back ~ home ~ up ~ next



 

 


Prayer for His Lady's Life

     From Propertius, Elegiae, Lib. III, 26

 

Here let thy clemency, Persephone, hold firm,

Do thou, Pluto, bring here no greater harshness.

So many thousand beauties are gone down to Avernus,

Ye Might let one remain above with us.

 

With you is Iope, with you the white-gleaming Tyro,

With you is Europa and the shameless Pasiphae,

And all the fair from Troy and all from Achaia,

From the sundered realms, of Thebes and of aged Priamus;

And all the maidens of Rome, as many as they were,

They died and the greed of your flame consumes them.

 

Here let thy clemency, Persephone, hold firm,

Do thou, Pluto, bring here no greater harshness.

So many thousand fair are gone down to Avernus,

Ye might let one remain above with us.

 

Ezra Pound

 

Notes for students:

Sextus Propertius = Roman poet whose Third Book of Elegies

   contained 25 poems; Pound proposes this poem as the 26th

Pluto and Persephone = Roman god of the underworld and his wife

Avernus = a lake in the underworld

Iope, Tyro, Europa, Parsiphae, Priamus = various characters in

   Greek or Roman mythology

Achaia = region in ancient Greece

Thebes = ancient Greek city

Background by
Cottage Row


back ~ home ~ up ~ next