Ovid, Tristia

LCL 151: 208-209

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Liber Quintus


Hunc quoque de Getico, nostri studiose, libellum litore praemissis quattuor adde meis. hic quoque talis erit, qualis fortuna poetae: invenies toto carmine dulce nihil. 5flebilis ut noster status est, ita flebile carmen, materiae scripto conveniente suae. integer et laetus1 laeta et iuvenalia lusi: illa tamen nunc me composuisse piget. ut cecidi, subiti perago praeconia casus, 10sumque argumenti conditor ipse mei. utque iacens ripa deflere Caystrius ales dicitur ore suam deficiente necem, sic ego, Sarmaticas longe proiectus in oras, efficio tacitum ne mihi funus eat. 15delicias siquis lascivaque carmina quaerit, praemoneo, non est2 scripta quod ista legat. aptior huic Gallus blandique Propertius oris, aptior, ingenium come, Tibullus erit. atque utinam numero non nos3 essemus in isto! 20ei mihi, cur umquam Musa iocata4 mea est?


Tristia, V

Book V

I. A Proem and an Apology

Add this book also to the four I have already sent, my devoted friend, from the Getic shore. This too will be like the poet’s fortunes: in the whole course of the song you will find no gladness. Mournful is my state, mournful therefore is my song, for the work is suited to its theme. Unhurt and happy with themes of happiness and youth I played (yet now I regret that I composed that verse); since I have fallen I act as herald of my sudden fall, and I myself provide the theme of which I write. As the bird of Cayster1 is said to lie upon the bank and bemoan its own death with weakening note, so I, cast far away upon the Sarmatian shores, take heed that my funeral rites pass not off in silence.

15 If any seeks the amusement of wanton verse, I forewarn him, there is no warrant for reading such verse as this. Gallus will be better suited for such a one, or Propertius of the alluring lips, better that winning genius Tibullus. And would I were not counted among them! Alas! why did my Muse

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ovid-tristia.1924