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But now perchance thy wench with thee doth rest :

Ah, how thy lot is above my lot blest !

Though it be so, shut me not out therefore ;

Night goes away : I pray thee ope the door.

Err we ? or do the turned hinges sound.

And opening doors with creaking noise abound ? ^ 50

We err : a strong blast seemed the gates to ope :

Ay me, how high that gale did lift my hope !

If Boreas bears ^ Orithyia's rape in mind,

Come break these deaf doors with thy boisterous wind.

Silent the city is : night's dewy host ^

March fast away : the bar strike from the post ;

Or I more stern than fire or sword will turn,

And with my brand these gorgeous houses burn.

Night, love, and wine to all extremes persuade :

Night, shameless wine, and love are fearless made. 60

All have I spent : no threats or prayers move thee ;

O harder than the doors thou guard'st I prove thee !

1 Qy. "rebound? "

- Dyce reads, "If, Boreas, bear'st" (i.e., "thou bear'st "). But the
change in the old eds. from the second to the third person is not very

* A picturesque rendering of

" Vitreoque madentia rore
Tempora noctis eunt,"

Ovid 's Elegies. 117

No pretty wench's keeper may'st thou be,

The careful prison is more meet for thee.

Now frosty night her flight begins to take,

And crowing cocks poor souls to work awake.

But thou, my crown, from sad hairs ta'en away,

On this hard threshold till the morning lay.

That when my mistress there beholds thee cast.

She may perceive how we the time did waste. 70

Whate'er thou art, farewell, be like me pained !

Careless, farewell, with my fault not distained ! ^

And farewell, cruel posts, rough threshold's block,

And doors conjoined with an hard iron lock !

Elegia VII.2

Ad pacandam amicam, quam verberaverat.

Bind fast my hands, they have deserved chains,

While rage is absent, take some friend the pains.

For rage against my wench moved my rash arm ;

My mistress weeps whom my mad hand did harm.

I might have then my parents dear misused.

Or holy gods with cruel strokes abused.

Why, Ajax, master of the seven-fold shield,

Butchered the flocks he found in spacious field.

And he who on his mother venged his ire.

Against the Destinies durst sharp ^ darts require. 10

1 " Lente nee admisso turpis amante . . . vale." Of course " nee "
should be taken with "admisso."

^ Not in Isham copy or ed. A.

3 I should like to omit this word, to which there is nothing to corre-
spond in the original.

1 1 8 Ovid's Elegies.

Could I therefore her comely tresses tear ?

Yet was she graced with her ruffled hair.

So fair she was, Atalanta she resembled,

Before whose bow th' Arcadian wild beasts trembled.

Such Ariadne was, when she bewails,

Her perjured Theseus' flying vows and sails.

So, chaste Minerva, did Cassandra fall

Deflowered ^ except within thy temple wall.

That I was mad and barbarous all men cried :

She nothing said ; pale fear her tongue had tied. 20

But secretly her looks with checks did trounce me.

Her tears, she silent, guilty did pronounce me.

Would of mine arms my shoulders had been scanted !

Better I could part of myself have wanted.

To mine own self have I had strength so furious.

And to myself could I be so injurious .f*

Slaughter and mischief's instruments, no better.

Deserved chains these cursed hands shall fetter.

Punished I am, if I a Roman beat :

Over my mistress is my right more great ? 30

Tydides left worst signs ^ of villainy ;

He first a goddess struck : another I.

Yet he harmed less ; whom I professed to love

I harmed : a foe did Diomede's anger move.

Go now, thou conqueror, glorious triumphs raise,

Pay vows to Jove ; engirt thy hairs with bays.

1 Marlowe has misunderstood the original :

"Sic nisi vittatis quod erat Cassandra capillis."

2 " Pessima Tydides sceleruin monumenta reliquit."


Ovid's Elegies. 1 19

And let the troops which shall thy chariot follow,

" 15, a strong man conquered this wench," hollow.

Let the sad captive foremost, with locks spread

On her white neck, but for hurt cheeks,^ be led. 40

Meeter it were her lips were blue with kissing,

And on her neck a wanton's ^ mark not missing.

