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Part of an Elegy of Tibullus, translated.

(Divitias alius fulvo sibi congerat Auro.) 1729-30.

1 LET others heap of wealth a shining store,
2 And much possessing labour still for more;
3 Let them, disquieted with dire alarms,
4 Aspire to win a dang'rous fame in arms:
5 Me tranquil poverty shall lull to rest,
6 Humbly secure and indolently blest;
7 Warm'd by the blaze of my own cheerful hearth,
8 I'll waste the wintry hours in social mirth;
9 In summer pleas'd attend to harvest toils,
10 In autumn press the vineyard's purple spoils,
11 And oft to Delia in my bosom bear
12 Some kid, or lamb that wants its mother's care:
13 With her I'll celebrate each gladsome day,
14 When swains their sportive rites to Bacchus pay:
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15 With her new milk on Pales' altar pour,
16 And deck with ripen'd fruits Pomona's bow'r.
17 At night how soothing wou'd it be to hear,
18 Shelter'd and warm, the tempest whistling near;
19 And while my charmer in my arms I strain,
20 Slumber assisted by the beating rain!
21 Ah! how much happier, than the fool who braves
22 In search of wealth the black tempestuous waves!
23 While I, contented with my little store,
24 In tedious voyage seek no distant shore,
25 But idle lolling on some shady seat,
26 Near cooling fountains shun the dog-star's heat;
27 For what reward so rich cou'd Fortune give
28 That I by absence shou'd my Delia grieve?
29 Let great Messalla shine in martial toils,
30 And grace his palace with triumphal spoils;
31 Me beauty holds in strong, tho' gentle chains,
32 Far from tumultuous war and dusty plains.
33 With thee, my love, to pass my tranquil days,
34 How would I slight ambition's painful praise!
35 How would I joy with thee, my love, to yoke
36 The ox, and feed my solitary flock!
37 On thy soft breast might I but lean my head,
38 How downy shou'd I think the woodland bed!
39 The wretch who sleeps not by his fair one's side,
40 Detests the gilded couch's useless pride,
41 Nor knows his weary, weeping eyes to close,
42 Tho' murm'ring rills invite him to repose.
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43 Hard was his heart, who thee, my fair, cou'd leave
44 For all the honours prosp'rous War can give;
45 Tho' through the vanquish'd east he spread his fame,
46 And Parthian tyrants tremble at his name;
47 Tho' bright in arms, while hosts around him bleed,
48 With martial pride he press'd his foaming steed.
49 No pomps like these my humble vows require;
50 I ask, in thy embraces to expire:
51 Thee may my closing eyes in death behold!
52 Thee may my fault'ring hand yet strive to hold!
53 Then, Delia, then thy heart will melt in woe,
54 Then o'er my breathless clay thy tears will flow;
55 Thy tears will flow, for gentle is thy mind,
56 Nor dost thou think it weakness to be kind.
57 With thee each youth and tender maid shall join
58 In grief, and mix their friendly sighs with thine;
59 But ah! my Delia, I conjure thee spare
60 Thy heaving breasts and loose dishevell'd hair:
61 Wound not thy form; lest on th' Elysian coast
62 Thy anguish shou'd disturb my peaceful ghost.
63 But now nor death, nor parting should employ
64 Our sprightly thought, or damp our bridal joy:
65 We'll live, my Delia, and from life remove
66 All care, all bus'ness, but delightful Love.
67 Old age in vain those pleasures wou'd retrieve,
68 Which youth alone can taste, alone can give;
69 Then let us snatch the moment to be blest,
70 This hour is Love's be Fortune's all the rest.

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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): Part of an Elegy of Tibullus, translated. (Divitias alius fulvo sibi congerat Auro.) 1729-30.
    Themes: love; money; wealth
    Genres: heroic couplet; imitation; translation; paraphrase
    References: DMI 22315

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    Source edition

    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. II. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 52-54. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.002)

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    The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.