Better for you Pompey, ill at Naples, if your funeral procession had crossed the Phlegraean Plain, or that you had bowed your neck to Caesar , your father-in-law. Celebrate a triumph Rome , and saved by Augustus beg long life for him!
I saw your arms bitten by the sacred asps, and your limbs draw sleep in by a secret path. The gods founded them, may the gods protect these walls: with Caesar alive, Rome need scarcely fear Jove. Apollo of Actium will speak of how the line was turned: one day of battle carried off so vast a host. But you, sailor, whether leaving or making for harbour, be mindful of Caesar through all the Ionian Sea.
She in the meantime will pine away at each idle rumour, for fear your courage will cost you dear, or the arrows of Medes enjoy your death, or the armoured knight on a golden horse, or some bit of you be brought back in an urn to be wept over. Your morals deserve a different wife!
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What shall a girl do with no fear to guard her, with Rome to instruct her in its voluptuousness? But rest secure: gifts will not win Galla, and she will not recall how hard you were. On whatever day fate sends you safely home, modest Galla will hang about your neck.
Not in vain, since his wife had stayed chaste at home. The reason for such ruin is clear and certain: the path to voluptuousness has been made too easy. These weapons take sheltered modesty by storm: even those who show disdain like yours Penelope. Happy that singular custom at the funerals of Eastern husbands that the reddening dawn colours with her chariot! The winners are inflamed and offer their breasts to the fire and rest their scorched faces on their husband.
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Happy were the young country folk, once, peaceable: whose wealth was in orchards and harvests. With such blandishments as these the kisses of girls were won, given to sylvan youths in secret hollows. The pine leaned over them and threw its rich shadows round them: and it was not a sin to see the goddesses naked. The horned ram, head of the flock, led back his sated ewes himself to the empty fold of Pan the shepherd god. But now the shrines decay in deserted groves: all worship money now piety is vanquished.
Money drives out loyalty, justice is bought for money, money rules the law, and, without the law, then shame. For money, vile Polymestor of Thrace , reared you, Polydorus , in impious hospitality. Amphiaraus is lost, and his horses swallowed up, so that you Eriphyla can cover your shoulders with gold.
I speak truth, but no one will believe. Her frenzies were fitting for her father and her house: in vain her tongue experienced the true gods.
You yourself can speak about things without a go-between: no long waiting rebuffs you. No Tyrian garments beguile roving eyes, no affected toying with perfumed hair. So let me know, now, no more storms in my love, and let the night not come to me when I lie awake without you! While three years have passed it is not much less I can barely remember ten words between us. Your love has buried everything, no woman, since you, has thrown a sweet chain about my neck. Dirce is evidence, made jealous by a true reproach that Antiope had slept with her Lycus.
How often she loaded the servant girl with unreasonable tasks, and ordered her to sleep on the hard ground! Often she suffered her to live in filth and darkness, often she refused her foul water for her thirst. Heavy chains scar her wrists. Yet on her own, with whatever strength was in her body, she broke the royal manacles with both hands. It was night and her sad couch was scattered with frost. Driven from her house their mother tested her hard-hearted son Zethus and her son Amphion easily moved to tears.
And as the sea ceases its vast heaving, when the East wind leaves its assault on the South-West , and the coast is quiet, and the sounds of the shore diminish, so the girl sank on her bended knees. Still piety came though late: her sons knew their error. But be careful of tormenting Lycinna who does not deserve it: your headlong anger knows no retreat. May no story about us strike your ears: you alone I will love, though burned by the funeral pyre. What to do? Commit myself to covering darkness, and fear audacious hands on my members?
Yet if I were to ignore her message from fear, her weeping would be worse than an enemy in the night. The Moon helps him on his way; the stars light the ruts; Love shakes the blazing torch up ahead; raging wild dogs avert their gaping jaws. But if I knew my certain death followed the event, perhaps such a fate would be worth more to me. Now, O Bacchus , I prostrate myself humbly in front of your altars: father, give me tranquillity: prosper my passage.
