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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
To Cerinthus, on his Birthday
By Tibullus (c. 55–19 B.C.)
 
Translation of James Cranstoun

COME, speak fair words before the natal fane:
Or man or woman come, let silence reign,
Let incense burn, and odors fill the air
Such as the rich Arabian pastures bear;
Oh, let thy Genius view his honors now,        5
With flowing garlands round his holy brow;
On every tress let purest spikenard shine;
Haste, bring the cake, and crown the bowl with wine!
 
Beloved Cerinthus! may he hear thy vow!
Breathe it; why linger? pray, he beckons now!        10
Methinks thou’lt ask a wife’s unchanging love;
Ah, yes! thy thoughts have reached the gods above!
To thee, compared with this, were sorry cheer
The wide world’s plains upturned by brawny steer,
Or costliest gems from wealthy India drawn,        15
Where Ocean colors at the kiss of dawn.
 
Thy vows are ratified. On quivering wing,
Dear Love! the golden bonds of wedlock bring,—
Bonds that will last till age with laggard pace
Silvers thy locks and wrinkles all thy face;        20
And may thy natal god send children sweet,
To sport with happy gambols round thy feet!
 
 
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