Sivut kuvina


Or lite I boasted I could happy be,

Resume the man, and not my Delia sec!

And boast* of manhood and of bliss are vain;

Sack to my bondage I return again!

And like a top am whirl'd, which boys, for sport,

JLash on the pavement of a level court!

What can atone, my fair, for crimes like these?
I'll bear with patience, use me as you please!
Yet, by love's shufts, and by your braided hair,
By all the joys we stole, your suppliant spare. IO
When sickness dimm'd of late your radiant eyes,
My restless, fond petitions won the lKies.
Thrice 1 with sulphur purified you round,
And thrice the rite with songs th' enchantress

The cake, by me thrice sprinkled, put to flight
The death-denouncing phantoms of the night:
And 1 nine times, in linen garbs array'd,
In silent night, nine times to Trivia pray'd.
What did 1 not.' Yet what reward have 1?
"You love another, your preserver fly! ac
He tastes the sweet effects of all my cares,
JVly fond lustrations, and my solemn prayers.

Are these the joys my madding fancy drew,
V young ey'd Health restor'd your rosy hue?
1 fondly thought, sweet maid, oh thought in vain!
With you to live a blithesome village swain.
When yellow Ceres asks the reaper's hand,
Delia (s.iid I) will guard the reaper's band;
IVlia will keep, when hinds unload the vine,
The choicest grapes for me, the richest wine: 3*
!My slocks she'll count, aod oft will sweetly deign
To clasp some prattler of my menial train:

With pious care will load each rural shrine, 1
For ripen'd crops a golden sheaf assign, >
Cates for my fold, rich clusters for my vine: 1
No, no domestic care (ball touch my foul;
You, Delia, reign despotic o'er the whole!
And will Mcssala fly from p imp of state,
And deign so enter at my lowly gate f
The choicest fruitage that my trees afford, 1
Delia will cull herself, to deck the board.
And wondering, such transcendent worth to fe,
The fruit present, thy blushing handmaid (h:
Such were the fond chimeras of my brain,
Which now the winds have wasted o'er the œfc

0 power of love, whom still my foul obej'd, What has my tongue against thy mother said! Guiltless of ill, unmark'd with incest's stain,

1 stole no garland from her holy fane:

For crimes like these I'd abject crawl thegrsEi Kiss her dread threshold, and my forehead waai

But ye who, falsely wise, deride my paini Beware; your hour approaches—lovehaiefe I've known the young, who ridicul'd hiin? Love's humblest vaflals, when opprefs'd «Hr Each art I've known them try to win theS* Smooth their hoarse voice, and dress thorax hair;

I've known them, in the street, her maiii^
And weeping, beg her to assist their pail
At such preposterous love each school bojetti
Shuns, as an omen, or purlues with Seen
Why do you crush your slave, fair c-sts1

Destroying me, your harvest you destroy!


Tibullds had unfortunately boasted, that Delia had not so great an ascendant over him as she imagined. Being willing to know the extent of her authority, she forbade him her presence. This he at first treated as an order which would jgive him no pain to comply with; but he was soon convinced of his error, and found that hit felicity consisted solely in her converse. To reinstate himself, therefore, in her good graces, the following elegy was composed.

Ver. 5. No poet, perhaps, ever used fewer si•niks than iibullus. Thy principal object al

ways employed him too much to think oW* blances. Virgil has applied the simile of iM to Amata, in the seventh Æneid; u I laccus does to Medea, in the eighth bod ri Argonautics. Things, of no dignity in 4* selves, become important in the hands csn* poet.

Ver. 9. When the ancient! begged a W they generally enforced their entreaties by ** ing to the objects which were held in the lif" esteem by those whom they petitioned, hi* rout coBiptfsitioBf, illusions to a perfw W-TM Mre Introduced With most propriety. The three preat elegiac poets abound with many happy instances of this kind.

Ver. II. Not only the poets, but the physi:ians, supposed, that sulphur possessed a purifying rirtue; whence probably it obtained the epithet r« Indeed, if the infection proceeds from

ilkalinc or putrid miasmata, the steams os brimtone may be antidotal.

Ver. 14. As many diseases were thought by he ancients to spring from supernatural causes, ncantation was early introduced into medicine. 1 his indeed was chiefly practised in Persia; but it soorr spread, insomuch, that, in the days of Puny the elder, it became so common a practice in Britain, that the Persian* themselves, according to that curium author, might seem to have borrowed incantation from our ancestors. "Britannia hodie tarn attonite celebrat tantis cetemoniis ut dedisse Persia videri poffit." Lib. XII. C. I.

