Elegia quinta, Anno ætatis 20.
In adventum veris.

In se perpetuo Tempus revolubile gyro
Jam revocat Zephyros vere tepente novos.

Induiturque brevem Tellus reparata juventam,
Jamque soluta gelu dulce virescit humus.

Fallor? an & nobis redeunt in carmina vires, [ 5 ]
Ingeniumque mihi munere veris adest?

Munere veris adest, iterumque vigescit ab illo
(Quis putet) atque aliquod jam sibi poscit opus.

Castalis ante oculos, bifidumque cacumen oberrat,
Et mihi Pyrenen somnia nocte ferunt. [ 10 ]

Concitaque arcano fervent mihi pectora motu,
Et furor, & sonitus me sacer intùs agit.

Delius ipse venit, video Penëide lauro
Implicitos crines, Delius ipse venit.

Jam mihi mens liquidi raptatur in ardua cœli, [ 15 ]
Perque vagas nubes corpore liber eo.

Perque umbras, perque antra feror penetralia vatum,
Et mihi fana patent interiora Deûm.

Intuiturque animus toto quid agatur Olympo,
Nec fugiunt oculos Tartara cæca meos. [ 20 ]

Quid tam grande sonat distento spiritus ore?
Quid parit hæc rabies, quid sacer iste furor?

Ver mihi, quod dedit ingenium, cantabitur illo;
Profuerint isto reddita dona modo.

Jam Philomela tuos foliis adoperta novellis [ 25 ]
Instituis modulos, dum silet omne nemus.

Urbe ego, tu sylvâ simul incipiamus utrique,
Et simul adventum veris uterque canat.

Veris io rediere vices, celebremus honores
Veris, & hoc subeat Musa perennis opus. [ 30 ]

Jam sol Æthiopas fugiens Tithoniaque arva,
Flectit ad Arctöas aurea lora plagas.

Est breve noctis iter, brevis est mora noctis opacæ
Horrida cum tenebris exulat illa suis.

Jamque Lycaonius plaustrum cæleste Boötes [ 35 ]
Non longâ sequitur fessus ut ante viâ,

Nunc etiam solitas circum Jovis atria toto
Excubias agitant sydera rara polo.

Nam dolus & cædes, & vis cum nocte recessit,
Neve Giganteum Dii timuere scelus. [ 40 ]

Forte aliquis scopuli recubans in vertice pastor,
Roscida cum primo sole rubescit humus,

Hac, ait, hac certè caruisti nocte puellâ
Phœbe tuâ, celeres quæ retineret equos.

Læta suas repetit sylvas, pharetramque resumit [ 45 ]
Cynthia, Luciferas ut videt alta rotas,

Et tenues ponens radios gaudere videtur
Officium fieri tam breve fratris ope.

Desere, Phœbus ait, thalamos Aurora seniles,
Quid juvat effœto procubuisse toro? [ 50 ]

Te mante Æolides viridi venator in herba,
Surge, tuos ignes altus Hymettus habet.

Flava verecundo dea crimen in ore fatetur,
Et matutinos ocyus urget equos.

Exuit invisam Tellus rediviva senectam, [ 55 ]
Et cupit amplexus Phœbe subire tuos;

Et cupit, & digna est, quid enim formosius illâ,
Pandit ut omniferos luxuriosa sinus,

Atque Arabum spirat messes, & ab ore venusto
Mitia cum Paphiis fundit amoma rosis. [ 60 ]

Ecce coronatur sacro frons ardua luco,
Cingit ut Idæam pinea turris Opim;

Et vario madidos intexit flore capillos,
Floribus & visa est posse placere suis.

Floribus effusos ut erat redimita capillos [ 65 ]
Tænario placuit diva Sicana Deo.

Aspice Phœbe tibi faciles hortantur amores,
Mellitasque movent flamina verna preces.

Cinnameâ Zephyrus leve plaudit odorifer alâ,
Blanditiasque tibi ferre videntur aves. [ 70 ]

Nec sine dote tuos temeraria quærit amores
Terra, nec optatos poscit egena toros,

Alma salutiferum medicos tibi gramen in usus
Præbet, & hinc titulos adjuvat ipsa tuos.

Quòd si te pretium, si te fulgentia tangunt [ 75 ]
Munera, (muneribus sæpe coemptus Amor)

Illa tibi ostentat quascunque sub æquore vasto,
Et superinjectis montibus abdit opes.

Ah quoties cum tu clivoso fessus Olympo
In vespertinas præcipitaris aquas, [ 80 ]

Cur te, inquit, cursu languentem Phœbe diurno
Hesperiis recipit Cærula mater aquis?

Quid tibi cum Tethy? Quid cum Tartesside lymphâ,
Dia quid immundo perluis ora salo?

Frigora Phœbe meâ melius captabis in umbrâ, [ 85 ]
Huc ades, ardentes imbue rore comas.

