Ovid, Consolatio ad Liviam

LCL 232: 324-325

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Ovid

Consolatio Ad Liviam

Visa diu felix, “mater” modo dicta “Neronum,” Iam tibi dimidium nominis huius abest; Iam legis in Drusum miserabile, Livia, carmen, Unum qui dicat iam tibi “mater” habes, 5Nec tua te pietas distendit amore duorum, Nec posito fili nomine dicis “uter?” Et quisquam leges audet tibi dicere flendi? Et quisquam lacrimas temperat ore tuas? Ei mihi, quam facile est, quamvis hic contigit omnes, 10Alterius luctu fortia verba loqui: “Scilicet exiguo percussa es fulminis ictu, Fortior ut possis cladibus esse tuis.” Occidit exemplum iuvenis venerabile morum: Maximus ille armis, maximus ille toga. 15Ille modo eripuit latebrosas hostibus Alpes Et titulum belli dux duce fratre tulit: Ille genus Suevos acre indomitosque Sicambros Contudit inque fugam barbara terga dedit, Ignotumque tibi meruit, Romane, triumphum, 20Protulit in terras imperiumque novas. Solvere vota Iovi fatorum ignara tuorum, Mater, et armiferae solvere vota deae Gradivumque patrem donis implere parabas Et quoscumque coli est iusque piumque deos,

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A Poem of Consolation

A Poem of Consolation

To Livia Augusta on the Death of Her Son, Drusus Nero

O thou who didst long seem blest, called but of late “the mother of the Neros,” now is the half of that title thine no more; now art thou reading a sad plaint to Drusus’ memory, now hast thou but one to call thee “mother”; neither does thy affection distract thee between love for two, nor hearing the word “son” dost thou ask “which.” And does any dare to tell thee the conditions of mourning? does any check the tears upon thy face? Alas! how easy it is, though this sorrow has touched all, to speak brave words in another’s grief! “Lightly, be sure, has the thunderbolt touched thee, that by thy calamities thou mayst be able to be more stouthearted.”1 A youth is dead, whose life was a pattern that all might reverence; great in arms was he, and great in peace. He wrested of late from the foe their Alpine hiding-places, and won renown, sharing with his brother the captaincy of the war; he crushed the fierce tribe of Suevi and the untamed Sicambri, and turned their barbarous backs to flight, and won for thee, O Roman, a triumph before unknown, and extended thy sway to new lands.2 Ignorant of thy destinies thou wert preparing, O mother, to pay thy vows to Jove, to pay thy vows to the armed goddess, and to heap with gifts our sire Gradivus, and all the gods whom ’tis right and dutiful to worship; thy

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ovid-poem_consolation.1929