Archive for October 5th, 2016

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Elegia 7 from “Amores” by Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid)

Amica se purgat, quod ancillam non amet

Doost me of new crimes aiwayes guilty frame?
To over-come, so oft to fight I shame.
If on the Marble Theater I looke,
One among many is to grieve thee tooke.
If some faire wench me secretly behold,
Thou arguest she doth secret markes unfold.
If I praise any, thy poore haires thou tearest,
If blame, dissembling of my fault thou fearest.
If I looke well, thou thinkest thou doest not move,
If ill, thou saiest I die for others love.
Would I were culpable of some offence,
They that deserve paine, beare’t with patience.
Now rash accusing, and thy vaine beliefe,
Forbid thine anger to procure my griefe.
Loe how the miserable great eared Asse,
Duld with much beating slowly forth doth passe.
Behold Cypassis wont to dresse thy head,
Is charg’d to violate her mistresse bed.
The Gods from this sinne rid me of suspition,
To like a base wench of despisd condition.
With Venus game who will a servant grace?
Or any back made rough with stripes imbrace?
Adde she was diligent thy locks to braide,
And for her skill to thee a grateflill maide.
Should I sollicit her that is so just:
To take repulse, and cause her shew my lust?
I sweare by Venus, and the wingd boyes bowe,
My selfe unguilty of this crime I know.


Date: 16 BCE (original in Latin); c1584 (translation in English)

By: Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid) (43 BCE-17/18 CE)

Translated by: Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)