Huc quoque Caesarei pervenit fama triumphi, languida quo fessi vix venit aura Noti. nil fore dulce mihi Scythica regione putavi: iam minus hic odio est, quam fuit ante, locus. 5tandem aliquid pulsa curarum nube serenum vidi, fortunae verba dedique meae. nolit ut ulla1 mihi contingere gaudia Caesar, velle potest cuivis haec tamen una dari. di quoque, ut a cunctis hilari pietate colantur, 10tristitiam poni per sua festa iubent. denique, quod certus furor est audere fateri, hac ego laetitia, si vetet ipse, fruar. Iuppiter utilibus quotiens iuvat imbribus agros, mixta tenax segeti crescere lappa solet. 15nos quoque frugiferum sentimus inutilis herba numen, et invita saepe iuvamur ope. gaudia Caesareae gentis2 pro parte virili sunt mea: privati nil habet illa domus. gratia, Fama, tibi, per quam spectata triumphi 20incluso mediis est mihi pompa Getis.
I. To Germanicus Caesar
Even to this place has the fame of Caesar’s triumph1 penetrated, whither scarce comes the weak breath of weary Notus. No pleasant news have I ever looked for in the Scythian land, but now this place is less hateful than it was before. At last the clouds of care have burst asunder and I have glimpsed a bit of clear sky; I have cheated my fate. E’en though Caesar may be unwilling that any joys befall me, yet this one joy it may be he wishes to have granted to everybody. Even the gods, to secure joyous worship from all, command men to lay aside sorrow throughout their feast days. In fine, though ’tis outright madness to dare the confession, this is a joy that I would make my own were he in person to forbid it.13
Whenever Jupiter floods the fields with helpful showers the tough burs are wont to grow mingled with the crops. I, too, useless weed though I am, feel the fructifying power, and am often benefited against his will. The joys of Caesar’s family are mine to the extent of my capacity; that house has nothing that is private. Thanks, Fame, to thee through whom I, prisoned among the Getae, have seen the