Millior egelidâ veniet tibi somnus in herbâ,
Huc ades, & gremio lumina pone meo.

Quáque jaces circum mulcebit lene susurrans
Aura per humentes corpora fusa rosas. [ 90 ]

Nec me (crede mihi) terrent Semelëia fata,
Nec Phäetontéo fumidus axis equo;

Cum tu Phœbe tuo sapientius uteris igni,
Huc ades & gremio lumina pone meo.

Sic Telllus lasciva suos suspirat amores; [ 95 ]
Matris in exemplum cætera turba ruunt.

Nunc etenim toto currit vagus orbe Cupido,
Languentesque fovet solis ab igne faces.

Insonuere novis lethalia cornua nervis,
Triste micant ferro tela corusca novo. [ 100 ]

Jamque vel invictam tentat superasse Dianam,
Quæque sedet sacro Vesta pudica foco.

Ipsa senescentem reparat Venus annua formam,
Atque iterum tepido creditur orta mari.

Marmoreas juvenes clamant Hymenæe per urbes, [ 105 ]
Littus io Hymen, & cava saxa sonant.

Cultior ille venit tunicâque decentior aptâ,
Puniceum redolet vestis odora crocum.

Egrediturque frequens ad amœni gaudia veris
Virgineos auro cincta puella sinus. [ 110 ]

Votum est cuique suum, votum est tamen omnibus unum,
Ut sibi quem cupiat, det Cytherea virum.

Nunc quoque septenâ modulatur arundine pastor,
Et sua quæ jungat carmina Phyllis habet.

Navita nocturno placat sua sydera cantu, [ 115 ]
Delphinasque leves ad vada summa vocat.

Jupiter ipse alto cum conjuge ludit Olympo,
Convocat & famulos ad sua festa Deos.

Nunc etiam Satyri cum sera crepuscula surgunt,
Pervolitant celeri florea rura choro, [ 120 ]

Sylvanusque suâ Cyparissi fronde revinctus,
Semicaperque Deus, semideusque caper.

Quæque sub arboribus Dryades latuere vetustis
Per juga, per solos expatiantur agros.

Per sata luxuriat fruticetaque Mænalius Pan, [ 125 ]
Vix Cybele mater, vix sibi tuta Ceres,

Atque aliquam cupidus prædatur Oreada Faunus,
Consulit in trepidos dum sibi Nympha pedes,

Jamque latet, latitansque cupit male tecta videri,
Et fugit, & fugiens pervelit ipsa capi. [ 130 ]

Dii quoque non dubitant cælo præponere sylvas,
Et sua quisque sibi numina lucus habet.

Et sua quisque diu sibi numina lucus habeto,
Nec vos arboreâ dii precor ite domo.

Te referant miseris te Jupiter aurea terris [ 135 ]
Sæcla, quid ad nimbos aspera tela redis?

Tu saltem lentè rapidos age Phœbe jugales
Quà potes, & sensim tempora veris eant.

Brumaque productas tardè ferat hispida noctes,
Ingruat & nostro serior umbra polo. [ 140 ]

The Fifth Elegy. At the Age of 20
On the Approach of Spring

Time as it moves in its ceaseless round now with the warmth of spring recalls the Zephyrs. Earth refreshed assumes her brief youth, and the ground released from the frost turns softly green. Is it only my fancy, or does fresh strength return to my song, and is it the gift of spring to inspire my genius? Yes, from spring comes genius waxing strong; and — who would believe it? — my powers already demand for themselves some new task. Before my eyes hover the Castalian spring and the twin peaks of Parnassus, and dreams by night bear to me Pirene. My heart burns, stirred by a secret throb; a divine rapture and tumult within impel me. Delius himself comes; I see his locks encircled with Penean laurel; Delius himself descends. My mind is quickly caught up into the heights of the limpid heavens, and free from the body I pass through the wandering clouds. Amid the shades and through the innermost shrines of the poets I am borne, and the secret temples of the gods lie open before me. My soul perceives all that is done on Olympus, and the dark secrets of Tartarus escape not my sight. What lofty utterance will my soul pour from parted lips? What will this madness, what this sacred frenzy, bring forth? Spring, that gave me inspiration, will my inspiration celebrate in song. His gifts repaid shall be his reward.

Now, Philomela, hidden by the freshly opened leaves, you begin your song, while all the woods as yet are still. I in the city, you in the forest, together let us begin our song on the coming of Spring. Lo, changing Spring has returned; let us sing praises in his honor; and let the Muse once more assume her perennial task. The sun now fleeing from Ethiopia and the Tithonian fields turns his golden reins to the regions of the north. Brief now is the course of night, few the hours of her darkness, when she dwells in exile in her horrid shades. And Lyconian Boötes, now weary, pursues through a shorter span the heavenly wain. Now even fewer stars that usual through all the heavens keep watch as sentinels about the courts of Jove; for fraud, murder, and violence retreat with the night, and the gods fear not the onslaughts of the giants. Perhaps some shepherd says as he reclines at the summit of a crag, while the dewy earth grows red beneath the rising sun, "This night, surely this night, O Phoebus, you have lacked the fair one who restrains your swift steeds."

