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OVID'S A MOURS,
BOOK I. ELEG. 1.
FOR mighty wars I thought to tune my lute,
Thus when with soaring wings I seek renown, Thou pluck'st my pinions, and I futter down. Could I on such mean thoughts my Muse em
ploy, I want a mistress or a blooming boy. Thus I complain'd: his bow the stripling bent, And chose an arrow fit for his intent. The shaft his purpose fatally pursues ; Now, poet, there's a subject for thy Muse. He said : too well, alas, he knows his trade; For in my breast a mortal wound he made. 30 Far hence, ye proud hexameters, remove, My verse is pac'd and trammel'd into love. With myrtle wreaths my thoughtful brows in
close, While in unequal verse I sing my woes.
BOOK I. ELEG. 4.
To his mistress, whose husband is invited to a feast
with them. The poet instructs her how to behave herself in his company.
YOUR husband will be with us at the treat ;
Be sure to come before your man be there ; There's nothing can be done; but come how
e'er. Sit next him (that belongs to decency) But tread upon my foot in passing by. Read in my looks what filently they speak, And Nily, with your eyes, your answer make. My lifted eye-brow shall declare my pain ; My right-hand to his fellow shall complain ; And on the back a letter shall design; Besides a note that shall be writ in wine. Whene'er you think upon our last embrace, 25 With your fore-finger gently touch
face. If any word of mine offend my dear, Pull, with your hand, the velvet of your ear. If
you are pleas’d with what I do or fay,
your lord. When he fills for you, never touch the
сир, , But bid th' officious cuckold drink it
Reject his greafy kindness, and restore
conceal beneath your petticoat. Take not his leg between your tender thighs, 55 Nor, with your hand, provoke my foe to rise. How many
love-inventions I deplore, Which I myself have practis'd all before ? How oft have I been forc'd the robe to lift In
company; to make a homely shift 60 For a bare bout, ill huddled o’er in haste, While o'er
side the fair her mantle cast. You to your husband shall not be so kind; But, left you should, your mantle leave behind. Encourage him to tope; but kiss him not, Nor mix one drop of water in his pot. If he be fuddled well, and snores apace, Then we may take advice from time and place.