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ELEGIA 7

Quod ab amica non recipiatur, dolet


What man will now take liberall arts in hand,
Or thinke soft verse in any stead to stand?
Wit was some-times more pretious then gold,
Now poverty great barbarisme we hold.
When our bookes did my mistris faire content,
I might not go, whether my papers went.
She prais'd me, yet the gate shutt fast upon her,
I heere and there go witty with dishonour.
See a rich chuffe whose wounds great wealth inferr'd,
For bloudshed knighted, before me preferr'd.
Foole canst thou him in thy white armes embrace?
Foole canst thou lie in his enfolding space?
Knowest not this head a helme was wont to beare,
This side that serves thee, a sharpe sword did weare.
His left hand whereon gold doth ill alight,
A target bore: bloud sprinckled was his right.
Canst touch that hand wherewith some one lie dead?
Ah whether is thy brests soft nature fled?
Behold the signes of antient fight, his skarres,
What ere he hath his body gaind in warres.
Perhaps he'ele tell howe oft he slewe a man,
Confessing this, why doest thou touch him than?
I the pure priest of Phoebus and the muses,
At thy deafe dores in verse sing my abuses.
Not what we slouthfull knowe, let wise men learne,
But follow trembling campes, and battailes steme,
And foru a good verse drawe the first dart forth,
Homer without this shall be nothing worth.
Jove being admonisht gold had soveraigne power,
To winne the maide came in a golden shewer.
Till then, rough was her father, she severe,
The posts of brasse, the walles of iron were.
But when in gifts the wise adulterer came,
She held her lap ope to receive the same.
Yet when old Saturne heavens rule possest,
All game in darknesse the deepe earth supprest.
Gold, silver, irons heavy weight, and hrasse,
In hell were harbourd, here was found no masse.
But better things it gave, corne without ploughes,
Apples, and hony in oakes hollow boughes.
With strong plough shares no man the earth did cleave,
The ditcher no markes on the ground did leave.
Nor hanging oares the troubled seas did sweepe,
Men kept the shoare, and sailde not into deepe.
Against thy selfe, mans nature, thou wert cunning,
And to thine owne losse was thy wit swift running.
Why gird'st thy citties with a towred wall?
Why letst discordant hands to armour fall?
What doest with seas? with th'earth thou wert content,
Why seek'st not heav'n the third realme to frequent?
Heaven thou affects, with Romulus, temples brave
Bacchus, Alcides, and now Caesar have.
Gold from the earth in steade of fruits we pluck,
Souldiours by bloud to be inricht have lucke.
Courts shut the poore out; wealth gives estimation,
Thence growes the Judge, and knight of reputation.
All, they possesse: they governe fieldes, and lawes,
They manadge peace, and rawe waives bloudy jawes,
Onely our loves let not such rich churles gaine,
Tis well, if some wench for the poore remaine.
Now, Sabine-like, though chast she seemes to live,
One her commands, who many things can give.
For me, she doth keeper, and husband feare,
If I should give, both would the house forbeare.
If of scornd lovers god be venger just,
O let him change goods so ill got to dust.

load focus Latin (R. Ehwald, 1907)
load focus English (various, 1855)
hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 64
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
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