AMORES - III.7 EITHER SHE WAS FOOL ...
Ovidtrans. Christopher Marlowe
At non formosa est, at non bene culta puella,
at, puto, non votis saepe petita meis!
hanc tamen in nullos tenui male languidus usus,
sed iacui pigro crimen onusque toro;
nec potui cupiens, pariter cupiente puella,
inguinis effeti parte iuvante frui.
illa quidem nostro subiecit eburnea collo
bracchia Sithonia candidiora nive,
osculaque inseruit cupida luctantia lingua
lascivum femori supposuitque femur,
et mihi blanditias dixit dominumque vocavit,
et quae praeterea publica verba iuvant.
tacta tamen veluti gelida mea membra cicuta
segnia propositum destituere meum;
truncus iners iacui, species et inutile pondus,
et non exactum, corpus an umbra forem.
Quae mihi ventura est, siquidem ventura, senectus,
cum desit numeris ipsa iuventa suis?
a, pudet annorum: quo me iuvenemque virumque?
nec iuvenem nec me sensit amica virum!
sic flammas aditura pias aeterna sacerdos
surgit et a caro fratre verenda soror.
at nuper bis flava Chlide, ter candida Pitho,
ter Libas officio continuata meo est;
exigere a nobis angusta nocte Corinnam
me memini numeros sustinuisse novem.
Num mea Thessalico languent devota veneno
corpora? num misero carmen et herba nocent,
sagave poenicea defixit nomina cera
et medium tenuis in iecur egit acus?
carmine laesa Ceres sterilem vanescit in herbam,
deficiunt laesi carmine fontis aquae,
ilicibus glandes cantataque vitibus uva
decidit, et nullo poma movente fluunt.
quid vetat et nervos magicas torpere per artes?
forsitan inpatiens fit latus inde meum.
huc pudor accessit: facti pudor ipse nocebat;
ille fuit vitii causa secunda mei.
At qualem vidi tantum tetigique puellam!
sic etiam tunica tangitur illa sua.
illius ad tactum Pylius iuvenescere possit
Tithonosque annis fortior esse suis.
haec mihi contigerat; sed vir non contigit illi.
quas nunc concipiam per nova vota preces?
credo etiam magnos, quo sum tam turpiter usus,
muneris oblati paenituisse deos.
optabam certe recipi - sum nempe receptus;
oscula ferre - tuli; proximus esse - fui.
quo mihi fortunae tantum? quo regna sine usu?
quid, nisi possedi dives avarus opes?
sic aret mediis taciti vulgator in undis
pomaque, quae nullo tempore tangat, habet.
a tenera quisquam sic surgit mane puella,
protinus ut sanctos possit adire deos?
Sed, puto, non blanda: non optima perdidit in me
oscula; non omni sollicitavit ope!
illa graves potuit quercus adamantaque durum
surdaque blanditiis saxa movere suis.
digna movere fuit certe vivosque virosque;
sed neque tum vixi nec vir, ut ante, fui.
quid iuvet, ad surdas si cantet Phemius aures?
quid miserum Thamyran picta tabella iuvat?
At quae non tacita formavi gaudia mente!
quos ego non finxi disposuique modos!
nostra tamen iacuere velut praemortua membra
turpiter hesterna languidiora rosa -
quae nunc, ecce, vigent intempestiva valentque,
nunc opus exposcunt militiamque suam.
quin istic pudibunda iaces, pars pessima nostri?
sic sum pollicitis captus et ante tuis.
tu dominum fallis; per te deprensus inermis
tristia cum magno damna pudore tuli.
Hanc etiam non est mea dedignata puella
molliter admota sollicitare manu;
sed postquam nullas consurgere posse per artes
inmemoremque sui procubuisse videt,
'quid me ludis?' ait, 'quis te, male sane, iubebat
invitum nostro ponere membra toro?
aut te traiectis Aeaea venefica lanis
devovet, aut alio lassus amore venis.'
nec mora, desiluit tunica velata soluta -
et decuit nudos proripuisse pedes! -
neve suae possent intactam scire ministrae,
dedecus hoc sumpta dissimulavit aqua.
Either she was fool, or her attire was bad,
Or she was not the wench I wished to have had.
Idly I lay with her, as if I loved not,
And like a burden grieved the bed that moved not.
Though both of us performed our true intent,
Yet could I not cast anchor where I meant.
She on my neck her ivory arms did throw,
Her arms far whiter than the Scythian snow.
And eagerly she kissed me with her tongue,
And under mine her wanton thigh she flung,
Yes, and she soothed me up, and called me "Sir,"
And used all speech that might provoke and stir.
Yet like as if cold hemlock I had drunk,
It mocked me, hung down the head and sunk.
Like a dull cipher, or rude block I lay,
Or shade, or body was I, who can say?
What will my age do, age I cannot shun,
When in my prime my force is spent and done?
I blush, that being youthful, hot, and lusty,
I prove nor youth nor man, but old and rusty.
Pure rose she, like a nun to sacrifice,
Or one that with her tender brother lies.
Yet boarded I the golden Chie twice,
And Libas, and the white-cheeked Pitho thrice.
Corinna craved it in a summer's night,
And nine sweet bouts we had before daylight.
What, waste my limbs through some Thessalian charms?
May spells and drugs do silly souls such harms?
With virgin wax hath some imbast my joints?
And pierced my liver with sharp needles' points?
Charms change corn to grass and make it die:
By charms are running springs and fountains dry.
By charms mast drops from oaks, from vines grapes fall,
And fruit from trees when there's no wind at all.
Why might not then my sinews be enchanted,
And I grow faint as with some spirit haunted?
To this, add shame: shame to perform it quailed me,
And was the second cause why vigour failed me.
My idle thoughts delighted her no more,
Than did the robe or garment which she wore.
Yet might her touch make youthful Pylius fire.
And Tithon livelier than his years require.
Even her I had, and she had me in vain,
What might I crave more, if I ask again?
I think the great gods grieved they had bestowed,
The benefit: which lewdly I foreslowed,
I wished to be received in, in I get me:
To kiss, I kissed; to lie with her, she let me.
Why was I blest? why make king to refuse it?
Chuff-like had I not gold and could not use it.
So in a spring thrives he that told so much,
And looks upon the fruits he cannot touch.
Hath any rose so from a fresh young maid,
As she might straight have gone to church and prayed.
Well I believe, she kissed not as she should,
Nor used the sleight and cunning which she could.
Huge oaks, hard adamants might she have moved,
And with sweet words caused deaf rocks to have loved.
Worthy she was to move both gods and men,
But neither was I man nor lived then.
Can deaf ears take delight when Phaemius sings?
Or Thamyris in curious painted things?
What sweet thought is there but I had the same?
And one gave place still as another came.
Yet notwithstanding, like one dead it lay,
Drooping more than a rose pulled yesterday.
Now, when he should not jet, he bolts upright,
And craves his task, and seeks to be at fight.
Lie down with shame, and see thou stir no more,
Seeing thou would'st deceive me as before.
Then cozenest me: by thee surprised am I,
And bide sore loss with endless infamy.
Nay more, the wench did not disdain a whit
To take it in her hand, and play with it.
But when she saw it would by no means stand,
But still drooped down, regarding not her hand,
"Why mock'st thou me," she cried, "or being ill,
Why bade thee lie down here against thy will?
Either thou art witched with blood of frogs new dead,
Or jaded cam'st thou from some other's bed."
With that, her loose gown on, from me she cast her,
In skipping out her naked feet much graced her.
And lest her maid should know of this disgrace,
To cover it, spilt water on the place.




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