Propertius, Elegies

LCL 18: 362-363



75deliciaeque meae Latris, cui nomen ab usust, ne speculum dominae porrigat illa novae. et quoscumque meo fecisti nomine versus, ure mihi: laudes desine habere meas. pone hederam tumulo, mihi quae praegnante corymbo 80mollia contortis alliget ossa comis. pomosis Anio qua spumifer incubat arvis, et numquam Herculeo numine pallet ebur, hic carmen media dignum me scribe columna, sed breve, quod currens vector ab urbe legat: 85 hic tiburtina iacet aurea cynthia terra: accessit ripae laus, aniene, tuae.

‘nec tu sperne piis venientia somnia portis: cum pia venerunt somnia, pondus habent. nocte vagae ferimur, nox clausas liberat umbras, 90errat et abiecta Cerberus ipse sera. luce iubent leges Lethaea ad stagna reverti: nos vehimur, vectum nauta recenset onus. nunc te possideant aliae: mox sola tenebo: mecum eris, et mixtis ossibus ossa teram.’

95haec postquam querula mecum sub lite peregit, inter complexus excidit umbra meos.

  • 79pone Sandbach: pelle Ω | praegnante Cornelissen: pugn-ante Ω (<p̄gnante)
  • 80mollia ς: molli Ω | alliget Sh. Bailey: alligat Ω
  • 81pom- . . . spum- Broekhuyzen: ram- . . . pom- Ω

Book IV

greed towards you; and let not my darling Latris, named for her faithful service, 74 hold up the mirror to another mistress. As for the poems you composed in my honour, burn them, I pray: cease to win praise through me. Plant ivy on my grave, so that its swelling tendrils may bind my delicate bones with intertwining leaves. Where foaming Anio irrigates orchard fields and, by favour of Hercules, ivory never yellows, 75 there on the middle of a pillar inscribe an epitaph worthy of me, but brief, such as the traveller may read as he hastens from Rome:

here in tibur’s soil lies golden cynthia:fresh glory, anio, is added to thy banks.

‘Spurn not the dreams that come through the Righteous Gate 76 : when righteous dreams come, they have the weight of truth. By night we drift abroad, night frees imprisoned shades, and even Cerberus casts aside his chains, and strays. At dawn the law compels us to return to Lethe’s waters: we board, the ferryman counts the cargo boarded. Other women may possess you now: soon I alone shall hold you: with me you will be, and my bones shall press yours in close entwining.’

When she had thus brought to an end her querulous indictment, the apparition vanished, baffling my embrace. 77

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.propertius-elegies.1990