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ELEGIA 17

Quod 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.

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    • Sulpicia, Carmina Omnia, 6
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