But had Pliny maturely considered the assair, be would have found, that as this, as well as every other superstition, is the oss-pring of ignorance and imposture, there was no occasi on for making Persia its mother country.

Pomponius Mela informs us, that at Sena (which some call a maritime town in Britain, and others a British island opposite to France) there was a Gallic deity, whole virgin priestesses were called Barrigenae; and supposed to have the power, by incantation, (carminibut) of raising and laying storms, of curing diseases which none else could cure, and of predicting events. He adds, that they only exerted their magical abilities in compliance with the request of those seamen who came on purpose to consult them.

Lib. iii. C. 6. The use of magic, in the medical art, continued long even among the Christians: and there was a time, fays Broekhusius, when the inquisition regarded it a» a trifling trespass.

If the ancient music cured so many, and such Inveterate diseases, as Pliny, Aulus Ueltius, and others, pretend it did, it must have been very different from that of the modems.

Ver. It. This cake, which (as Servius, ad Ed. viii. ver. Si. informs us) was made three times a year by the vestal virgins, was a composition of flour and two kinds of salt.

Ver. 17. Scaligcr was mistaken, when he supposed that these were infernal sacrifices; for Diana, who was none of the Dii lnferi, was the object of them. Brotkbus.

Nothing was bound in sacrifices, fays Broekhusius, neither the victim nor the hair, the vestments nor feet: It is certain, too, that Servius has asserted the fame. (Æn. ii. ver. 133. &c.) And yet some passages may be quoted from clastic authors, and even from Virgil, where the hair appears to have been bound; as, for instance, the fallowing from the twelfth Æneid:

Alii fontemque ignemque ferebanr,
Velati lino, et verbena tempora vmcti.

VTc also sec that Dido sasrjficcd \ 4.) with

one foot bare only; and it is known, that fillett 1 were tied on the victim. Dart. I Ver. 18. Trivia or Diana was applied to in , \ diseases, on many accounts, but especially because infirm bodies were supposed to be greatly under { the influance of that planet. Oruterus has preserved many addresses to this goddess in his inscriptions. Lovers, in particular, implored her assistance. See Seneca's tragedy of Hippolitus and the second idyllium of Theocritus.


Ver. 25. No passion makes more frequent feasts on expectation, than love; and a wicked wit has said, that these are the most pleasing meals it enjoys. But, be that as it will, the whole of this passage exhibits a most amiable! picture of country retirement, wherein religion, love, and rural affairs, equally conspire to make life truly desirable. Philosophers contend, that we ought not to indulge too flattering prospects of futurity, because, in that case, disappointment! fall heavier. But although we may grant that it is an error to be too sanguine in our hopes, yet, when we consider that hope was implanted in uj by the all-wise Creator, it will appear little left than a direct contradicting of Providence, to suppress it entirely. Our author was of this opinion. There are few passages in the elegiac poets which surpass this of Tibullus, in the warmth, as well as delicacy of its colouring.

Ver. 32. If it be considered with what harshness even the better sort of the Romans treated their staves, the good-nature, so conspicuous in this sentiment of our poet, must give us an amiable idea of his benevolence.

The peasants, mentioned in the text, were slaves born on the estate. The Romans called them ftrnae.

Ver. 33. Tibullus's mistress was not to be employed solely in acts of economy; devotion was also to accompany her thrift. The several offerings, enumerated in the original, are preserved in the version.

Dipt, according to the ancient grammarians, signifies a sacred banquet; and in this sense Tibullus uses it here. Passages, however, occur in classic authors, where that word only means a common entertainment. M. Cato, in his treatise de Re Rustic*, 1. 83. tells us, that the offering for the health and fecundity of the herds, might be made either by a slave or by a freedman; but that, if they chose to succeed in their petitions, no woman should be permitted to be present at the ceremony. Tibullus therefore judiciously omits that circumstance of rural devotion.

Ver. 37. Martial improperly applies this lint to Nemesis.

Uffit AmatoremNemefis lasciva Tibullum,
In tota juvit quern nihil cssc domo.

Lib. tit. t<)%.