But, though I like a swelling flood was driven,

And as a prey unto blind anger given,

Was't not enough the fearful wench to chide ?

Nor thunder, in rough threatenings, haughty pride ?

Nor shamefully her coat pull o'er her crown.

Which to her waist her girdle still kept down ?

But cruelly her tresses having rent.

My nails to scratch her lovely cheeks I bent. 50

Sighing she stood, her bloodless white looks shewed.

Like marble from the Parian mountains hewed.

Her half-dead joints, and trembling limbs I saw,

Like poplar leaves blown with a stormy flaw.

Or slender ears, with gentle zephyr shaken.

Or waters' tops with the warm south-wind taken.

And down her cheeks, the trickling tears did flow,

Like water gushing from consuming snow.

Then first I did perceive I had offended ;

My blood the tears were that from her descended. 60

Before her feet thrice prostrate down I fell.

My feared hands thrice back she did repel.

1 An awkward translation of

"Si sinerent Icesoe, Candida tota, genee."

2 So ed. B.— Ed. C. "wanton."

I20 Ovid's Elegies.

But doubt thou not (revenge doth grief appease),
With thy sharp nails upon my face to seize ;
Bescratch mine eyes, spare not my locks to break
(Anger will help thy hands though ne'er so weak) ;
And lest the sad signs of my crime remain,
Put in their place thy kembed ^ hairs again,

Elegia VIII.-

Execratur lenam quae puellam suam meretricis arte instituebat.

There is — whoe'er will know a bawd aright,

Give ear — there is an old trot Dipsas hight.^

Her name comes from the thing : she being wise,"^

Sees not the morn on rosy horses rise,

She magic arts and Thessal charms doth know.

And makes large streams back to their fountains flow ;

She knows with grass, with threads on wrung ^ wheels

And what with mares' rank humour ^ may be done.
When she will, clouds the darkened heaven obscure,
When she will, day shines everywhere most pure. lo

If I have faith, I saw the stars drop blood,
The purple moon with sanguine visage stood ;

1 Old eds. "keembed." (" Pone recompositas in statione comas. ")

2 Not in Isham copy or ed. A.

3 "Est qucedam, nomine Dipsas, anus."

* " Nigri non ilia parentem
Memnonis in roseis sobria vidit equis."

Cunningham suggests that ' ' wise " was " one of the thousand and one
euphemisms for 'inebriated.' "

* The spelling in old eds. is " wrong."
6 " Virus amantis equae."

Ovid 's Elecries. 1 2 1


Her I suspect among night's spirits to fly,

And her old body in birds' pkinies to lie.

Fame saith as I suspect ; and in her eyes,

Two eyeballs shine, and double light thence flies.

Great grandsires from their ancient graves she chides.

And with long charms the solid earth divides.

She draws chaste women to incontinence.

Nor doth her tongue want harmful eloquence. 20

By chance I heard her talk ; these words she said,

While closely hid betwixt two doors I laid.

"Mistress, thou knowest thou hast a blest youth pleased,

He stayed and on thy looks his gazes seized.

And why should'st not please ? none thy face exceeds ;

Ay me, thy body hath no worthy weeds !

As thou art fair, would thou wert fortunate !

Wert thou rich, poor should not be my state.

Th' opposed star of IMars hath done thee harm ;

Now Mars is gone, Venus thy side doth warm, 30

And brings good fortune ; a rich lover plants

His love on thee, and can supply thy wants.

Such is his form as may with thine compare,

Would he not buy thee, thou for him should'st care." ^

She blushed : " Red shame becomes white cheeks ; but

If feigned, doth well ; if true, it doth amiss.
When on thy lap thine eyes thou dost deject,
Each one according to his gifts respect.

1 "Si te non emptam vellet emendus erat." (Marlowe's copy must
have read "aniandus.")

12 2 Ovid ' s Eles^ies,


Perhaps the Sabines rude, when Tatius reigned

To yield their love to more than one disdained. 40

Now Mars doth rage abroad without all pity,

And Venus rules in her Eneas' city.

