Arma gravi numero violentaque bella parabam
edere, materia conveniente modis.
par erat inferior versus—risisse Cupido
dicitur atque unum surripuisse pedem.
'Quis tibi, saeve puer, dedit hoc in carmina iuris?
Pieridum vates, non tua turba sumus.
quid, si praeripiat flavae Venus arma Minervae,
ventilet accensas flava Minerva faces?
quis probet in silvis Cererem regnare iugosis,
lege pharetratae Virginis arva coli?
crinibus insignem quis acuta cuspide Phoebum
instruat, Aoniam Marte movente lyram?
sunt tibi magna, puer, nimiumque potentia regna;
cur opus adfectas, ambitiose, novum?
an, quod ubique, tuum est? tua sunt Heliconia tempe?
vix etiam Phoebo iam lyra tuta sua est?
cum bene surrexit versu nova pagina primo,
attenuat nervos proximus ille meos;
nec mihi materia est numeris levioribus apta,
aut puer aut longas compta puella comas.'
Questus eram, pharetra cum protinus ille soluta
legit in exitium spicula facta meum,
lunavitque genu sinuosum fortiter arcum,
'quod' que 'canas, vates, accipe' dixit 'opus!'
Me miserum! certas habuit puer ille sagittas.
uror, et in vacuo pectore regnat Amor.
Sex mihi surgat opus numeris, in quinque residat:
ferrea cum vestris bella valete modis!
cingere litorea flaventia tempora myrto,
Musa, per undenos emodulanda pedes!
I was preparing to relate in somber meter of weapons
and violent war, material fitting for rhythms.
Equal was the following verse; Cupid is said to have laughed
and to have stolen one foot.
“Who, savage boy, gave you this authority over poetry? 1.05
[We] bards are the Muse’s crowd, not yours!
What [would we think] if Venus should snatch away golden Minerva’s weapons?
[or if] golden Minerva should fan the kindled torches?
Who would approve of Ceres ruling in the hilly forests,
[or] the fields being cultivated by the quiver-bearing maiden’s rule? 1.10
Who would instruct Phoebus, remarkable for his hair,
with sharp spear, with Mars strumming an Aonian Lyre?
There are for you, boy, great and excessively powerful realms—
why do you attempt a new work, ambitious one?
Or is [it] that is everywhere yours? Is the valley of Helicon yours? 1.15
Is even Phoebus’ lyre barely safe now?
When my new page has risen well with the first verse,
the next one weakens my muscles.
And my material is not apt for lighter meters
[Not] either boy or girl with her long hair beautifully arranged.” 1.20
[Thus] I had complained, when suddenly that one selected
from his open quiver an arrow made for my destruction,
And bent back his curved bow over his knee strongly,
and said, “O holy bard, take this genre which you may sing!”
Oh, miserable me! That boy had true arrows: 1.25
I am burned, and Love reigns in my empty heart.
Let my work rise with six metrical feet, and sit down with five;
farewell iron wars with your meter.
Bind your golden hair with myrtle from the seashore,
O Muse [who will have] to be measured out eleven feet at a time! 1.30
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?
Nam, puto, sentirem, si quo 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?
Cedamus: leve fit, quod bene fertur, onus.
Vidi ego iactatas mota face crescere flammas,
et vidi nullo concutiente mori;
verbera plura ferunt quam quos iuvat usus aratri,
detractant prensi dum iuga prima, boves;
asper equus duris contunditur ora lupatis:
frena minus sentit, quisquis ad arma facit.
Acrius invitos multoque ferocious urget,
quam qui servitium ferre fatentur, Amor.
En ego, Confiteor, tua sum nova praeda, Cupido;
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 victricus ipse dabit;
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
et nova captiva vincula mente feram.
Mens Bona ducetur minibus post terga retortis
et Pudor et castris quidquid Amoris obest.
Omni ate metuent; ad te sua brachia tendens,
vulgus “Io” magna voce “triumphe” canet.
Blanditiae comits tibi erunt Errorque Furorque,
assidue partes turba secuta tuas.
His tu militibus superas hominesque deosque;
haec tibi si demas commoda, nudus eris.
Laeta triumphanti de summo mater Olympo
plaudet et appositas 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.
Non possunt, licet ipse veils, 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,
parce tuas in me perdere, victor, opes.
Aspice cognati felicia Caesaris arma:
qua vicit, victos protegit ille manu.
What can I say the reason is, that my bed seems
so hard, and our blankets do not stay in place on the bed,
and I went through the night (how long!) devoid of sleep,
and the weary bones of my body which has tossed and turned hurt?
For I would understand, I think, if I were tested by some Love— 2.05
or does it come up and sly[ly] harm with its skill hidden?
Thus it will be: the thin arrows stick in my heart,
and wild Love stirs hearts having been possessed
Do we surrender, or, by resisting, do we kindle the sudden flame?
Let us surrender: O light the burden becomes, which is carried well. 2.10
I have seen shaken flames grow by a moved torch,
and I have seen [them] die with no one shaking;
Oxen [when they have been] rounded up, while they recoil from their first yokes,
bear more beatings than those whom the use of the plow delights.
A wild horse is bruised with respect to its mouth with hard bits, 2.15
[it] feels the reins less, any that adapts to the harness
Love presses the reluctant more fiercely and ferociously
than those who admit ?that they? bear his slavery
Behold, I admit, I am your new prisoner, Cupid
we extend [our] conquered hands to your control. 2.20
There is no need for war—we ask for favor and peace—
nor shall I, unarmed [and] anguished by your arms, be praise for you
Bind your hair with myrtle, yoke the doves of your mother;
your stepfather himself will give [you] a chariot that is suitable [for you]
you will stand in the given chariot, with the people shouting triumph, 2.25
and you will direct the yoked birds with skill.
Captive youths and captive girls will be led,
this procession will be you magnificent triumph.
I myself, the recent booty, will have a freshly inflicted wound
and will bear new chains with a captive mind 2.30
Good Sense will be led with hands pulled backward behind her back
and [also] Chastity and whatever is a hindrance to Love’s camp.
All things will fear you; extending their arms to you
the multitude will sing “Oh triumph” with great voice.
Flattery and Error and Madness will be your companions 2.35
a crowd [that has] constantly followed your party.
With these soldiers you conquer both men and gods;
if you should remove these useful [allies], you will be naked
Your joyful mother will applaud [you] celebrating your triumph from high Olympus
and will scatter nearby roses in your face. 2.40
You—with gems [adorning with various colors] your feathers, with gems adorning with various colors your hair—
you will go, golden yourself, in your golden chariot [lit. on golden wheels]
Even then (if we know you well) you will burn not [just] a few
even then you, passing by, will give many wounds
Your arrows are not able to stop, even though you may wish it yourself 2.45
your fierce flame harms with its nearby heat.
Such was Baccus with the land of the Ganges conquered—
you [are] powerful with your birds, that one was with tigers.
Therefore, since I can be part of your sacred triumph,
cease to waste your resources on me, my conqueror. 2.50
Look to the felicitous campaigns of your kinsman Caesar:
that one protects the conquered with the hand with which he conquered.