Ovid de Ponto Containing foure books of elegies. Written by him in Tomos, a citie of Pontus, in the foure last yeares of his life, and so dyed there in the seaventh yeare of his banishment from Rome. Translated by W.S.
Ovid, 43 B.C.-17 or 18 A.D., Saltonstall, Wye, fl. 1630-1640.
MAximus most eloquent in the Romane speech,
Defend my doubtfull cause I thee beseech,
Page [unnumbered] Tis bad, but will be good if thou it plead
And with gentle words in my case intercede,
For though Caesar all things knowes, he knowes not this,
Of what condition this remote place is
In government his thoughts employed are
For his royall brest this is too meane a care,
Or to enquire how Tomos land doth lye,
Scarce knowne unto the Getes that live thereby▪
Nor knowes he what the Sauromatians doe,
The Lazygians, or Tauricans fi•rce in shew,
Or other Nations, who o're Ister ride,
Where frozen ice doth all the River hide:
The most of them, for thee Rome do• not care,
Nor of the Romane Souldier stand in feare.
Their Bowes and Quivers make them waxe stou•.
And their fleete horses sit abroade to scout.
And because they thirst and hunger can endure,
While their enemies no water can procure,
Sure his mild anger had not sent me hither,
If he had knowne this land or people either.
He would not have any Romane to be,
Captive unto a forraigne enemie,
And I suppose that he much lesse would have
Me taken captive, to whom life he gave.
He did not seeke my death although he might,
Without the Getes helpe have destroy'd me quite:
But he found that death was not deserv'd by me,
So that he was most mercifull to me;
And what he did, I did compell him to
And in his wrath much mildnesse he did shew;
You Gods grant, mongst whom none can juster be
Then Caesar, that none may greater be than he,
And that after his long raigne it still may be,
Govern'd by one of Caesars Progenie.
Page [unnumbered] And when thou findst his mercy is no l•sse,
Then speake to him for me in great distresse,
Seeke no repeale from banishment, but that I
May live in banishment safe from the enemie.
Th•t that life which Caesa•s mercy did afford,
The Gete may not take from me by the swo•d.
But when at length I dye, I may dye in peace,
That the Scythian earth my bones may never presse
Nor the Bistonian Horse may tread upon▪
The scattered ashes of a banisht man,
And that if the Sp•rit often death survive,
Mongst the Sarmatian ghosts I may not live.
O Maximus these matters may encline
Caesars m•nde to pitty, if they first move thine;
O may thy words his royall minde once sof••n,
Which have defended guilty parties often,
And with the usuall sweetenesse of thy speech,
Caesars most godlike majestie beseech,
Atreus nor Theromedon shalt thou intreate
Who gave their horses humane flesh to eate
But a Prince to punish slow, to reward free,
Grieving when he must needes more cruell be:
Who c•nquers, that he may the conquer'd spare
With quiet peace suppressing civill warre
By feare, not punishment he doth command,
And casts his thunder with an unwilling hand.
Beg of him to banish me to some place where
Vnto my Country I might live more neere;
I'm he whose love to you hath beene exprest,
And on hollidayes have beene your frequent guest,
I am he, did Hymen to your wedding bring,
Whi•e at your marriage I did verses sing,
And thou wert wont to praise my bookes I am sure,
Excepting those my ruine did procure.
Page [unnumbered] I am he, to whom thy writin•s thou didst read,
Who out of thy family a wife did wed,
Whom Martia did from her childhood love
And for her chiefe companion did approve,
Caesars grandmother did her much esteeme;
She must be good that's loved by a Queene,
But Claudia whose fame 'bove envie stood,
Did want none of their pra•se to make her good.
Besides my former life is free from spot,
Though the last part of life must be forgot.
•ut though I'm silent of my selfe and life,
Yet you are bound to take care of my wife:
She flyes to you, your Altars she embraces,
(All flye to their owne gods in distressed cases)
And she entreating you with mournefull teares,
That you would try with your most humble prayers.
Great Caesars wrat • to appease and pacifie,
That her husband neerer unto her might dye.