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FROM

OVID'S A MOURS,

BOOK I. ELEG. 1.

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FOR mighty wars I thought to tune my lute,
And make my measures to my subject fuit.
Six feet for ev'ry verse the Muse design’d:
But Cupid, laughing, when he saw my mind,
From ev'ry second verse a foot purloin’d.
Who gave thee, boy, this arbitrary fway,
On subjects, not thy own, commands to lay,
Who Phoebus only and his laws obey ?
'Tis more absurd than if the Queen of Love
Should in Minerva's arms to battle move;
Or manly Pallas from that

queen

should take
Her torch, and o'er the dying lover shake.
In fields as well may Cynthia fow the corn,
Or Ceres wind in woods the bugle-horn.
As well may Phæbus quit the trembling string,
For sword and shield; and Mars may learn to

fing.
Already thy dominions are too large;
Be not ambitious of a foreign charge.
If thou wilt reign o'er all, and every where,
The god of Music for his harp may fear.

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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.

FROM

OVID'S AMOURS.

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 ;
May that be the last fupper he shall eat.
And am poor I a guest invited there,
Only to fee, while he may touch the fair ?
To see you kiss and hug your nauseous lord, 5
While his lewd hand descends below the board ?
Now wonder not that Hippodamia's charms,
At such a sight, the Centaurs urg'd to arms;
That in a rage they threw their cups aside,
Affail'd the bridegroom, and would force the

bride.
I am not half a horse, (I would I were)
Yet hardly can from you my hands forbear.
Take then my counsel ; which, observ’d, may be
Of some importance both to you and me. .

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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

your

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,
Handle your rings, or with your fingers play. 30
As suppliants use at altars, hold the board,
Whene'er you wish the devil

may
take

your lord. When he fills for you, never touch the

сир, , But bid th' officious cuckold drink it

up.
The waiter on those services employ:
Drink you, and I will snatch it from the boy;
Watching the part where your fweet mouth

hath been,
And thence with eager lips will suck it in.
If he, with clownish manners, thinks it fit
To taste, and offer you the nafty bit,

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40 45

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Reject his greafy kindness, and restore
Th' unsav'ry morsel he had chew'd before.
Nor let his arms embrace your neck, nor rest
Your tender cheek upon his hairy breast.
Let not his hand within your bofom stray,
And rudely with your pretty bubbies play.
But above all, let him no kiss receive;
That's an offence I never can forgive.
Do not, O do not that sweet mouth resign,
Left I rise

up
in
arms,

and
cry,

'Tis mine.
I shall thrust in betwixt, and void of fear
The manifest adulterer will appear.
These things are plain to fight; but more I

doubt What

you

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

my

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.

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