Fair women play ; she's chaste whom none will have,

Or, but for bashfulness, herself would crave.

Shake off these wrinkles that thy front assault ;

Wrinkles in beauty is a grievous fault.

Penelope in bows her youths' strength tried,

Of horn the bow was that approved ^ their side.

Time flying slides hence closely, and deceives us.

And with swift horses the swift year ^ soon leaves us. 50

Brass shines with use ; good garments would ^ be worn ;

Houses not dwelt in, are with filth forlorn.

Beauty, not exercised, with age is spent,

Nor one or two men are sufficient.

Many to rob is more sure, and less hateful';

From dog-kept flocks come preys to wolves most grateful.

Behold, what gives the poet but new verses ?

And thereof many thousand he rehearses.

The poet's god, arrayed in robes of gold.

Of his gilt harp the well-tuned strings doth hold. 60

Let Homer yield to such as presents bring ;

(Trust me) to give, it is a witty thing.

Nor, so thou may'st obtain a wealthy prize,

The vain name of inferior slaves despise.

1 Proved their strength. " Qui /(7/«5 (7rjf«(?/-e/ corneus arcus erat.'
- The usual reading \s" Ut celer admissis labitur amnis aquis."
* " Vestis bona quaerii haberi."

Ovid' s Elegies. i 2


Nor let the arms of ancient lines ^ beguile thee ;

Poor lover, with thy grandsires I exile thee.

Who seeks, for being fair, a night to have,

What he will give, with greater instance crave.

Make a small price, while thou thy nets dost lay ;

Lest they should fly ; being ta'en, the tyrant play. 70

Dissemble so, as loved he may be thought.

And take heed lest he gets that love for nought.

Deny him oft ; feign now thy head doth ache :

And Isis now will show what 'scuse to make.

Receive him soon, lest patient use he gain,

Or lest his love oft beaten back should wane.

To beggars shut, to bringers ope thy gate;

Let him within hear barred-out lovers prate.

And, as first wronged, the wronged sometimes banish ;

Thy fault with his fault so repulsed will vanish. So

But never give a spacious time to ire ;

Anger delayed doth oft to hate retire.

And let thine eyes constrained learn to weep.

That this or that man may thy cheeks moist keep.

Nor, if thou cozenest one, dread to forswear ;

Venus to mocked men lends a senseless ear.

Servants fit for thy purpose thou must hire,

To teach thy lover what thy thoughts desire.

Let them ask somewhat ; many asking little,

Within a while great heaps grow of a tittle. 90

And sister, nurse, and mother spare him not ;

By many hands great wealth is quickly got.

1 Oldeds. "liues."

124 Ovid's Elegies.

When causes fail thee to require a gift

By keeping of thy birth, make but a shift.

Beware lest he, unrivalled, loves secure ;

Take strife away, love doth not well endure.

On all the bed men's tumbHng ^ let him view,

And thy neck with lascivious marks made blue.

Chiefly show him the gifts which others send :

If he gives nothing, let him from thee wend. ic

When thou hast so much as he gives no more,

Pray him to lend what thou may'st ne'er restore.

Let thy tongue flatter, while thy mind harm works ;

Under sweet honey deadly poison lurks.

If this thou dost, to me by long use known,

(Nor let my words be with the winds hence blown)

Oft thou wilt say, ' live well ; ' thou wilt pray oft,

That my dead bones may in their grave lie soft."

As thus she spake, my shadow me betrayed ;

With much ado my hands I scarcely stayed, n

But her blear eyes, bald scalp's thin hoary fleeces,

And rivelled - cheeks I would have pulled a-pieces.

The gods send thee no house, a poor old age.

Perpetual thirst, and winter's lasting rage.

Elegia IX.3

Ad Atticum, amantem non oportere desidiosum esse, sicuti nee

All lovers war, and Cupid hath his tent ;
Attic, all lovers are to war far sent.

1 " Ille viri toto videat vestigia lecto."

2 " A'?/foj-a^ genas."

3 Not in Ishani copy or ed, A.

Ovid's Elegies. 125

What age fits Mars, with Venus doth agree ;

'Tis shame for eld in war or love to be.

