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O V I D's A MO. U R S. O I A

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OR mighty wars I thought to tune my lute,
And make

my measures to my subject suit. 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 gaye

thee, boy, this arbitrary saw, On subjects, not thy own, commands to lay, Who Phæbus 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.

Phæbus quit the trembling string,
For sword and shield; and Mars may learn to sing.
Already thy dominions are too large;
Be not ambitious of a foreign charge.
If thou wilt reign o'er all, and ev'ry where,
The God of Music for his harp may fear.

As well may

Thus when with soaring wings I seek renown,
Thou pluck'st my pinions, and I flutter down.
Could I on such mean thoughts my Muse employ,
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. (Far hence, ye proud hexameters, remove ) My verse is pac'd and trammeld into love. With myrtle wreaths my thoughtful brows inclose, While in unequal verse I sing my woes.

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To his mistress, whose husband is invited to a feast

with them. The poet instructs ber how to behave berself in his company.

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OUR 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 see, while he may touch the fair ? To see

you kiss and hug your nauseous lord, While his leud 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 afide, Assaild 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 fome importance both to you Be sure to come before

your man be there; There's nothing can be done; but come howe'er.

and me.

Whene'er you

Sit next him (that belongs to decency)
But tread upon my foot in passing by.
Read in

my

looks what silently they speak,
And lily, 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 thall design;
Besides a note that shall be writ in wine.

think

upon our last embrace, 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 say,
Handle your rings, or with your fingers play.
As suppliants use at altars, hold the board,
Whene'er you with the devil

may
take
your

lord. When he fills for you, never touch the

cup, 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

your sweet 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 nasty bit,

part where

Reject his greasy 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 bosom 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, I 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 adult'rer 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, Nor, with your hand, provoke my foe to rise.

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 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, lest you should, your mantle leave behind.

How many

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