Propertius, Elegies

LCL 18: 40-41

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in me tardus Amor non ullas cogitat artes, nec meminit notas, ut prius, ire vias. at vos, deductae quibus est pellacia lunae 20et labor in magicis sacra piare focis, en agedum dominae mentem convertite nostrae, et facite illa meo palleat ore magis! tunc ego crediderim Manes et sidera vobis posse Cytinaeis ducere carminibus.

25aut vos, qui sero lapsum revocatis, amici, quaerite non sani pectoris auxilia. fortiter et ferrum saevos patiemur et ignes, sit modo libertas quae velit ira loqui. ferte per extremas gentes et ferte per undas, 30qua non ulla meum femina norit iter.

vos remanete, quibus facili deus annuit aure, sitis et in tuto semper amore pares. nam me nostra Venus noctes exercet amaras, et nullo vacuus tempore defit Amor. 35hoc, moneo, vitate malum: sua quemque moretur cura, neque assueto mutet amore torum. quod si quis monitis tardas adverterit aures, heu referet quanto verba dolore mea!


Quid iuvat ornato procedere, vita, capillo et tenuis Coa veste movere sinus,

  • 19pellacia Fruter: fallacia Ω
  • 23manes Morgan* (et m. Housman): vobis Ω | vobis Housman: et amnes Ω
  • 24Cytinaeis Hertzberg: cythalinis vel sim. Ω
  • 25aut Hemsterhuys: et Ω
  • 33nam Heyworth*: in Ω
  • 36torum Otto: locum Ω

Book I

In my case dull-witted Love thinks up no stratagems, and remembers not to tread, as formerly, his well-known paths. But you, whose practice it is to lure the Moon down from the sky and to propitiate spirits over the magic fire, come, alter the heart of my mistress and see that she turn paler than this cheek of mine. Then should I credit you with the power of summoning ghosts and stars with Thessalian spells.

Else you, my friends, who too late call back the fallen, seek medicines for a heart that is sick. I shall bravely submit to the knife and cautery, if only I were free to utter the promptings of anger. Carry me through distant lands and over distant seas, where no woman may know my path.

Stay you at home, to whose prayer the god has nodded with easy ear, and be ever paired in a safe love. For I am harassed by our goddess Venus through nights of torment, and Cupid is never idle, never absent. Shun this plague, I counsel you: let everyone cling to his own sweetheart, nor switch his affections when love has grown familiar. But if anyone turn a deaf ear to my warning, ah, with what pain shall he recall my words!

1.2 Beauty unadorned

What avails it, my love, to step out with coiffured hair and flutter the sheer folds of a Coan dress? What avails it to

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.propertius-elegies.1990