Category Archives: Amores

Amores

The Amores are three volumes of lyric poems, focused primarily on the poet’s relationship with his mistress Corinna.

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Amores I:1-3

Amores I:1 EPIGRAM: We who once were five books by Naso now are three. The author himself has trimmed us. Now even if you don’t like what you read, at least you’re spared the punishment of two more books. I … Continue reading

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Amores I:4-5

Amores I:4 Your husband is going to the same dinner party as we are; I pray that this is the last dinner he lives to eat! How shall I react when I see my beloved mistress as a fellow guest? … Continue reading

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Amores I:6

Doorkeeper, though it’s embarrassing to ask this, loose your hard chain and swing the surly outer door inward a trifle on its hinges. I ask but a little thing: that you make enough room on the threshold for me to … Continue reading

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Amores I:7

If I have any friends present, clamp manacles on my hands (for they deserve to be chained) before the madness returns: for madness moved my arms to strike my mistress. My injured darling weeps from my woeful hand! 

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Amores I:8

There’s a certain old woman–if you want to know how a procurer works, listen to me–there’s a certain old woman named Dipsas. She got her nickname from her habits: She’s never been sober to watch Dawn, the mother of Memnon, … Continue reading

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Amores I:9

Every lover is a soldier and guards the camp of Cupid; believe me, Atticus, every lover is a soldier. The age that’s suitable for war is equally fitted for Venus. An aged soldier is a sad thing, just as an … Continue reading

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Amores I:10

As lovely as Helen who had two husbands, while she was being borne by Phrygian ships from the Eurotas Strait to be the cause of war; as lovely as Leda, to whom cleverly adulterous Zeus made love clad as a … Continue reading

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Amores I:11

Nape, you’re skilled at arranging your mistress’ scattered hair, but you’re not merely a handmaid. You’ve shown your talent for the duties of the furtive night, and you’ve proved your cleverness at passing me notes. Often you’ve encouraged a hesitant … Continue reading

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Amores I:12

Weep with me for my hard luck: my girlfriend’s answer came back, “No.” Her wretched message denies she can see me today. I should’ve known from the omens. When Nape turned to leave the house with my request, she stubbed … Continue reading

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Amores I:13

Already the blond dawn-maiden rises above the ocean from the side of her elderly husband and sets the day to turning on its frozen axis. Why do you hasten, Aurora? Hold for a time:the flock of birds that every year … Continue reading

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Amores I:14

I said, “Stop dyeing your hair,” but now you no longer have hair to dye. Whoever had thicker hair than you when you let it fall free? And it touched the backs of your knees! What have you done to … Continue reading

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Amores I:15

Why do you complain, carping Envy, that I’m wasting my life? Do you call poetry a lazy man’s work? Do you say that I should be like the ancient Romans who so long as health permitted pursued the rewards of … Continue reading

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Amores II:1

I, Naso, born in the stream-cut Paelignian hills, composed this book also. I am the poet of my own dalliances. And again Love has called me to write. Get away from here, get away, you moralists! You aren’t the right … Continue reading

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Amores II:2

Bagoas, the duty of guarding your mistress is in your hands, so listen well while I go over a few necessary matters with you. Yesterday I saw my girlfriend taking the air in the Portico of the Palatine Apollo, decorated … Continue reading

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Amores II:3

Woe is me, for you who guard my mistress are neither male nor female; you can never know the mutual joys of Venus. The fellow who first gelded a boy should suffer the same injury himself! If you’d felt the … Continue reading

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Amores II:4

I don’t dare try to defend my unfortunate practices or to engage in battle falsely on behalf of my flaws. I’ll confess them if it does any good to admit mistakes: I have no control over my actions in this … Continue reading

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Amores II:5

No love is so important (get away from me, Cupid with your quiver of arrows!) that I ought to wish so often that I were dead. Woe is me! I wish I were dead when I think of how many … Continue reading

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Amores II:6

My girlfriend’s parrot, her winged mimic from the Dawn-lighted Indies, has died. Flock to its funeral rites, birds. Come, dutiful winged ones: beat your breasts with your pinions and tear your delicate cheeks with your unbending claws. Pluck out your … Continue reading

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Amores II:7

Do you think it’s my whole purpose in life to defend myself against your new accusations? Even though I succeed, it’s wearing to have to fight all the time. If I happened to look up at the crowd filling the … Continue reading

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Amores II:8

Cypassis, only goddesses could be worthy of your perfected skill at arranging hair in a thousand styles, and the skill which I know you possess for stolen pleasures is not at all that of a farm girl. You’re a treasure … Continue reading