Ver. 38. Can any thing be more delicate than this compliment to his patron, that even Delia teals give him no complete satisfaction 3 Aiiij

without his company? His love, indeed, was the more violent paffi.ji; but friendship for Messala had also rooted itself deep in his heart. St;okes of this exquisite nature are only to be expected from those who have access to the great, but whom the great have not infected with selfishness. Mr. Hammond has applied this thought to Lord Chesterfield.

Stanhope (hall come and grace his rural friend;

Delta fhail wonder at her noble guest, With blushing awe the riper fruit commend,

And for her husband's patron cull the best.

El. i3.

It i- astonishing, that a late critic did not make Milton indebted to our author for the manner in which that great poet represented Eve attending on the angel Gabriel. Many of his alleged imitations are not half so well founded. But one who dealt iu the rubbish of Staphorstius and Foxius, c. uld have no taste for the elegancies of Tibullus

Ver. 48. This is such an appeal to heaven, as must appear very becoming in a person conscious of his own innocence The ancients imagined, that disasters were inst cted by the gods on mortals, as a punishment only for their failing in the duties of religion: But experience (hows us, that the best men ar« often exposed to the greatest calamities. Prior ha* put a fine appeal of thi* kind into the m< uth of Emma, in that beautiful poem of his, intituled Henry and Emma. Let envious jealousy, and canker d spight, Produce my actions to severest light, And tax my open day and secret night: Did e'er my eye an inward thought reveal, Which angels might not hear, or virgins tell? And hast thou in my conduct, Henry, known, That 1, of all mankind, have lov'd but you alone?

Ver. 50. Who can read these ancient superi. tious penances, and not agree with Dr. Middkton, that the Romish church it the daughter d the Pagan?

According to Broekhufius, the beating theko. against the sacred threshold, was an expiatory cr. remony brought from Ægypt along with i.: goddess* Ills. This it the only passage of td. quity, where this extraordinary rite is mums. ed; from whence that commentator concl&ci that it neither prevailed long, nor wa» genera.] received, at Rome.

Ver. 54 The original is variously readbjtfc tors: that which the translator has retained, va the correction of Scaliger, and is approved of bj Broekhufius.

Among the few natural descriptions to * sound in the Pastor Fido, the following, «bd expresses the nnferies to which an old man itfst ject, is one of the chief.

Non c pena maggiore

Cb' en vecchic membra il p:zzicor !' inuri.

—S'e ti guinge in quella fredda crate
Ove il proprio difetto
Piu che la colpa altrui fpeiTo si piagne
Al' hora insupportabili e xrrortali
Son le sue piagge, al' hor lr per.e axerbt:
Al' hor si pieta tu cerchi, male
Se non la trovi, e se la ttovi peggio, Sx

Ver. 61. Spitting, the reremony nsediia text, was supposed a preservative ^ omens, and is a gentler method than thofepn scribed by the profound authors of the fcarJ and sixteenth centuries as . hai ms a..,. craft, which was to give a gash with a bra any part of the face above the organs ofsin


With wine 1 strove to sooth my love-sick soul, But vengeful Cupid dafh'd with tc .rs the bowl: All mad with rage, to kinder nymphs I flew; But vigour fled me, when I thought on you. Balk'd of the rapture, from my arms they run, iiwear I'm devoted, and my convtffc shun I

By what dire witchcraft am I thus betray'd? Your face and hair unnerve me, matchless maid: Not more celestial look'd the sea-born fair, Kecciv'd by Peleus from her pearly chair. 10 A rich admirer his addrt sies paid, And bfib'd my inistrels by a beldam's aid. From you my ruin, curst procuress, rose; What imprecations shall avenge my woes I

May heaven, in pity to my sufferings, lVd
Its keenest mischief on your plotting head'
she ghosts us those y. u robb'd of Ion's «•'•

In horrid visions haunt your irksome night!
And, on the chimney, may the boding owl
Your rest disturb, and tsrrrify your loul 1 ■
By famine stung, to church-yards may you n£
There, feast on offals, hungry wolves would lii;
Or howling frantic, in a tatter'd t:own;
Fierce mastiffs bate you through etch cnrv.'j-

'Tis done! a lover's curse the gods approve; But keenest vengeance fire* the queen ot Jut*.

I eave then, my fair, the crafty venal jide:
What passion yields not, when such foes invade?

Your hearts, ye fair, does modest merit claim? Though small lii» fortune, seed his gentle flame: For, genuine love's soft raptures would you know? These raptures merit can alone bestow: 33

The sons of opulence are folly't care,

But want's rough child is fense, and honour's heir.

