Cynthia prima suis miserum me cepit ocellis, contactum nullis ante cupidinibus. tum mihi constantis deiecit lumina fastus et caput impositis pressit Amor pedibus, 5donec me docuit castas odisse puellas improbus, et nullo vivere consilio. ei mihi, iam toto furor hic non deficit anno, cum tamen adversos cogor habere deos.
Milanion nullos fugiendo, Tulle, labores 10saevitiam durae contudit Iasidos. nam modo Partheniis amens errabat in antris, ibat et hirsutas saepe videre feras; ille etiam Hylaei percussus vulnere rami saucius Arcadiis rupibus ingemuit. 15ergo velocem potuit domuisse puellam: tantum in amore fides et benefacta valent.
- 7ei Rossberg: et Ω
- 12saepe ς: ille Ω
- 16fides Fontein: preces Ω
The First Book
Cynthia first with her eyes ensnared me, poor wretch, that had previously been untouched by desire. It was then that Love made me lower my looks of stubborn pride and trod my head beneath his feet, 1 until the villain taught me to shun decent girls and to lead the life of a ne’er-do-well. Poor me, for a whole year now this frenzy has not abated, while I am compelled to endure the frown of heaven.
It was, friend Tullus, by shrinking from no hardship that Milanion broke down the cruelty of harsh Atalanta. 2 For now he wandered distraught in the Parthenian glens, and now he would often go and look upon shaggy wild beasts. He was also dealt a wound from the club Hylaeus bore, and on the rocks of Arcady he moaned in pain. Thus he was able to subdue the swift-footed girl: such power in love have devotion and service.
- 1The opening four lines of Propertius derive their inspiration from Meleager, A(nthologia) P(alatina) 12.101.1-4.
- 2It is especially characteristic of Propertius that he dignifies his love by relating it to mythology, thus endowing it with a timeless splendour. Gilbert Highet (Poets in a Landscape 80) well adduces as an example of the device ‘the moonlight scene in the last act of The Merchant of Venice, where the young lovers remind each other of similar nights, also filled with intense love, in the past.’