Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
From Elegies: Book II. Elegia III.
By Ovid (43 B.C.–18 A.D.)
 
(Translated by Christopher Marlowe)

Ad Eunuchum servantem dominam.

AY me, an eunuch keeps my mistress chaste,
That cannot Venus’ mutual pleasure taste.
Who first deprived young boys of their best part,
With self-same wounds he gave, he ought to smart.
To kind requests thou would’st more gentle prove,        5
If ever wench had made lukewarm thy love;
Thou wert not born to ride, or arms to bear,
Thy hands agree not with the warlike spear.
Men handle those; all manly hopes resign,
Thy mistress’ ensigns must be likewise thine.        10
Please her—her hate makes others thee abhor;
If she discards thee, what use serv’st thou for?
Good form there is, years apt to play together:
Unmeet is beauty without use to wither.
She may deceive thee, though thou her protect;        15
What two determine never wants effect.
Our prayers move thee to assist our drift,
While thou hast time yet to bestow that gift.
 
 
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