Propertius, Elegies

LCL 18: 220-221



Liber Tertius


Callimachi Manes et Coi sacra Philitae, in vestrum, quaeso, me sinite ire nemus. primus ego ingredior puro de fonte sacerdos Itala per Graios orgia ferre choros. 5dicite, quo pariter carmen tenuastis in antro quove pede ingressi? quamve bibistis aquam?

ah valeat, Phoebum quicumque moratur in armis! exactus tenui pumice versus eat, quo me Fama levat terra sublimis, et a me 10nata coronatis Musa triumphat equis, et mecum in curru parvi vectantur Amores, scriptorumque meas turba secuta rotas. quid frustra immissis mecum certatis habenis? non datur ad Musas currere lata via.

15multi, Roma, tuas laudes annalibus addent, qui finem imperii Bactra futura canent. sed, quod pace legas, opus hoc de monte Sororum detulit intacta pagina nostra via.

  • 13immissis Auratus me<cum> P: missis in me Ω

Book III

The Third Book

3.1 The invocation

Shade of Callimachus and rites of Coan Philitas, suffer me, I pray, to come into your grove. I am the first to enter, priest from an unsullied spring, bringing Italy’s mystic emblems in dances of Greece. Say, in what grotto did ye together spin the delicate thread of your song? With what foot 1 enter? What water drink?

Begone the man who detains Phoebus with themes of war! Let my verse run smoothly, perfected with fine pumice, whereby soaring Fame uplifts me from the earth, and the Muse that is born of me triumphs with garlanded steeds; with me in the chariot ride little Loves, 2 and a throng of writers follows behind my wheels. Why do you loosen rein and vainly compete with me? No broad way is appointed for the race to the Muses.

Many, O Rome, will add new praises to your annals, singing of Bactra as the future limit of empire. But this work for you to read in time of peace has my page brought down by an untrodden path from the Sisters’ mount

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.propertius-elegies.1990