Tibullus, Elegies

LCL 6: 290-291



et primum annoso spargent collecta Lyaeo, 20mox etiam niveo fundere lacte parent, post haec carbaseis umorem tollere velis atque in marmorea ponere sicca domo. illuc quas mittit dives Panchaia merces Eoique Arabes, pinguis1 et Assyria, 25et nostri memores lacrimae fundantur eodem: sic ego componi versus in ossa velim. sed tristem mortis demonstret littera causam atque haec in celebri carmina fronte notet: lygdamvshic sitvs est. dolorhvic etcvra neaerae 30conivgis ereptae cavsa perire fvit.


Qvid prodest caelum votis implesse, Neaera, blandaque cum multa tura dedisse prece, non ut marmorei prodirem e limine tecti, insignis clara conspicuusque domo, 5aut ut multa mei renovarent iugera tauri et magnas messes terra benigna daret, sed tecum ut longae sociarem gaudia vitae inque tuo caderet nostra senecta sinu, tum cum permenso defunctus tempore lucis 10nudus Lethaea cogerer ire rate? nam grave quid prodest pondus mihi divitis auri, arvaque si findant pinguia mille boves? quidve domus prodest Phrygiis innixa columnis, Taenare sive tuis, sive Caryste tuis,


[Tibullus] III

with old wine first and next proceed to drench them with snowy milk likewise, and after this to remove the moisture with linen cloths and place them dry in a chamber of marble. Thereon let the merchandise which rich Panchaia, Eastern Araby, and sleek Assyria send, and tears to my memory withal, be shed on the same spot. Thus, when naught is left of me but bones, would I be laid to rest.

27 But the sad cause of my death let a legend show, and on the stone’s face which all may see let it set out these lines:

here lygdamus is laid, by grievous painand longing for his lost neaera slain.

IIIWhat is Wealth to Lygdamus without Love

What gain is it to have filled the heavens with vows, Neaera, and offered persuasive incense with constant prayer, not that I might step out from the threshold of a marble dwelling, observed and noted for a glorious house, or that bulls of mine might turn the clods o’er many a rood and earth in her bounty give me great harvests, but that through long years of life I might share my joys with thee, and that in thine arms might drop my aged frame in the hour when my course of light was fully run and stripped of all I was forced to voyage on the barque of Lethe?

11 What good to me were heavy weight of precious gold or a thousand oxen cleaving my rich fields? what good a house that rests on pillars from Phrygian quarries, or, Taenaros, from thine, or thine, Carystos,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.tibullus-elegies.1913