De Concubitu Martis et Veneris
Discite securos non umquam credere amores. ipsa Venus, cui flamma potens, cui militat ardor, quae tuto posset custode Cupidine amare, quae docet et fraudes et amorum furta tuctur, 5nec sibi securas valuit praebere latebras. improbe dure puer, crudelis crimine matris, pompam ducis, Amor, nullo satiate triumpho! quid conversa Iovis laetaris fulmina semper? ut mage flammantes possis laudare sagittas, 10iunge, puer, teretes Veneris Martisque catenas: gestet amans Mavors titulos et vincula portet captivus, quem bella timent! utque ipse veharis, iam roseis fera colla iugis submittit amator: post vulnus, post bella potens Gradivus anhelat 15in castris modo tiro tuis, semperque timendus te timet et sequitur qua ducunt vincla marita. ite, precor, Musae: dum Mars, dum blanda Cythere imis ducta trahunt suspiria crebra medullis
The Intrigue of Mars with Venus
Learn ye the creed that amours are never free from care. Venus herself of the potent flame, Venus of the blazing campaign, who might indulge love with Cupid as her safe warden, instructress in deceits, protectress of the stealth of love, did not avail to furnish herself with a secure lurking-place. Harsh tyrant Boy, cruel in a mother’s fault, O Love, you lead your victorious procession, never sated with any triumph! Why do you always rejoice that Jove’s thunderbolts have been reversed? a That you may the better b praise your flaming arrows, draw tight, Boy, the well-woven chains of Venus and of Mars: let Mavors c in love wear the label of a slave, let him whom wars do dread be a prisoner bearing bonds! To let you ride triumphant, the lover yields his savage neck to a rosy yoke. After wounds dealt and battles fought, powerful Gradivus pants as a new-enlisted recruit in your camp; he that should ever be feared fears you, following where wedlock’s bonds do lead. Pray, come, ye Muses: while Mars, while alluring Cythere d draw fast-following sighs from the depth
- a conversa, either thrown back by the power of love or exchanged for the disguises which Jove used in his amours.
- b mage, an artificial archaism, as in Sulpicius Lupercus Servasius, II. (De Cupiditate) 16, and in the Dicta Catonis, Praef. II. 2, Distich. II. 6; IV. 42.
- cAn ancient form of Mars: his surname Gradivus(14) marks him as god of the march (gradus).
- d Cythere (cf. 172), a late Latin collateral form of Cytherea (153), refers to the birth of Venus from the sea at the island of Cythera. Cypris (35, 79, 141, 146) recalls her cult in Cyprus, and Paphie, Reposianus’ favourite epithet for Venus (23, 50, 61, 64, 80, 105, 109, 136, 139, 178), alludes to her temple at Paphos in Cyprus. Reposianus shares the epithets Cythere, Cypris and Paphie with Ausonius (4th cent, a.d.), though Paphie is used by Martial.