Propertius, Elegies

LCL 18: 236-237



num tribus infernum custodit faucibus antrum Cerberus, et Tityo iugera pauca novem, 45an ficta in miseras descendit fabula gentes, et timor haud ultra quam rogus esse potest.

exitus hic vitae superet mihi: vos, quibus arma grata magis, Crassi signa referte domum.


Dic mihi de nostra quae sensti vera puella: sic tibi sint dominae, Lygdame, dempta iuga. 5omnis enim debet sine vano nuntius esse, maioremque metu servus habere fidem. nunc mihi, si qua tenes, ab origine dicere prima incipe: suspensis auribus ista bibam. 3 num me laetitia tumefactum fallis inani, 4 haec referens, quae me credere velle putas?

sicin eram incomptis vidisti flere capillis? 10illius ex oculis multa cadebat aqua? nec speculum in strato vidisti, Lygdame, lecto, 14 scriniaque ad lecti clausa iacere pedes, ac maestam teneris vestem pendere lacertis? 12 ornabat niveas nullane gemma manus? 15tristis erat domus, et tristes sua pensa ministrae carpebant, medio nebat et ipsa loco, umidaque impressa siccabat lumina lana, rettulit et querulo iurgia nostra sono?

  • 47superet ς: superest Ω
  • 1sensti Butrica*: sentis Ω
  • 3,4 post 8 Housman
  • 6metu Muretus: timens Ω
  • 11in Heinsius, om. Ω

Book III

the cave of hell with his three throats and nine acres are all too few for Tityus; or whether it is a made-up tale that has entered deep to trouble the minds of humans and there can be no fear beyond the grave.

Be this the close of life in store for me: do you, who take more pleasure in warfare, bring Crassus’ standards home!

3.6 A plea to Lygdamus

Tell me exactly what you noticed about my sweetheart: then, Lygdamus, you may expect deliverance from your mistress’s yoke; for every messenger should be devoid of falsehood, and a slave should out of fear command greater credence. So now begin to tell me all you can remember from the very beginning: I will listen with ears alert. I hope you will not deceive me, and fill me with baseless joy, reporting what you think I wish to believe.

So you saw your mistress weeping and with hair awry, a flood of tears streaming from her eyes? And on the bedcover you saw no mirror, Lygdamus, and at the foot of the bed her toilet-box lying locked? So her dress hung forlornly from her delicate arms, and no jewel adorned her snow-white hands? So the house was sad, and sad the maidservants as they picked their wool, she spinning in their midst, and she pressed the wool to her eyes to dry them as she poured forth reproaches of me in plaintive tone?

  • 12 cum 14 comm. Suringar
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.propertius-elegies.1990