Propertius, Elegies

LCL 18: 174-175

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parvo dilexit spatio Minoida Theseus, Phyllida Demophoon, hospes uterque malus. 45iam tibi Iasonia vectast Medea carina et modo servato sola relicta viro.

49noli nobilibus, noli consuesse beatis: 50vix venit, extremo qui legat ossa die. hi tibi nos erimus: sed tu potius precor ut me demissis plangas pectora nuda comis.


Cynthia nata meo, pulcherrima cura, dolori, excludi quoniam sors mea saepe vehit, ista meis fiet notissima forma libellis, Calve, tua venia, pace, Catulle, tua. 5miles depositis annosus secubat armis, grandaevique negant ducere aratra boves, putris et in vacua requiescit navis harena, et vetus in templo bellica parma vacat: at me ab amore tuo diducet nulla senectus, 10sive ego Tithonus sive ego Nestor ero.

nonne fuit satius duro servire tyranno et gemere in tauro, saeve Perille, tuo? Gorgonis et satius fuit obdurescere vultu, Caucasias etiam si pateremur aves.

  • 45vecta Heinsius: nota Ω
  • 47,48 post 22 Rossberg
  • 49consuesse Damsté: conferre Ω
  • 1Cynthia Phillimore: unica Ω
  • 2excludi Scaliger: -it Ω | vehit Lachmann: venit N1: veni Ω
  • 9diducet ς: deducet Ω

Book II

true. For a short while Theseus loved the daughter of Minos and Demophoon loved Phyllis 54 —a wicked pair of guests. You see that Medea was one moment given passage in Jason’s ship and the next abandoned by the husband she had saved.

Consort not with the high-born, consort not with the rich: scarce one comes to gather your bones when the end is come. I’ll be that man for you, though I pray rather that with breast bare and locks dishevelled you will mourn for me.

2.25 The lover’s frustrations

Cynthia, born to cause me pain (though comeliest of sorrows) since my lot oft brings exclusion, my books shall make your beauty renowned beyond all others, begging your pardon, Calvus, and by your leave, Catullus. The aged soldier puts away his arms and rests in retirement, the ox grown old refuses to draw the plough, the rotten ship lies idle on the deserted strand, and the warrior’s ancient shield hangs at peace in the temple: but never shall old age stop me from loving you, whether I live to be a Tithonus or a Nestor.

Would it not be better to serve a harsh tyrant and moan within the bull of cruel Perillus? 55 Better indeed to be petrified by the Gorgon’s visage and even to suffer the vultures

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.propertius-elegies.1990