glory by thy vanquisht foes assends.
Did not Pelides whom his Speare did grieve,
Being requirde, with speedy helpe relieve?
Hunters leave taken beasts, pursue the chase,
And then things found do ever flirther pace.
We people wholy given thee, feele thine armes,
Thy dull hand stayes thy striving enemies harmes.
Doest joy to have thy hooked Arrowes shaked,
In naked bones? love hath my bones left naked.
So many men and maidens without love,
Hence with great laude thou maiest a triumph move.
Rome if her strength the huge world had not fild,
With strawie cabins now her courts should build.
The weary souldiour hath the conquerd fields,
His sword layed by, safe, though rude places yeelds.
The Docke in harbours ships drawne from the flouds,
Horse freed from service range abroad the woods.
And time it was for me to live in quiet,
That have so oft serv'd pretty wenches dyet.
Yet should I curse a God, if he but said,
Live without love, so sweete ill is a maide.
For when my loathing it of heate deprives me,
I know not whether my mindes whirle-wind drives me.
Even as a head-strong courser beares away,
His rider vainely striving him to stay,
Or as a sodaine gale thrustes into sea,
The haven touching barcke now nere the lea,
So wavering Cupid bringes me backe amaine,
And purple Love resumes his dartes againe.
Strike boy, I offer thee my naked brest,
Heere thou hast strength, here thy right hand doth rest.
Here of themselves thy shafts come, as if shot,
Better then I their quiver knowes them not.
Haples is he that all the night lies quiet
And slumbring, thinkes himselfe much blessed by it.
Foole, what is sleepe but image of cold death,
Long shalt thou rest when Fates expire thy breath.
But me let crafty damsells words deceive,
Great joyes by hope I inly shall conceive.
Now let her flatter me, now chide me hard,
Let me enjoy her oft, oft be debard.
Cupid by thee, Mars in great doubt doth trample,
And thy step-father fights by thy example.
Light art thou, and more windie then thy winges,
Joyes with uncertaine faith thou takest and brings.
Yet Love, if thou with thy faire mother heare,
Within my brest no desert empire beare.
Subdue the wandring wenches to thy raigne,
So of both people shalt thou homage gaine.
ELEGIA 10Ad Groecinium quod eodem tempore duas amet
Groecinus(well I wot) thou touldst me once,
I could not be in love with twoo at once,
By thee deceived, by thee surprisde am I,
For now I love two women equallie:
Both are wel favoured, both rich in array,
Which is the loveliest it is hard to say:
This seemes the fairest, so doth that to mee,
And this doth please me most, and so doth she.
Even as a boate, tost by contrarie winde,
So with this love and that, wavers my minde.
Venus, why doublest thou my endlesse smart?
Was not one wench inough to greeve my heart?
Why addst thou starres to heaven, leaves to greene woods,
And to the vast deep sea fresh water flouds?
Yet this is better farre then lie alone,
Let such as be mine enemies have none,
Yea, let my foes sleepe in an emptie bed,
And in the midst their bodies largely spread:
But may soft love rowse up my drowsie eies,
And from my mistris bosome let me rise:
Let one wench cloy me with sweete loves delight,
If one can doote, if not, two everie night,
Though I am slender, I have store of pith,
Nor want I strength, but weight to presse her with:
Pleasure addes fuell to my lustfull fire,
I pay them home with that they most desire:
Oft have I spent the night in wantonnesse,
And in the morne beene lively nerethelesse.
Hees happie who loves mutuall skirmish slayes,
And to the Gods for that death Ovid prayes.
Let souldiour chase his enemies amaine,
And with his bloud etemall honour gaine,
Let marchants seeke wealth, and with perjured lips,
Being wrackt, carowse the sea tir'd by their ships:
But when I die, would I might droope with doing,
And in the midst thereof, set my soule going,
That at my filneralles some may weeping crie,
Even as he led his life, so did he die.
ELEGIA 11Ad amicam navigantem
The lofty Pine from high mount Pelion raught
Ill waies by rough seas wondring waves first taught,
Which rashly twixt the sharpe rocks in the deepe,
Caried the famous golden-fleeced sheepe.
O would that no Oares might in seas have suncke,
The Argos wrackt had deadly waters drunke.