What years in soldiers captains do require,

Those in their lovers pretty maids desire.

Both of them watch : each on the hard earth sleeps :

His mistress' door this, that his captain's keeps.

Soldiers must travel far : the wench forth send,^

Her valiant lover follows without end. 10

Mounts, and rain-doubled floods he passeth over,

And treads the desert snowy heaps do ^ cover.

Going to sea, east winds he doth not chide,

Nor to hoist sail attends fit time and tide.

Who but a soldier or a lover's bold

To suffer storm-mixed snows with night's sharp cold ?

One as a spy doth to his enemies go,

The other eyes his rival as his foe.

He cities great, this thresholds lies before :

This breaks town-gates, but he his mistress' door. 20

Oft to invade the sleeping foe 'tis good,

And armed to shed unarmed people's blood.

So the fierce troops of Thracian Rhesus fell,

And captive horses bade their lord farewell.

Sooth,^ lovers watch till sleep the husband charms,

Who slumbering, they rise up in swelling arms.

The keepers' hands * and corps-du-gard to pass,

The soldier's, and poor lover's work e'er was.

1 "Mitte puellam."

2 Oldeds. "to."

3 Soed, B.- Ed. C "Such."

* "Custodum transire W£7«?^j vigilumque catervas." (For "hands"
the poet should have written " bands.")

126 Ovid's Elegies,

Doubtful is war and love; the vanquished rise,

And who thou never think'st should fall, down lies. 30

Therefore whoe'er love slothfulness doth call,

Let him surcease : love tries wit best of all.

Achilles burned, Briseis being ta'en away;

Trojans destroy the Greek wealth, while you may.

Hector to arms went from his wife's embraces,

And on Andromache ^ his helmet laces.

Great Agamemnon was, men say, amazed,

On Priam's loose-trest daughter when he gazed.

Mars in the deed the blacksmith's net did stable ;

In heaven was never more notorious fable. 40

Myself was dull and faint, to sloth inclined ;

Pleasure and ease had mollified ray mind.

A fair maid's care expelled this sluggishness,

And to her tents willed me myself address.

Since may'st thou see me watch and night-wars move :

He that will not grow slothful, let him love.

Elegia X.2

Ad puellam, ne pro amore proemia poscat.

Such as the cause was of two husbands' war.
Whom Trojan ships fetch'd from Europa far,
Such as was Leda, whom the god deluded
In snow-white plumes of a false swan included.

1 " Et galeam capiti quae daret uxor erat."
- Not in Isham copy or ed. A.

Ovid's Elegies. 127

Such as Amymone through the dry fields strayed,

When on her head a water pitcher laid ;

Such wert thou, and I feared the bull and eagle.

And whate'er Love made Jove, should thee inveigle.

Now all fear with my mind's hot love abates :

No more this beauty mine eyes captivates. 10

Ask'st why I change ? because thou crav'st reward ;

This cause hath thee from pleasing me debarred.

While thou wert plain ' I loved thy mind and face :

Now inward faults thy outward form disgrace.

Love is a naked boy, his years saunce ^ stain,

And hath no clothes, but open doth remain.

Will you for gain have Cupid sell himself?

He hath no bosom where to hide base pelf.

Love ^ and Love's son are with fierce arms at * odds ;

To serve for pay beseems not wanton gods. 20

The whore stands to be bought for each man's

And seeks vild wealth by selling of her coney.
Yet greedy bawd's command she curseth still.
And doth, constrained, what you do of goodwill.
Take from irrational beasts a precedent ;
'Tis shame their wits should be more excellent.
The mare asks not the horse, the cow the bull.
Nor the mild ewe gifts from the ram doth pull.
Only a woman gets spoils from a man.
Farms out herself on nights for what she can ; 30

1 "Simplex." 2 Sans.

3 "Nee Fez; «j apta, " &c. * Old eds. "to."

128 Ovid's Elegies.

And lets ^ what both dehght, what both desire,

Making her joy according to her hire.

The sport being such, as both aUke sweet try it,

Why should one sell it and the other buy it ?

Why should I lose, and thou gain by the pleasure.

