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THE

FIRST BOOK

OF

OVI D'S ART OF LOV E.

N Cupid's school whoe'er would take degree,
Must learn his rudiments, by reading me.

Seamen with sailing arts their vessels move;
Art guides the chariot ; art instructs to love.
Of ships and chariots others know the rule ;
But I am master in Love's mighty school.
Cupid indeed is obstinate and wild,
A stubborn God; but

yet

the God's a child : Easy to govern in his tender

age, Like fierce Achilles in his pupillage: That hero, born for conquest, trembling stood Before the Centaur, and receiv'd the rod. As Chiron mollify'd his cruel mind With art, and taught his warlike hands to wind The silver strings of his melodious lyre : So Love's fair Goddess does my soul inspire, To teach her softer arts; to footh the mind, And smooth the rugged breasts of human kind. VOL. IV.

I

1

Yet Cupid and Achilles, each with scorn And rage were fillid; and both were goddess-born. The bull, reclaim'd and yok'd, the burden draws: The horse receives the bit within his jaws ; And stubborn Love shall bend beneath my sway, Tho struggling oft he strives to disobey. He shakes his torch, he wounds me with his darts; But vain his force, and vainer are his arts. The more he burns my soul, or wounds my fight, The more he teaches to revenge the spite.

I boast no aid the Delphian God affords, Nor auspice from the flight of chattering birds ; Nor Clio, nor her sisters have I seen; As Hesiod saw them on the shady green: Experience makes my work; a truth so try'd

believe; and Venus be my guide. Far hence, ye vestals, be, who bind your hair ; And wives, who gowns

ancles wear. I sing the brothels loose and unconfind, Th’unpunishable pleasures of the kind; Which all alike, for love, or money, find.

You, who in Cupid's rolls inscribe your name, First seek an object worthy of Then strive, with art, your lady's mind to gain: And, last, provide your love may long remain.

You may

below your

your flame;

On these three precepts all my work shall move: These are the rules and principles of love.

Before your youth with marriage is opprest, Make choice of one who suits your humor best: And such a damsel drops not from the sky; She must be fought for with a curious eye.

The wary angler, in the winding brook, Knows what the fish, and where to bait his hook. The fowler and the huntsman know by name The certain haunts and harbor of their game. So must the lover beat the likeliest grounds ; Th'assembly where his

quarry

most abounds. Nor shall my novice wander far astray ; These rules shall put him in the ready way.

. Thou shalt not fail around the continent, As far as Perseus, or as Paris went: For Rome alone affords thee such a store, As all the world can hardly shew thee more. The face of heav'n with fewer stars is crown'd, Than beauties in the Roman sphere are found.

Whether thy love is bent on blooming youth, On dawning sweetness in unartful truth; Or courts the juicy joys of riper growth; Here mayst thou find thy full desires in both.

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Or if autumnal beauties please thy sight
(An age that knows to give, and take delight;)
Millions of matrons of the graver sort,
In common prudence, will not balk the sport.

In summer heats thou need'st but only go
To Poinpey's cool and shady portico ;
Or Concord's fane; or that proud edifice,
Whose turrets near the baudy fuburb rise :
Or to that other portico, where stands
The cruel father urging his commands,
And fifty daughters wait the time of rest,
To plunge their poniards in the bridegrooms

breast: Or Venus' temple; where, on annual nights, They mourn Adonis with Assyrian rites. Nor thun the Jewish walk, where the foul drove, On sabbaths, rest from ev'ry thing but love: Nor Isis' temple; for that sacred whore Makes others, what to Jove she was before. And if the hall itself be not bely'd, E'en there the cause of love is often try'd; Near it at least, or in the palace-yard, From whence the noisy combatants are heard. The crafty.counsellors, in formal gown, There gain another's cause, but lose their own.

There eloquence is nonplust in tlae suit;
And lawyers, who had words at will, are mute.
Venus, from her adjoining temple, smiles,
To see them caught in their litigious wiles.
Grave senators lead home the youthful dame,
Returning clients, when they patrons came.
But, above all, the play-house is the place;
There's choice of quarry in that narrow chace.
There take thy stand, and sharply looking out,
Soon may'st thou find a mistress in the rout,
For length of time, or for a single bout.
The theatres are berries for the fair :
Like ants on mole-hills thither they repair ;
Like bees to hives, so nụm'roully they throng,
It may be said, they to that place belong.
Thither they swarm, who have the public voice:
There choose, if plenty not distracts thy choice.
To fee, and to be seen, in heaps they run ;
Some to undo, and foine to be undone.

From Romulus the rise of plays began,
To his new subjects a commodious man;
Who, his unmarried soldiers to supply,
Took care the commonwealth should multiply:
Providing Sabine women for his braves,
Like a true king, to get a race of llaves.

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