Loe country Gods, and known bed to forsake,
Corinna meanes, and dangerous wayes to take.
For thee the East and West winds make me pale,
With Icy Boreas, and the Southerne gale:
Thou shalt admire no woods or Citties there,
The unjust seas all blewish do appeare.
The Ocean hath no painted stones or shelles,
The sucking shore with their aboundance swels.
Maides on the shore, with marble white feete tread,
So farre 'tis safe, but to go farther dread.
Let others tell how winds fierce battailes wage,
How Scyllaes and Caribdis waters rage.
And with what rockes the feard Cerannia threat,
In what gulfe either Syrtes have their seate.
Beleeve, no tempest the beleever wreakes.
Too late you looke back, when with anchors weighd,
The crooked Barque hath her swift sailes displayd.
The careflill ship-man now feares angry gusts,
And with the waters sees death neere him thrusts,
But if that Triton tosse the troubled floud,
In all thy face will be no crimsen bloud.
Then wilt thou Loedas noble twinne-starres pray,
And he is happy whom the earth holds, say.
It is more safe to sleepe, to read a booke,
The ThracianHarpe with cunning to have strooke,
But if my words with winged stormes hence slip,
Yet Galatea favour thou her ship.
The losse of such a wench much blame will gather,
Both to the Sea-nimphes, and the Sea-nimphes father.
Go, minding to returne with prosperous winde,
Whose blast may hether strongly be inclinde,
Let Nereus bend the waves unto this shore,
Hether the windes blowe, here the spring-tide rore.
Request milde Zephires helpe for thy availe,
And with thy hand assist the swelling saile.
I from the shore thy knowne ship first will see,
And say it brings her that preserveth me;
lIe clip and kisse thee with all contentation,
For thy returne shall fall the vowd oblation,
And in the forme of beds weele strowe soft sand,
Each little hill shall for a table stand:
There wine being fild, thou many things shalt tell,
How almost wrackt thy ship in maine seas fell.
And hasting to me, neither darkesome night,
Nor violent South-windes did thee ought aifright.
lIe thinke all true, though it be feigned matter.
Mine owne desires why should my selfe not flatter?
Let the bright day-starre cause in heaven this day be,
To bring that happy time so soone as may be.
ELEGIA 12Exultat, quod amica potitus sit
About my temples go triumphant bayes,
Conquer'd Corinna in my bosome layes.
She whom her husband, guard, and gate as foes,
Least Arte should winne her, firmely did inclose.
That victory doth chiefely triumph merit,
Which without bloud-shed doth the pray inherit.
No little ditched townes, no lowlie walles,
But to my share a captive damsell falles.
When Troy by ten yeares battle tumbled downe,
With the Atrides many gainde renowne.
But I no partner of my glory brooke,
Nor can an other say his helpe I tooke.
I guide and souldiour wunne the field and weare her,
I was both horse-man, foote-man, standard bearer.
Nor in my act hath fortune mingled chance,
O care-got triumph hetherwards advance.
Nor is my warres cause new, but for a Queene
Europe, and Asia in firme peace had beene.
The Laphithes, and the Centaures for a woman,
To cruell armes their drunken selves did summon.
A woman forc'd the Troyanes new to enter
Warres, just Latinus, in thy kingdomes center:
A woman against late-built Rome did send
The SabineFathers, who sharpe warres intend.
I saw how Bulls for a white Heifer strive,
Shee looking on them did more courage give.
And me with many, but yet me without murther,
Cupid commands to move his ensignes flirther.
ELEGIA 13Ad Isidem, ut parientem Corinnam iuvet
While rashly her wombes burthen she casts out,
Wearie Corinna hath her life in doubt.
She secretly with me such harme attempted,
Angry I was, but feare my wrath exempted.
But she conceiv'd of me, or I amsure
I oft have done, what might as much procure.
Thou that frequents Canopus pleasant fields,
Memphis, and Pharos that sweete date trees yeelds,
And where swift Nile in his large channell slipping,
By seaven huge mouthes into the sea is skipping,
By fear'd Anubis visage I thee pray,
So in thy Temples shall Osiris stay,
And the dull snake about thy offrings creepe,
And in thy pompe hornd Apis with thee keepe,
Turne thy lookes hether, and in one spare twaine,
Thou givest my mistris life, she mine againe.