Which man and woman reap in equal measure ?

Knights of the post'^ of perjuries make sale,

The unjust judge for bribes becomes a stale.

'Tis shame sold tongues the guilty should defend,

Or great wealth from a judgment-seat ascend. 40

'Tis shame to grow rich by bed-merchandise,^

Or prostitute thy beauty for bad price.

Thanks worthily are due for things unbought ;

For beds ill-hired we are indebted nought.

The hirer payeth all ; his rent discharged.

From further duty he rests then enlarged.

Fair dames, forbear rewards for nights to crave :

Ill-gotten goods good end will never have.

The Sabine gauntlets were too dearly won,

That unto death did press the holy nun. 50

The sun slew her, that forth to meet him went,

And a rich necklace caused that punishment.

Yet think no scorn to ask a wealthy churl ;

He wants no gifts into thy lap to hurl.

Take clustered grapes from an o'er-laden vine,

May ^ bounteous love ^ Alcinous' fruit resign.

1 " Vendit."

" " Non bene conducti testes."

^ So ed. B. — ed. C "bad merchandise."

* Old eds. "many."

s The original has "ager."

Ovid's Elegies. 129

Let poor men show their service, faith and care ;

All for their mistress, what they have, prepare.

In verse to praise kind wenches 'tis my part,

And whom I like eternise by mine art. 60

Garments do wear, jewels and gold do waste.

The fame that verse gives doth for ever last.

To give I love, but to be asked disdain ;

Leave asking, and I'll give what I refrain.

Elegia XL^

Napen alloquitur, ut paratas tabellas ad Corinnam perferat.

In skilful gathering ruffled hairs in order.

Nape, free-born, whose cunning hath no border,'^

Thy service for night's scapes is known commodious.

And to give signs dull wit to thee is odious.^

Corinna clips me oft by thy persuasion :

Never to harm me made thy faith evasion.

Receive these lines ; them to my mistress carry ;

Be sedulous ; let no stay cause thee tarry,

Nor flint nor iron are in thy soft breast,

But pure simplicity in thee doth rest.

And 'tis supposed Love's bow hath wounded thee :

Defend the ensigns of thy war in me.

If what I do, she asks, say "hope for night ; "

The rest my hand doth in my letters write.

1 Not in Isham copy or eti. A.

2 Bound.

' " Et dandis ingeniosa notis."

130 Ovid's Elegies.

Time passeth while I speak ; give her my writ,
But see that forthwith she peruseth it,
I charge thee mark her eyes in front in reading :
By speechless looks we guess at things succeeding.
Straight being read, will her to write much back,
I hate fair paper should writ matter lack.
Let her make verses and some blotted letter
On the last edge to stay mine eyes the better.
What needs she tire ^ her hand to hold the quill .?
Let this word " Come," alone the tables fill.
Then with triumphant laurel will I grace them
And in the midst of Venus' temple place them.
Subscribing, that to her I consecrate
My faithful tables, being vile maple late.

Elegia XIL2

Tabellas quas miserat execiatur quod amica noctem negabat.

Bewail my chance : the sad book is returned.
This day denial hath my sport adjourned.
Presages are not vain ; when she departed,
Nape by stumbhng on the threshold, started.
Going out again, pass forth the door more wisely.
And somewhat higher bear thy foot precisely.
Hence luckless tables ! funeral wood, be flying !
And thou, the wax, stuffed full with notes denying !

1 So Dyce for " try " of the old eds.
- Not in Isham copy or ed. A,

Ovid 's Elegies, 1 3 1

Which I think gathered from cold hemlock's flower,

Wherein bad honey Corsic bees did pour : 10

Yet as if mixed with red lead thou wert ruddy,

That colour rightly did appear so bloody.

As evil wood, thrown in the highways, lie.

Be broke with wheels of chariots passing by !

And him that hewed you out for needful uses,

I'll prove had hands impure with all abuses.

Poor wretches on the tree themselves did strangle :

There sat the hangman for men's necks to angle.

To hoarse scrich-owls foul shadows it allows ;

Vultures and Furies ^ nestled in the boughs. 20

To these my love I foolishly committed.

