Skip to main content

Awesome Roman? Poetry

Book 1.3:1-46 After a night’s drinking
        Just as Ariadne, the girl of Cnossus, lay on the naked shore, fainting, while Theseus’s ship vanished; or as AndromedaCepheus’s child, lay recumbent in her first sleep free now of the harsh rock; or like one fallen on the grass by the Apidanus, exhausted by the endless Thracian dance; Cynthia seemed like that to me, breathing the tender silence, her head resting on unquiet hands, when I came, deep in wine, dragging my drunken feet, while the boys were shaking the late night torches.
        My senses not yet totally dazed, I tried to approach her, pressing gently against the bed: and though seized by a twin passion, here Amor there Bacchus, both cruel gods, urging me on, to attempt to slip my arm beneath her as she lay there, and lifting my hand snatch eager kisses, I was still not brave enough to trouble my mistress’s rest, fearing her proven fierceness in a quarrel, but, frozen there, clung to her, gazing intently, like Argus on Io’s new-horned brow.
        Now I freed the garlands from my forehead, and set them on your temples: now I delighted in playing with your loose hair, furtively slipping apples into your open hands, bestowing every gift on your ungrateful sleep, repeated gifts breathed from my bowed body. And whenever you, stirring, gave occasional sighs, I was transfixed, believing false omens, some vision bringing you strange fears, or that another forced you to be his, against your will.
Ovid, Amores, the assault
If there’s a friend here, tie my hands –
they merit chains – while my fury wanes!
Just now my fury thoughtlessly struck my girl:
my darling’s weeping, wounded by my mad hands.
Then I could have done violence to my dear parents
or savagely taken a scourge to the sacred gods!
Well? Didn’t Lord Ajax of the seven-layered shield
lay out the sheep he caught all over the fields,
and didn’t lawless Orestes, avenging his father
on his mother, dare to call up a spear for the secret Sisters?
So can’t I tear at her done-up hair?
or unravel the girl’s flying locks?
She was lovely like that. I’d say like Schoeny’s daughter,
Atalanta, hunting game in Maenalian hills:
or like Ariadne weeping as the south wind
blew away perjured promises and Theseus’s sails:
or who but Cassandra with sacred ribbons in her hair,
on the ground, in your temple, chaste Minerva.
Who’ll not say ‘madman, barbarian!’ to me?
She said nothing: her mouth slackened by trembling fear.
But her silent face still showed reproof:
she accused me with speechless mouth, in tears.
I’d sooner have wished my arms to fall from my body:
easier to have lost a part of myself.
I had a madman’s strength to my cost
and the force of my punishment was in it.
What are you to me, wicked and murderous tools?
Submit to the binding fetters, sacrilegious hands!
If I’d struck the least citizen of the Roman masses,
I’d be punished – had I any more right to hit her?
Tydeus, the wretch, left behind the worst example.
He was the first to strike a goddess – then me!
And he did less harm. I hurt what I professed
to love: Tydeus was cruel to the enemy.
Go, now, Conqueror, devise a great triumph,
wreathe your hair with laurel, and give thanks to Jove,
all the surging crowd, following your chariot,
calling ‘Bravo! The great man who conquered a girl!’
She’ll go ahead, sad dishevelled captive,
all pale, except for her wounded cheeks.
Lips bruised black would have been more apt
and love-bites marking her neck.
Lastly, if I had to act like a swollen torrent,
and my blind anger make her my prey,
wouldn’t it have been enough to shout at the frightened girl,
or thunder away with harsh threats,
or shamefully tear her tunic from throat to waist?
  -  Only her waistband would have felt my strength.
Instead I held her by the hair I grabbed at her brow
marked those delicate cheeks with cruel nails.
She stood there, stupefied, with pale and bleeding face,
as if cut from everlasting Parian marble.
I saw her terrified body, her limbs trembling –
like a breeze blowing through the poplar leaves,
or a soft west wind troubling the slender reeds,
or the tips of the waves touched by a warm southerly:
at length, the brimming tears flowed down her face,
as water runs from the melting snow.
Then for the first time I began to realise her hurt –
the tears I had made her shed were my blood.
Three times I tried to kneel at her feet in supplication:
three times she pushed away those repulsive hands.
Well, don’t hesitate, girl – revenge will lessen the grief –
go at my face with your nails straightaway.
don’t spare my hair or my eyes:
Anger adds what you will to weak hands:
don’t let so much as one sad sign of my wickedness remain,
put your hair back in place like it was before!


Popular posts from this blog

An Argument Against Sociology Being a Bullshit Study

So, as a Sociology major I have (perhaps inevitably) come across people who have voiced their opinions on why sociology is a crock, convoluted, an unacceptable method for conducting science, and not a valid (impractical) study. I hope to address these issues and give a thorough defense of my field, for (obviously) if I had no defense, I should not be a sociology major. I do completely welcome criticism and comments to what I write, and in fact I would love some. I thoroughly believe that the best analysis is derived from discussion and (logical) argumentation. I have put in  bold  the main points since I realize many of you probably do not want to read my god-knows-how-long argument.  SO on with it. I guess I will address the different arguments I have come across one by one Sociology is not credible because it borrows from so many other fields .  Indeed, Sociology is extremely interdisciplinary, but I think the complexity is what makes it so grand. We could limit Sociology b

My problems with the strong is the new skinny campaign

When the 'strong is the new skinny' campaign first started, I was pretty excited about it. The first article I saw was a woman who used to be what she considered anorexic. She said she was weak, and barely ate. She fell in love with weight lifting, and said it gave her confidence, strength and courage. She explained how before lifting she was taught to deprive herself, to lack confidence in her body, and be weak. After lifting she felt proud of her new strength, could eat (and was supposed to eat) more, and felt a sense of progress towards muscle, versus progress towards being smaller. She posted new photos of herself showing she didn't look much different (she didn't 'get huge'). Her photos though were fairly normal looking. She probably had a healthy 10-20% body fat, and you could tell she had some solid muscle. Her muscle, however, wasn't rippling out of her skin, and it isn't supposed to be. There are two main types of weight training I want to tal

A 15 minute exercise for anxiety or depression.

As your hands fumble across countless sites of self-help and coping, this post might have come up. I know the feeling. The feeling of your head being a electric sarcophagus. Of so many negative thoughts and feelings ripping through you like a tornado. You can't concentrate. You can't eat. Living is surviving. First, I want you to know that it gets better. It always gets better. Nothing can stay the same. Next I want you to know that everything takes time, but this method will change your relationship with your feelings instantly. The problem with anxiety and depression is often the pink elephant syndrome. Right now I want you to NOT think about pink elephants . Don't do it. If you do something terrible will happen. What are you thinking about? Pink Elephants? Really? Stop doing it. Just stop. Jesus get a hold of yourself. It's an easy task, just stop thinking about pink elephants! Not very effective huh? But this is the tactic us people