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Amores II:9

Amores II:9A Alas, Cupid, whom I never could abandon! Ah, boy who fills all my leisure thoughts–why do you punish me, a soldier who never left your standards? You wound me in my own camp! Why does your torch burn … Continue reading

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Amores II:10

You swore to me, Graecinus, that no man could love two women at the same time. Because I believed you, I was unprepared and now (poor thing!) find myself in love with two women at the same time. Either is … Continue reading

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Amores II:11

You swore to me, Graecinus, that no man could love two women at the same time. Because I believed you, I was unprepared and now (poor thing!) find myself in love with two women at the same time. Either is … Continue reading

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Amores II:12

The pine cut for the Argonauts from the steep slope of Mount Pelion first taught the evil paths through the glittering waves of the sea. By rashly slipping between the sliding rocks, it was able to carry the Golden Fleece. 

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Amores II:13

Wind yourselves about my temples, shoots of triumphal laurel: we have conquered! Behold, Corinna nestles into my bosom. Corinna, whom a husband, a doorman, and sturdy gates–so many enemies!–guarded against being taken by any artifice. This is a victory worthy … Continue reading

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Amores II:14

My rash Corinna lies exhausted between life and death, trying to force the burden from her distended belly. I am rightly angry at her for secretly deciding to try the risk of pregnancy, but my anger gives way before my … Continue reading

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Amores II:15

What use is it that girls are deaf to the call of Mars and that they don’t wish to pick up shields and follow the brutal columns, if without war they choose weapons to wound themselves and throw their fate … Continue reading

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Amores II:16

Little ring, cincture of the finger of a pretty girl who cares for nothing save for the love of the giver, may you go as a worthy gift. May she receive you with joy and immediately slip you over her … Continue reading

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Amores II:17

Sulmo, a third portion of the Paelignian countryside, holds a piece of my heart. It’s a small region but fed by sweet waters. Even when the sun draws near in summer and cracks the Earth, and fierce Sirius, Icarus’ dog, … Continue reading

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Amores II:18

Amores II:18 If any of you think it’s disgraceful that a man be the slave of a woman, then you can just call me a disgrace. I’m willing to be dishonored so long as Venus, who holds Paphos and wave-washed … Continue reading

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Amores II:19

Amores II:19 You direct your song to angry Achilles, Macer, and don arms in your opening verse with the leaders combined at Troy. For my own part, I slip into the ignoble shadows of Venus; delicate Cupid shatters my intentions … Continue reading

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Amores II:20

Amores II:20 You don’t need to watch your wife, fool. That just plays into my hands and makes me want her the more. Whatever is permitted becomes unattractive. What isn’t permitted burns even hotter. Love becomes cold if another permits … Continue reading

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Amores III:11A-B

Amores III:11A Long have I borne your slights, but your insults have finally overcome my patience. I have liberated myself, broken my chains, and now am ashamed to have borne what I wasn’t ashamed to bear. I have revolted from … Continue reading

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Amores III:8

Does anybody still think that distinguished art and delicate poetry are sufficient to win a lover? Once genius was more valuable than gold, but today’s universal barbarism counts it for nothing. Once my brilliant little poetry collections pleased my mistress, … Continue reading

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Amores III:9

Memnon’s mother and Achilles’ mother both wept over their sons. If such grief could touch great goddesses, then you too, Elegy, shall loose your hair now in unfamiliar grief. Ah, now you must become a funeral elegy: the empty husk … Continue reading

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Amores III:10

It is the time of the Cerealia, so my girlfriend sleeps in her bed alone. Blond Ceres with your fine hair tied with wheat straw, why do you inconvenience us for your rites? All peoples call you generous, Goddess–a person … Continue reading

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Amores III:12

Why must there always come the day on which you black birds caw sad omens to a lover? What star shall I blame for my fate, against which gods shall I rail for waging war against me? She who was … Continue reading

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Amores III:13

Since my wife comes from the fruit-bearing Faliscan region, we journeyed to the city of Falerii which you conquered, Camillus. There priestesses were preparing the chaste festival of Juno, featuring famous games and locally-raised cattle. 

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Amores III:14

Since you are so beautiful I do not plead with you not to sin; but only that you not force miserable me to know about it. I don’t require that you be chaste, but I ask that you make an … Continue reading

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Amores III:15

You must find a new bard, mother of the little Cupids: my elegies will go no farther. I am the offspring of the Paelignian countryside, and I’m not ashamed of the sophisticated verses which I’ve composed to date. If it’s … Continue reading

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