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p. 37



AH me, that my mistress should be entrusted to thy care, thou who art nor man nor woman, thou who can'st never know the mutual joy that lovers give--and take. He who was the first to rob little boys of that which makes a man, deserved, himself, to suffer a like fate. Thou wouldst be less unbending, thou wouldst incline more willingly thine ear to my request, if ever thou hadst loved a woman. Thou art not made to mount the fiery steed, to handle heavy arms, or, in thy right hand, wield the warlike spear. It needs a man for that; and to do aught manly thou must never hope. Follow no standard but the standard of thy mistress. ’Tis she that thou must wait on hand and foot; make the most of her favours. If thou lose her, what purpose wilt thou serve? Her face, her youth invite to dalliance. 'Twere ill her loveliness should fade and perish in base neglect. She may have hoodwinked thee, however troublesome thou may'st appear. What lovers want, they'll find the means to get; but since, perhaps, 'twere best to see what prayers will do, we do entreat you now, while yet there's time, to give our prayers effect.


Ei mihi, quod dominam nec vir nec femina servas
    mutua nec Veneris gaudia nosse potes!
qui primus pueris genitalia membra recidit,
    vulnera quae fecit, debuit ipse pati.
mollis in obsequium facilisque rogantibus esses,
    si tuus in quavis praetepuisset amor.
non tu natus equo, non fortibus utilis armis;
    bellica non dextrae convenit hasta tuae.
ista mares tractent; tu spes depone viriles.
    sunt tibi cum domina signa ferenda tua.
hanc inple meritis, huius tibi gratia prosit;
    si careas illa, quis tuus usus erit?
Est etiam facies, sunt apti lusibus anni;
    indigna est pigro forma perire situ.
fallere te potuit, quamvis habeare molestus;
    non caret effectu, quod voluere duo.
aptius ut fuerit precibus temptasse, rogamus,
    dum bene ponendi munera tempus habes.

Next: Elegy IV: He Confesses His Inclination For Love And His Admiration For All Manner Of Women.