24 July 2009

a stately triumph

Look, I confess! I am new prey of thine, O Cupid; I stretch forth my hands to be bound, submissive to thy laws. There is no need of war—pardon and peace is my prayer; nor will it be praise for thine arms to vanquish me unarmed. Bind thy locks with myrtle, yoke thy mother's doves; thy stepsire himself shall give thee fitting car, and in the car he gives shalt thou stand, while the people cry thy triumph, and shalt guide with skill the yoked birds. In thy train shall be captive youths and captive maids; such a pomp will be for thee a stately triumph. Myself, a recent spoil, shall be there with wound all freshly dealt, and bear my new bonds with unresisting heart. Conscience shall be led along, with hands tied fast behind her back; and Modesty, and all who are foes to the camp of Love. Before thee all shall tremble; the crowd, stretching forth their hands to thee, shall chant with loud voice: "Ho Triumph!" Caresses shall be at thy side, and Error, and Madness—a rout that ever follows in thy train. With soldiers like these dost thou vanquish men and gods; strip from thee aids like these, thou wilt be weaponless.

En ego confiteor! tua sum nova praeda, Cupido;
porrigimus victas ad tua iura manus.
nil opus est bello—veniam pacemque rogamus;
nec tibi laus armis victus inermis ero.
necte comam myrto, maternas iunge columbas;
qui deceat, currum vitricus ipse dabit,
inque dato curru, populo clamante triumphum,
stabis et adiunctas arte movebis aves.
ducentur capti iuvenes captaeque puellae;
haec tibi magnificus pompa triumphus erit.
ipse ego, praeda recens, factum modo vulnus habebo
et nova captiva vincula mente feram.
Mens Bona ducetur manibus post terga retortis,
et Pudor, et castris quidquid Amoris obest.
omnia te metuent; ad te sua bracchia tendens
vulgus "io" magna voce "triumphe!" canet.
blanditiae comites tibi erunt Errorque Furorque,
adsidue partes turba secuta tuas.
his tu militibus superas hominesque deosque;
haec tibi si demas commoda, nudus eris.

Ovid, Amores I.ii (1963, 323-25)