Shee oft hath serv'd thee upon certaine dayes,
Where the French rout engirt themselves with Bayes.
On labouring women thou doest pitty take,
Whose bodies with their heavy burthens ake.
My wench, Lucina, I intreat thee favour,
Worthy she is, thou shouldst in mercy save her.
In white, with incense Ile thine Altars greete,
My selfe will bring vowed gifts before thy feete,
Subscribing, Naso with Corinna sav'd:
Do but deserve gifts with this title grav'd.
But if in so great feare I may advize thee,
To have this skirmish fought, let it suffice thee.
ELEGIA 14In amicam, quod abortivum ipsa fecerit
What helpes it Woman to be free from warre?
Nor being arrn'd fierce troupes to follow farre?
If without battell selfe-wrought wounds annoy them,
And their owne privie weapon'd hands destroy them.
Who unborne infants first to slay invented,
Deserv'd thereby with death to be tormented.
Because thy belly should rough wrinckles lacke,
Wilt thou thy wombe-inclosed off-spring wracke?
Had ancient Mothers this vile custome cherisht,
All humaine kinde by their default had perisht.
Or stones, our stockes originall, should be hurld,
Againe by some in this unpeopled world.
Who should have Priams wealthy substance wonne,
If watry Thetis had her childe fordone?
In swelling wombe her twinnes had Ilia kilde?
He had not beene that conquering Rome did build.
Had Venus spoilde her bellies Troyane fruite,
The earth of Caesars had beene destitute.
Thou also, that wert borne faire, hadst decayed,
If such a worke thy mother had assayed.
My selfe that better dye with loving may
Had seene, my mother killing me, no day.
Why takest increasing grapes from Vine-trees full?
With cruell hand why doest greene Apples pull?
Fruites ripe will fall, let springing things increase,
Life is no light price of a small surcease.
Why with hid irons are your bowels tome?
And why dire poison give you babes unborne?
At Cholcis stain'd with childrens bloud men raile,
And mother-murtherd Itis they bewaile,
Both unkinde parents, but for causes sad,
Their wedlocks pledges veng'd their husbands bad.
What Tereus, what Jason you provokes,
To plague your bodies with such harmeflill strokes?
ArmenianTygers never did so ill,
Nor dares the Lyonesse her young whelpes kill.
But tender Damsels do it, though with paine,
Oft dyes she that her paunch-wrapt child hath slaine.
Shee dyes, and with loose haires to grave is sent,
And who ere see her, worthily lament.
But in the ayre let these words come to nought,
And my presages of no weight be thought.
Forgive her gratious Gods this one delict,
And on the next fault punishment inflict.
ELEGIA 15Ad annulum, quem dono amicae dedit
Thou ring that shalt my faire girles finger binde,
Wherein is seene the givers loving minde:
Be welcome to her, gladly let her take thee,
And her small joynts incircling round hoope make thee.
Fit her so well, as she is fit for me:
And of just compasse for her knuckles bee.
Blest ring thou in my mistris hand shalt lye,
My selfe poore wretch mine owne gifts now envie.
O would that sodainly into my gift,
I could my selfe by secret Magicke shift.
Then would I wish thee touch my mistris pappe,
And hide thy left hand underneath her lappe.
I would get off though straight, and sticking fast,
And in her bosome strangely fall at last.
Then I, that I may seale her privy leaves,
Least to the waxe the hold-fast drye gemme cleaves,
Would first my beautious wenches moist lips touch,
Onely Ile signe nought, that may grieve me much.
I would not out, might I in one place hit,
But in lesse compasse her small fingers knit.
My life, that I will shame thee never feare,
Or be a bade thou shouldst refuse to beare.
Weare me, when warlnest showers thy members wash,
And through the gemme let thy lost waters pash.
But seeing thee, I thinke my thing will swell,
And even the ring performe a mans part well.
Vaine things why wish I? go small gift from hand,
Let her my faith with thee given understand.
ELEGIA 16Ad amicam, ut ad rura sua veniat
Sulmo, Pelignies third part me containes,
A small, but wholesome soyle with watrie veynes.
