Si quis in hoc artem populo non novit amandi,
Hoc legat et lecto carmine doctus amet.
Arte citae veloque rates remoque moventur,
Arte leves currus: arte regendus amor.
Curribus Automedon lentisque erat aptus habenis,
Tiphys in Haemonia puppe magister erat:
Me Venus artificem tenero praefecit Amori;
Tiphys et Automedon dicar Amoris ego.
| If anyone among this people does not know the art of loving,|
Let him read this and by having read the poem he may love expertly.
By art swift ships are moved with sail and oar,
By art fast chariots are moved: love also should be guided by art.
Automedon was suitable adept with chariots and pliant reins,
Tiphys was master on the Thessalian ship:
Venus has set me as an expert over tender Love;
I will be called the Tiphys and Automedon of Love.
|25-34||Non ego, Phoebe, datas a te mihi mentiar artes,
Nec nos aeriae voce monemur avis,
Nec mihi sunt visae Clio Cliusque sorores
Servanti pecudes vallibus, Ascra, tuis:
Usus opus movet hoc: vati parete perito;
Vera canam: coeptis, mater Amoris, ades!
Este procul, vittae tenues, insigne pudoris,
Quaeque tegis medios, instita longa, pedes.
Nos venerem tutam concessaque furta canemus,
Inque meo nullum carmine crimen erit.
|I do not, Phoebus, falsely state these arts to be gifts to me from you,|
Nor are we advised by the voice of an airborne bird
Nor have Clio and her sisters been seen by me,
guarding sheep in your valleys, Ascra:
Practice inspires this work: heed the experienced poet;
I shall sing true things: be favorable, O mother of Love, to these undertakings!
Get ye hence, slender headbands, signifier of chastity,
and you who cover the middle of the feet with the long robe of married women.
We sing of safe love and permitted thefts,
And in my poem there will be no crime.
Principio, quod amare velis, reperire labora,
Qui nova nunc primum miles in arma venis.
Proximus huic labor est placitam exorare puellam:
Tertius, ut longo tempore duret amor.
Hic modus, haec nostro signabitur area curru:
Haec erit admissa meta terenda rota.
Firstly, work to find the one whom you wish to love,|
You who come now into new weapons for the first time as a soldier.
The next task to this is to prevail upon an agreeable girl:
The third, to make sure that love may endure for a long time.
This will be the boundary; this will be the field marked by our chariot:
This turning-post must be grazed by the speeding wheel.
Dum licet, et loris passim potes ire solutis,
Elige cui dicas 'tu mihi sola places.'
Haec tibi non tenues veniet delapsa per auras:
Quaerenda est oculis apta puella tuis.
Scit bene venator, cervis ubi retia tendat,
Scit bene, qua frendens valle moretur aper;
Aucupibus noti frutices; qui sustinet hamos,
Novit quae multo pisce natentur aquae:
Tu quoque, materiam longo qui quaeris amori,
Ante frequens quo sit disce puella loco.
Non ego quaerentem vento dare vela iubebo,
Nec tibi, ut invenias, longa terenda via est.
While it is permitted and you are able to go here and there with free reins,|
Choose to whom you might say “you alone please me.”
She will not come to you having fallen through thin air:
A suitable girl must be sought with your eyes.
The hunter knows well, where to stretch the nets for deer,
He knows well in which valley the gnashing boar lingers;
Bushes are known by bird-catchers; he who holds hooks,
Has known which waters are swum in by many fish:
You also, who seek material for a long-standing love,
Learn first which places are populated by girls.
I do not order you, seeking, to give sails to wind,
Nor, so that you might find a girl, must a long road be travelled by you.
|57-66||Gargara quot segetes, quot habet Methymna racemos,
Aequore quot pisces, fronde teguntur aves,
Quot caelum stellas, tot habet tua Roma puellas:
Mater in Aeneae constitit urbe sui.
Seu caperis primis et adhuc crescentibus annis,
Ante oculos veniet vera puella tuos:
Sive cupis iuvenem, iuvenes tibi mille placebunt.
Cogeris voti nescius esse tui:
Seu te forte iuvat sera et sapientior aetas,
Hoc quoque, crede mihi, plenius agmen erit.
As many crops as Gargara, as many clusters of grapes as Methymna,|
As many fishes are covered by the sea, as many birds are concealed by foliage,
As many stars has the sky, so many girls has your Rome:
Venus, the Mother of Love, has remained in the city of her Aeneas.
If you are captured by that first and still ripening age,
Before your eyes a true girl will come:
If you desire a young woman, a thousand women will please you.
You will not be able to know which you desire.
