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COME, bind ye my brows, ye laurels of victory, for I have conquered; lo, in my arms I hold her, this wonderful Corinna, whom husband, watchman, oaken door and all such enemies to love, were guarding from the invader. This is a victory specially deserving of triumphal honours, since the prize, without bloodshed, has been gained. No lowly ramparts, nor towns with narrow moats begirt, but a woman it is that my generalship has won.

When, after twice five years of war, Troy fell, what, among so many claimants for reward, was the prize that fell to Atreus' son? But now, the glory of the day is mine and mine alone; no other can demand his share of the spoils. I was the leader, I the host, that took the citadel by storm. Cavalry, infantry and standard-bearer I. By no mischance did Fortune mar my feats. A Triumph then for me, the guerdon of my efforts! The cause of my campaign is no new thing. Had not the daughter of Tyndarus been carried off, the peace of Europe and of Asia had not been disturbed. ’Twas a woman who, when the wine was going the rounds, stirred up to mutual strife the fierce Lapithæ and the monstrous race of the Centaurs. ’Twas a woman who, in thy kingdom, good Latinus, forced the Trojans to begin

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fresh wars; ’twas woman who, when the City was but newly founded, did cause the bloody conflict when the Romans had to battle with the fathers of their wives. Bulls I have seen fighting for a snow-white heifer, which, looking on at the fray, stirred them to fresh exploits. Me too, as others oft before me, hath Cupid bidden march to battle under his banners, but mine was a bloodless victory.


Ite triumphales circum mea tempora laurus!
    vicimus: in nostro est, ecce, Corinna sinu,
quam vir, quam custos, quam ianua firma, tot hostes,
    servabant, nequa posset ab arte capi!
haec est praecipuo victoria digna triumpho,
    in qua, quaecumque est, sanguine praeda caret.
non humiles muri, non parvis oppida fossis
    cincta, sed est ductu capta puella meo!
Pergama cum caderent bello superata bilustri,
    ex tot in Atridis pars quota laudis erat?
at mea seposita est et ab omni milite dissors
    gloria, nec titulum muneris alter habet.
me duce ad hanc voti finem, me milite veni;
    ipse eques, ipse pedes, signifer ipse fui.
nec casum fortuna meis inmiscuit actis--
    huc ades, o cura parte Triumphe mea!
Nec belli est nova causa mei. nisi rapta fuisset
    Tyndaris, Europae pax Asiaeque foret.
femina silvestris Lapithas populumque biformem
    turpiter adposito vertit in arma mero;
femina Troianos iterum nova bella movere
    inpulit in regno, iuste Latine, tuo;
femina Romanis etiamnunc urbe recenti
    inmisit soceros armaque saeva dedit.
Vidi ego pro nivea pugnantes coniuge tauros;
    spectatrix animos ipsa iuvenca dabat.
me quoque, qui multos, sed me sine caede, Cupido
    iussit militiae signa movere suae.

Next: Elegy XIII: He Beseeches Isis To Come To The Aid Of Corinna In Her Confinement.