Ausonius Paulo suo S. D.
Pervincis tandem1 et operta musarum mearum, quae initiorum velabat obscuritas, quamquam non profanus, irrumpis, Paule carissime. quamvis enim te non eius vulgi existimem, quod Horatius2 arcet ingressu, tamen sua cuique sacra, neque idem Cereri, quod Libero, etiam sub isdem cultoribus. poematia, quae in alumnam meam luseram rudia et incohata ad domesticae solacium cantilenae, cum sine metu [laterent3] et arcana securitate fruerentur, proferre ad lucem caligantia coegisti. verecundiae meae scilicet spolium concupisti, aut, quantum tibi in me iuris esset, ab invito indicari. ne tu Alexandri Macedonis pervicaciam supergressus, qui, fatalis iugi lora
Ausonius to his Friend Paulus, Greeting
You have your way at last, my dearest Paulus, and, though not uninitiate, are bursting into the secret chambers of my Muses, which the darkness proper to Mysteries once veiled. For though I do not regard you as one of that “common herd” which Horace prevents from entering, yet every god has his own rites, and Ceres is not approached in the same way as Liber, even by the same worshippers. The bits of poems which I had composed on my little maid, playfully and in rough, unfinished form, for the solace which a fire-side ditty gives (since they lay hid without misgiving and enjoyed the confidence of concealment)—these you have forced me to bring forth from their darkness into the light. You have set your mind, assuredly, on winning a triumph over my shyness, or on showing in my despite how great is your power over me. Indeed you have surpassed in persistence Alexander of Macedon, who, when he could not untie them, cut the thongs which fastened that fateful yoke1