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Lovers are joined by you, by you set free. Bacchus wash this trouble from my soul. That you also are not innocent of love, Ariadne bears witness, drawn through the sky, by lynxes of yours, to the stars. This disease that has kept the flame in my bones from of old, the funeral pyre or your wine will heal.
A sober night is always a torment for lonely lovers, and hope and fear strain their spirits this way and that. Your white neck burdened with trailing clusters of ivy-berries, Bassareus , a Lydian turban crowns your hair. Your smooth throat will glisten with scented olive oil, and the flowing robe will brush your naked feet.
Dircean Thebes will beat the soft drums, and goat-footed Pans will play on unstopped reeds. Nearby the Great Goddess, Cybele , with turreted crown will clash harsh cymbals in the Idaean dance. The mixing bowl will stand in front of your temple doors, for wine to be poured over your sacrifice from the golden ladle. Only do you set me free from this despotic servitude, and conquer this anxious mind with sleep.
He is dead, and his twentieth year is left ruined: such a bright day confined in such a small circle. Though a cautious man sheathe himself in iron or bronze, death will still drag out his hidden head.
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You often taunt me with my passion: believe me, it commands you more. The fire in burning corn will sooner be stamped out, the rivers return to the founts where they were born, the Syrtes offer quiet harbour, and savage Cape Malea offer the sailor kind welcome on its shore, than any man be able to restrain your course, or curb the spurs of your impetuous wantonness. Witness Pasiphae who suffered the disdain of the Cretan bull, and wore the deceptive horns of the wooden cow. Myrrha too is a reproach, on fire for her aged father, buried in the foliage of a new-created tree.
Why need I mention Medea , who, in her time as a mother, satisfied her fury by the murder of her children? Or Clytemnestra through whom the whole House of Mycenean Pelops remains infamous for her adultery? That was the dowry the virgin pledged to his enemy! Nisus , treacherous love opened your city gates.
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And you, unmarried ones, burn torches of happier omen: the girl clutches the Cretan ship and is dragged away. Still Minos does not sit as a judge in Hell without reason: though he conquered, he was merciful to his foe. Cruel the man who could exchange his girl for wealth! Was all Africa worth as much as those tears? But you, foolish girl, think idle words are gods.
Perhaps he wears out his heart on another passion. Your house is fortunate, if only your lover is true. My first night has come! Grant me the space of a first night: Moon linger longer over our first couch. You also Phoebus , who prolong the fires of summer, shorten the path of your lingering light. First the terms must be laid out, and the pledges sealed, and the contract written for my new love.
Amor with his own seal binds these tokens: the witness, the whirling crown of Ariadne the starry goddess. How many hours must give way to my discourse, before Venus urges sweet battles on us!
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Let the first omens keep us loyal. For love for my girl grows with constant gazing: love offers itself as its greatest nourishment. Towers of Rome , and you, my friends, farewell, and farewell you too, girl, whatever you meant to me! Either the passage of years, or the long spaces of the deep will heal the wounds in my silent breast: or if I die, fate will crush me, not shameful love: and that day of death will be an honour to me. And Cybele of Dindymus fashioned from carved tusks; and the path taken by the horses of Dis the rapist?
Though the cities of Helle , daughter of Athamas , delight you, perhaps, Tullus, still be moved by my longing.
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Since our power is established by loyalty as much as weapons: our wrath restrains victorious hands. But no horned snakes slithering on scaly bellies, Italian waters are not seething with strange monsters. No savage Bacchantes hunt Pentheus through the trees, nor are Greek ships set free by the substitution of a doe. This place gave you birth, Tullus, this is your sweetest home, here is honour to seek, worthy of your people. Here are citizens for your oratory: here is ample hope of offspring, and the fitting love of a future wife.
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