Christopher Marlowe, Ovid [Publius Ovidius Naso]

Roma Gill (ed.), The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 1: All Ovids Elegies, Lucans First Booke, Dido Queene of Carthage, Hero and Leander

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ELEGIA 1

Quod pro gigantomachia amores scribere sit coactus.
  • Critical Apparatus1I Ovid Poet of my wantonnesse
  • Editor’s Note2Borne at Peligny to write more addresse.
  • 3So Cupid wills, farre hence be the severe
  • 4You are unapt my looser lines to heare.
  • 5Let Maydes whom hot desire to husbands leade,
  • 6And rude boyes toucht with unknowne love me reade.
  • 7That some youth hurt as I am with loves bowe
  • 8His owne flames best aquainted signes may knowe.
  • 9And long admiring say by what meanes learnd
  • 10Hath this same Poet my sad chaunce discernd?
  • Editor’s Note11I durst the great celestiall battells tell
  • Critical Apparatus12Hundred-hand Gyges, and had done it well,
  • 13With earthes revenge and how Olimpus toppe
  • 14High Ossa bore mount Pelion up to proppe.
  • Critical Apparatus15Jove and Joves thunderbolts I had in hand
  • 16Which for his heaven fell on the Gyants band.
  • 17My wench her dore shut, Joves affares I left
  • 18Even Jove himselfe out off my wit was reft.
  • 19Pardon me Jove, thy weapons ayde me nought
  • 20Her shut gates greater lightning then thyne brought.
  • 21Toyes, and light Elegies my darts I tooke
  • 22Quickly soft words hard dores wide open strooke.
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus23Verses deduce the horned bloudy moone
  • Critical Apparatus24And call the sunnes white horses backe at noone.
  • Editor’s Note25Snakes leape by verse from caves of broken mountaines
  • 26And turned streames run back-ward to their fountaines.
  • 27Verses ope dores, and lockes put in the poast
  • Critical Apparatus28Although of oake, to yeeld to verses boast.
  • pg 37Editor’s Note29What helpes it me of fierce Achill to sing?
  • 30What good to me wil either Ajax bring?
  • 31Or he who war'd and wand'red twenty yeare?
  • 32Or wofull Hector whom wilde jades did teare?
  • 33But when I praise a pretty wenches face
  • 34Shee in requitall doth me oft imbrace.
  • Critical Apparatus35A great reward: Heroes, O famous names
  • 36Farewel, your favour nought my minde inflames.
  • 37Wenches apply your faire lookes to my verse
  • 38Which golden love doth unto me rehearse.

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Notes

Critical Apparatus
II. i title coactus.] ⁓‸
Critical Apparatus
1 my] Robinson; thy Mason
Editor’s Note
2 Borne at Peligny] Ovid's birthplace was Sulmo, a town of the Paeligni in what is now the Abruzzi; as he describes it in II. xvi. 2ff., it is a fertile valley, a 'wholesome soyl with watrie veynes' (irriguis ora salubris aquis).
Editor’s Note
11 the great celestiall battells] Neither Ovid nor, consequently, Marlowe seems wholly clear about these battles. Gyges (the Latin text prints, erroneously, Gygen, which leads to confusion with the King of Lydia) was one of the three Hekatoncheires, the hundred-handed, who were the sons of Uranus and Ge. They are usually represented as being friendly towards the gods, unlike the other giants, also children of Uranus and Ge, who rose against Jupiter, and for this were imprisoned in the earth. The piling of Ossa on Olympus and Pelion on Ossa was the work of the Aloadai, Otos and Ephialtes, in their rebellion against the gods.
Critical Apparatus
12 well,] ⁓.
Critical Apparatus
15 ff. Jove] Jove
Critical Apparatus
23 deduce] Bowers; reduce Mason
Editor’s Note
23 deduce] The manuscript from which Mason was printed was subject to d | r confusions: cf. 'dustie' | 'rustie' (I. xv. 4). Ovid has carmina sanguineae deducunt cornua lunae; and the notion is referred to by Robert Herrick in 'Charms, that call down the moon from out her sphere'.
Critical Apparatus
24 backe]Robinson; blackc Mason
Editor’s Note
25 Snakes leape by verse from caves of broken mountaines] Carmine dissiliunt abruptis faucibus ungues.
Critical Apparatus
28 boast.] ⁓‸
Editor’s Note
29 of fierce Achill to sing] Ovid is referring to the Iliad and the struggle between Achilles and Hector which ended with the death of the latter, whose body was dragged round the walls of Troy by Achilles' horses. A difficulty arises with the next line's 'either Ajax'. Marlowe's text reads Aiaces alter, et alter, referring to Ajax the son of Telamon, who fought with Hector in the Trojan War, and Ajax the son of Oileus (who was surnamed Locrian to distinguish him from the son of Telamon). It was this second Ajax who raped Cassandra in the temple of Minerva at the sack of Troy. Modern editions have Atrides for Aiaces, making it clear that Agamemnon and Menelaus, the two sons of Atreus, are intended.
Critical Apparatus
35 Heroes,] ⁓‸
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