In vain we sing—the gate still bolted stands: Come, vengeance, let us burst its sullen bands. Learn, happy rival, by my wrongs to know Your fate, since fortune governs all below.


TuotLus's mistress had, it would seem, town too great a regard to a richer gallant. This gave our poet uncommon uneasiness; to lomrurr which, he not only had recourse to the bottle, though otherwise temperate, but even attempted to forget her ungenerous behaviour in the company of the fair. Experience, however, soon convinced him, that nothing could make him either forget, or be happy without her; and gave occasion to this poem.

Some editors have most injudiciousiy tacked this elegy to the former.

Ver. 6. "Dcvovere," the word of the original, properly signifies, "frigore ferire cam partem, qua viri fumus; ut quantumvis cupiamus, tamen minime polTumus." The French call it " nouer 1'eguiliclco;" and the doctors of the canon law fay, that such people are " 1rigidi et malificiati."


Ovid has informed us of the various means by which such an imbccillity may be produced. Num mea theffalico languent devota veneno

Corpora? Num miscro carmen et herba nocent? tagave punicea defixit m mina cera

Et medium tenues in jecur egit acus.

Lib. iii, £1. J. So similar is superstition in all ages.

Apuleius Celsus gravely prescribes a remedy, by which the "vincula vencris" may be untied. Lib. de Medic. Herb. c. 7. See a curious story of this kind, which Herodotus relates of Amasis, •he Egyptian king, in his Euterpe.

Ver. i. The hair here mentioned by our poet, is that of a yellow colour, " flavacunia;" and, indeed, yellowness may with propriety be cajled the classical colour of hair, since some of the greatest beauties of antiquiy, both men and women, arc represented by the poets with this fort of hair. So variable are our ideas of beauty! The Italians, however, even to this day, praise "chionic d'oro." See a curious dissertation on this subject by Jo. Arntzenius, intituled " Dc colore et tinctura comarum," &c.

Ver. 10. The heathen poets, in comparing a person to any os their deities, had a sure method »f giving the reader a picture os that person, as the statues of their god, were known :o every one, and their features ascertained; and this, lays the isgeuious author of the Pelynieti*, it one rca


sen, why similies of this kind are so frequent ia ancient authors. , It is to be regretted, that Tibullus has not left us more of these resemblance*. The sew he has given us, are exquisite; but hit heart was too engaged to wander abroad lor foreign ornaments. Propertius and Ovid abound with them. The modern poets also seem fond of the same kind of comparisons, though they hasre not the fame advantages, in this respect, as the ancients. Valerius Flaccus gives us a short but beaut'sul picture of Thetis, when going to be married, in the first bonk of hit Argonautics. The reader may also see Catullut's tine potm oa the fame subject. Pum. 6*.

Ver. 16. The original, literally interpreted, runs thus: May (he cat raw flesh with a bloody mouth, and drink melancholy liquors mixed with much gall. This was no small curse, if the procurdscs of old liked good cheer at well at the modern sisterhood. Ovid has concisely imitated this imprecation.

Di tibi dent nullos lares inopemque senectam,
Et longas hyemes, perpetuamque sitim.

Propertius carries his malice still farther.
Terra tuum spinis obducat lena sepnlcrum
Et tua, quod non vis, fentiat umbra sitim.

The ancients believed, that nothing could prevent the curses of a person, unjustly injured, from taking effect. Of all the moderns, no poet furpasses Olelham in these fort of imprecations. Vulpius is of opinion, that the poet wishes the biwd to be affected with that species of madness, which makes the diseased think themselvci metamorphosed into wolves. This is far-fetched.

Ver. 21 Commentators are greatly divided in their interpretations of this passage. The true meaning seems to be this: The Romans had private feasts upon the death of their friends, called "Silicernia," from '* Silex" and "Cxna," of supping upon a stone; part of which they eat, and left, the rest on the tomb for the ghostt to seed upon. And therefore it became proverbial, on extreme misery, to say, that one got his victual*, from the tombs. Dart.

Ver. ao. This thought is one of the least delicate in l ibullus; and therefore the translator haa not only emitted it, but given a d.sscrent turn ta the whole passage from " pauper crit," c...

Ver. 35. —lie gritsiitt UlieJJlanJs.] The word used in the original, Servitu (Ad. Lib. i. Æn. v. 127.) derives from " fatim hifeerc."

