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Propertius
Roman poet
(c. 50 - after 16 BC)



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Cynthia prima suis miserum me cepit ocellis,
Contactum nullis ante cupidinibus.

Cynthia first, with her eyes, caught wretched me
Smitten before by no desires.
-- Elegies, bk. 1

[N]eque assueto mutet amore torum.
Never change when love has found its home.
-- Elegies, bk. 1

Navita de ventis, de tauris narrat arator,
Enumerat miles vulnera, pastor oves.

The sailor tells of winds, the ploughman of bulls,
the soldier counts his wounds, the shepherd his sheep.
-- Elegies, bk. 2

Quod si deficiant vires, audacia certe
Laus erit: in magnis et voluisse sat est.

Even if strength fail, boldness at least will deserve praise:
in great endeavors even to have had the will is enough.
-- Elegies, bk. 2

Semper in absentes felicior aestus amantes.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
-- Elegies, bk. 2

Cedite Romani scriptores, cedite Grai!
Nescioquid maius nascitur Iliade.

Make way, you Roman writers, make way, Greeks!
Something greater than the Iliad is born.
-- Of Virgil's poem, the Aeneid, in: Elegies, bk. 2

Magnum iter ascendo, sed dat mihi vires.
Great is the height that I must scale, but the prospect of glory gives me strength.
-- Elegies, bk. 4


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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