If by chance the later and wiser age pleases you,
This group also, believe me, will be very numerous.
|89-98||Sed tu praecipue curvis venare theatris:
Haec loca sunt voto fertiliora tuo.
Illic invenies quod ames, quod ludere possis,
Quodque semel tangas, quodque tenere velis
. Ut redit itque frequens longum formica per agmen,
Granifero solitum cum vehit ore cibum,
Aut ut apes saltusque suos et olentia nactae
Pascua per flores et thyma summa volant,
Sic ruit ad celebres cultissima femina ludos:
Copia iudicium saepe morata meum est.
But hunt especially in the curved theaters:|
This place is more fertile even than your desire.
There you will find something to love, and something to trifle with,
Something to touch once, and something to hold on to.
Just as the constant ant goes and returns along a long column,
When he carries the customary food with his grain-bearing mouth,
Or as bees, having found their own glades and fragrant pastures,
fly through flowers and the tops of thyme plants,
Thus do the smartest women rush to the crowded shows:
The abundance often slows my judgment.
|99-108||Spectatum veniunt, veniunt spectentur ut ipsae:
Ille locus casti damna pudoris habet.
Primus sollicitos fecisti, Romule, ludos,
Cum iuvit viduos rapta Sabina viros.
Tunc neque marmoreo pendebant vela theatro,
Nec fuerant liquido pulpita rubra croco;
Illic quas tulerant nemorosa Palatia, frondes
Simpliciter positae, scena sine arte fuit;
In gradibus sedit populus de caespite factis,
Qualibet hirsutas fronde tegente comas.
They come to observe, so that they themselves might be observed:|
That place holds the ruins of chaste modesty.
You first made the shows disturbed, Romulus,
When the abducted Sabine pleased the wifeless men.
Then neither were awnings hanging in a marble theater,
Nor were the stages red with liquid crocus;
There fronds, which the wooded Palatine had borne,
Arranged simply were scenery without art.
The people sat on tiers made from turf,
Covering their shaggy hair with any leaf they liked.
|109-116||Respiciunt, oculisque notant sibi quisque puellam
Quam velit, et tacito pectore multa movent.
Dumque, rudem praebente modum tibicine Tusco,
Ludius aequatam ter pede pulsat humum,
In medio plausu (plausus tunc arte carebant)
Rex populo praedae signa +petenda+ dedit.
Protinus exiliunt, animum clamore fatentes,
Virginibus cupidas iniciuntque manus.
They look behind, and with their eyes they each note for themselves a girl|
Whom they might desire, and with silent hearts they meditate many things.
And while, an Etruscan flute-player providing a crude tune,
A dancer strikes the level ground three times with his foot,
In the middle of the applause (applause then was also lacking art)
The king gave to the people the sign of plunder.
Immediately they leap up, indicating their mind with a shout,
And lay greedy hands on the virgins.
|117-126||Ut fugiunt aquilas, timidissima turba, columbae,
Ut fugit visos agna novella lupos:
Sic illae timuere viros sine more ruentes;
Constitit in nulla qui fuit ante color.
Nam timor unus erat, facies non una timoris:
Pars laniat crines, pars sine mente sedet;
Altera maesta silet, frustra vocat altera matrem:
Haec queritur, stupet haec; haec manet, illa fugit;
Ducuntur raptae, genialis praeda, puellae,
Et potuit multas ipse decere timor.
As doves, most timid group, flee eagles,|
As a new lamb flees glimpsed wolves:
So those women feared the men rushing lawlessly;
The color that was before remained in no woman.
For there was one fear, but not one face of fear:
Some tear their hair; others sit mindlessly;
One, dejected, is silent; another calls her mother in vain:
This one complains, this one is stunned; this one remains, that one flees;
The abducted girls, prey for marriage, are wed,
And fear itself was able to become many.
|127-134||Si qua repugnarat nimium comitemque negabat,
Sublatam cupido vir tulit ipse sinu,
Atque ita 'quid teneros lacrimis corrumpis ocellos?
Quod matri pater est, hoc tibi' dixit 'ero.'
Romule, militibus scisti dare commoda solus:
Haec mihi si dederis commoda, miles ero.
Scilicet ex illo sollemnia more theatra
Nunc quoque formosis insidiosa manent.
If by any chance one had resisted too much and had refused her companion,|
The man himself carried her lifted up with a passionate embrace,
And he said “why do you spoil your soft eyes with tears?
That which your father is to your mother, this will I be to you.”
Romulus, you alone knew how to give bonuses to soldiers:
If you would have given this reward to me, I would be a soldier.
Undoubtedly from this custom the hallowed theaters
Now also remain dangerous for pretty girls.