Step Aside, Goddesses!

Propertius, 2.2

“I was free, and I was thinking about living with an empty bed; but Amor deceived me with a specious peace. Why does this human form linger here on earth? Jupiter, I pardon your old intrigues. Her hair is auburn, her hands are long – she is excellent all over her body – and she struts about worthy to be Jupiter’s sister, or like Pallas when she walks about the Dulichian altars, wearing the serpent-hair of the Gorgon on her breast, or like Ischomache, the demigoddess among the Lapithae, a treasured prize to the centaurs when they were deep in their cups. It is well-enough known how Brimo lay her virginal side next to Mercury near the waters of Lake Boebeis. Make way, you goddesses whom Paris once saw place their robes aside on Ida’s crags! I wish that old age would not change her appearance, even if she reached the age of the Cumaean Sibyl!”

LIBER eram et vacuo meditabar vivere lecto;
at me composita pace fefellit Amor.
cur haec in terris facies humana moratur?
Iuppiter, ignosco pristina furta tua.
fulva coma est longaeque manus, et maxima toto
corpore, et incedit vel Iove digna soror,
aut cum Dulichias Pallas spatiatur ad aras,
Gorgonis anguiferae pectus operta comis;
qualis et Ischomache Lapithae genus heroine,
Centauris medio grata rapina mero;
Mercurio satis fertur Boebeidos undis
virgineum Brimo composuisse latus.
cedite iam, divae, quas pastor viderat olim
Idaeis tunicas ponere verticibus!
hanc utinam faciem nolit mutare senectus,
etsi Cumaeae saecula vatis aget!

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