When from on high Cynthia sees the Luciferean rays, she lays aside her own pale beams, gladly returns to her forests, and resumes her quiver, seeming to rejoice that by her brother's aid her task is made so brief.

"Come, Aurora, leave the chamber of your aged husband," Phoebus cries; "what joy is it to lie in that cold bed? The Aeolian hunter awaits you on the greensward. Up! Lofty Hymettus holds your flame."

Blushing, the goddess bashfully confesses her fault, and urges on the horses of the morning. Earth with new life casts off her hated age, and is eager, Phoebus, to receive your caresses. She desires them, and is worthy of them. What indeed is more fair than when voluptuously she bares her all-sustaining breast, and breathes forth the harvests of Arabia, and, with the delicate scent of the balsam, from her lovely lips pours forth the fragrance of Paphian roses. Behold, her lofty brow is crowned with a sacred grove, as the tower of pines encircles Ops on Ida; she entwines her dewy hair with various flowers, and has seemed to be able to please her lover with her flowers, just as the Sicanian goddess, when she had wreathed her flowing locks, pleased the god of Taenarum. Look, O Phoebus, a willing love awaits you; the breezes of spring are laden with honey-sweet prayers. Fragrant Zephyr softly claps his cinnamon-scented wings, and the very birds seem to offer you their flattery. Not without a dowry does Earth rashly seek your love, nor in want does she demand the couch she craves; she kindly gives you the healing herbs for medicines, sustaining thereby your reputation as a healer. If splendid recompense, if illustrious gifts, can move you — for love is often bought with gifts — she lays before you all the wealth hidden beneath the vast deep and under the towering mountains. Ah, how often, when wearied by the steep ascent of heaven, you have plunged headlong into the western sea, how often does she cry, "Why, O Phoebus, fainting after your daily course, must the Cerulean mother receive you in the Hesperian waters? What have you to do with Tethys? What are the Tartessian waves to you? Wherefore do you bathe your hallowed face in the unclean sea? You will court a better coolness in my shades, O Phoebus. Come hither, and cool your glowing locks with dew. A sweeter sleep will fall upon you in the cool grass. Come hither, and lay your splendors on my breast. Where you lie a softly whispering breeze will caress our bodies stretched among dewy roses. Believe me, the fate of Semele, and the smoking chariot drawn by Phaethon's steeds do not frighten me. Phoebus, when you have put your fires to a wiser use, come hither and lay your splendors on my breast."

Thus wanton Earth breathes her amorous desires, and all her children haste to follow her example. Wandering Cupid now courses over the whole world, and rekindles his flickering torch in the fire of the sun. With new strings his deadly bow resounds, and with new points his trembling arrows cruelly gleam. Now he tries to conquer unconquerable Diana and even pure Vesta who sits by the sacred hearth. Venus herself each year renews her aging form, and seems once more just risen from the warm sea. Through the marble halls of cities, youths shout Hymenaee! And shore, and cave, and rock resound with the cry, Io, Hymen! In gay attire he comes, all fitly clad in a new tunic, his fragrant robes shedding the perfume of the purple crocus. Maidens in troops, their virgin breasts cinctured with gold, go forth to the joys of lovely spring. Each makes her own prayer, but the prayers are all the same — that Cytherea grant to each the husband she desires. Now, too, the shepherd pipes on his seven reeds, and Phyllis has a song to suit his strain. With nightly chant the mariner greets his stars, and calls the swift dolphins to the tops of the waves. Jupiter himself on high Olympus makes merry with his spouse, invites even the menial gods to his feast. Now, when late twilight falls, even the satyrs in nimble bands dance over the flowery fields, and with them Sylvanus, cypress-crowned, a god half-goat and goat half-god. The Dryads that hide under ancient trees roam over the mountains and the lonely meadows. Maenalian Pan riots through the crops and the thickets; there mother Cybele and Ceres are hardly safe from him. Wanton Faunus would ravish some Oread, who with trembling feet seeks safety. Now she hides, but ill-concealed in her hiding wishes to be seen; she flees, but fleeing longs to be caught. The gods themselves are not slow to prefer the forests of earth to heaven, and every grove has its own deity.

Long let each grove have its deity! Leave not, O gods, your homes amid the trees. Jupiter, let the age of gold restore you to the unhappy world! Why do you return to the clouds, your harsh armories? At least, O Phoebus, rein in as you can your fleet steeds, and slowly let the vernal season pass. Let rainy winter be slow to bring us again long drawn out nights, and let the shadows fall later about our pole.