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WHO is it that can tell me why my bed seems so is hard and why the bedclothes will not stay upon it? Wherefore has this night--and oh, how long it was!--dragged on, bringing no sleep to my eyes? Why are my weary limbs visited with restlessness and pain? If it were Love that had come to make me suffer, surely I should know it. Or stay, what if he slips in like a thief, what if he comes, without a word of warning, to wound me with his cruel arts? Yes, ’tis he! His slender arrows have pierced my heart, and fell Love holds it like a conquered land. Shall I yield me to him? Or shall I strive against him, and so add fuel to this sudden flame? Well, I will yield; burdens willingly borne do lighter weigh. I know that the flames will leap from the shaken torch and die away in the one you leave alone. The young oxen which rebel against the yoke are more often beaten than those which willingly submit. And if a horse be fiery, harsh is the bit that tames him. When he takes to -the fray with a will, he feels the curb less galling. And so it is with Love; for hearts that struggle and rebel against him, he is more implacable and stern than for such as willingly confess his sway.

Ah well, be it so, Cupid; thy prey am I. I am a poor captive kneeling with suppliant hands before my

p. 5

conqueror. What is the use of fighting? Pardon and peace is what I ask. And little, I trow, would it redound to your glory, armed as you are, to strike down a defenceless man. Crown thy brows with myrtle and thy mother's doves yoke to thy car. Thy step-father will give thee the chariot that befits thee, and upon that chariot, amid the acclamations of the throng, thou shalt stand a conqueror, guiding with skill thy harnessed birds. Captives in thy train, youths and maidens shall follow, and splendid shall be thy triumph. And I, thy latest victim, shall be there with my fresh wound, and with submissive mien I will bear my new-wrought fetters. Prudence shall be led captive with hands bound behind her back, and Modesty, and whatsoever else is an obstacle to Love. All things shall be in awe of thee, and stretching forth their arms towards thee the throng with mighty voice shall thunder "Io Triumphe!" Caresses shall be thy escort, and Illusion and Madness, a troop that ever follows in thy train. With these fighting on thy side, nor men nor gods shall stand against thee; but if their aid be lacking, naked shalt thou be. Proud to behold thy triumph, thy mother will applaud thee from High Olympus and scatter roses on thy upturned face. Thy wings and thy locks shall be adorned with precious stones, and all with gold resplendent shalt thou drive thy golden car. Then too, if I know thee well, thou wilt set countless other hearts on fire, and many a wound shalt deal as thou passest on thy way. Repose, even when thou art fain to rest, cometh not to thine arrows. Thy ardent flame turns water itself to vapour. Such was Bacchus when he triumphed over the land of the Ganges. Thou art drawn along by doves; his car was drawn by tigers. Since, then, I am to have a part in thy godlike triumph, lose not the rights which thy victory gives thee over me. Bethink thee of the victories of thy kinsman Cæsar; he shields the conquered with the very hand that conquers them.


Esse quid hoc dicam, quod tam mihi dura videntur
    strata, neque in lecto pallia nostra sedent,
et vacuus somno noctem, quam longa, peregi,
    lassaque versati corporis ossa dolent?
5 nam, puto, sentirem, siquo temptarer amore.
    an subit et tecta callidus arte nocet?
sic erit; haeserunt tenues in corde sagittae,
    et possessa ferus pectora versat Amor.
Cedimus, an subitum luctando accendimus ignem?
10     cedamus! leve fit, quod bene fertur, onus.
vidi ego iactatas mota face crescere flammas
    et rursus nullo concutiente mori.
verbera plura ferunt, quam quos iuvat usus aratri,
    detractant prensi dum iuga prima boves.
15 asper equus duris contunditur ora lupatis,
    frena minus sentit, quisquis ad arma facit.
acrius invitos multoque ferocius urget
    quam qui servitium ferre fatentur Amor.
En ego confiteor! tua sum nova praeda, Cupido;
20     porrigimus victas ad tua iura manus.
nil opus est bello--veniam pacemque rogamus;
    nec tibi laus armis victus inermis ero.
necte comam myrto, maternas iunge columbas;
    qui deceat, currum vitricus ipse dabit,
25 inque dato curru, populo clamante triumphum,
    stabis et adiunctas arte movebis aves.
ducentur capti iuvenes captaeque puellae;
    haec tibi magnificus pompa triumphus erit.
ipse ego, praeda recens, factum modo vulnus habebo
30     et nova captiva vincula mente feram.
Mens Bona ducetur manibus post terga retortis,
    et Pudor, et castris quidquid Amoris obest.
omnia te metuent; ad te sua bracchia tendens
    vulgus 'io' magna voce 'triumphe!' canet.
35 blanditiae comites tibi erunt Errorque Furorque,
    adsidue partes turba secuta tuas.
his tu militibus superas hominesque deosque;
    haec tibi si demas commoda, nudus eris.
Laeta triumphanti de summo mater Olympo
40     plaudet et adpositas sparget in ora rosas.
tu pinnas gemma, gemma variante capillos
    ibis in auratis aureus ipse rotis.
tunc quoque non paucos, si te bene novimus, ures;
    tunc quoque praeteriens vulnera multa dabis.
45 non possunt, licet ipse velis, cessare sagittae;
    fervida vicino flamma vapore nocet.
talis erat domita Bacchus Gangetide terra;
    tu gravis alitibus, tigribus ille fuit.
Ergo cum possim sacri pars esse triumphi,
50     parce tuas in me perdere, victor, opes!
adspice cognati felicia Caesaris arma--
    qua vicit, victos protegit ille manu.

Next: Elegy III: He Commends Himself To His Mistress By The Merits Of His Poetry, The Purity Of His Morals, And By The Vow Of His Unchangeable Fidelity.