Tristium Liber Primus
Parve—nec invideo—sine me, liber, ibis in urbem, ei mihi, quo1 domino non licet ire tuo! vade, sed incultus, qualem decet exulis esse; infelix habitum temporis huius habe. 5nec te purpureo velent vaccinia fuco— non est conveniens luctibus ille color— nec titulus minio, nec cedro charta notetur, candida nec nigra cornua fronte geras. felices ornent haec instrumenta libellos; 10fortunae memorem te decet esse meae. nec fragili geminae poliantur pumice frontes, hirsutus passis2 ut videare comis. neve liturarum pudeat; qui viderit illas, de lacrimis factas sentiet esse meis. 15vade, liber, verbisque meis loca grata saluta: contingam certe quo licet illa pede. siquis, ut in populo, nostri non inmemor illic,3 siquis, qui, quid agam, forte requirat, erit,
I. The Poet to his Book1
Little book, you will go without me—and I grudge it not—to the city, whither alas your master is not allowed to go! Go, but go unadorned, as becomes the book of an exile; in your misfortune wear the garb that befits these days of mine. You shall have no cover dyed with the juice of purple berries—no fit colour is that for mourning; your title shall not be tinged with vermilion nor your paper with oil of cedar; and you shall wear no white bosses upon your dark edges.2 Books of good omen should be decked with such things as these; ’tis my fate that you should bear in mind. Let no brittle pumice polish your two edges; I would have you appear with locks all rough and disordered. Be not ashamed of blots; he who sees them will feel that they were caused by my tears.
15 Go, my book, and in my name greet the loved places: I will tread them at least with what foot3 I may. If, as is natural in so great a throng, there shall be any there who still remembers me, any who may perchance ask how I fare, you are to say