Albius Tibullus [Tibullus]
Latin (Augustan Era/Imperial Era)
Adde merum vinoque novos conpesce dolores,
[Break out the good stuff, and droan your new travails with wine]
Occupet ut fessi lumina victa sopor,
[so that sleep can seize the defeated eyes of an exhausted fellow,]
Neu quisquam multo percussum tempora baccho
[and don't let anybody trouble his temples, now thoroughly broken by much partying,]
infelix dum requiescit amor.
[so long as his unsuccessful love settles back down.]
Nam posita est nostrae custodia saeva puellae, 5
[You see, a cruel custodian has been assigned to watch my girlfriend,]
Clauditur et dura ianua firma sera.
[and a sturdy door has been closed shut on this cruel night.]
Ianua difficilis domini, te verberet imber,
[You door, belonging to a touchy owner, would that a rainstorm beat you through,]
Te Iovis imperio fulmina missa petant.
[I hope that thunderbolts sent by the command of Jove aim for you.]
Ianua, iam pateas uni mihi, victa querelis,
[You door, just open for me alone, once you've been won over by my complaints,]
Neu furtim verso cardine aperta sones. 10
[and don't you begin to creak when I open you in stealth and your hinges are turned.]
Et mala siqua tibi dixit dementia nostra,
[And if by chance my insanity speaks curses to you,]
capiti sint precor illa meo.
[I pray those things be tossed at my own head.]
Te meminisse decet,
[It's only right to remind you,]]
quae plurima voce peregi
Supplice, cum posti florida serta darem.
[the things that I've done, with the tone of a supplicant, when I used to give wreathes sown of flowers to your post.]
Tu quoque ne timide custodes, Delia, falle, 15
[And you, Delia, don' t try to trick your guards in timid fashion,]
[bravery is called for:]
fortes adiuvat ipsa Venus.
[Its is Love who favors the bold.]
Illa favet, seu quis iuvenis nova limina temptat,
[She helps them out, whether a young man is trying some new doorstep,]
Seu reserat fixo dente puella fores;
[or his girlfriend is re-locking the doors and fixing the bolt back in its place;]
Illa docet molli furtim derepere lecto,
[It is She who teaches how to secretly sneak out of a soft bed,]
Illa pedem nullo ponere posse sono, 20
[and She, how to manage to set one's foot down without making a sound,]
Illa viro coram nutus conferre loquaces
[and She, how to distract her husband with talkative maids,]
Blandaque conpositis abdere verba notis.
[and how to hide one's words in charming code upon the notes he has composed.]
Nec docet hoc omnes,
[Nor does she teach this to everyone,]
sed quos nec inertia tardat
[but only those men she does not delay with sluggishness]
Nec vetat obscura surgere nocte timor.
[and whom fear to wake up in the dark night holds back.]
En ego cum tenebris tota vagor anxius urbe, 25
[Look it is I, who wander about nervous, through the shadows of our whole city,]
* * *
Nec sinit occurrat quisquam,
[and she does not allow anyone to bump into me,]
qui corpora ferro
[who would hack my body with a blade,]
aut rapta praemia veste petat.
[or search for plunder once they've stolen my clothes off me.]
Quisquis amore tenetur,
[Anyone can be seized by passion,]
eat tutusque sacerque
[so let him go as he pleases, safe and holy:]
insidias non timuisse decet. 30
[It's not right to have already grown afraid of treachery.]
Non mihi pigra nocent hibernae frigora noctis,
[The chills of the winter night don't hurt me in lazy fashion,]
Non mihi, cum multa decidit imber aqua.
[not for me, even as a rainstorm fell upon me with a great deal of water.]
Non labor hic laedit,
[This labor does me no harm,]
reseret modo Delia postes
[and just now, Delia could be unlocking the doors,]
Et vocet ad digiti me taciturna sonum.
[and she might silently signal to me with her finger.]
[Avoid the lights,]
seu vir seu femina fiat 35
[whether there be a man, or a woman, on the way:]
celari volt sua furta Venus.
[Venus wishes her schemes to be hidden.]
Neu strepitu terrete pedum
[Don't a drag along the noise of your feet,]
neu quaerite nomen
[and don't call out your name]
Neu prope fulgenti lumina ferte face.
[and don't bring light near from a shining torch.]
Siquis et inprudens adspexerit,
[And if any hapless person shall've glanced at you,]
[that that same fellow look,]
Perque deos omnes se meminisse neget:
[and then deny, with an oath to all the gods, that he doesn't recall it:]
Nam fuerit quicumque loquax,
[You see, anyone shall've become a chatterbox,]
is sanguine natam,
Is Venerem e rapido sentiet esse mari.
[but some people think that Venus was born from the swift sea, and others from blood.]
Nec tamen huic credet coniunx tuus,
[And yet, that husband of yours will still not believe]
ut mihi verax
Pollicita est magico saga ministerio.
[that a truth-telling sorceress had promised to provide magical assistance.]
Hanc ego de caelo ducentem sidera vidi, 45
[I myself saw her lead the stars down from the sky,]
Fluminis haec rapidi carmine vertit iter,
[the journey of its speedy flow turns things like these over by song,]
Haec cantu finditque solum
[and only by chanting does she strike things like these]
[and entice ghosts from their tombs]
et tepido devocat ossa rogo;
[and calls back their bones from their warm funeral pyre;]
Iam tenet infernas magico stridore catervas,
[Already she grips Hell's chains with her magical screech,]
Iam iubet adspersas lacte referre pedem. 50
[and now she orders scattered ghosts to carry their step back, with an offering of milk.]
