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.
Ovid, from Euxine shoare, not when he would,
Graecinus, sends th•e health, but whence he could.
I wish that it that morning may meete thee,
When thou receiv'st the Consuls dignity.
Since when thou as Consull shalt carri'd be
To the Capitoll, I shall not goe with thee.
•ay my Letter on that day be receiv'd,
And so performe my duty in my stead.
But if to better fates I had beene borne,
And that my Fortunes had runne smoothly on▪
Page [unnumbered] I had saluted thee in presence then,
Which now my hand performeth by my pen.
And I would mingle kisses with each word,
Which should honour unto both of us afford.
I should be so proud if this day once came,
So that thy house could scarce my pride containe.
And while the Senate walked on each side,
I as a horseman should before thee ride.
And though I desir'd still next thee to abide,
I should be glad not to be next thy side.
I would endure the peoples throng and presse,
And to be throng'd so, count it happinesse.
And I sh•uld also then rejoyce to s•e,
What troopes of people beare thee company.
And I who am mov'd, with each vulgar sight,
To see thy purple robes should take delight.
And to see thy 〈◊〉 wrought with Imagery,
Which is carv'd on Numidian Ivory.
Then comming to the Tarpeian•ower againe,
While Sacrifices at thy command were slaine,
The god in the midst of it, had heard me
Giving thankes for giving me this dignity.
And giving Frankinsence with gratefull minde,
For joy of honour unto thee assign'd,
And amongst thy friends I should reckon'd be,
If the more gentle fates had sufferd me
To be in the City, so that what I doe
Behold in thought, I with my eyes might view.
But they were not pleasd, and perhaps justly
My cause of punishment why should I deny?
Yet in mind, which cannot banisht be,
Thy purple robes and ornaments I see.
And how to people thou dost justice doe,
And thinke I me present at thy counsels too▪
Page [unnumbered] Or how the Cities rents are improv'd by thee,
And are cast up with much fidelity.
Or how in Senate thou mak'st an Oration,
Or for the publicke good holdst consultation.
Or how thou dost fat Oxen sacrifice,
To god-like Caesar for thy dignities.
And I wish, when thy better prayers are made,
Thou would pray that their wrath might be allayd.
These words will make the flame rise from the fire,
Vpon the Altar, and to mount up higher,
Till then •le cease complaints, and as I may
When thou art Consull, keepe a Holyday.
And this no lesse a cause of joy shall be,
That thy brother succeedes thee in dignity.
Thou on Decembers last dost it forsake,
He on the last of Ianuary shall it take.
Mutuall love shall you to joy encline,
You f•r your brothers honour, he for thine.
Twice Consull, you shall in each other be,
And double honour shall grace your family.
Which honour is so great, that there can be
In Martiall Rome no greater dignity:
Beside it is more honour unto thee,
To have such honour given by his Majesty.
And may Caesar still thinke you 〈◊〉 to be,
Worthy of such honour and dignity.
If winds stand faire to hoyst sayles doe not faile,
That my Ship out of Stygian waves may saile.
Graecinus, Fla•cus did of late command,
And the Land about Ister in peace maintaind.
Ile by the Mysia• people in fidelity,
And the Bow bearing Getes did terrifie,
By speedy valour he did Tr•••es take
And D•nub•ed with salvage blood did make:
Page [unnumbered]•nquire of him how 〈◊〉 doth lye,
And how I am frighted by the enemy.
Or if their shafts are dipt in Serpentsgall,
Or if that men for sacrifices fall.
Or that Pontus with cold be frozen over,
And that Ice many leagues of it doth cov••.
Th•n aske how I am esteem'd, and how I
Doe spend the time here in hard misery.
I am not hated, nor deserve to be,
My mind is not chang'd by adversity.
My mind enjoyes her owne tranquility,
Which hath beene praised heretofore by thee,
And thy speech retaines that old modesty
Which was wont usuall in it to be.
Such I was, and am where the enemy,
Gives to the sword the lawes validity,
So that Graecinus for many yeares none can
Complaine of us, not woman, child, nor man.
This makes the 〈◊〉 so kind to be,
Because the Country doth thinke well of me I
Some wish I were gone, since I it desire,
But for their owne sakes wish I may stay here.
Besides some publicke decrees extant be,
That doe give praise and priviledge to me▪
And the Townes round about doe honour me,
Though glory doth not suite with misery.
Nor is my piety unknowne in this Land,
The Caesars pictures in my house doe stand.
His Sonnes Image and wives, there placed be,
Equall to god-like Caesar in Majesty.
And to make up his family, on each hand,
His Nephewes by Father, and Mother side stand.
To these I pray and o••er sacrifice,
When the day breaketh from the Easterne skies.
Page [unnumbered] And if you aske•, •ll 〈◊〉 can testifie,
My pious duty and say I doe not lye.
Pontus knowes, that with such sports as I may,
I here doe celebrate Caesars birth day.
Nor is my love to strangers lesser knowne,
If any from Propontus hither come.
Perhaps your brother heard thus much of me,
In whose rule, Pontus enjoy'd liberty.
My fortune is unto my minde unlike,
Which makes my gifts and sacrifices •light,
Nor doe I it to show my Piety,
But am pleasd to doe good in secresie.
Yet these things may come unto Caesars eare,
Who of all matters in the world doth heare.
Thou Caesar joyn'd to the heavenly Deities,
Dost know this, and see this Land with thy ey•s,
And being plac'd among the starry Spheares,
Dost heare the humble meanest of my prayers,
And dost heare of those verses I did make
Of thee, who art now made a god of late.
And therefore I suppose your Deity,
By these things will incline to pitty me,
And will declare you have the gentle name,
Of a Father, which you worthily retaine.