Three Poems of Sulpicia
--In Book III of the Roman elegist Tibullus are to be found six poems ascribed to "Sulpicia, Servius' daughter," the niece of Corvinus Messala, a prominent literary patron at the end of the first century B.C.E.
III xiv Invisus natalis adest, qui rure molesto
Now my hateful birthday, grimly to be celebrated
in the dismal countryside without Cerinthus here--
What can be better than town? Is a farmhouse right for a girl
or Arretrium's chilled river, its empty fields?
Take it easy with all your kindness to me, Messalla:
journeys, cousin, should be made at the proper time.
I'm being whisked off, but I leave behind me in Rome my heart, my
soul, since fate forbids my running my life myself.
III xvii Estne tibi, Cerinthe, tuae pia cura puellae
Now that a fever shakes her exhausted body, Cerinthus,
haven't you any warm affectionate thoughts for your girl?
Ah, I could never pray to conquer this dismal disease if
I could not be sure you would pray for it too.
What would it do for me to conquer diseases if you were
able to bear my ills with a too easy heart?
III xviii Ne tibi sim, mea lux, aeque iam fervida cura
Let me no more be to you, my life, as seething a passion
as I thought I was just a few days ago
if when young I ever committed so stupid a deed
more repented than that I did last night when I
went running off -- and left you there alone late last night -- to
keep from view the fire wildly burning inside me.