Cum libet, haec tristi depellit nubila caelo,
[When she's so inspired, she punches down clouds like these from the gloomy sky,]
Cum libet, aestivo convocat orbe nives.
[when so inspired, she gathers snow in a summer sky.]
Sola tenere malas Medeae dicitur herbas,
[She only is said to hold possession of the evil herbs owned by Medea,]
Sola feros Hecates perdomuisse canes.
[she only is said to have fully placated the ferocious hounds of Hecate.]
Haec mihi conposuit cantus,
[She prepared spells for me,]
quis fallere posses: 55
[should who be someone who should not notice:]
["chant three times,]
ter dictis despue carminibus.
["spit down three times after you've spoken your spells."]
Ille nihil poterit de nobis credere cuiquam,
[That fellow shall not've managed to believe anything when it comes to myself,]
[not for his own sake,]
si in molli viderit ipse toro.
[even if he himself should see it lying upon his gentle bed.]
Tu tamen abstineas aliis:
[And yet, it will be you who shall remove yourself from others:]
nam cetera cernet
[you see, he shall see all other things,]
de me uno sentiet ipse nihil. 60
[but that same fellow shall perceive not a single thing when it comes to me.]
[What makes me believe this?]
nempe haec eadem se dixit amores
Cantibus aut herbis solvere posse meos,
[There's no doubt in my mind, that same woman declared that she could break the power of our love with either spell or potions,]
Et me lustravit taedis,
[and she lit upon me with torches,]
et nocte serena
Concidit ad magicos hostia pulla deos.
[and while the night was calm, she invoked the gods of magic to dark acts of violence.]
Non ego, totus abesset amor, sed mutuus esset, 65
[It was not I who was praying that all love had forsaken me--instead it was still shared by both sides,]
nec te posse carere velim.
[so let me never wish to be able to manage without you.]
Ferreus ille fuit,
[That was one iron-hearted man,]
qui, te cum posset habere,
Maluerit praedas stultus et arma sequi.
[who, when he could have had you, preferred, like a dolt, to pursue the spoils of battle and warfare.]
Ille licet Cilicum victas agat ante catervas,
[Granted, I hope that man I speak of leads the Cilician pirates defeated and in chains before him]
Ponat et in capto Martia castra solo, 70
[and that he settles his war camps on captured soil,]
Totus et argento contextus,
[as he covers himself too completely in silver,]
totus et auro
Insideat celeri conspiciendus equo,
[and he sits upon his swift steed, impossible not to notice from his full adornment of gold,]
Ipse boves mea si tecum modo Delia possim
Iungere et in solito pascere monte pecus,
[so long as I now, join at your side, my lady Delia, and tend to my flocks upon my local mount,]
Et te, dum liceat, teneris retinere lacertis, 75
[and, as long as it is possible, to hold your back in tender embraces,]
Mollis et inculta sit mihi somnus humo.
[and my sleep is soft and unforced upon the ground.]
Quid Tyrio recubare toro sine amore secundo
Prodest, cum fletu nox vigilanda venit?
[What good is it to lie in a bed of fancy Tyrian sheets, with no happiness in love, when the night comes to watch over one's weeping?]
Nam neque tum plumae nec stragula picta soporem
Nec sonitus placidae ducere posset aquae.
[You see, at that point, neither your fancy pillows or your colorful blinds could induce shut-eye, nor the sounds of gentle fountains lead you to sleep.]
Num Veneris magnae violavi numina verbo,
[Come now, have I dishonored the divine powers of Love by word]
Et mea nunc poenas inpia lingua luit?
[and now my tongue is paying the price for my impiety?]
Num feror incestus sedes adiisse deorum
Sertaque de sanctis deripuisse focis?
[Tell me, am I thought to have broken into the inner sanctuary of the gods sacrilegiously and then to have a stolen the garlands down from over the sacred hearths?]
Non ego, si merui, dubitem procumbere templis 85
Et dare sacratis oscula liminibus,
[As I see, if I am deserving, let me not hesitate to throw myself down in the temples and kiss the thresholds that have been consecrated,]
Non ego tellurem genibus perrepere supplex
Et miserum sancto tundere poste caput.
[let me, for my sake, not hesitate to crawl down upon the ground on my knees, a supplicant, and smash my woeful head upon the holy pylon.]
At tu, qui laetus rides mala nostra, caveto
[But you, sir, who giddily laugh at my troubles, watch yourself, and soon:]
non uni saeviet usque deus. 90
[no god will exact rage against a single person.]
Vidi ego, qui iuvenum miseros lusisset amores,
[I can tell you I've witnessed it, as a man who had played around with the woeful love affairs that befit young chaps,]
Post Veneris vinclis subdere colla senem
[I've seen an old man put his own neck under the Love's chains,]
Et sibi blanditias tremula conponere voce
[and try to flirt, though with a trembling voice]
Et manibus canas fingere velle comas,
[and wish pull out his gray hairs with his hands,]
Stare nec ante fores puduit
[and he didn't not find it embarrasing to stand before the doors of a house]
caraeve puellae 95
Ancillam medio detinuisse foro.
[or, in the middle of the marketplace, to have pulled aside the house slave of his beloved girl.]
Hunc puer, hunc iuvenis turba circumterit arta,
[A young boy here, a young man there, a tight crowd would ring around him]
Despuit in molles et sibi quisque sinus.
[till the point that he despised pretty girls and any of their embraces for him.]
At mihi parce, Venus:
[But, Love, spare me:]
semper tibi dedita servit
[Always does my mind serve you, since it first surrendered:]
quid messes uris acerba tuas?
[Why do you bitterly burn your own harvests?]