And then with sweet words to my mistress fitted.

More fitly had they- wrangling bonds contained

From barbarous lips of some attorney strained.

Among day-books and bills they had lain better,

In which the merchant wails his bankrupt debtor.

Your name approves you made for such-like things,

The number two no good divining brings.

Angry, I pray that rotten age you racks,

And sluttish white-mould overgrow the wax. jo

Elegia XIII.
Ad Auroram ne properet.
Now o'er the sea from her old love comes she
That draws the day from heaven's cold axletree.

1 " Volturis in ramis et strigis ova tulit."
- Old eds. " thy."

1^2 Ovid' s Elegies.

Aurora, whither slid'st thou ? down again !

And birds for^ Memnon yearly shall be slain.

Now in her tender arms I sweetly bide,

If ever, now well lies she by my side.

The air is cold, and sleep is sweetest now,

And birds send forth shrill notes from every bough.

Whither runn'st thou, that men and women love not ?

Hold in thy rosy horses that they move not.

Ere thou rise, stars teach seamen where to sail.

But when thou com'st, they of their courses fail.

Poor travellers though tired, rise at thy sight,

And 2 soldiers make them ready to the fight.

The painful hind by thee to field is sent ;

Slow oxen early in the yoke are pent.

Thou coz'nest boys of sleep, and dost betray them

To pedants that with cruel lashes pay them.

Thou mak'st the surety to the lawyer run.

That with one word hath nigh himself undone.

The lawyer and the client hate thy view,

Both whom thou raisest up to toil anew.

By thy means women of their rest are barred.

Thou settst their labouring hands to spin and card.

All ^ could I bear ; but that the wench should rise,

Who can endure, save him with whom none lies ?

How oft wished I night would not give thee place,

Nor morning stars shun thy uprising face !

1 So Dyce for " from " of tlie old eds.
* This line is omitted in ed. A.
' Isham copy and cd, A "_This. "

Ovid 's Eleg ies. 1 3 3

How oft that either wind would break thy coach,

Or steeds might fall, forced with thick clouds' approach ! 30

Whither go'st thou, hateful nymph ? Memnon the elf

Received his coal-black colour from thyself.

Say that thy love with Cephalus were not known,

Then thinkest thou thy loose life is not shown ?

Would Tithon might but talk of thee awhile !

Not one in heaven should be more base and vile.

Thou leav'st his bed, because he's faint through age,

And early mount'st thy hateful carriage :

But held'st ^ thou in thine arms some Cephalus,

Then would'st thou cry, " Stay night, and run not thus." 40

Dost punish - me because years make him wane ?

I did not bid thee wed an aged swain.

The moon sleeps with Endymion every day ;

Thou art as fair as she, then kiss and play.

Jove, that thou should'st not haste but wait his leisure,

Made two nights one to finish up his pleasure.

I chid^ no more ; she blushed, and therefore heard me,

Yet lingered not the day, but morning scared me.

Elegia XIV.'^

Puellam consolatur cui prae nimia cura comae

Leave colouring thy tresses, I did cry ;
Now hast thou left no hairs at all to dye.

I Isham copy and ed. A " had'st."

- Isham copy and ed. A " Punish ye me."

^ So the Isham copy. The other old eds. " chide."

■• Not in Isham copy or ed. A.

134 Ovid' s Elegies.

But what had been more fair had they been kept ?

Beyond thy robes thy dangling locks had swept.

P'ear'dst thou to dress them being fine and thin,

Like to the silk the curious^ Seres spin.

Or threads which spider's slender foot draws out,

Fastening her light web some old beam about?

Not black nor golden were they to our view,

Yet although [njeither, mixed of cither's hue ;

Such as in hilly Ida's watery plains,

The cedar tall, spoiled of his bark, retains.

Add ^ they were apt to curl a hundred ways,

And did to thee no cause of dolour raise.

Nor hath the needle, or the comb's teeth reft them.

The maid that kembed them ever safely left them.

Oft was she dressed before mine eyes, yet never.

Snatching the comb to beat the wench, outdrive her.

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