Guy Lee and R. O. A. M. Lyne (eds), Oxford World's Classics: Propertius: The Poems
pg 6028ACynthia's illness
- 1 Jove, at long last have pity on a girl in sickness;
- 2 You will be blamed if one so lovely dies.
- Editor’s Note33 Juno your wife will surely pardon you for caring;
- 34 A dying girl can break even Juno's heart.
- 3 The time has come when sultry air is sweltering
- Editor’s Note4 And earth parched by the Dogstar's drought.
- 5 And yet heat-wave and sky are not so much to blame
- 6 As repeated failure to honour the Gods.
- 7 This is the ruin, has long been the ruin, of wretched girls;
- 8 Their vows are swept away by wind and wave.
- 9 Does Venus resent comparison with her? That Goddess
- 10 Envies all who are beautiful as she.
- Editor’s Note11 Or did you neglect the temple of Pelasgian Juno,
- Editor’s Note12 Or dared you find fault with Pallas' eyes?
- 13 You beauties never learn to discipline your speech;
- 14 Beauty and a guilty tongue brought this upon you.
- 15 And yet for you whose life is plagued by many perils
- 16 Will come at day's end a gentler hour.
- 17 Io, her head deformed, had lowed in her first years;
- Editor’s Note18 The heifer that drank Nile water is now a Goddess.
- Editor’s Note19 Ino too in her first life wandered the world;
- 20 Poor sailors pray to her as Leucothea.
- Editor’s Note21 Andromeda was pledged as a sea-monster's prey;
- 22 She became Perseus' famous bride.
- Editor’s Note23 Callisto as a bear had roamed Arcadian fields;
- 24 Her star directs benighted sails.
- 25 But if so be that Fate should hasten your repose,
- 26 Bliss will be the fate of your entombment.
- Editor’s Note27 You will tell Semele of beauty's peril and she
- 28 Will listen, taught as a girl by her own pain.
- Editor’s Note29 You among all the Maeonian heroines shall have
- 30 First place, with none dissenting.
- pg 6131 But now in your weakness bear with Fate as best you may;
- 32 God and the drastic day can turn.
4 The Dogstar, or Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, rising in July was supposed to bring on the hottest time of the year.
11 Pelasgian: = Argive. Argos was Juno's (Hera's) most ancient place of worship.
12 The goddess Pallas had grey eyes.
23 Callisto: a nymph attendant on the virgin goddess Diana, was loved by Jupiter but turned into a bear by Diana as a punishment. Jupiter placed Callisto and her son in the heavens as Great and Little Bear.
27 Semele: mother by Jupiter of the god Bacchus, asked to see Jupiter in the full power of his divinity and was destroyed by his lightning.
29 Maeonian: = Lydian, but Homer was known as Maeonides and the adjective probably stands for 'Homeric' here.