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ELEGIA 8

Tibulli mortem deflet


If Thetis, and the morne their sonnes did waile,
And envious fates great goddesses assaile,
Sad Elegia thy wofull haires unbinde:
Ah now a name too true thou hast, I finde.
Tibullus, thy workes Poet, and thy fame,
Burnes his dead body in the funerall flame.
Loe Cupid brings his quiver spoyled quite,
His broken bowe, his fire-brand without light.
How piteously with drouping wings he stands,
And knocks his bare brest with selfe-angry hands.
The locks spred on his necke receive his teares,
And shaking sobbes his mouth for speeches beares.
So at Aeneas buriall men report,
Faire-fac'd Iulus, he went forth thy court.
And Venus grieves, Tibullus life being spent,
As when the wilde boare Adons groine had rent.
The gods care we are cald, and men of piety,
And some there be that thinke we have a deity.
Outrageous death profanes all holy things
And on all creatures obscure darcknesse brings.
To ThracianOrpheus what did parents good?
Or songs amazing wilde beasts of the wood?
Where Linus by his father Phoebus layed
To sing with his unequald harpe is sayed.
See Homer from whose fountaine ever fild,
Pierian deawe to Poets is distild.
Him the last day in black Averne hath drownd,
Verses alone are with continuance crown'd.
The worke of Poets lasts Troyes labours fame,
And that slowe webbe nights fals-hood did unframe.
So Nemesis, so Delia famous are,
The one his first love, th'other his new care.
What profit to us hath our pure life bred?
What to have lame alone in empty bed?
When bad fates take good men, I am forbod,
By secreat thoughts to thinke there is a god.
Live godly, thou shalt die, though honour heaven,
Yet shall thy life be forcibly bereaven.
Trust in good verse, Tibullus feeles deaths paines,
Scarse rests of all what a small urne conteines.
Thee sacred Poet could sad flames destroy?
Nor feared they thy body to annoy?
The holy gods gilt temples they might fire,
That durst to so great wickednesse aspire.
Eryx bright Empresse turud her lookes aside,
And some, that she refrain'd teares, have deni'd.
Yet better ist, then if CorcyrasIle
Had thee unknowne interr'd in ground most vile.
Thy dying eyes here did thy mother close,
Nor did thy ashes her last offrings lose.
Part of her sorrowe heere thy sister bearing,
Comes forth her unkeembd locks a sunder tearing.
Nemesis and thy first wench joyne their kisses,
With thine, nor this last fire their presence misses.
Delia departing, happier lov'd, she saith,
Was I: thou liv'dst, while thou esteemdst my faith.
Nemesis answeares, what's my losse to thee?
His fainting hand in death engrasped mee.
If ought remaines of us but name, and spirit,
Tibullus doth Elysiums joy inherit.
Their youthfull browes with Ivie girt to meete him,
With Calvus learnd Catullus comes and greete him.
And thou, if falsely charged to wrong thy friend,
Gallus that car'dst not bloud, and life to spend.
With these thy soule walkes, soules if death release,
The godly, sweete Tibullus doth increase.
Thy bones I pray may in the urne safe rest,
And may th'earths weight thy ashes nought molest.

load focus Latin (R. Ehwald, 1907)
load focus English (various, 1855)
hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • John Conington, Commentary on Vergil's Aeneid, Volume 1, 1.48
    • John Conington, Commentary on Vergil's Aeneid, Volume 2, 10.682
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
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