Ver. 36. The young people, both of Greece and Italy, when they went to visit their mistresses at night, often carried torches along with them, to burn the duars of those who should refuse to grant them admittance. This boisterous piece of jrallantry, which the modern spirits call beating the rounds, puts one in mind of the answer made by one of the family of Huntly, who was taken prisoner at the battle of Mussclburgh, to the

Duke of Somerset, in consequence of that Dofe'l having asked his prisoner, how he stood affected to the marriage between Edward VI. and tit young Mary of Scotland: "I have Do objeefe my Lord Duke, to the match, but like not jv£ method os courtship."

Ver. 37. Learn, tjffy rival.] The original, Mea furta timeto,

Broekhiifius thin wisely interprets, Bt assure! that fortune and woman are mutable, as j« yourself will soon experience.


I.ovt still invites me with a smiling eye!
Beneath his smiles, what pains and anguish lie?
Yet since the gods, dread power, must yield to

What laurels canst thou gain from conquering me?
Me Delia lov'd; but by thy subtle wiles,
The fair, in secret, on another smiles:
That my suspicion's false, 'tistrue, she swears;
And backs her imprecations with her tears!
i'alse fair, your oaths, and syren tears refrain;
Your syren tears, and oaths no credit gain; 10
For when your lord suspected me of yore,
As much you wept, as many oaths you Iworc.
Yet wherefore blame 1 love? the blame is

I, wretched I, first taught her to design!

1 first instructed her, her spies to foil '.

Back on myself my wanton arts recoil:

Herbs of rare energy my skill supplied,

All marks of too-fond gallantry to hide!

More artful now, alone the wanton lies;

And new pretexts her cozening brains devise. 10

Uncautious lord of a too cunning spouse I Admittance grant me, die shall keep her vows 1 Be warn'd, my friend, observe her when her tongue [young; Commends in wanton phrase the gay-dress'd O let her not her heaving bosom bare, Ixpos'd to every fop's immodest stare. When leaning on the board, with flowing wine, She seems to draw some inconsiderate line; Take heed, take heed (I know the warning true), These random lines allign an interview. 30 Nor let your wife to fanes so frequent roam, A modest wife's best temple is at home: But if your prohibitions are all vain, Give me the hint, I'll dodge her to the fane; What though the goddess snatch my curious sight, I'll bring her wanton privacies to light.

Some gem she wore, I'd oft pretend to view, But squeez'd her fingers unperceiv'd of you: Oft with full racy bowls I seal'd your eyes, Water my bcv'ridge, and «btain'd the prize. 40 Yet since I tell, forgive the pranks I play'd, Love prompts*) ail, »nd love must b; obey'd!

Nay. 'twas at me (be now the truth avow'J) Your watchful mastiff us'd to bark so loud; But now some other, with insidious wait. Intent observes each creaking of your gste, At which, whoever of the house appears, Passing, the mein of quick dispatch he wean; But comes again, the minute they remove, And coughs, sure signal of impatient love! (5

What boots, though marriage gave a wist » fair,

If careless you, or she eludes your care?
While men are artful, and your wife can feign,
Vain are your brazen-bolts, your mastiffs vats.

Cold to the raptures of the genial bed,
She lays the fault upon an aching head:
'1 is false; the wanton far some other sighi;
From this, her coolness, this, her aches arii

Then, then be warn'd, intrust her to rfSt; Whips, chains I laugh at,if you grant mypi«"Hence from my ward, ye sparkisli efe* "beaux;

"Illegal love oft springs from essene'd cIouW Where'er she walks, not distant I'll attend; And guard your honour from the casual fried' "Off, gallants, off: for so the gods ordain, "So, the dread priestess in unerring strain 1" (When holy fury fires the frantic dame, She mocks all torture, and exults in flams; Her snow-white arms and heaving breast fc tears;

And with the gushing gore Bellona smears; "• Deep in her side she plants the glittering s»ori; And the dread goddess prompt* each fateful wofA' "Ye youths beware, nor touch whom Cop«i "guards,

"Unpunifh'd none attempt hit gentle wards; "As my blood flows, and as these ashes fly; "Their wealth shall perish, and their maniw*1 "die."

She menae'd then the fair, with dreadful pair; E'en were yon guilty, may her threats be vain: Not on your own account; your mother's age, Your worthy mother, deprecates my rage; « When love and fortune fmil'd, her gentle aid Oft me conducted to the blromiog maid;

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