Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)tr. A.J.Boyle & R.D.Woodard
'Alma, fave', dixi 'geminorum mater Amorum';
ad vatem voltus rettulit illa suos;
'quid tibi' ait 'mecum? certe maiora canebas.
num vetus in molli pectore volnus habes?'
‘scis, dea’, respondi 'de volnere.' risit, et aether
protinus ex illa parte serenus erat.
‘saucius an sanus numquid tua signa reliqui?
tu mihi propositum, tu mihi semper opus.
quae decuit primis sine crimine lusimus annis;
nunc teritur nostris area maior equis.
tempora cum causis, annalibus eruta priscis,
lapsaque sub terras ortaque signa cano.
venimus ad quartum, quo tu celeberrima mense:
et vatem et mensem scis, Venus, esse tuos.'
mota Cytheriaca leviter mea tempora myrto
contigit et 'coeptum perfice' dixit 'opus'.
sensimus, et causae subito patuere dierum:
dum licet et spirant flamina, navis eat.

Siqua tamen pars te de fastis tangere debet,
Caesar, in Aprili quod tuearis habes:
hic ad te magna descendit imagine mensis,
et fit adoptiva nobilitate tuus.
hoc pater Iliades, cum longum scriberet annum,
vidit et auctores rettulit ipse tuos:
utque fero Marti primam dedit ordine sortem,
quod sibi nascendi proxima causa fuit,
sic Venerem gradibus multis in gente receptam
alterius voluit mensis habere locum;
principiumque sui generis revolutaque quaerens
saecula, cognatos venit adusque deos.

Dardanon Electra nesciret Atlantide natum
scilicet, Electran concubuisse Iovi?
huius Ericthonius, Tros est generatus ab illo,
Assaracon creat hic, Assaracusque Capyn;
proximus Anchises, cum quo commune parentis
non dedignata est nomen habere Venus:
hinc satus Aeneas; pietas spectata per ignes
sacra patremque umeris, altera sacra, tulit.
venimus ad felix aliquando nomen Iuli,
unde domus Teucros Iulia tangit avos.
Postumus hinc, qui, quod silvis fuit ortus in altis,
Silvius in Latia gente vocatus erat.
'Gentle Mother of Twin Loves, favour me,' I said,
And she turned her face back to the poet.
'Why me?' she says. 'Surely you were singing greater themes.
Does that soft heart harbour an ancient wound?'
'Goddess,' I replied, 'you know the wound.' She laughed,
And the sky burst cloudless around her.
'Wounded or well,' I asked, 'have I ever left your standards?
You are my theme, my eternal opus.
We played the right games in my youth without offence;
Now our horses trample a greater plain.
Times and their causes, unearthed from ancient annals,
Stars sunk beneath earth and risen, I sing.
We have reached the fourth month, which honours you most;
Poet and month, Venus, you know are yours.'
She stirred, and lightly touched my brow and Times with Cytheran
Myrtle, saying, 'Complete the work begun.'
We felt it; suddenly the days' causes were clear.
While it's allowed and winds blow, ship proceed.

If a part of the Fasti should touch you, Caesar,
You have in April something to protect.
You inherited this month from your line's great image,
Adopted nobility makes it yours.
The Ilian father, when he inscribed the long year,
Saw this himself and restored your ancestry.
And as he assigned the first place to feral Mars,
Who was his birth's immediate cause,
When he retrieved Venus' distant family link,
He wanted her placed in the second month.
Researching his family's source and the rolling ages
Led him eventually to kindred gods.

Could he really not know Dardanus was Atlantid
Electra's son, that Electra slept with Jove?
His son was Ericthonius, whose offspring Tros sires
Assaracus, and Assaracus Capys.
Next was Anchises, with whom Venus was not averse
To holding the joint title of parent.
From them Aeneas was born: he proofed piety in flames,
Shouldering sacred emblems and sacred sire.
We have reached at last the lucky name of Iulus,
Where the Julian house meets Trojan forebears.
Hence came Postumus, who was born on sylvan heights
And called Silvius among Latin folk.

Trans. Copyright © A.J.Boyle & R.D.Woodard, 2000 - publ. Penguin Classics this book
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