Although the sunne to rive the earth incline,
And the Icarian froward Dog-starre shine,
Pelignian fields with liqued rivers flowe,
And on the soft ground fertile greene grasse growe.
With corne the earth abounds, with vines much more,
And some few pastures PallasOlives bore.
And by the rising herbes, where cleare springs slide,
A grassie turffe the moistened earth doth hide.
But absent is my fire, lyes ile tell none,
My heate is heere, what moves my heate is gone.
Pollux and Castor, might I stand betwixt,
In heaven without thee would I not be fi,tt.
Upon the cold earth pensive let them lay,
That meane to travaile some long irkesome way.
Or els will maidens, yong-mens mates, to go
If they determine to persever so.
Then on the rough Alpes should I tread aloft,
My hard way with my mistrisse would seeme soft.
With her I durst the LybianSyrtes breake through,
And raging Seas in boistrous South-winds plough.
No barking Dogs that Syllaes intrailes beare,
Nor thy gulfes crooked Malea, would I feare.
No flowing waves with drowned ships forth poured,
Bycloyed Charibdis, and againe devoured.
But if sterne Neptunes windie powre prevaile,
And waters force, force helping Gods to faile,
With thy white armes upon my shoulders seaze,
So sweete a burthen I will beare with eaze.
The youth oft swimming to his Hero kinde,
Had then swum over, but the way was blinde.
But without thee, although vine-planted ground
Conteines me, though the streames in fields surround,
Though Hindes in brookes the running waters bring,
And coole gales shake the tall trees leavy spring,
Healthfi'll PelignyI esteeme nought worth,
Nor do I like the country of my birth.
Sythia, Cilicia, Brittaine are as good,
And rockes dyed crimson with Prometheus bloud.
Elmes love the Vines, the Vines with Elmes abide,
Why doth my mistresse from me oft devide?
Thou swearest, devision should not twixt us rise,
By me, and by my starres, thyradiant eyes.
Maides words more vaine and light then falling leaves,
Which as it seemes, hence winde and sea bereaves.
If any godly care of me thou hast,
Adde deeds unto thy promises at last.
And with swift Naggs drawing thy little Coach,
(Their reines let loose) right soone my house approach.
But when she comes, you swelling mounts sinck downe,
And falling vallies be the smooth-wayes crowne.
ELEGIA 17Quod Corinnae soli sit serviturus
To serve a wench if any thinke it shame,
He being Judge, I am convinc'd of blame.
Let me be slandered, while my fire she hides,
That Paphos, and the floud-beate Cithera guides.
Would I had beene my mistresse gentle prey,
Since some faire one I should of force obey.
Beauty gives heart, Corinnas lookes excell,
Aye me why is it knowne to her so well?
But by her glasse disdainefull pride she learnes,
Nor she her selfe but first trim'd up discernes.
Not though thy face in all things make thee raigne,
(O face most cunning mine eyes to detaine)
Thou oughtst therefore to scorne me for thy mate,
Small things with greater may be copulate.
Love-snarde Calypso is supposde to pray,
A mortall nimphes refusing Lord to stay.
Who doubts, with Pelius, Thetis did consort,
Egeria with just Numa had good sport,
Venus with Vulcan, though smiths tooles laide by,
With his stumpe-foote he halts ill-favouredly.
This kinde of verse is not alike, yet fit,
With shorter numbers the heroicke sit.
And thou my light accept me how so ever,
Lay in the mid bed, there be my law giver.
My stay no crime, my flight no joy shall breede,
Nor of our love to be asham'd we need,
For great revenews I good verses have,
And many by me to get glory crave.
I know a wench reports her selfe Corinne,
What would not she give that faire name to winne?
But sundry flouds in one banke never go,
Eurotas cold, and poplar-bearing Po.
Nor in my bookes shall one but thou be writ,
Thou doest alone give matter to my wit.
ELEGIA 18Ad Macrum, quod de amoribus scribat
To tragick verse while thou Achilles trainst,
And new sworne souldiours maiden armes retainst,
Wee Macer sit in Venus slothfull shade,
And tender love hath great things hatefull made.
Often at length, my wench depart, I bid,
Shee in my lap sits still as earst she did.
I sayd it irkes me: halfe to weping framed,
Aye me she cries, to love, why art a shamed?
