Elegy V: Corinna In the Afternoon
From Amores, by Ovid

It was hot. The noon hour had passed
And I lay stretched out in bed
One shutter stood open, the other closed
The light was crepuscular, as in a deep wood
And it glimmered like Phoebus dying at twilight

Or like the end of the night, just before dawn
This kind of light befits a shy and timid girl
Who hopes to cloak her body in darkness
But look—here comes Corinna, in an unbelted slip
Her hair down, swirling around her pale shoulders
Like famed Semiramis approaching her marriage bed,

Or like Lais, adored by so many men.
I pulled at her slip, and though the material covered little,
She struggled to keep it on, fighting me,
But not like a woman who wants to win
Soon I overpowered her, and punished her defiance.
She stood before my eyes, her clothing on the floor
I couldn’t find a single flaw in all her body
Such shoulders, such arms—I saw and caressed them
Her breasts were made in the shape of my hands.
What a flat belly beneath such a slender waist.
The swell of her hips… Those youthful thighs…

But why describe each part? It all deserves praise
I pressed her perfect naked body against mine

Everyone knows what came next…

Spent, we both luxuriated, resting, and I thought
Please, please, give me more afternoons like this.

Elegia V
Original Latin Text


Aestus erat, mediamque dies exegerat horam;
    adposui medio membra levanda toro.
pars adaperta fuit, pars altera clausa fenestrae;
    quale fere silvae lumen habere solent,
qualia sublucent fugiente crepuscula Phoebo,
    aut ubi nox abiit, nec tamen orta dies.
illa verecundis lux est praebenda puellis,
    qua timidus latebras speret habere pudor.
ecce, Corinna venit, tunica velata recincta,
    candida dividua colla tegente coma— 
qualiter in thalamos famosa Semiramis isse
    dicitur, et multis Lais amata viris.
Deripui tunicam—nec multum rara nocebat;
    pugnabat tunica sed tamen illa tegi.
quae cum ita pugnaret, tamquam quae vincere nollet,
    victa est non aegre proditione sua.
ut stetit ante oculos posito velamine nostros,
    in toto nusquam corpore menda fuit.
quos umeros, quales vidi tetigique lacertos!
    forma papillarum quam fuit apta premi!
quam castigato planus sub pectore venter!
    quantum et quale latus! quam iuvenale femur!
Singula quid referam? nil non laudabile vidi
    et nudam pressi corpus ad usque meum.

Cetera quis nescit?

     lassi requievimus ambo.
proveniant medii sic mihi saepe dies!