Ovid, Amores 1.12

How to quote this translation

M = reading of the whole MS tradition
m = reading of part of the MS tradition
P = reading on a papyrus

Flete meos casus: tristes rediere tabellae;
     infelix hodie littera posse negat.
omina sunt aliquid: modo cum discedere uellet,
     ad limen digitos restitit icta Nape.
missa foras iterum limen transire memento5
     cautius atque alte sobria ferre pedem!
ite hinc, difficiles, funebria ligna, tabellae,
     tuque, negaturis cera referta notis,
quam, puto, de longae collectam flore cicutae
     melle sub infami Corsica misit apis.10
at tamquam minio penitus medicata rubebas;
     ille color uere sanguinulentus erat.
proiectae triuiis iaceatis, inutile lignum,
     uosque rotae frangat praetereuntis onus.
illum etiam, qui uos ex arbore uertit in usum,15
     conuincam puras non habuisse manus.
praebuit illa arbor misero suspendia collo,
     carnifici diras diras Heinsius: duras M praebuit illa cruces;
illa dedit turpes raucis raucis m: rasis m: miseris m: rauis Heinsius bubonibus umbras,
     uulturis in ramis et strigis oua tulit.20
his ego commisi nostros insanus amores
     molliaque ad dominam uerba ferenda dedi?
aptius hae capiant uadimonia garrula cerae,
     quas aliquis duro cognitor cognitor m: creditor m ore legat;
inter ephemeridas melius tabulasque iacerent,25
     in quibus absumptas fleret auarus opes.
ergo ego uos rebus duplices pro nomine sensi:
     auspicii numerus non erat ipse boni.
quid precer iratus, nisi uos cariosa senectus
     rodat, et immundo cera sit alba situ?30

Weep for my misfortune: my wretched tablets have returned with the unhappy message that she can’t today. There is something in omens: just now as she wished to leave, Nape [the poet’s maid] stopped when she stubbed her toes on the threshold. The next time you are sent out across the threshold, remember [5] to be more careful and to soberly lift your feet up! Away with you, troublesome tablets, funereal wood, and you, wax returned to me with your message of rejection, wax which, I think, the Corsican bee sent under cover of its infamous honey, gathered from the flower of the long hemlock. [10] Yet you were red, as if deeply dyed with minium; that colour was truly blood red. Lie there thrown out at the crossroads, useless wood, and may the weight of a passing wheel crush you. Even the man who transformed you from a tree into something useful, [15] I'll bet that he did not have pure hands. That tree offered a hanging for some wretched neck, and supplied dreadful crosses for the executioner; it gave foul shade to raucous horned owls, and carried in its branches the eggs of the vulture and the screech owl. [20] To these did I, madman, commit my loves and give my tender words to be carried to my mistress? These waxes would more suitably contain long-winded summons, which some attorney would read in a harsh voice; they would be better lying among ledgers and account-books, [25] in which some miser might weep over his lost wealth. So I have found you two-faced, as befits your name [i.e. tabellae duplices (double tablets)]: the number itself was not a good omen. What should I pray for in my anger, except that rotten old age gnaw at you, and that your wax turn white from squalid neglect? [30]

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