Then wreathes about my necke her winding armes,
And thousand kisses gives, that worke my harmes:
I yeeld, and back my wit from battells bring,
Domesticke acts, and mine owne warres to sing.
Yet tragedies, and scepters fild my lines,
But though I apt were for such high deseignes,
Love laughed at my cloak, and buskines painted,
And rule so soone with private hands acquainted.
My Mistris deity also drewe me fro it,
And Love triumpheth ore his buskind Poet.
What lawfull is, or we professe Loves art,
(Alas my precepts turne my selfe to smart)
We write, or what Penelope sends Ulysses,
Or Phillis teares that her Demophoon misses,
What thanklesse Jason, Macareus, and Paris,
Phedra, and Hipolite may read, my care is,
And what poore Dido with her drawne sword sharpe,
Doth say, with her that lov'd the Aonian harpe.
As soone as from strange lands Salinus came,
And writings did from diverse places frame,
White-cheekt Penelope knewe Ulisses signe,
The stepdame read Hyppolitus lustlesse line.
Eneas to Elisa answere gives,
And Phillis hath to reade; if now she lives.
Jasons sad letter doth Hipsipile greete,
Sappho her vowed harpe laies at Phoebus feete.
Nor of thee Macer that resoundst forth armes,
Is golden love hid in Mars mid alarmes.
There Paris is, and Helens crymes record,
With Laodameia mate to her dead Lord.
Unlesse I erre to these thou more incline,
Then warres, and from thy tents wilt come to mine.
ELEGIA 19Ad rivalem, cui uxor curae non erat
Foole if to keepe thy wife thou hast no neede,
Keepe her for me, my more desire to breede.
Wee skorne things lawfiill, stolne sweetes we affect,
Cruell is he, that loves whom none protect.
Let us both lovers hope, and feare a like,
And may repulse place for our wishes strike.
What should I do with fortune that nere failes me?
Nothing I love, that at all times availes me.
Wily Corinna sawe this blemish in me,
And craftily knowes by what meanes to winne me.
Ah often, that her hale head aked, she lying,
Wild me, whose slowe feete sought delay, be flying.
Ah oft how much she might she feignd offence;
And doing wrong made shew of innocence.
So having vext she nourisht my warme fire,
And was againe most apt to my desire.
To please me, what faire termes and sweet words ha's shee,
Great gods what kisses, and how many gave she?
Thou also that late tookest mine eyes away,
Oft couzen me, oft being wooed say nay.
And on thy thre-shold let me lie dispred,
Suffring much cold by hoary nights frost bred.
So shall my love continue many yeares,
This doth delight me, this my courage cheares.
Fat love, and too much fulsome me annoyes,
Even as sweete meate a glutted stomacke cloyes.
In brazen tower had not Danae dwelt,
A mothers joy by Jove she had not felt.
While JunoJo keepes when hornes she wore,
Jove liked her better then he did before.
Who covets lawfull things takes leaves from woods,
And drinkes stolne waters in surrownding floudes.
Her lover let her mocke, that long will raigne,
Aye me, let not my warnings cause my paine.
What ever haps, by suifrance harme is done,
What flies, I followe, what followes me I shunne.
But thou of thy faire damsell too secure,
Beginne to shut thy house at evening sure.
Search at the dore who knocks oft in the darke,
In nights deepe silence why the ban-dogges barke.
Whether the subtile maide lines bringes and carries,
Why she alone in empty bed oft tarries.
Let this care some-times bite thee to the quick,
That to deceits it may me forward pricke.
To steale sands from the shore he loves alife,
That can effect a foolish wittalls wife.
Now I forewarne, unlesse to keepe her stronger,
Thou doest beginne, she shall be mine no longer.
Long have I borne much, hoping time would beate thee
To guard her well, that well I might entreate thee.
Thou suifrest what no husband can endure,
But of my love it will an end procure.
Shall I poore soule be never interdicted?
Nor never with nights sharpe revenge afflicted?
In sleeping shall I fearelesse drawe my breath?
Wilt nothing do, why I should wish thy death?
Can I but loath a husband growne a baude?
By thy default thou doest our joyes defraude.
Some other seeke that may in patience strive with thee,
To pleasure me, for-bid me to corive with thee.