Ovid, Ibis 43-64
m = reading of part of the MS tradition
P = reading on a papyrus
Pax erit haec nobis, donec mihi mihi m: mea m vita manebit,
Cum pecore infirmo quae solet esse lupis.
45 Prima quidem coepto committam proelia versu,
Non soleant quamvis hoc pede bella geri.
Utque petit primo plenum flaventis harenae harenae m: arentis m
Nondum calfacti militis hasta solum,
Sic ego te nondum ferro nondum ferro m: ferro nondum m: nudum ferro m iaculabor acuto,
50 Protinus invisum nec petet hasta caput;
Et neque nomen in hoc nec dicam facta libello,
Teque brevi, qui sis, dissimulare sinam.
Postmodo, si perges, in te mihi liber iambus
Tincta Lycambeo sanguine tela dabit.
55 Nunc quo Battiades inimicum devovet Ibin,
Hoc ego devoveo teque tuosque modo.
Utque ille, historiis involvam carmina caecis,
Non soleam quamvis hoc genus ipse sequi.
Illius ambages imitatus in Ibide dicar
60 Oblitus moris iudiciique mei.
Et quoniam, qui sis, nondum quaerentibus edo,
Ibidis interea tu quoque nomen habe habe m: habes m.
Utque mei versus aliquantum noctis habebunt,
Sic vitae series tota sit atra tuae.
We shall have the peace, as long as life remains for me, that wolves are accustomed to keep amongst a defenceless flock. With my poem underway I will strike first in battle, although wars are not usually waged on this type of foot. As the spear of the soldier not yet fired for battle flies into the ground full of tawdry sand, so I will not yet take aim at you with my sharp iron, and my spear will not fly towards your envious head. I will not speak your name or what you have done in this little book, and for a little while I will allow you to disguise who you are. But if you continue, shortly thereafter my book of iambic verse will hurl at you spears soaked in the blood of Lycambes. Now in the way Battiades curses the hateful Ibis, so I curse you and yours. Like him I will clothe my songs with stories blind and uncertain, although I do not often seek out this genre of poetry. I will be said to have imitated his riddles in the Ibis and to have forgotten my usual habits and judgment. And because I will not yet divulge who you are to those who ask, in the meantime take the name Ibis also. As my verses will also have a bit of darkness to them, so may the entire course of your life remain black as well.